Why I went to a support group and what I learned.
As some may or may not know, my life has been anything but predictable in recent months. From career decisions to a breakup, and the numbness between, I have found the only thing routine about my life has been a support group. Yup.... we sat in a circle and talked about our feelings... but there was so much more! In this post, I will fill all you beautiful people in on my recent changes in life and the ups and downs it has entailed, as well as my experiences that led me to seek support outside of my loved ones.
You may have noticed my stories or posts being more sporadic and sparse lately, and the truth is, I have felt as dull as my media presence. Although that sounds odd, I have chosen to keep my personal life personal for the lightness and darkness that resides within. Taking space separate from areas of false courage and glamorizing somber tones of life was vital for me. I very much try to spread positivity and live my life as pure as possible in my media presence, but in the shadow of where I was in life, I needed to make space for my cultivation.
After applying to physical therapy programs in the fall of last year, I found myself exhausted by planning, rejection, and seeking an unknown milestone that I wouldn't even know I achieved if it hit me in the face. As the new year approached, I ran into the most challenging time in my physical recovery (see hip surgery post here for more info!), and my unsteady relationship was taking an emotional toll on me in all aspects of my life. I had been ridiculed and picked apart for months and slowly started to believe the horrific judgments of my character as a person.
After an unsettling amount of arguments and hours spent dissecting every action that was apart of who I was, my relationship was over.
For the first time for as long as I can remember, I had no plan, goals, or idea of what my day to day life would look like. The truth is, the relationship was never going to work, that's just the long and short of it all, but coupled with heartbreak, extinguished passion, and loss in my physical capabilities, I was very much broken even though I did everything I could.
So what did I do next?
Very next day I brought home this little spitfire.
Now I know what you're thinking "Wow Macy, you break up and the next day get a cat... you're on the fast track to single town, party of the crazy cat lady." and you know what... I don't actually care haha
His name is Oliver, and we call him Ollie. He is kind of the biggest shit head ever, but the past few months would not have been the same without him eating thumb tacks, jumping in the shower, or getting cups stuck on his head in the bathroom and knocking everything off the counter in the process. Let's be real... we are both a bit spicy at times.
I told myself, he was all the man I needed and boy was I right. Shortly after the breakup things got worse before they got better. I was rejected from a few more programs for PT school, and I was settling in my and pity, and slowly morned the loss of what my dreams were.
In my heart of heart, I knew what depression felt like, I knew was rejection felt like, I knew what struggle felt like, and more than anything, I knew what worked for me to get me out of these ruts. Where I was in this moment was unlike any other. No matter what anyone told me, nothing stuck or settled to the bottom and meant something. Everything was numb as my fear of progression blinded me into the unknown future. So, I joined a support group and was soon surrounded by peers that had also gone through a breakup, and it did not take me long to understand that I had not taken the time to realize that I was grieving. I was grieving the loss of this person I loved, my idea of what my dreams were, my body's physical capabilities (for the time being), and my motivation to do things I loved like this.
So what a support group is, is essentially a large therapy session with one or a few facilitators that are therapists (or in this case, students on their way there). Each group member is bound in their commonality which in this case was a romantic breakup but can be anything from stress, to anxiety, to depression, or even one of the most well known, alcoholism. Over the course of 8 weeks, I began to understand more of this grieving process, as well as connect with people I otherwise would have never known. With many people around me that love me, I sought out this group to seek my hunger for understanding how I felt but gained so much more along the way.
As I reflect here after 8 weeks, I am now in charge of my new life that I have ignited within this group. I have a job as an RN with Mayo Clinic and am patient in understanding that every day is what I make it, but that does not mean my facade must show what I want it to but can show who I truly am on any given day. The time between these sessions was not easy but was filled with some of the most amazing memories of my life and I am so thankful for everyone that made it possible!
So my best advice for you beautiful, in your highs and lows, slow down to take in everything that is around you and do not panic if you lose sight of what you want, make some memories until you find your way again. You do not always have to have a plan, but maybe an idea of what it might look for feel like when things align can provide the most amazing foundation for emotional growth.
Do I have it all figure out?
HELL NO! But I have an idea of what happiness looks like to me.
Never forget you are not alone in whatever your struggle is, but know that you are allowed to feel whatever it is that you feel in every moment. Its a process so lean on others a little and go out of your way to find support if you need it!