I think I could write a thousand blog posts this week. There are so many things I could talk about. It has been an eventful week.
My wife and I (finally) announced on Facebook that we are having a baby. And so I want to tell you this incredible news. I obviously have a lot of feelings regarding being a parent, especially a parent with mental illness. I started to write that post and it simply didn’t flow. So I am going to make this announcement and then move on to another topic altogether.
Last week I took a quick 3 day trip to Chicago. One of my good friends is a business and life coach and put on a workshop which she invited me to attend, so I took hold of the opportunity and headed north.
I had a lot of time to think. I took the train and thought. I rode CTA and thought. I took the Metra to my cousins’ house and thought. I took this workshop which made me think.
It was good for me to think. To analyze, to find clarity. And I had a moment. A moment I don’t fully understand but which I know has already had a profound impact on my life.
I used to, and still do to an extent, have this feeling that I am like a pile of legos. Disconnected. I know all the pieces go together, but I’m just not sure how.
I lost a lot of myself during the dark years. I lost my love of music. I lost my hobbies. Everything was about survival. And now I am coming out of that. I am leaving survival mode and learning how to thrive and it is hard. That broken, hurting kid still lives within me. But I wrote her a letter and found healing.
I know where the pieces go now. Where they go for now. And I love this metaphor because it leaves room for growth and change. Lego's are adaptable.
And so I'm learning there are parts of me I simply don't need anymore.
I don’t need survival mode anymore. I don’t need to live in fear. I have powerful coping skills already in place.
I will never go back to where I was, because it is hard to go back to that place. I remember my first therapist telling me that it would take years to heal, because it took years to get to where I was. And I believe that is true. Which also means it would take YEARS to go back to where I was. A switch won't flip and I'm magically back to where I was. I can't go back to where I was because I have worked for years to get to where I AM.
And where I am is safe.
I am safe.
That phrase is powerful for me. Like, bring me to the verge of tears powerful.
I am safe.
I am safe, and I haven't felt safe since I was 17 years old. I lived in fear of what I could do to myself, what I had done to myself.
But I am safe now.
I no longer need survival mode.
I don’t need to fear.
Welcome to freedom.