- Julie Marie
About a year ago, I came to the realization that I needed help. And there I found myself, filling out the questionnaire my therapist's office sent me:
"What is your biggest strength?" I tend to fix things
"What is your biggest weakness?" The desire to fix things
And when I say "things" I'm not necessarily talking about that broken item over there that needs E6000. I mean situations. Not Olivia Pope level but, due to coming to a shocking realization when I was a sophomore in college, the "fixer" role in me was born and it has not necessarily been a good role to have.
2019 was by far the hardest year of my entire existence, thus far. I experienced the (1)fear of accepting a failed relationship, (2)the loss of a pregnancy of possibly twins with lingering complications, (3)having to pull myself off the floor, wiping my own tears and reminding me who I was...and all this was in the first 4 months of 2019. As 2019 progressed, I decided that with so much painful "life," I needed to reach out for help; the fixer in me needed fixing.
Taking the first step in noticing that you need professional help is not a bad thing; I honestly am, to this day, proud to say that I regularly go to therapy and it probably saved me from a deep depression. I remember that first day when I walked into the office, slightly embarrassed that I, a pretty successful 29 year old who is technically married, has managed to purchase a home in the CA housing market with the worlds most perfect pup, needed therapy. I sat down in that office and it was as if someone opened the flood gates *insert ugly face crying and a couple of puffs of the inhaler.*
I have never really been open about all the feels with anyone, much less a complete stranger. I focus so much on "fixing" the situation that I do not actually sit with my emotions, feelings and natural thoughts on something.
As 2019 progressed, so did all the crap that hit the fan but luckily, so did my comfort and openness regarding therapy. I was able to get through all the "I would have been x, y z." These thoughts were very hurtful and I literally took it one day at a time. I got myself through the "would have been birthday." I got myself to a point where I realized that certain relationships I was in no longer served me. Weekly therapy sessions became bi-weekly sessions. And just when I thought I had it all figured out, 2019 dealt me one of the most difficult cards ever.
2020 started, like for most people, hopeful. It was going to be "better," it had to be after the 2019 I just had. For the first few months, there was a lot of back and forth as I figured out that difficult card and what its repercussions were to the people I love for always. See, attempting to "fix" everything for everyone was literally making me sick - I was constantly mentally exhausted, no desire to do much of anything, I wasn't going to the gym and politely declined almost all invitations to hang out with anyone - RED FLAG!! I'm mainly an extrovert - I enjoy being around friends and laughing and being social in general - and that is something I had not been in a while.
Fast forward to mid-March 2020 when our County officially declared a Shelter In Place order. Luckily, I was able and still am seeing my therapist regularly.
I had to really sit with MY emotions, feelings and natural thoughts about everything going on, not just the Shelter in Place. I had to just start putting me, my health and my happiness first. Now, I am not clinically depressed or anything like that and I do empathize with those who are and can't simply "just start being happy."
I have come to the realization that is very hard for the fixer in me - I have to stop trying to fix someone else's life/situation. I have no control over what another adult does but I can decide to not react and therefore, not make myself sick. I have to learn to let go and let it be. I have accepted the fact that the fixer in me doesn't need "fixing " - I just need to be ok with being "selfish" an put myself first while being beautifully broken.
I remember when I was talking to my God-Mother after a few drinks in July when I finally told her, to an extent, what I was going through and I blurted out "Because of all this sh**, I go to therapy weekly!" She looked at me and gave me the biggest hug ever and said, "Honey, there is nothing wrong with being in therapy. We are all a little f****d up in the head. I'm proud of you for getting what you need to learn to be ok. You will get through this and anything life throws at you."
For some reason, having her say those words to me helped me in ways I cant even put into words.
So to the person who is waiting for a sign to make that first therapy appointment, just do it. Do something now that your future self will be eternally thankful for.