Sunday, 5 December 2010

Let Go

Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

I read this and I had a shameful and confused thought as my first response.

My very first thought was that I let go of my mother. Three and a bit years after losing her, I finally opened the box full of the snarled up feelings I had surrounding her death and took a peek under the lid. And then I went and visited her grave for the very first time since we interred her ashes.

But that's not right. Because in no way have I let go of my mother. I still have all my memories and always will, I just faced something and accepted it a little more (her being physically gone from my life).

That thought process lead me to what I have truly let go of this year, or at the very least started to let go of - the wall around myself and my need for utter control of how people view me.

At some point in early summer, I hit a low; I was in such a miserable place that I finally recognised I could do with some outside help.

Through reading so many blogs online, I had read about many examples of people turning to professional counsellors to address their problems, and it occurred to me to look and see if this was something that could help me too.

And so the Other Sue came into my life. An absolute professional, through and through, with a knack for making me turn my issues over and look at them from the flip-side.

Going to see someone was a huge step for me. I never admit that there's a problem. And if I do, I certainly don't ask for help. I maintained my outward projection of absolute strength and perfection at all times - an impregnable wall where I could reach out to help my friends, be their confidante and their shoulder to lean on, but they could never really get to me.

Seeing a professional, a kind but ultimately objective stranger, was what I needed. This was someone who wouldn't judge me, someone who I could trust to look at my snarly mess of emotions, and help me pull it apart with an impartial outlook.

Those 6 weeks with the Other Sue - just 6 hours in fact (ignoring the amount of time she let me ramble on for over the session end times) saw me looking at my life and my prejudices - mostly against myself - from a completely new perspective.

I let someone in, and she helped me see that I was overly critical of myself practically all the time, and that I'm better than I give myself credit for - that I can in fact afford to let other people in too. And god dammit - I'm missing out by not letting them in.

I left those sessions lighter in my soul - just in time to take myself away travelling, a more unburdened person.

It's fair to say that there were many things we discussed in those sessions that I wasn't able to deal with, in any practical way, straight away.

One of those was being able to admit to someone, a guy, that I actually like them. That takes confidence in your own worth. I wasn't there yet.

Another thing was addressing my insane shopping habit - a hangover from the days when nothing felt good - I didn't feel good - and the only way I thought I could boost my self-worth was being seen in the nicest clothes, with the newest stuff, in all the right places.

And then there was the fact that I kept the whole counselling itself a secret from everybody (apart from you guys obviously!).

But I did take everything she said to heart. And slowly, slowly it's finding it's way into my day-to-day life. When my friend Hannah was at a very low ebb, something I recognised from myself, I thought it was time to let her in on my secret and I told her about my counselling experiences. The possibility that the knowledge could help her was more important than my own need not to be judged. And unsurprisingly she didn't judge at all. In fact, she was fascinated.

In recent weeks I've also started to address my spending habits. I've made myself a mountain of debt, and as I've mentioned briefly before, I am now ready to acknowledge that I can't go on the way I have been, that only I can help myself, that it is no quick fix, but also that I am different now - I have moved on - and solving this myself will feel damn good.

And the other example? The guys? Well, maybe there'll be nothing exciting to tell you, but maybe, just maybe, there will. At any rate, I'm trying a new approach, and whilst I might not tell you everything here, suffice it to say that I'm moving forward one little step forward at a time - I may have actually told a guy I'm interested. It's a little complicated, but I'm content to sit back and see if anything comes of it. And if not? I dare say it won't kill me. And that's a lesson for me in itself.

And that lesson?

Let go. Live a little.

- Posted from my iPhone

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