On Writing, Art, and Therapy

I started a new job two weeks ago and have I mentioned how good it is to be working full time again? It’s been a whirlwind but in a good way. I’m doing something that’s both a little new and also completely in my wheelhouse. It’s comforting to know that my bosses like me, I’m able to jump right in, and there’s a small bit of security in that. Something I gravely need these days. When I don’t feel secure in my space, work, life, etc, my anxiety shoots through the roof.

Speaking of anxiety, I’ve spent the last several years working through my personal shit to be the best version of myself. Some of you have been along for the ride. Sometimes that means moving through the really dark and hard stuff that feels better left alone, buried in a box at the bottom of my soul. Cept the box leaks and spreads to the rest of my body and takes away from my life.

I read a really good book recently called Attached by Amir Levine M.D. and Rachel Heller M.A.. It’s about attachment theory. Attached, delivers a scientific explanation why some relationships thrive and steer a clear path over a lifetime, while others crash and burn, based on the human need for attachment and the three different styles of it. The three main styles are anxious attachment, secure attachment, and avoidant attachment. There’s this fourth combo called fearful attachment. This is when someone, “lives in an ambivalent state of being afraid of being both too close to or too distant from others. They attempt to keep their feelings at bay but are unable to; they can’t just avoid their anxiety or run away from their feelings.I realized after reading this book that I’ve spent most of my life feeling that way. Fearful anxious. That there are still relationships that fall into this category and I hate it. I don’t like feeling this way. I’m happy to say that the majority of my relationships are secure. It took years for me to move through things and find myself in that space. But there still areas where I’m more anxious and I don’t know if that’s more to do with my existing anxiety or if I’m failing at security. Maybe it’s both.

There’s a lot of stigma around therapy, even with those I love. I think that there’s this preexisting social stigma and shame around mental health. It’s a combo of shame for feeling like you need it and worry that if you do, it makes you crazy. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Those willing to recognize the need to better themselves should be made to feel proud of that decision instead of scared of it. I’m starting therapy this week. I’m nervous. I’ve seen a therapist before but I don’t think I was very honest with them or myself. I learned some tools, it wasn’t nothing. But I was too scared, living full time in fearful avoidant territory. I don’t live there anymore and I want to be the best version of me.

I’ve tackled so many things that scare me. I wrote and published a book, something that terrified me. Having utter strangers read this thing I put a bit of my soul into. Being vulnerable enough to let those close to me read it. It’s so hard to continue to put yourself out there every day. But yesterday I approved the Barns and Nobel hardback and so soon y’all will get to order it. I wish more reviews were written on Amazon and Goodreads, they sort of make or break people seeing my book visually, that is without dropping hundreds of dollars in advertising. But I’m so proud of myself for doing this thing scares me. My bucket list for life is simply this long list of things that make me want to cower under the covers. Things that are good for me. Things that make memories.

As you know, I launched the kickstarter for my Tarot deck and it’s doing okay, but I’m not making the mile stones I’d hoped to. I’m offering art prints as well of each card, with or without the writing. Oh! And journals in the same vain. I posted a couple of samples yesterday. I still have hope for it to turn around. I actually did drop advertising money on the belief that I could make this a thing. Just haven’t really seen it make a difference yet. But I want to try and live all of my dreams in this life. So I’m not giving up just yet.

I’m in this weird place in my life right now, where I’m pushing forward in a hundred directions with my career and that’s amazing. But sometimes I still feel lost emotionally. I want certain things out of my life and I deserve those things. I’m just not sure how to get from A to Z. How to voice the things I need to voice. To have courage in the moments when I can’t find it.

Why can’t life be like the movies? On this wet Saturday that feels like a no-bones day (although it’s not), I’ve been watching rom-coms from the early 2000s. I’m currently halfway through the Holiday and it’s stirring all kinds of emotions. Cameron’s character has just shown up her love interest’s home for the first time and he’s got kids and I just found myself being overly emotional. Like, this warm home with so much love and two beautiful little girls and I find myself longing for a thing I wonder if I’ll ever have. A home filled with love, a partner to grow old with, and raise a family with.

Now that I’m feeling sappy I’m going to sign off.

M

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