The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Yesterday I felt like a million bucks, as good as I’ve felt in the last three months, and I wore a pair of vintage bell-bottom jeans that came from 1970s JC Penny’s to celebrate. They’re blue in color with white pockets on the outside, tight in all the right places. When I found them at a thrift store, they had the original tags on them. Anyway, they enhanced my good mood because I can only fit into them when I’m at my current weight or less. Five extra pounds on these hips, and there’d just be no way. I saw my therapist yesterday, and after she raved about the pants and I told her about my recent (three-pound) weight loss, she said, “I’m glad you’re a skinny bitch.”

Since I haven’t been to therapy in a few weeks, I caught my therapist up on my (very) recent health upswing and the good news I got last week about my emergency room visit being paid for by the hospital. I said, “I keep trying to believe that the universe isn’t on my side, but it keeps proving me wrong.” She said, “All your needs are being taken care of.”

Later we discussed people who idealize their therapist. She said, “I’m not as important or as ‘necessary’ as some of my clients think I am. I may have some information they don’t, and they may have some information I don’t. But when you put someone on a pedestal, there’s only one direction for them to go.” (Down.) This is something I appreciate about my therapist. From day one, she’s always been “real” in the way she talks, dresses, and presents herself. Never once have I gotten the impression that she didn’t have struggles and problems of her own. Of course, this has made it easier to relate to her, easier for me to show up “warts and all.” Additionally, she’s never set herself up as “always right” or infallible. Rather, she’s encouraged me to follow my inner truth. “If your gut tells you one thing and I tell you another, go with your gut. That’s what’s best for you, no matter what anyone else says.”

This is something that’s been historically easy for me to forget. I read so many books and listen to so many other people, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking that other people know better for me than I do. Of course, we can all learn from each other, but I had dinner last night with my friend Marla, and I told her that now I absolutely know that my biggest strides have come this blog, from sitting down every day and getting to know myself, from first discovering and then speaking my truth. If someone else hears me, fine. What’s important is that I hear me, that I get quiet and listen to what’s honestly going on inside.

I can’t tell you how much I recommend this–getting honest with yourself. I’m not saying you need to start a daily blog and tell the world about your inner goings-on. Of course, if you want to, knock yourself out. But I am saying there’s a certain healing that happens when you simply get real about everything happening in your life and when you own your story–the good, the bad, and the ugly. (In my experience, it’s a lot of ugly.) I guess this is what most of us are afraid of, embracing all our “unacceptable” parts. In a world where every picture we post is expected to be just so, it’s difficult to look at our own faults, wrinkles, and unpleasant emotions, let alone share them with others. But there’s a freedom that comes when you accept yourself for who you are and where you’re at, a freedom only you can give you, something you simply can’t get from another.

Healing never looks like what you think it will.

At some point last night I hit a wall. My million-dollar feeling suddenly felt like a dollar and seventy-five cents. I got super tired, kind of light-headed, nauseated, and jittery. This morning I felt–uh–better, and decided to drop two of the supplements I started a couple days ago. (Google said they might be to blame.) Now I feel–meh–could be better, could be worse. Tomorrow I see my new medical doctor and am hoping for some answers, a least a little more help, another piece of the puzzle. But even this illness, something I consider “ugly,” has been a way to get to know myself, to look at my inner goings-on, to further realize that all my needs are being taken care of. Healing, it seems, never looks like what you think it will.

Quotes from CoCo (Marcus)

"Sometimes you have to go back before you can go forward."


Writer. Dancer. Virgo. Full of rich words. Full of joys. (Usually.)

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