Sunday, March 24, 2013

I am a work in progress.

Since my last post, I've taken some time off from work to take part in an intensive outpatient therapy program.  I have been learning a lot about myself, and I'd like to share a little bit of what I've learned.

(Disclaimer - for those who know me, this may be harder to read than reading my first ever post about how Catelyn, my toddler, died.)

1. I am a hardcore perfectionist, which means:
  • I think in terms of all or nothing (ex: if I did 99 things right, and 1 thing wrong, I am a complete failure).
  • I procrastinate in fear of making mistakes, but if things go well, I continue to procrastinate because it worked in the past, and if it doesn't work out the next time, it's only because I didn't have enough time....
  • I re-write almost everything: my blog posts, emails, letters, notes, etc.
2. I am not very assertive, but when I am, it's usually in a passive-aggressive kind of way.
3. I LOVE DOING ART!!!!  (This may not be a surprise to some of you, but it was to me!)
4. I am talented, creative, and have a lot to offer the world.
5. I have spent a large part of my life believing I am worthless/unworthy.
6. I have spent a large part of my life thinking that if I am not being productive, I am unlovable.
7. I am EXTREMELY hard on myself.

There are many other things I have learned, but I won't bore you with the details.... 

However, one very important thing I would like to share is that Catelyn's death does not define who I am.  Her death, of course, was quite tragic, and I will grieve the rest of my life.  Catelyn's death will influence the decisions I make.  Her death has changed me (hopefully for the better).  Catelyn's death is a part of me, but it alone does not make me who I am.

This idea is a foreign concept; something I had not previously considered.

You see, somewhere around 8 months, grieving Catelyn's death became a little less daunting.  I found myself laughing, joking, smiling, etc.  I thought I was making progress. 

At the one year angel-versary of her death, however, I was entirely overwhelmed.  I felt like I was back at square one, almost as though time had not passed at all.  I was reliving her death, and I couldn't break my thoughts from the overwhelming sadness.  I started to spiral downward.  I felt like nothing was ever going to change, and that for the rest of my life, I would always be sad.  I was convinced that nothing was going to get any better. 

I tried to fight the feelings of despair, but they were stronger than I was, so I started giving in to them, and I fell into a deep dark pit.  I was stuck, and couldn't fathom a way out, much less see one.  Luckily, I was introduced to the idea of outpatient therapy, and I was placed in a program that helped me determine my negative thought and behavior patterns, and begin to change them.

Now, I realize that I am a work in progress.  I will always be a work in progress, and that's okay.  It is a battle to chip away at long standing beliefs, but I know that I am worth the fight.  It is incredibly challenging trying to re-train my thoughts and behaviors, but not only is it what I want, it is what Catelyn wants for me too.

So, here's to the future, and to all of the other work's in progress who have taken the time to read this.  To those who are struggling, to those who have found their paths, to those who are in the midst of rerouting their paths in order to reach their goals.

Whether you have found your way, or haven't quite begun the journey.  Never give up.  Your life has purpose, and to put it simply: you are worth it.