One of the frustrating things about therapy, for me, has been that I feel immense pressure to give up portions of myself in order to be healthy. I’m not sure if this pressure is from my therapist or myself or both – probably a little of both. The thing is… I’m a person who loves people’s flaws. I love people for their human moments, their weaknesses, their awkwardness, their genuine feeling and inability to hide it. So there are a few things about myself that I truly love, a few things that feel like part of my identity, that my therapist and the rest of the world would term “unhealthy.”
I want to be healthy, if what “healthy” means is that I can be kind to myself, that I can stop feeling personally responsible for every flash of emotion that crosses anyone’s face in my presence, that I can stop hearing the voices that hate me telling me all the fun ways I could die every second of every day… if that’s what healthy means, I want that very much. But it seems like in order to have that, I have to give up so much of who I am.
Who I am is who I’ve become playing out the moves I was taught. I’m not saying it’s amazing. I am a bent, twisted person. I am a little bit of a junkie, and I will probably always be all about whatever new addiction you have to offer, but I’ve learned to channel that toward relatively harmless addictions. If being healthy means not having that junkie chattering in the back of my head, calculating how many pills it is between me and not being able to deal with fucking life again… I might never be healthy.
I am a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster rider – I would rather be in pain than indifferent, rather be terrified than checked the hell out the way I’ve been for the last few years. I will probably always be the person who cries because swans can be gay and falls in love inside a week. If being healthy means not riding that rollercoaster, I might never be healthy, and I don’t know if I want to be.
I’ve spent my life looking for people who would love me not despite my flaws but because of them. I need to be allowed to be the broken creature I am… but I don’t know if that creature has a future. I don’t know if the future I want is a place I can really live.
My children’s children’s faces before me
are sending their mercy back through the years,
telling me they’ve seen the deaths of my fears,
and those that remember me seem to adore me.
I want to know that future memory –
myself, tempered by the time between us,
finished with the penance that redeems us,
purified of every part of me.
It seems unfair that I should have to build
me into that person with no blueprint,
plot this ship’s course with no destination.
But then, that’s why martyrs have to be killed.
The world I want isn’t one I can live in –
that story starts with my abdication.