At the beginning of the summer, I vowed to spend it working on me. Working on my health physically and mentally, and really my overall outlook on life. Henceforth, I began going to therapy. Before going to therapy, I cannot even begin to describe how negatively I viewed my world. Other people's worlds was a completely different story; I saw theirs (and still do) with such optimism and hope, but mine? I saw (and still kind of see) pure tragedy, fear, and horror. I never really understood why I was like this. I have wonderful parents who love me unconditionally, which some people don't have. I have great friends, supportive friends, who not only accept me for who I am but are willing to take the time to try and understand what I am going through. But the one thing that I have experienced is way too much loss. I mean, we've all lost people. But losing them all within a six-year span? It's not easy. It's the main aspect of my life that has been excruciating for me, and I know for many others, unfortunately. And I don't solely mean physical death, but the loss of a friendship, a relationship, a pet, etc. When I lost all of these people, and both of my childhood pets, I never let myself grieve. Never in my life have I let myself grieve. Do you know what I did? I pushed everything down. I pushed it all as far down as I could get it, and I tried to cover it with food. I tried to lessen the pain by helping others through theirs. Anything I could do to not feel all the pain, I did it (well all legal things anyway, I'm no rebel-rouser). And this was the very first thing I discovered about myself in therapy.

I would eat and I would help other people because those were things that I could control, things that I could use as masks. Losing people, however, I cannot. I can't control where time takes us, whether that be together or apart. I can't control the fact that I know some things I never wish I did, and I hate it.

Aaaaaand ring a ding ding! We have Katherine's next therapeutic discovery! I hate ambiguity. I hate time. I hate change. I hate not knowing what's gonna happen to people once they leave my life, and I hate not having answers. I hate the gray between the black and white; the maybe between the yes and no. And when I am in situations where I lack certainty or stability, I talk to myself in such horrid ways that make me absolutely ashamed to be the person I am or at least the person that I am to myself. I'm pretty proud of the person I am to other people, but I treat myself like I'm disgusting roadkill on the side of the road. I don't deserve to be treated like this by anyone, let alone myself. No one does. But, here we are, and I'm horrified that I let it go on so long.

You guessed it! We are on to therapeutic revelation number three. This one had me sobbing in therapy: every day, I live in fear. I live in fear that my negative thoughts are going to win. I fear that despite the fact that I want more than anything to live here on this earth, my thoughts will overpower me. The last thing I want is to be that young adult in the casket that had so much potential, had so much left to change in the world around her. I don't want fear to win. I don't want depression to win. I don't want to be added to the statistics. And it scares me that there's that possibility. It scares me that I may not be strong enough to win the fight. But after sobbing and shivering with fear talking to my therapist about this, she told me this (a little paraphrased because I can't remember exactly what she said):

"Katherine, I want you to know that I am so proud of you for showing up to therapy every week. I know that it's so much easier for you to keep all of this hidden deep down, but your bravery to face all of this pain head on gives me so much hope for your life. Truly, I think you can do such amazing things with your life, but this has got to be at the top of the list."

More than I can describe, these words mean everything to me. Something about having a third party outsider without bias tells you these things makes it seem so much more genuine, and it personally gave me an immense amount of hope. Hope that I can face this fear and horror that I live with every day head on.

Has therapy been easy? Not in the slightest. Have I dreaded going to my sessions? Yes. But the amount of information that I have discovered and will discover about myself is infinite. Every session, I take one baby step of progress, and I'll take that any day over taking three steps backward into the pit of mental hot messery.