June 22, 2011

Checked Baggage

I was fifteen years old the first time I said to my mom, “I think I am going crazy”. That resulted in my beginning a self-introspective journey. Someone recommended a therapist that worked well with kids. I went.

I learned that I wasn’t “going crazy”. I was actually going through adolescence. I learned many valuable lessons by seeing that therapist. And a few thereafter. In addition to a few programs….you get the picture? I have spent more than half of my life in a process of healing.

I am ready to begin living.

In the course of becoming whole I was able to identify issues and areas that needed to be examined. A great deal of those problems sprung from low self-worth. I pinned it on being chubby and Chubby became a great excuse. Chubby and I became buddies – partners in crime. Not only was she a sympathetic companion but a place to lay blame.

I found many other “issues” to manifest and comfort myself as I moved through life. Chubby and I would fight, I would ex-communicate her for periods of time but invite her back and embrace her as we cried over a pan of brownies.

Today must be the first time I truly understand Chubby. I realize what I needed protection from and how rational it actually was that I developed my comrade. Today, as I live in the now, I recognize – not just in theory, that baggage has no place in my today.

As a clinician, I still hold fast to my favorite counseling theory, Cognitive Behavioral. I do believe our past shapes us (and very non-clinically, I interject) it will bite me in the butt IF I remain unconcious of it. Sure we all have issues! Don’t pretend I am the only one…..

I have recently discovered – nix the word discovered, I’ve known it in my head a long time! – I have recently begun to live at the height of awareness of the impact of my behavior today. When I’ve remained unconcious of my actions and simply said, “oh, there go my issues again” I have taken no responsibility. Sarcasm has been a favorite of my deeds. Easily, when hurt, I pop off something rather witty, but usually cutting and spiteful. Then say, “oh, I was just joking”! But the person I am aiming for is harmed nonetheless. I am responsible for that. You know the old saying: HURT PEOPLE, HURT PEOPLE!

In review of this ideology and the daily practice of concious behavior, I have discovered that others don’t deserve my baggage. Not even me.

Happy travels….no baggage to check!


Betty Kurecka said...

As always, good insight and great writing. I love Chubby and the brownies scene. Chubby and I had more in common than you know--brownies or cigarettes, we each had our binkies of choice.

Paula said...

Thank you Betty! I always appreciate your words. I am grateful I have learned so much but boy....wouldn't it have been easier to have known this 20 years ago? :)