The cashier reaches over my carefully placed items on the conveyor belt and grabs the box of cereal. She puts it in a bag that she just put tortilla shells in. I steady my hands and breathe in slowly. This is not a big deal. I can just move the box. But why in the world would she mess up my system? Everything is in order. Boxes with boxes. Cans with cans. Frozen with frozen. Meat with meat. STOP MESSING IT UP!!!
It’s Day One of counseling again. A new counselor in a new city in a new year in a new place in my life. I share this moment from the morning’s grocery shopping, which leads to laundry, dishes, driving, and more. All these things I try to control because I don’t have control over the big things in life.
What I know logically is that this stems from the trauma I’ve been through. What I’m able to do about it, however, is currently not in my control. Which is why I’ve returned to counseling. Not because I need control over life but because I need to keep healing, to keep processing what I’ve been through, where I am now, how I handle life, and how I can thrive.
I am thriving. I am not thriving. I’m too hard on myself. I’m not hard enough.
It’s a battle of self every single day, and I reached a point where I needed to wave the white flag. I surrender. I still need help. I am strong, yes, but I am also in need. I have healed a lot, yes, but I have miles to go. I am in the best place of this journey, yes, but there is so much more left to still feel and process. It was kind of silly to think I could fix 22 years of trauma in approximately 8 months of counseling.
It is absolutely and utterly humbling to ask for help sometimes. To look at yourself in the mirror and see shards from your broken pieces still showing. More so because the journey has already been so long, so full of pains and joys, and sometimes it feels like you should be there already, for the love of all things holy, why aren’t you there yet? To admit you might actually be depressed, that you are being ruled by anxiety all over again. To know your joy has been absent longer than you can track because despite the work, you feel empty in so many ways.
But I asked for help. I walked into a counselor’s office again and started laying out some of those broken pieces, admitting that maybe, just maybe I’m too close to see myself clearly, that maybe, just maybe I need more help.
I give myself credit for reaching for help, and hope for realizing I still need it, and grace for what comes next. I am not in control, not really, but I can still try to control how I take care of myself and how I view this new chapter of my story.