I could list the series of unfortunate events last year that made me feel like a total failure as a mom, wife, and friend lately, but why torture myself? Let’s just leave it at the fact that I wasn’t exactly living up to my self-given label of being a badass. I pretty much have just been bad. And on some days, I’ve just been an ass. But badassery was nowhere to be found.
The good news is that I recognized it. Losing my badassness is a sign to me that I’m losing myself, and that my depression and the negative voices in my head are taking over and blocking the joy in my life. And when those negative voices take over, the strong and encouraging ones that keep me at my badass best, fall silent.
When I see the fog of depression lurking and itching to take over my life, I have two choices: I can let it, and sink into that dark and scary place I’ve been to before. Or I can tell it to f*ck off and start taking the steps to find my badass self again. The decision isn’t always as simple as it should be. Sinking is easy, moving through the fog is a lot of work.
Thankfully, I made the decision to do the work.
The first step for me is admitting that I’m in the fog…again. The voice in my head likes to remind me what a fuck-up I am for letting myself get here…again. (Like seriously, why didn’t you recognize you were heading in this direction a few months ago when it would have been easier to fix?) But despite that, I admit it, to myself, that I am, in fact, here…again.
Then it’s on to the next step—telling that voice in my head to go f*ck itself. I don’t owe you, or anyone, an explanation. Shit happens, and I’m here. Deal with it.
(Just rereading that last paragraph tells me that my inner badass is still in there. Damn I missed her!)
Dealing with it is step three, which means asking for help. And for me, this means reaching out to my therapist. That’s right folks, I got to therapy! Right now I go every-other week because that’s what I need to do. Because let’s be honest, telling myself I’ll figure this out on my own is just another lie from the voice in my head. It sounds like a fine idea, and logically I know that if I ate cleaner, exercised more, got outside more, wrote more, meditated more, and spent more time with friends, then yes, I probably could find my way out of the fog. But when I’m in the fog, despite all the logical things I know I should and could do, I don’t do them. Period. That’s why I need my therapist.
But why not just talk to your friends, Lynne?
I have some awesome, amazing, non-judging, totally supportive, kick-ass friends. But sometimes, you need a professional who will listen, won’t judge, but will call you out on your bullshit, and give you a plan for shutting down the negative voices so you can awaken the sleeping badass—because she’s still in there, I promise.
And the good news is that my sleeping badass is finally waking up!
She is still a little groggy from her long nap. (She probably needs more coffee.) But now that she’s back, I’m trying to take better care of her and keep her safe. She’s working on great things!
This post originally appeared on Be Like a Mother. It has been reprinted with permission.