Day 72: Should I be All Better Now?
I think today is the last time I will reference the "countdown." I still have more healthcare encounters to get through. I will still be working hard to prepare for and cope with them, but it seems the greatest battle has been won.
Today might also be the last time I use the day count in my subject line.
It has been a comfort to me to use these counting tools. They have helped me feel like I am moving forward, progressing toward something. On days when I have felt lost, useless, ashamed, or confused, the counting of days has subtly said I am still stepping along the pathway.
On the other hand, I feel sad at the idea of setting aside the counting. I feel ungrounded and at loose ends. I'm not sure why, but I feel like I'm losing part of me. I see a different me in the fog. I can see her shadow. I can just catch glimpses of her. I am afraid. I should feel excited. But, the me who is always ashamed, the me who feels unworthy and constantly restless, the me I know, the me whose skin in which I have lived for 47 years, might not exist some day soon. I know cognitively this is a good thing. But I don't know how to be that other me, what it will feel like, or how to live in her skin. Even though the current me is hurtful to me, it is familiar.
Maybe partly my worry comes from a notion that I am supposed to now be past the fear and shame that I carried into that gynecologic appointment yesterday.
As I write that I think about what others have said here about this; and what I would say to anyone else who said the same thing:
"You reached an important landmark, but you still need to allow more time for this wound to heal. Give yourself that time. Don't hold yourself to expectations that after one effort you should be all better. You'll be better when you're better. Besides, you haven't even defined what better is for you."
I guess where I am now in my healing process is trying to figure out how to reach the other me and integrate with her. I don't know what that means exactly.
I think it's time to complete my healing needs list. Perhaps this will help me feel grounded again:
- I have mother issues I am terrified to address. I think it means I want comforting I can't have and should not want.
- I might have father issues as well.
- I have doubts about my sexual orientation, even though I've never touched a woman in that way and I've always been fine with men. Related to that, I have never been in love.
- Sex has always been about catharsis for me. I can make my body respond, but not my heart.
- I have abandonment issues.
- I still engage in self injury, or risk taking
- I do not form meaningful attachments to others (except my children)
- I often dissociate
- I struggle with excessive self-blame and self-loathing
- I am still prone to panic and anxiety attacks
- I refuse to believe I have depression, but am I wrong about that?
- I sometimes experience intense fear of people and places
- I am done with my marriage and just hanging on for my children
- I tend to doubt all of the above matters or that anything can be done about it.
Sometimes I feel like I'm just too much drama. I make mountains out of molehills. I struggle mightily with believing I really deserve to be helped. I did call my therapist once, but got a busy signal. That was as much as I could accomplish, so I decided I might just be done with therapy.
But, after the appointment yesterday, as I wrote the letter to the doctor, I realized I am not done with therapy. I still need the help of my therapist. She was instrumental in helping me prepare for that appointment.
She was the one who talked to the doctor about my needs. She was able to say things I could not and did not say. She was a champion for me. Between the two of them and everyone here, that experience yesterday was pretty much pitch perfect. Yes it was scary to me as well as physically and emotionally exhausting, but really, it was absolutely the best thing for me.
Well, as much as I want to say I'm all done with this healing path, that would be incredibly dishonest. The truth I am trying to avoid is I am now fully on this healing path. For the first time I am really standing on this ground.