For the capstone Daring Greatly assignment in my Brené Brown class (which I'm still two lessons shy of finishing, I am such a terrible grown-up student), we Living Bravesters were challenged to write our very own daring manifesto. Over two weeks in March, I came up with this. It's posted in my work space, and if nothing else, I read at least the top portion every day.
At 5 p.m. today (because in typical Frema fashion, I started this entry at 12:10 a.m.), I'll ask for what I need in a brand-new way as I meet with a therapist for the first time.
(I spent 15 20 30 minutes searching Google for the perfect What About Bob? GIF to accompany this revelation, before realizing that I just shared a Bob photo two entries ago and also, my Internet research activity had clearly morphed into full-blown procrastination.)
Therapy has been on my mind for a long time. Reading Daring Greatly in 2014 rocked my world hard, and I was drawn to the idea of finding a trained, compassionate third party to help me navigate my shame triggers and improve my coping skills because, as it turns out, ugly crying in bathroom stalls is not a viable life strategy.
My interest grew as I worked through Brene's class, and I can't avoid it anymore. To steal words from this beautiful Portia Nelson poem, I'm walking down the same street, falling into the same deep hole, and I need help staying out.
When I made the appointment last week (which is a story in its own right), I asked the therapist if there was anything I needed to do to prepare. She told me to bring my insurance card, which I took as a directive to start a therapy journal and jot down a few of my "why I'm here" plot points. I assumed the first one would be reading Daring Greatly, but I surprised myself by writing, "I first started feeling unsettled in my life in 2012." But of course it makes perfect sense -- 2012 was the starting point of a series of major changes in my life where I was reshaping my professional identity, struggling with my stalled creative life, stressing over where to live, joining a new church family and generally feeling displaced by a "What does it all MEAN, Basil?" outlook on life. No wonder Daring Greatly knocked me off my feet. Emotionally speaking (and, I fully admit, in a totally #firstworldproblems sort of way), I was only hanging on by a toe.
A whole lot of wonderful has entered my life since then; at the same time, my shame triggers and poor coping skills have become harder to ignore as I realize how far away and, at the same time, how close I am to becoming the person I want to be. These last couple of years I've been taking baby steps (THERE'S THE BOB REFERENCE YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR) to pull her out of the hole. Today, I'm taking a leap.