Note: I’m about to over-share…


Several years ago I was breaking down. I was. I knew it was happening, but I didn’t know how to save myself. I reached out to my friend, Mare, and she offered up the contact info for a buddy of hers – a therapist.


After making the initial call (which took more deep breathing than I care to relate), I began seeing the therapist on a regular basis. That stint lasted about 2 years. Years! But it did come to an end, and my therapist and I agreed I was ready to head off on my own and deal with my life. The timing was right and I did indeed manage to function productively for quite a long while.


Cut to around a year ago. I wasn’t managing well at all. I knew it was happening, and this time I knew enough to call the therapist I’d had so much success with all those years ago. She fit me in her schedule and new work began.


For those of you who’ve experienced therapy, you know what I mean when I say “work.” For those who’ve not called on outside help, you’re just gonna have to trust me when I tell you work is a 4-letter word. It can be hard as hell, but for me, it has been worth it. Digging into my psyche and my soul isn’t always pretty. Pretty ugly is more like it. But each time I’ve pushed my ego and fears aside and faced myself, I’ve come away a bit more sure-footed.


I’ve been seeing my therapist every other week for several months now. Last month (November), she suggested we try scheduling 4 weeks out (versus every 2 weeks) and skipping a full month between sessions. I was game and that’s what we did. Earlier this week I met with her and after a while she asked if I wanted to schedule 1 more session or say our goodbyes. I thought about it and said, “I think I want to be brave and say goodbye today.”


For me, being brave right now isn’t like jumping off a cliff into a rushing river below. It’s about caring for myself. Today, bravery means choosing to tend to me and exactly who I am at this moment. It means owning my imperfections and holding my head up.


Before I left the therapist’s office, she offered me a talisman. She held out her hand, and there were several different stones resting in her palm. Each was lovely in its own right, but I was drawn to a small scarred stone with chipped edges. My therapist asked if I was sure about my choice and I said yes. That little stone reminds me of my heart. It’s been through the wringer and is a little worse for wear. It’s still lovely, with smooth parts and complex colors. When I turn the scarred side over, the underside is shaped like a heart. The similarities to my own heart are not lost on me. I’ve made an excellent choice.


I’ve made a brave choice.