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Having trouble finding my place in the world

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but things have been spiraling for a while and I just need to be real with someone for a minute. Lately I’ve just been feeling like the world would be better off without me. I never hear from friends no matter how many times I reach out (I know they are busy with their own lives) even if it is just to say hey and ask how they’ve been. Burrito deserves a happy and healthy momma. Someone who can love him more than I can. Someone who can be there for him better than I can. Someone who can take care of him better than I can. I’ve thought on more than one occasion of just self harming (even though it’s been almost 2 years since the last time I did) just to make it through. I know this would devastate my husband though. I just need the relief it brings me just to get through this dark spiral I’m in. I’ve been looking into therapy but it scares the hell out of me. I know I need to do something though or else I’m not going to be able to get better so I can watch burrito grow.

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Hey there Spatgramle,

Glad you posted today. Truth be told, no the world needs you in it - I would miss you. You also can be happy and healthy - taking care of yourself is hard yes - but times you need help from doctors and therapist and that is ok. I am also SUPER proud of you for being clean of self harm for 2 whole years. The first time I went to a therapist I was scared as hell but it has been working and now have a better toolkit to help myself get through the dark spiral i was in. I believe in you.

You always have a friend here - hold fast love.
<3 Zephirah / Andrea

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From: Ashley- (Discord)

Hi friend! Thank you for sharing with us. Two years without self harming is such an incredible accomplishment and I’m so proud of you! I’ve been where you are before. There were lots of times I felt like my students deserved a better teacher, someone who was stable enough to do a good job. I understand wanting the relief because it can often be a comfort to us. Something I’ve been talking about with my therapist is having an “in case of emergency kit/box.” In it has DVD’s of my favorite movies, lists of TV shows I can watch, pictures of happy memories, things/tools I can use to push me away from that urge. It’s been really helpful for me when I’ve found myself near slipping. Looking into therapy is really scary. It’s hard to learn to open yourself up to someone like that. It took me a few years to get in to therapy but it was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. You’ve already taken the first step in acknowledging that you need it. Maybe your next step could be compiling a list of nearby therapists who provide the services you need. It’s hard but breaking things like this down into smaller steps can make them seem less scary and overwhelming. I hope this was helpful for you and I want you to know you’re loved <3

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Dear Spat,

Thank you so much for reaching out here. :hrtlegolove:

Burrito deserves a happy and healthy momma. Someone who can love him more than I can. Someone who can be there for him better than I can. Someone who can take care of him better than I can.

Spat, you are a good momma. And the reason why I can say this is because you are here right now, because you actually care, because you want to do better. Parents can’t be perfect, just because they’re human. But, in my humble opinion, what makes a big difference between a parent who honor their role and one who doesn’t is their willingness to acknowledge their own humanity, their own vulnerability, pain, demons, and to work on it, not only for themselves, but also for the sake of their own children.

You are a good momma. And what you said in your message shows how much you are caring, loving, humble and brave:

I know I need to do something though or else I’m not going to be able to get better so I can watch burrito grow.

You may compare yourself to the person you want to be, and you may feel really far from that expectation, but this spark of yours that you have there, this vulnerability and this willingness to go out of your comfort zone when it’s needed is entirely part of what makes you an awesome momma. And we, here, also want for you to watch burrito grow, and to encourage you through every step that could be needed for that. You are not alone.

I’ve been looking into therapy but it scares the hell out of me.

Yes, it is freaking scary. Being vulnerable in front of a stranger and sharing our deepest thoughts and emotions… it’s really out of the comfort zone of so many. But as for anything else, it is a learning process. You may be uncomfortable the first minute, or the first meetings, but progressively you will be more and more comfortable, with the person in front of you, with the environment around you, with the worlds you would say.

I too was really scared of seeing a therapist. I’ve tried in the past and ran away. Then tried again… and ran away. I’ve waited almost a decade to try again, with one, then another one, and then the right one (and I wanted to give up in between, again). Holy molly it was scary. But how worth it! At first I wanted to make excuses before every meeting so I wouldn’t have to go there again. Or I would think, while scheduling a new meeting, that I would just not go anymore. But now that I have found a good therapist for me, I’m actually looking forward to going there. I have stuff happening in my life and I think “that should be discussed with my therapist next time”. And it feels good. As an incredibly anxious bean, I never thought that would be possible. And I know it probably sounds like a cheesy “success” story, but really, it is possible to overcome those fears, even if they are very overwhelming right now. Maybe you can find strength in listing the reasons why it would be worth it, why you would do this, as a reminder in times when you need it. Bring a comforting reminder/object with you as well if that’s needed. Tell them, first thing first: “I’m really anxious, I don’t know what to say”. They will help you navigate those feelings and make sure you feel safe. It’s their job to help you too. You won’t be on your own. And if there is one place on Earth where you can be vulnerable and say anything that comes to your mind, it’s in a therapist’s office. :hrtlegolove:

I also totally agree with Ashley: try to break down this process as small steps. The list of therapists. Then deciding whether you email or do a phone call. Eventually writing down what you want to say for your first appointment (I personally had a list of bullet points in my mind, which in the end we didn’t follow, but it helped to make me less nervous while going there). And make sure to reward yourself for all these steps as well.

