I've come a long way. We both agreed.
And while I still have OCD, anxiety and depression . . . I have a clearer view of what I want out of life, but more importantly . . . how I want to live.
This last week has been beyond stressful.
And I vented to my therapist in a fit of anger, frustration and then I said, "Sometimes I wish I'd never even started this process of dealing with my mental illness. It's caused so much stress, change, and horrible domino effects that just keep falling down."
And then before she was even able to say another word, I sighed and admitted, "But I know it's for the best. Because even on the bad days, I know who I am."
We talked a little more and I told her about a blog post I had written over a year ago. A blog post that ultimately started me on the road to recovery through mental illness. I told her that I had decided to no longer wear shoes. I explained my metaphor in the same way that I did in my blog post:
I spend a lot of time putting on different shoes in different situations. I have my Church shoes (otherwise known as my Good Mormon Girl shoes), I have my In-laws shoes (don't drop the F bomb shoes), my family shoes (you need to be happy shoes), my work shoes (don't show them you hate it here shoes), my friend shoes (you can;t be weak shoes), and on occasion with very few people . . . I can run around in my bare feet.
She loved the metaphor and even insisted that she was going to have to use it with future patients. I insisted that I needed to follow her and become her assistant. She's moving to Colorado though, and even though Motherly lives there, it's too damn cold for my taste.
I told my therapist that even though I had declared that I would go barefoot from that post forward, I hadn't. I'd taken steps, sure enough, but I still held myself back due to my worry of what other people thought of me. I made a decision to be myself with people, but instead of doing that, I was myself - but often alone. I hid away thinking of the day that perhaps I could just be happy with who I was, flaws and all - and no one would judge me for it.
"And that day has come," I told her.
I was tired of living my life with the rules of everyone else. I was tired of being so damn unhappy. I was tired of having to pretend I was something that I wasn't, even sometimes here on my blog. And most importantly, I was tired of being reminded that I couldn't be whatever I wanted to be.
I can't be a housewife because I don't have kids.
I couldn't possibly be a Mormon because I curse and have tattoos.
I wouldn't be a good mother because I'm mentally ill.
I can't be beautiful because I'm fat.
But everyone else is wrong! I can be whoever and whatever I want to be!
My infertility does not affect my ability to clean my house!
My sailor tongue does not change how much I love God!
My mental illness does not limit my LOVE!
My rolls, stretch marks and dimpled thighs are all kinds of sexy!
My happiness shouldn't be based on the limits others give me.
Even though I'd spent my therapy sessions (on and offline) working this all out in my head, I had it reaffirmed by the woman who'd first inspired me to truly be myself.
The Bloggess - one of my personal heroes - recently attended a conference in my home state of Utah where she declared on Twitter, "SLC looks like a postcard. They should have sent a poet. Or someone less drunk."
In a room full of conservative mommy-blogging Mormons, she dropped the F-bomb, dressed like the "whore of babylon" and declared an immediate zombie apocalypse drill. And the room was filled with laughter, love and cheers. If anyone sat in the corner thinking, "How could she do something this absurd and offensive?!" you couldn't tell if The Bloggess gave a damn. Because she was doing what made her happy.
I was so moved by her speech that I actually left a comment, telling her how much it meant to me:
I told my therapist everything and she smiled, happy about my conclusion. Then she asked me, "What prescription would you write for yourself?"
And without another moment of my life passing un-seized, I grinned and said, "To be furiously happy."
She smiled, hugged me and we both cried a little over the goals I'd reached, the choices I'd made, and the sadness in saying goodbye to a cherished friend.
And then on the way home Matt and I stopped at Hastings to browse and I took it upon myself to take the first pill of my new prescription.
I want to do so much with my life and I've been so limited in the past. As long as I bring no true hurt to another person I shouldn't limit my happiness for anyone! I should laugh loudly in public. I should be able to be silly, strange, awkward and beautiful all at the same time. And I shouldn't be afraid of being myself in my own skin, in my own home, on my own blog.
I'm going to be FURIOUSLY HAPPY!
And no one can fucking stop me.