Mary Anne just looked at me with her compassionate expression as I bawled out the words to my therapist “This is hard, and I feel bad about the finances and the burden on my husband, the burden I feel I’m placing on my family”, “I have been an emotional roller coaster for months, and although there are days that better than others, I feel burdened with a less-than feeling more often in my life today, than I have ever experienced before. This sucks”. Next, Mary Anne asked me if I agreed I had been through a lot of significant life changes over the last several months, to which I knew where she was taking our session, or shall I say – taking me in my session during that moment. Yes, the last 8 months have been more challenging at times then the first few days of my sobriety in 2001. My dad passed away suddenly because of COVID, my elderly mom is struggling and lives over 1200 miles away, I finally resigned at a job of 20 years which no longer served me, and the silver lining – menopause decided to show up in my life which between the stress and lack of hormones my body started breaking down in weird areas. I didn’t even know the woman that was in that session, as she was unrecognizable to the woman I knew myself to be a year and half prior.
Mary Anne didn’t need to add any more words, as I filled the silent pause with “I put a timeline on how long I deserve grace”. She smiled gently, offering another expression of compassion, and added “well said”.
So why do we do that thing we do? That thing when we measure ourselves up against our perceived societal expectations of accomplishment and then beat ourselves up for failing the perception? To break a lifestyle of habit, to embrace grief, and to live fully requires full acceptance of all situations and people in my life INCLUDING ME! Yet I have failed at accepting myself just the way I am, more than once or twice.
After the session with Mary Anne, I realized how far I had come over the last 8 months, I embraced the pain of both physical and emotional/mental worry and allowed myself to surrender to the universes grace. I reminded myself my husband has never complained, my children have commented its important I do what makes me happy and the roof over my head has yet to fall in. Life is definitely a journey, and it’s a nice reminder to not only enjoy it, but to enjoy you along the way.
Enjoy the journey, you are worth it!