I believe in you, Spat. I know you can do this. And, if you need a bit of accountability while going through that process, please don’t hesitate to use the forum, or Discord, the streams, but overall this community as well. I personally relied a lot on just the possibility to say, in this safe place: “hey, I did it, I had my first appointment!”. It gives a perspective, and involving others, even passively, can be a way to keep yourself accountable through this process.

We’re here for you, ready to encourage you, to help you ease your fears, and to celebrate your achievements with you, without any pressure and only by following your own pace. This world wouldn’t be better without you in it. It would be a pure injustice. You are a blessing to us, to your family, to this world.

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Thanks for posting. It made me feel less alone.

It’s been a few weeks and I just can’t get myself to look into therapy. I know I should (not only for my sake but for burrito and my husband’s as well) but I just can’t. The thought just brings on so much anxiety. The how will we afford it is the biggest factor and how to find someone who I would actually feel comfortable opening up to (face to face instead of just behind a pile of words). Opening up to someone in person scares me just because it seems like everyone I’ve opened up to has left at one point or another. I haven’t started cutting again but it’s been on my mind so much. I’ve assembled a kit again with everything I would need to start. I just feel like such a horrible mother and partner not to mention a burden to my family. I feel like I haven’t seen light through the darkness in months but I just keep hiding behind this mask that everything is fine. And I worry that one day it may kill me if I can’t force myself to change and get help.

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Dearest @Spatgramle,

Thank you so much for these updates and, once again, not isolating yourself with all of this. When we are anxious and feeling vulnerable, it gets very tempting to hide away and be on your own. But you being here and sharing your heart is such a strong and beautiful way to stand for yourself. :hrtlegolove:

It’s okay if you haven’t felt ready yet for therapy. It’s a huge step, so it makes absolutely sense to kind of walk in cycles while you consider that option. Not mentioning that this perspective in itself can be very stressful and make you want to find some safety again, as for example through self-harm. The first time I really tried to see a therapist, a decade ago, I was so anxious that I felt on the edge of relapsing with eating disorders as well at the time. The idea of reaching out, being in front of a stranger and sharing our most personal thoughts can be incredibly intimidating and stressful. It makes sense to be tempted by old coping mechanisms. However, I would like to really emphasize the fact: you have the strength you need to navigate those feelings without hurting yourself. Control can be felt and embraces in different ways, healthier ones. This kit you’ve assembled as a way to ease your mind makes sense. However, what’s inside doesn’t deserve your time. It doesn’t deserve YOU. :hrtlegolove:

I’m so sorry that people you’ve opened up before just left or made you feel unseen. It’s terrible when it takes so much of our energy to finally say something we need to get out of our system, to finally ask for the help we need, then being left alone as if none of it mattered… These are painful experiences. Wounds on your heart. It makes sense to be scared that the situation would repeat itself. Though I would like to say, it’s especially because a therapist is a therapist that it would be different. It’s a contractual relationship in which you are absolutely allowed to have high expectations from them, because you pay them for that. You pay them for using their knowledge, the tools and skills they have developped to be useful for YOU. Some therapists are not the right fit, and it might take a bit of time before finding the right one (or not!). But the only way to experiment that is to try and see.

I hear what you also say about two biggest factors that fill your resistance with the idea of therapy. For the first thing - the practical aspect of wondering how to afford it -, I would like to really encourage you to try to talk about it with your husband first, if that is okay for you. You don’t have to go into full details about the reasons that motivate you to see a therapist. But you could try to explain that it’s a thoughtful decision that you’ve had to make, and you’d like to think about the options you have to afford it with his help. You don’t have to figure this out alone. There is someone there who loves you, who share his life with you, and I imagine who would be honored to try to find a solution with you, so the practical aspects wouldn’t be an obstacle or cause of worries.

As for the fear of not being comfortable in front of a therapist, I would like to encourage you to get rid of this expectation at first. Yes, I know… it’s freaking scary. But something I’ve learned with anxiety is that we naturally expect to feel comfortable and safe as a way to find some relief, while actually the way to overcome an anxiety that prevents you to do what is good for you is to take action while feeling anxious. I can assure you that there is a very very little chance to meet someone who would tell you to go away. Therapists are trained not only to discuss things and develop ways to cope, but also to create a safe space with you, to help you feel comfortable as well. The firist thing I’ve told my first therapist was that being in front of her was really hard and scary and I didn’t know how to start. She then helped me to speak, guided more the conversation and so on. I felt drained afterwards, but it was worth it. Then slowly you get fmailiar with the place, with the counselor, with the very act of talking itself. At first, it’s a little bit like walking without feeling some solid ground under your feet. But with time, and through your meetings, you then realize how far you’ve come and feel more confident. Our fears and anxiety are tied to what is unknown and unpredictable. Once we are more familiar with how something is really, it gets easier to keep on going.

I believe you can do it, whenever you’d feel ready for it. The fact that you keep thinking about it, that you see it as the path to follow is a positive thing. But I understand that between what we know we “should” and what we feel able to do, there’s often a huge difference. Rely on us as much as you need. We would never betray your trust, tell you lies or only comfort you. There are many social situations that feels like a gambling game. And therapy is a little bit like it for sure. But there are rules and values that apply in a relationship with a therapist that don’t necessarily apply anywhere else. These are, first and foremoest, to make you feel safe, at your own pace, so you can learn to use that space and time as a way to be you, without any filter, without any particular expectations, without any pressure or judgment. Just you, as you are, in the present moment. :hrtlegolove:

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