I’m making progress!
This past Friday I met with a new therapist for the first time. I think this is going to be really good for me- we talked about my goals for therapy, and narrowed it down to:
1. Learning to trust people and be in closer intimate relationships again, and identifying what healthy relationships look like for me. I told her that I felt I still had serious walls up against other people, as a result of past relationships and physical abuse, which has made me feel very lonely. I honestly really do love being around others and having close friendships, and at some point in the (not immediate) future I’d like to be in a healthy romantic relationship.
2. Allowing joy and happiness into my life. Feel-good emotions have been hard for me. The “in a nutshell” version is that I’ve spent a lot of time in high-alert, fight or flight, waiting for the other shoe to drop mode, which makes it extremely hard to let my guard down enough to have fun. I want to be able to let loose and enjoy my life, and get to a place where I can be vulnerable enough to do so.
3. Increase authenticity and be more of my true self. I know there’s a Natface beneath the surface that wants to come back out and have fun, but depression has been like a heavy weight keeping that part of me stifled, and I’ve been in super-serious survival mode kind of place for...probably at minimum, the last year and a half. I want to get back to doing the things I enjoy and having some zest for life again.
I feel hopeful after even just the first meeting with the new therapist. She said in that initial session that trauma work and increasing authenticity are two of her specialties, which prompted a huge sigh of relief from me. I liked my old therapist, but our schedules just stopped being compatible, and I kept feeling like I had old childhood stuff and residual trauma from my sexual assaults that had not been addressed, and she kept sort of...discouraging me from going there and talking about it, which made no sense. Especially since I felt keenly aware that it was getting in the way of my current relationships with people writ large. Also, new therapist is closer in age to me, which feels positive, like she’ll have a better idea of how to relate to me. She also takes my insurance, my copay is pretty low, and luckily I have no cap on visits- so I’ll have the added bonus of paying off my deductible quicker.
In job search related news, I sent a networking email to a rep that comes into my work place, and she responded very quickly and was encouraging and helpful. I told her that I just completed my bachelor’s recently and am looking to step up to working for a larger company, one that’s tied to the industry I’m in right now so that I can use the knowledge I’ve gained in ten years of working in eye care. She gave me a list of companies that are based in my area and ways to apply to their entry level positions, and offered to talk with me about career stuff this week via phone. It feels like a big win. I’ve also got business cards for a few other reps that I’ve built rapport with, and I’m planning on doing the same with them. My goal for this week is to apply to a minimum of three jobs. I know that’s low, but I wanted to keep it manageable so that I can feel successful.
I’m definitely in a better place now than I was last week, so here’s to keeping that momentum going.