|I'm not entirely sure how this pic|
is helpful at all to this story.
But you have now seen a picture of my pussy.
I've been going to therapy lately. It's been good for me.
My new therapist is full on fabulous. She's sweet and warm and gives great hugs, which is exactly what I need in someone I'm pouring my heart out to.
"What's your biggest fear, Maven?" she asked me. "What's holding you back?"
I thought for a moment, which is my secret trick for when I want to take a sip of my coffee but want to look pensive at the same time. "Well, I guess I'm waiting for everyone to find out I'm a big fraud."
"And how are you a fraud?"
"I walk around all day in my mom/professional writer suit. It's not actually a suit, by the way. It's more like jeans or occasionally yoga pants. Fine. Mostly yoga pants. Oh, and a shirt that has stains on it half the time that I can't even blame on babies anymore. Anyway, everyone says, 'you're such a great mom, Maven!' and 'You're such a great writer, Maven!' and 'You have such a great family, Maven!" what I'm really waiting for them to realize is, hey, wait a sec, Maven isn't supposed to be in this life. What's she doing here? Isn't she a self-absorbed high school dropout recovering alcoholic who got pregnant at nineteen?"
"And?" she inquired further, imploring me to finish the thought.
"And demographically speaking, I shouldn't be here," I stated, matter-of-factly. "It's only by pure luck that I'm here. You know that. You're a therapist. You went to school and read studies on people like me."
"I think you're here because you worked really hard and you're very resilient," she said. I shrugged and half-nodded and drank more coffee. I was uncomfortable admitting all of that out loud to someone.
"You don't seem to have a lot of self-worth. Why do you think that is?"
I sighed. "This year I did two very big things. I moved, and then I went back to high school. It's been a little demoralizing, I guess. I was comfortable before. But now I've ripped the polkadot bandaid off and realized there's still a wound under there after all these years. It's gross and I don't like it. Guess I can't just put another bandaid on it, huh?"
She shook her head.
I have hit emotional bottom. Like, just. hit. bottom. It's been such a tough year. Not a bad one, just tough. There have been so many changes and they've left me feeling pretty raw. This is what an emotional breakdown feels like. It's ugly and sad and it's been making me angry. I want Maven back. I want my writing mojo back. I want my energy back. I want to feel like the amazing person I used to know I was. I want that joy I used to carry under my coat and flash at people. And that's why I've been sitting in the therapist's office, crying and frustrated. This has to stop because I need to get back to me. Soon.
I just started reading Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection at the recommendation of my lovely therapist. It's been enlightening so far. She had a breakdown too, you know, and that's how she got awesome enough to write books. Maybe, once I move beyond mine, I'll be awesome enough to finally do that, too.
She also mentions vulnerability and shame, and how shame loves it when we hide it from others. It grows and festers until we can make ourselves vulnerable enough to share it. So here you go, entire internet population: Here is my shame. It's big. Please be kind. Send chocolate.
This is who I am. I'm imperfect. I made choices. I need to stop worrying that other people will judge me for them. The truth is, some of you will. But the rest of that truth is that your judgment likely has nothing to do with me and everything to do with how you interpret life. I can't control that anymore than I can control how insanely gorgeous my hair is. It just is. And that's ok.
Maybe, if I just get honest, I'll stop questioning myself all the time. Maybe I'll feel more worthy again. Maybe I'll be able to write more blog posts and do all those guest posts I've promised I'd do for other people but haven't gotten around to yet because I can hardly write these ones. Maybe I'll laugh a little more again. Maybe I'll come alive a little more. Maybe I'll be the balls-out bitch of a powerhouse I know is inside of me and blow the roof off of this beautiful life of mine.
The therapist wants me to spend my spare time wisely. She said, "Whenever you do something that is non-essential in life, I want you to ask yourself, 'Will this feed my soul?' And if the answer is no, don't do it. Treat yourself kindly, make yourself a priority, and you will start to believe you are worthy of good things."
Last night the cat jumped up on my lap for a cuddle. She looked at me impatiently.
"Hang on, Matrix. Is petting you going to feed my soul?" I asked.
She purred sweetly and stuck her claws into my thigh. "Fuuuuuck! Ok, yes."
Before I was about to eat a chocolate bar earlier, I asked myself, "Will this feed my so-- ah, fuck it," and proceeded to stuff it unceremoniously into my carb hole.
Baby steps, ok?
Baby steps, ok?
Before writing this blog post, I asked myself, "Will this feed my soul?" The answer came quickly: writing from my heart (and foul mouth and twisty brain) always feeds my soul. Always.
So I'm getting very good at this soul feeding thing. I'm even making better choices when it comes to relationships. Who do I spend time with? People who make me as much of a priority as I make them. Who do I put energy into? People who leave me happier than I was before I saw them.
People who feed my soul. Only those. Like a boss.
I've realized my soul is quite hungry. Downright gluttonous, even. I have named it Kron The Devourer and it is truly an unstoppable beast.
Thank goodness I have a lot of chocolate and good peeps and a blog and a very needy cat.
And I'm hoping that, once Kron the Devourer and I get some time to pig out, we will be feeling a whole lot better.
No more bandaids.