My therapist asked me what I could offer to my friends. I felt targeted. I felt like it was a leading question.
I began to say how I shared the same sense of humour with my friends and that we had been through a lot together. She told me that she wasn’t looking for an answer like that.
I felt angry.
She explained that friendships are either one person depending on another or two people running parallel lives to each other. She hinted that I had a lot of friendships where I relied on people but I said that the opposite was true.
She then went on to ask me what I had to offer my friends if we did lead parallel lives. We no longer lived in each other’s pockets because of school and we had less in common because of our respective careers.
I froze. I had nothing to offer.
Then I cried.
She changed the subject but I thought about it by myself for the next week.
One day, it hit me. I had me to offer.
I am unique and that alone is a lot to bring to a friendship.
I may not be able to talk to my friends in depth about their jobs and their relationships and their experiences but that doesn’t mean that I don’t offer them anything.
I think my therapist did that deliberately; she wanted me to realise that I am enough.
Therapy is one of the most difficult and yet rewarding things that I’ve ever done.
I feel so relieved after a session and desperately fearful at the same time.
I’m fearful because my anger is rooted in something so deep that it’s a massive can of worms. I feel like a pressure cooker would be more accurate but…
I’m fearful because I know I’ll feel worse before I feel better. I mean that makes sense because I’ll have to deal with difficult things in order to eventually feel better but it’s a daunting thought.
I’m fearful because I think I’ll change. People tell me change is good but I think change is scary.
I know that I try and make people happy to my own detriment but I don’t want that to change. That, and so many other things, are essential parts of me. Everyone is flawed. I don’t want to be less flawed than everyone; I just don’t want my flaws to make me want to take my life.
Therapy is good. Therapy makes me fearful. Therapy is flawed.
No, this isn’t a post about The Script. (However, I do like their music!)
For the first time in my blogging history, I created a post that I could not publish. It’s a post that took only a few minutes to write but will take about £300 in therapy fees to understand.
It’s deep, rambling and extremely hard to read back.
I wrote it in a moment of deep depression.
I’ve been lucky that returning to work and therapy have helped me immensely. Of course, my depression hasn’t gone over night but I have felt better. That was, until the beginning of this week.
I was overcome by the familiar feelings of worthlessness, sadness and despair and it hit me harder than it had previously done. I cannot relate to the person who wrote that post and I cannot understand why they feel that way.
However difficult it is to read, it’s massively helpful. I can do a lot of reflection based on its content and I think I will try and capture my feelings in a similar way in future.
One day, I might feel happy enough to release it out into the world but right now I’m going to protect it; I’m going to protect that fragile side of me.
I joined Tinder a week ago, mostly out of intrigue, and so far I haven’t been impressed.
Firstly, it wouldn’t let me sign up without connecting to my Facebook profile which is bloody annoying as it shows my first name; which I never answer to.
Secondly, I hate having to crop pictures; most of my pictures (when cropped) are so zoomed in that all you can see are my eyes and porous nose. No-one wants to see my cavern ridden nose.
Thirdly, and probably most importantly, it all feels very synthetic and an awful lot like objectifying. I wouldn’t normally decide whether or not I wanted to talk to someone based on 4 poor quality pictures of them and a 203 character profile. I am the first to admit that I’m not massively photogenic but am I a good catch? Hell yeah! (I’m so modest too, always an attractive trait!)
Have I had a nice conversation on there with someone nice? Yes. But do I want nice? No. I want that instant spark and connection that I’m not sure I can get staring at my smudgy phone screen.
One delightful way I experience depression is by feeling useless. I feel devoid of all emotion and worth and think that people would be happier without me. Of course, I know that these things aren’t true but unfortunately my stubborn brain refuses to listen.
Today, I am returning to work after four months off. I’m nervous, intrigued and extremely excited.
I have no delusions of grandeur; I am well aware that I am a bus driver. I know I’m not a doctor or a police officer or a charity worker (isn’t it interesting what jobs we perceive as worthy?) but people do depend on me.
For the past four months I have been receiving my full wage under the company’s sick pay agreement. Whilst this money has been important to my lifestyle and survival it has felt like dirty money. I’ve felt guilty seeing my wages on my bank statements. It hasn’t felt right to be paid for a job that I’m not doing.
Now that I’m finally returning to said job I know I will feel like a weight has been lifted. I will, even for a small portion of my day, be feeling useful and worthy and needed. Long may that continue.