The journey is EXHAUSTING. Am I right?
It’s been a minute since I’ve written a blog post, but I wanted to do this one because I feel like at the start of Pride Month we could all use a little reminder that sometimes the struggle, although possibly easier, is still very real.
I’m absolutely comfortable in my lesbian skin. I love being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community. There is nothing that I want to change about my life. I LOVE PRIDE MONTH SO MUCH. It’s fun (not in Florida) and exciting (not in Florida) and seeing people be who they are without fear (not in Florida) is just wonderful. But beyond that…beyond being excited and having fun, I want to talk about mental health and how important it is. Because a lot of my fellow LGBTQIA+ community struggles all the time. And it doesn’t take a break during June.
I’ve been in some sort of therapy for years. I started way back in my twenties (I could say, “in the early 2000’s,” but the point here is to help my anxiety, not make it worse). I was in a very bad spot, and I found this therapist through a friend and decided to start going. I had no idea what to expect. I’d never even considered therapy before. Therapy wasn’t as widely encouraged back then. At least not to me. But I went. Gladly. Because I was freaking out. I was in the middle of one of those weird life things where, to put it bluntly, I couldn’t handle my fucking shit. Some people refer to that as a “hot mess.” They aren’t wrong.
After a few months, I started feeling significantly better. About everything, actually. My life, my mom, my stepdad, my dad, my love interest(s), me. It was weird. I was so shocked that I was starting to learn how to process things. Y'know, like my emotions. Go figure.
A little backstory about me: I’ve always been a very emotional person. I’m a Pisces. Period. Not only do I have the emotions, but I feel all of the emotions around me, too. If you don’t believe that people are empathic, woo! Have I got some convincing to do. Yikes!
Anyway… Therapy worked. I was better! Yay! So, naturally, what did I do?
I stopped going.
Then my mom passed away. I immediately knew I needed to go back. But I waited and waited, thinking I could process all the seventeen-billion emotions I was having all on my own. After all, I’d done it before. I could do it again, goddammit.
I was so very wrong. I ended up going back when I was, yet again, at a breaking point. I should have apologized to my therapist. Like, “hey, lady, you do amazing work, but I’m gonna give you the worst possible version of myself to work with each time I come back. Good luck!”
This trend continued to happen in my life. I’d feel better and stop going. Feel better and stop going.
When I moved to Florida, I knew I needed to find someone, but it wasn’t until another one of those moments when I couldn’t handle my fucking shit that I decided to find someone. I did and I loved going to therapy. I hated everything in my life at that point, but therapy made sense. It worked. Again!
So I stopped going. Again!
So very dumb. It wasn’t until late last year that I finally realized that maybe I shouldn’t stop doing something this is good for me. I finally went back to therapy after a two-year break. A lot of that break was obviously when there was a pandemic, and the idea of starting anything was frightening.
I lost my stepdad in August of last year. And it wrecked me. Far worse than I thought it was going to. Of course, I knew I’d be devastated because I loved him so very much. But it depressed me to the point where I was concerned about myself. And to top all of that off, I was working the worst job. It was horrible. I was in a bad, bad place.
Going back wasn’t as awkward as I thought it was going to be. My therapist was excited to see me, excited to get back to work. And this time felt different than every other time. Because I was ready. Ready to not stop, but also ready to do the work. To listen, to process, to grow. I’ve never taken therapy this seriously. Before, it always felt like a place to go to unload and leave. Now, it’s a place where I unload, sure, but we talk about it, about the feelings, how to process them, how to set boundaries, how to grow. It’s been the best experience of my life (aside from seeing The Eras Tour TWICE, OBVIOUSLY, ha!).
I tell you all of this because, as I’ve said before, I think it truly helps to know you are not alone in this world. When we can share parts of ourselves, we get to see how similar we actually are. And maybe that means we can stop tearing each other down and start holding each other up.
Thank you for reading, for understanding, for being there for me. I am so grateful to be here, to be happy, and to be queer.
Also, if you're looking for something else to read... GLITCH, co-authored with the phenomenal Jackie D, is available. And so is my latest sapphic romance, The Tapestry of a Heart.
Happy Pride Month!