We often learn about our limits the hard way; were there any limits you realized this past year?
It was a rather warm day for the beginning of October; three of my friends and I were sitting in the outdoor area at the local Starbucks on campus, discussing how the semester was going so far. “The Meltdown” as I like to call it, had taken place about a month prior and I was only two and a half weeks into my counseling sessions. I had originally planned on not telling them for a while, at least until I got my shit together and could proclaim that I was in an emotionally good place and felt stable; I was (and still am) aware of the stigmas that come with seeing a therapist, and wasn’t sure how they would react.
But these were my friends; friends that have become like older sisters to me over the past year. It felt wrong not being honest about it.
Trying to be as calm as I possibly could, I explained everything that had been going on up until that point. To my relief, they didn’t make a huge deal out of it, while still being extremely supportive.
And as I was walking home afterward, I thought about how I tend to make being straightforward a hell of a lot harder than it has to be. I know I’ve reached my limit in regards to holding myself together when all I can think about is telling the truth and what possible consequences could follow. I’d like to think of it as being similar to working out or running; one can only do it for so long before they need to rest and hydrate themselves.
Not too long ago, I heard a very profound piece of advice; when we rely on our own strength to sustain us through a tough predicament, that predicament becomes us.
I couldn’t have agreed more with the truth of that statement, especially in my own life. In the past, instead of trying to work through the problem in a healthy way, I spent more time trying to primp and mold myself into this roll with the punches and nothing can hurt me type of woman. I wouldn’t say that I was lying to people, but I was more or less trying to sugarcoat that everything was neat and tidy, when deep down, it was a mess!
And from what I’m aware about my person, I’m just not good at pretending for long periods of time. When I’m upset, people will figure at out. This may or may not come back to haunt me one day, but I’m terrible at showing a specific emotion unless that’s what I’m genuinely feeling. For instance, I cannot fake a smile; not only does it look weird, but it feels weird too.
In the last couple of weeks, I have come up with what I consider a pretty decent practice of reaching out in times of stress or crisis. First, I don’t confide in just one friend or family member alone; it’s good to have different kinds of support, in case for whatever reason, someone cannot be there for me anymore (and that has happened). Second, I don’t talk about it right when it happens, nor do I wait until I have it all “figured out.”
So far, I’d say it has been working for me. I’m not completely leaning on one person, nor am I doing so in a way that makes the whole thing seem like life or death. As I said in one of my earlier posts, it’s not about comfort, pity or answers. It’s about the freedom of being authentic and not having to hide from the rest of the world.
As much as I’d like to be, I’m not Wonder Woman; and when all is said and done, that’s probably a good thing.