For my 14 months of intensive therapy, I journaled religiously every single day - long, long entries. I heard a podcast at the time with June Diane Raphael in which she shared the story of losing both of her parents so close together. June Diane said something I have held onto very tightly, "sometimes time just needs to pass". It hit me like a ton of bricks and I journaled about it many times.
For so long, I ran fast, bounced high and aimed to achieve so highly in order to avoid looking at myself and my life. I learned hard and fast that life catches up to you eventually. When I started looking intrinsically, I just needed time to pass - time to wrap my head around what happened, what was currently happening and what the fuck was next. For so long, I filed this time under "grief" - grief for what I thought my life had been, what I thought my life was and what I thought my life was going to be. Looking in the rearview mirror of my life now felt inaccurate and it was unsettling.
"Time just needs to pass" allowed me to lean into the uncertainty and give myself the space to understand what happened and how I got here. When I finally gave myself permission to sit in it, it took me years to come out the other side.
Up until that point of leaning in, I had really dealt with very little in my life. My theory was the harder I worked, the more I put my head down, the less I would eventually have to deal with. L-O-L at my naivety. When I started, my capacity for dealing with anything tough was tremendously low, and I no longer knew what I was "chasing". What was the end goal now? What was I working toward?
I longed for the days that I would be out of this place of uncertainty and land in contentment - my new end goal. I started my process of reporting in January of 2019 and I would say only in the last few weeks (May/June of 2023) have I felt like my head is comfortably above water. I now no longer feel like time just needs to pass.
The part I have been trying to process recently as my capacity has increased is the grief of what was lost (insert me crying in the middle of a Starbucks in Paris right now).
When time just needed to pass, I sat there trying to make sense of what the last 10, 15 years of my life was and how these experiences that I just began to accept cast a shadow over a formative decade of my life. Then, the grief was in realizing that my life and experiences were not what I thought they were. The grief now is how much time and experience was lost keeping my head above water.
I recognize that I needed that time - a lot of time - to get to this place where I am no longer in survival mode, but that came at a cost of feeling like I've lost half of my life in trauma, grief and simply surviving.
I am grateful to finally be in a place where I feel in charge of my life and truly like I can do and handle anything - it's what those four years of time has allowed me. I still walk through the world with the wounds given to me by others, and the weight of time lost waiting for a day where I was strong enough to do better. The complex balance of processing your past and building your future never ends. Today, I finally know that I am strong enough to do better.