Last Monday, I started therapy.
Therapy is important, even essential at times. And yet, starting it, and telling others that you go (if you decide to tell) feels vulnerable. Strong-vulnerable, but vulnerable nonetheless.
The story of therapy starts about 6 months ago with a southern drawlin’, big haired, ‘girlfriend let me tell you what’ experience. Because studying with Beth Moore is, if nothing else, an experience.
I started Beth Moore’s Breaking Free Bible study with a group of women I didn’t actually know very well. Prior to the study, I knew very little of Beth, but what I did know made me think Beth and I wouldn’t click. Nothing personal, just a lack of affinity.
Boy was I wrong.
While I might wish for some different styling, I’d stare at any eyesore of a coat to listen to her talk about Jesus. Through the study, I became aware of all sorts of things that I had allowed to settle in my life.
They settled in, and they took up space, crowding out joy, hope, peace.
I wanted that space back, and I began, with God’s help, to clean out. Overtop of the study, I layered some exercises to help me. That included Instagratitude November, an Advent Devotional, a no-spend month in January, a Facebook Free February, and now, during Lent, a fast from my usual morning routine of blog reading. I read them later, but my first-thing-in-the-morning time is either for reading Scripture or being with my family.
Five fasts, five months. It’s a paradoxical reality that fasting, in its various forms, brings freedom.* Withholding from yourself by choice puts you in touch with the God who withholds no good thing. Putting some constraints on your habits points you to the abundance of gifts available to you.
*It is a practical reality that shorter fasts with a clear end point, like, say, one week or one month are just plain easier to do.
But fear wouldn’t accept getting the boot. Despite my efforts, it wouldn’t budge.
I’m afraid of a lot of things: failing at navigating vocation and family well; certain types of heights; that unkind things people have said about me are true; when planes take off; the impatience and frustration that come out of me sometimes as I parent. I’m also afraid of everything.
Afraid of everything, in a nutshell, is how I’ve experienced PTSD for the past nine and a half years.
So the story of therapy starts nine and a half years ago…