Pushing Forward


My legs are trembling I walk out to the car. “I can do this, I CAN do this.” I’ve reached this unknown territory of pushing myself to do things even when I do not want to. There have been 4 days since I’ve left the house. This is not a good thing and inside myself I know this. This day is a full day of appointments, ones which cause me to feel stressed and sad. Yet, I know I can do this, I know I can. There is no other option.

I must continue to move forward.

I plug in my music to find my favorite playlist to listen to for driving. Glancing in the mirror I smile encouragingly at my reflection and say out loud. “You can do this Bree.” Close my eyes, breathe deeply, okay I can do this. As I drive I begin singing along with the songs and begin to look forward to my first appointment.

As I pull into the parking space I’m aware of the trembling again. I know I’m moving towards the point I will not come to this appointment and it scares me inside. Two years now of coming to this building. Two years of sitting across from my ‘safe place person’ who has listened, guided and encouraged me to find the me hiding inside myself. Two years of finally letting go of all the masks, the personas which had kept me safe. Two years to finally get to the real me.

Surprisingly I have found I really like the real me and most surprisingly of all, I love her. Somehow I’d thought when I peeled away all the layers and masks I’d find a person who was too vulnerable to survive out in the world. This has not proven to be true. She is vulnerable and yet she is stronger than I would have thought. All that fluff of ‘bubble head’ in order to hide in plain sight, in order to not be taken seriously really was just a mask. A mask she hid behind really well.

This long road of discovery to find this person inside myself, this person I’d stuffed down deep inside of me, has been astounding. Each layer peeled away, each mask taken off revealed a whole person hiding inside those layers. One who is strong, loving, kind, and full of joy in spite of all the horrendous moments of her life. I find I am in awe of this amazing woman I was all along. I didn’t ‘become’ this woman of strength, of joy, of love.

I was her all along.

(Also published to USFRA.org)

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