It’s true confession time. I suffered through my mental health and subsequent substance abuse FOR YEARS completely alone. It is only very recently that that I admitted to another human being how badly I needed help in every way which led me to the beginning of the amazing journey I’m living now.
However (comma), my circle of trust is extremely tight. As in: in my real life, no one knows the whole truth – yet. I’m working on that in good time, as I am ready, and when I feel comfortable with each person. I don’t share easily. But I do realize that I absolutely must speak my truth, be authentic, and help others if I am to continue on this incredible path of health, wellness, and happiness. Not too mention, it’s getting too miraculous to keep to myself.
That’s where you come in. I don’t know about you, but life and relationships are complicated in my world. Healing and trust doesn’t happen overnight and thus I am very careful about who knows what. I don’t have the healthiest history with certain people in my life and some have used my weaknesses against me, which didn’t help with that whole spiraling-into-a-deep-dark-abyss thing. So, I understand why I keep things close to the vest. It’s self-protection. I realize now, however, that there is a fine line between caution (self-care) and isolation (self-sabotage). There’s truth to the old adage “safety in numbers”, but it’s also true that human beings are the most dangerous mammals in the world. So there’s that. Just because they’re close in proximity doesn’t mean they are your tribe. At least not for this.
I’ve learned that. The hard way. I’m having to find my own tribe in self-discovery and soul recovery. Being and sharing with others who also struggle with mental health and/or self-medication is a place where I can be safe. It’s not that I didn’t have anyone to talk to all those years. It’s not that I was alone (although it felt that way). It’s that I hadn’t A) learned exactly what the hell my problem was and B) hadn’t sought out others I could lean on and learn from.
That’s where you come in. You, my friend I haven’t met yet, keep me living. You keep me sober. You keep me continually engaged in this forever process of healing, growing, and learning. And I need you more than you’ll ever need me.
While I hope to share and offer tools to help you in any way I can, the truth is, we are a tribe and we all need and learn from one another.
When I think back on all of the days and years I was in such deep despair, hidden from everyone else, I worry about those who are still there now. I don’t know who they are because probably (like me), they’re really good at pretending to have it all together. It could be one of my best friends for all I know. My child’s teacher. My state senator. You.
I’m just here to have a conversation about the most important topic of every woman who struggles with mental health, drinking a little too much (or a lot), and wrestling with the daily demon of anxiety. I’d love it if you’d join.
PS – You’re my tribe. I need you. No pressure 😉
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton