Years ago, I felt like my life was over.
I had a long road to walk before I learned to pick up the pieces.
Well meaning people around me decided that rather than simply finding a way to still do the thing that I loved, I should just drop all of that and do something else entirely.
What was picked for me was Counseling.
I looked at this thing that was supposed to give my life meaning, and felt empty. I assumed I was the one at fault, not it.
Every now and then, I'd run off to my true passion, and I'd find myself feeling really guilty about it.
I felt selfish, because I was supposed to find meaning in being a therapist... Yet it wasn't happening.
Of course, I kept getting new ones from people too,
and others just wandered in on their own...
They all looked kind of the same, so it was hard to tell which were important and which were really not. As a result, I treated each as equally important.
I ended up neglecting the ones I had put there myself.
This means that eventually, I was taking care of EVERYTHING else...
...until I stopped caring for myself at all.
Like I said, I felt guilty and selfish for not paying every ounce of attention to the ones other people told me were necessary and important.
How far down did I have to go before I realized what I was doing to myself??
but I was wrong about which party was being neglected and hurt.
I blamed myself.
It was hard because I didn't want it. ...but being a therapist is tough even when people DO want it.
So, that couldn't be my fault, right?
Trying to fake it was exhausting at best, and depressing when I realized I still hadn’t tricked myself.
I felt guilty drawing.
As that was my main source of feeling like a real person again, it was a shame to stop.
I wanted to be passionate and to love Counseling, because I thought that all good people naturally want to do that... but not only is that untrue, it was unfair.
I've had enough crappy therapists to know that. Besides, you can't fake love and passion.
Being “good” at it didn't mean it was good for me, much like any other one sided relationship.
Finally, I looked at Counseling again.
I moved it to see what life was like without it.
I found that I felt lighter.
Counseling was fine without me too.
I'm still surrounded by stressors, but some are welcome.
Others are a real necessity, and I'll continue weeding out the ones that aren't.
It has even freed up space so that I can get back to my physical health.
I've already had less panic about eating, and I actually enjoy the gym again.
The take away here is that guilt is never a good reason to live life for someone other than yourself.
I am ready to start finding out who I really am.