I find myself missing group therapy. There’s some irony in this because even though i voluntarily went, I was agitated for the first few sessions, not wanting to listen to how everyone’s weekend was. As time went on, I began to enjoy it, even though sometimes three hours seemed interminable. It added structure to my day, especially when I stopped going to work. It filled some void I did not know I had. By the end of therapy, it felt like I was leaving a little family. It’s amazing how much you can grow to care about strangers after you’ve shared your entire lives with each other, with the prospect that you’ll never see each other again. Yet, somehow, you’re forever bonded by that experience.
Lately, I feel that void creeping back in and I’m trying to fill it with bad decisions. I’ve swapped shopping for drinking. I’m not sure which will help me live longer. I’m back to work, but somehow do not feel that is adding that structure back into my day. It’s not occupying my mind. I bought a new car! Did I need one? No. Did it make me happy? Momentarily. A fleeting happiness. (Actually, I love the car.)
I fear slipping back into bad habits – spending too much money, spending too much time alone, spending too much time trying not to be alone, spending too much time trying to think through everything to make it ideal and then spending too much time overthinking and then spending too much time chastising myself because I can’t just relax and spend time enjoying each and every day. Life is full of moments that I’m letting go by because I’m always thinking and analyzing.
That all being said, I started this blog has a means of self-medication, if you will. As I read through everyone’s stories, again, getting to know strangers and caring about them, I feel like I’m building that little family again. I find that I am excited to read new stories. I’ve swapped playing games on my phone for browsing through the Reader to discover new posts from those I follow and those I don’t. I love getting to know everyone’s authentic self through their articles, poetry, advice, or just plain rants. I can’t wait to get new notifications. I never thought I would become so attached to this. I’m enjoying getting to know each and every one of you. I actually feel bad when too much time has gone in between my posts and I’m not sharing more of me.
I know for some of us, this is a fearful endeavor and you wonder if it’s doing you or anyone any good. I will tell you that it most certainly helps me and it fills some empty spaces, knowing that there are so many out there that think and feel the same way I do on everything from my selection of music to the internal darkness of mental illness. I’m HAPPY that you share yourselves with me and others and I encourage you to continue doing so. I encourage your authenticity and audacity. In being such, you encourage mine. Thanks to all of you.
Side note: It’s amazing how you can go to write a post with a word or thought or two in mind, not really knowing what to say and then five or so paragraphs later… it’s like the words were on my heart and mind all along.