Opening Up

First, I want to preface this entry by reminding anyone who is reading that I often reveal very personal and sometimes tough things on this blog. For me, writing is another form of therapy and being able to be honest and open about my struggles has helped me a great deal. Another reason I share such personal things is that I hope that someone who may be dealing with similar things sees that they are not alone.

Second, please know that I have a great psychologist that I see almost every week and an amazing psychiatrist that I see every other month. It has been over 12 years since I first started seeing them and they have been instrumental in helping me learn how to cope and take care of my mental health. I truly could not have gotten to where I am today without their help and I am grateful everyday that I stumbled upon their contact information.

Okay, here we go…

I mentioned in an earlier post that the week of Thanksgiving was incredibly painful. This time of year is hard to begin with, but this was the first holiday I spent without my mom and it was a lonely week. The weight of the past several months when coupled with other things going on in my life got to a breaking point the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

When I was in high school and in the deepest part of my depression, I turned to self-harm. It has been over 15 years since I last self-harmed. The exact details aren’t important, but I came dangerously close to hurting myself that Sunday afternoon. I was so distraught and angry with myself and my mess of a life that I thought I deserved to be punished. It’s not logical at all, I know. When I realized what I was about to do, I immediately called my psychiatrist, who very calmly talked to me and somehow got my sobbing to stop. I did not hurt myself that day and I don’t want to ever get to that point again.

I used to be ashamed of my depression and hid what I went through for a long time. I lost friends because they couldn’t handle the ”drama” and I quickly learned to keep my mouth shut. But a few days after this incident, I was talking with a rabbi and disclosed what happened. He didn’t gasp or immediately launch into a reprimand or assume I was in danger of hurting myself at any time. He simply listened, without judgement. When I tearfully confessed that I wasn’t attending services like I normally do because, at least right now, they don’t bring the comfort I am seeking, he understood. And he reminded me that I have made my own place in the community, that the reason I feel so much love and support (even if I forget that sometimes) is because I chose to open myself up, despite any negative experiences. I have a lot to be thankful for.

I think I decided to share this tonight because I want to remind myself that this phase of my life and these overwhelming feelings won’t last forever.

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