I don't need you anymore. On freedom from fear.

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.

Holy. Shit.

Welcome to freedom.