I just finished reading a book called Tricks written by Ellen Hopkins. The book follows the stories of several teenagers who end up in the sex industry through different pathways in their lives. One sentence that really stuck out to me was "Why reach for a dream when you're at ease within your nightmares?" This thought has come to me many times throughout my lifetime, especially when I am going through some type of change and searching for some sense of direction in my life. Things are better for me now. Better than they have been in several years. But now a change is about to occur - a change I don't want.
I've written before about how I'm an "all-or-none" kind of person. If one thing is going to change, why not change everything else as well? For the good or bad, what the hell, it doesn't matter, just do it. Well I'm finding myself in that position again. Last week I found out that my therapist is retiring. I am used to starting over with new therapists. There is a lot of turn over in that field. And I knew that would be coming soon because she is at a "retirement age". But that doesn't make it any easier. This is especially difficult because she has been the one I have had the strongest connection with and really felt safe and supported by her. She has also been the first therapist that I have had who has asked about and encouraged me to think about my dreams. The problem is that I have been allowing this one little change to throw my whole life into a state of chaos. My mind screams out "CHANGE DOCTORS TOO! STOP TAKING YOUR MEDS! GO BACK OUT AND DRINK! PACK UP THE KITTIES AND RUN AWAY, FAR, FAR, AWAY! LEAVE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY BEHIND! GIVE UP ON TRYING TO FIGURE OUT YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE! GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS!" That's just a sampling of what is running through my head right now. I am tempted to return to, or maybe more accurately feel pulled towards, returning to my "nightmares" rather than move forward with my dreams. I have been so comfortable being "sick" for so many years that "healthy" is scary for me. Physical health would be nice, but mental health seems out of reach much of the time and I flee when I feel it coming on.
I do not want to continue to go down that path anymore. I do not want to remain comfortable in my nightmares and quash my dreams. I want to go out on the limbs and taste the fruit before it falls to the ground and rots. I was at a support group meeting a week ago and one of the gentleman looked over at me and asked "What is your dream? What gives you a sense of meaning?" and my immediate response was writing. I didn't have to think twice. It is what I am feeling pulled to do. And that is one thing that I owe in part to my therapist. I have always journaled. Lots of therapists like clients to do that because it's "therapeutic". But my therapist has encouraged me to expand my writing and reach beyond what has been holding me back and to go for it. After all, what have I got to lose?
So, there will be some changing going on. I will be meeting a new therapist. And I will not throw the baby out with the bathwater and yell "screw it all" as I run away, flipping the bird behind me as I go. I will stick it out and see what I can learn from these changes. Who knows, maybe that will help me to move forward with my dreams as well. We shall see. I still don't think that I can say that I am fond of change with a straight face but at least I'm willing to try today.