This week saw some difficult things bubble up to the surface in therapy. Drastically disturbing the seabed, and a lot is getting stirred up. It makes me think about the ways in which we may brush things aside or gloss over them. There are some things that are more important than I once believed they were, or rather, than I had ever given weight to.
Experiencing dysfunction, in whichever form it may come in, brings baggage that you might end up carrying for a long way. I hope that at some point along the way, you realise – as I am – that you can set that baggage down. If you want, you might even want to look through the bags and chuck the contents out entirely. It is painful at the moment, but I know it will get lighter.
With the particular dysfunction I lived through – and still experience – there was a huge amount of shame, and I internalised this at a young age. I am aware that there is a lot of work ahead to unpick and unpack it all. It is heavy to realise the extent that I carry shame and guilt, towards myself; some of my battles with depression and anxiety are beginning to make more sense. Whilst hard, it is also liberating.
With every step, every day, this journey I am on is showing me a part of my life map that had been in the dark for so long. There was a light I did not realise I had to switch on, until I started down this path. For a long, long while, through all the struggles, I had thought there may be something I needed to shed light on; the courage it took to allow myself to approach the safe space of therapy keeps on giving, expanding, and bleeding into all areas of my life.
Entering my 30s last year felt like arriving in a decade wherein I could be firmer on my feet, surer of myself; this year, even in the midst of uncertainty, I have been growing and growing and growing. The art of letting go and unlearning gives way to beautiful, freeing growth. Tapping into the essence of my being as I continue down the path, collecting treasures along the way.
My wish and hope is that we all experience greater freedom, for it makes life shine brighter with every day.
Photographs from Whitstable, Kent, September 2020.