I went into the next EMDR session frustrated. I'd been on somewhat of a high with what I've learned and the progress I was making. But with every few steps forwards is an inevitable step back. By the time I hit the therapy chair it felt like I was doing the moonwalk.
For people who know me that read these posts, I can guess (hope) they see me as a strong, successful woman. It takes a lot of courage to propel yourself forward for a couple decades. Not many people know about my fears, and those who do only know a fraction of why they exist, how they came to be or how much control they've had over certain aspects of my life.
I write on this website for a couple reasons: #1 I've been blessed with the resources to try a bunch of treatments, take a zillion supplements, buy high-quality food, etc. Some of these lifestyle changes have been expensive, and I want people to be able to explore things that have worked for me without baring the overall cost of them. #2 I love to cook and need a place to keep my new recipes all in one place. Plus, having to come up with new ones to post keeps me motivated and accountable. And #3, the biggie, I am really terrible at vulnerability.
Writing on this site scares me. I am a perfectionist, and this site is a place where I could fail, be judged or deemed wrong. I like to joke that I have a B+ personality--type A with a good sense of humor. But that's bullshit. I am type A+++. What's your game--I will win it; What's your score--I will beat it; What's your argument--I will top it. Whew. Striving for external perfection has been somewhat exhausting.
What I am learning is that I need to be afraid. So much so that if zero people read this, I would still tell myself people are just to hold my own feet to the fire. I am that committed to making myself uncomfortable. If I keep doing the same shit with the same mindset nothing is going to shake loose. But we all know that; it’s not a prolific statement.
But this is...eventually, keep reading…I sat back down at my work desk after that third session thinking I had a couple hours to recover before a presentation to my company’s department heads, only to learn that the meeting time had been set when I was gone. And I was 7 minutes late. (Holy hell.) A few minutes after I joined the call (I work remotely), it was game time. I had no clue how I came across, just that I’d made it through the call. The next day my boss called to say I’d received a random bonus sparked by impressing one of the top 3 people in my organization with my presentation. I was externally grateful, yet internally reflective. The kudos and the money are great. But the feeling of accomplishment that I delivered in the middle of an emotional storm sparked a realization: I control my own thoughts. Every single one of them. None of my past baggage was on that conference call. It was still there; it just didn’t have a role because I didn’t let it because it would have hindered my performance.
For far too long, I’ve felt trapped by my memories or lack thereof. And I’ve been allowing them enough real estate in my mind to control my behavior. What if I let some of them go? I have no idea, and I’m slightly terrified. Moments of calm tend make me nervous, skeptical to the point where I create waves of comfortable chaos.
To fully heal, craving chaos must stop (THIS is the prolific statement). I’m not exactly sure how. But my reaction in every moment is a choice and a good starting point. Every word, thought, scowl, smile or tear is my chance to change what happens next. I didn’t get to be a master at my job overnight. It took practice, control, patience. I haven’t been applying these things to other areas of my life. So the personal me is listening to the professional me. It’s all I can think of to do right now.