So… am I ready to date?

Catching up on the last couple of days…

Catch Up_

I went to therapy on Tuesday night for my bi-weekly appointment. I’ve been feeling kinda sad and overwhelmed.  She thinks that I’m ready to date again.  But before I elaborate on me being ready to date again, let me say a few things about my going to therapy.  I couldn’t write that sentence without thinking that I would be judged for admitting that I see a therapist, but I think there needs to be more awareness around mental health.  As an extrovert, sometimes I want to be in the limelight of the world but in a second it can feel like too much, and it feels like there’s too much energy being thrown at me to process.  A couple of years ago, I was brutally assaulted and started experiencing a high frequency of anxiety and depression due to the assault. I became a shut in due to my fear of that night, sounds I heard and the not rational fear of “they” will come back. I spent days in my hall closet in fear, that behavior and fear ended up hurting me.  I  suffered from extreme anxiety (especially when it came to men) and I didn’t take care of myself and lost about 45 pounds.  I don’t know how to on some days to deal with the fear,  I should be able to function but some days I just can’t  and what it’s supposed to look like if I did, but I didn’t know how to get there.  And so began the journey, with my therapist as my teacher and guide.

It’s been almost 4 years since I began therapy and at times I’m doing well then on other days I’m a train wreck.  I’ve changed a lot and have a better sense of self-confidence and love and appreciation for myself that I didn’t have before.  I’m still a work in progress, as we all are, but I’m much stronger than I was when I began.  Therapy isn’t for everyone, but for me, it really helped.  For anyone considering going, it’s worth a shot.  At least if you go once and you don’t think it’s for you, you can say you tried it.

So — about me being ready to date again.  According to Colleen and Tracy  (my therapists), they think I’m ready.  they think the recent events with my birthday last year and the “friend” I met  is an indication that I’m looking for a connection but my fears are holding me back, so I choose situations where I know I’ll be “safe” — i.e, nothing can truly happen between us and so I won’t have to deal with the messiness of a real relationship and the possible pain that can come, and I won’t have to deal with my demons that only come out when there’s a guy involved.  I’m also ready because I’m at a point where I don’t consider finding a partner to be essential to my happiness, and so I won’t put any pressure on the situation.  All accurate statements.  Anyway, I’m saying no and the thought is definitely in my head.  I don’t know when I’ll do something about it, but I’ll know when it’s right.  I’m not really going to think about it too much.

peace

Voices……

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I know you’re in pain. It hurts in ways you can’t even begin to describe and even if you could, no one seems to want to listen. Sure, people care and try to help… for a time… but when you don’t seem to be getting any better, after a while, they get tired of listening… Eventually it becomes easier to keep it all inside.
I know you feel like it will never get better and you’ll never be okay again. It’s been like this for so long now that you think if things were ever going to change they would have by now so this is how it’s always going to be… but it’s not. I promise it’s not. You learn cope, it just takes time and I know it feels like you’ve given it enough time already but not everyone heals at the same pace.
Tell yourself it’s okay to feel the way that you do. Nobody else on this earth has lived through your life to be in any kind of position to understand your battles. Nobody else but you has walked in your shoes to be any kind of comparison on how you should be feeling right now or whether or not you should be ‘better’. I won’t lie to you – what you’re going through will always leave its mark upon you as any trauma does – and that’s normal too. Nobody looks back on a traumatic life experience and giggles about it… But it’s this all-consuming depressive state… these overwhelming feelings you can’t control… the way those feelings isolate you and make you feel vulnerable and alone – THAT is what won’t last forever.
It DOES get better… you DO find acceptance. Not all at once – its gradual… like a stormy day or a long dark night… you don’t just blink and suddenly it’s a blue sky. Storm clouds part slowly, allowing brief flashes of sunlight at first… then eventually disappear… Dark nights end slowly as a new day begins to dawn… Acceptance is the same… and I know you have the courage to wait for it…