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Day 28: Getting Help

I wasn’t sure if I was going to bring this up, but we’re only a few days from the end of this 31-day writing challenge, so fuck it — let’s go.

Sometimes part of becoming human means asking for help.

Here’s what that’s looked like for me in the past year:

Every Monday morning I meet my cousin for breakfast. I tell him everything. He tells me I’m going to be ok. Sometimes, he talks me down from doing outlandish stuff. Sometimes he reminds me that life goes on. Mostly he just listens. Every now and then when I find myself face-down on the restaurant booth in full-on despair, he reminds me of where we started, tells me I’m getting better, and points to the tattoo on my arm that says “keep walking“.


I haven’t been shy about telling you about my experiences in therapy. Some people shit on therapy; they assume it’s only for really fucked up people, or they look down on you for taking care of your mental health. Those people suck.

I don’t trust anybody who doesn’t trust therapists.

I’ve been going every week for over a year now, and it’s still a mystery to me, the whole process. I have no idea how it works. I talk for fifty-five minutes, she writes a few sentences down on her note-pad and asks me two or three questions, and I walk out of there feeling like I can breathe again. And over the course of a year, I’ve felt my brain and heart grow stronger, healthier, calmer.

I’ve mentioned before about how emotional abuse is inseparably woven into popular Christianity, and after these thirty-one days are done I may dive into untangling those ideas further. Because it’s true. Do a little bit of research into emotional abuse and shame and see if you don’t see the bullshit they called “gospel” staring back at you.

My point is, if you were raised in church you probably need therapy. Maybe your parents didn’t beat you in the name of God, or scream profanities at you, or threaten you with hellfire and damnation. But if you’re like me, the version of god you were introduced to as a child was maybe an emotionally abusive asshole.

Maybe you still have scars that throb every time you walk through the doors of a church. And maybe Love (the non-asshole Love whose name is God) wants to heal you, and maybe a therapist’s couch is a good place to start.


Also, I take a little blue pill every night before bed.

I don’t know why I’m nervous to tell you this, but I am. I don’t know why we have no problem taking care of our bodies, but taking care of our minds is still considered sort of shameful by so many people.

Depression and anxiety are real things, and sometimes yoga and therapy and naps and exercise aren’t enough.

Sometimes you say to a doctor: “I’m tired of being worried about dumb shit all the time. I have a hard time remembering why I should get out of bed in the morning. I find myself pacing circles in my living room when I’m supposed to be working. I spend all day arguing with the voices in my mind. I can’t feel joy anymore. But I don’t want to use whiskey as a drug to calm my weary heart.”

And it’s not a miracle cure, by any means. Nothing is.

But like I told you last week, I’m starting to feel happy. And I have felt happy for more than two or three days in a row now. I feel calm. Level. I look back at some of the shit I wrote over the spring and summer — both here on the internet and in my journal — and I’m like “Damn. You were in a dark place, bro.” When you can look back and see that and know that you’re not there anymore, that’s always a good thing.

I don’t know how much of this healing is from the little blue pill, and how much is from therapy, and how much is from being loved by good people, and how much is from eating green things and getting enough sleep.

But getting better is a good part of becoming human, and I’m grateful for every window through which I have found love and light along the way.

During the month of October, I’m joining the Write31Days challenge to talk about 31 Days of Becoming Human. Click here to read all posts in the series.

published October 28, 2015

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