Baby Steps

There’s a pile of unfolded laundry in my apartment that has become a metaphor for my chronic problem avoidance. It started as a small pile, could have easily been folded and put away in the space of 10 minutes, but it kept getting pushed and pushed.

“I’ll do it later”

“OMG but it’s so little, it’s not a big deal!”

“It’ll take me all of 10 minutes to get this done, I’m too busy right now”

“GET OFF MY CASE, IT’S CLOTHES NOT GENOCIDE, I’LL FOLD THEM LATER!”

“Okay, okay, OKAY. I’ll DEFINITELY do it on Saturday”

It has been 6 Saturdays. The pile has grown to the height and width of my bed. For any other person, this would comprise the entirety of their wardrobe, and therefore force them to fold said clothes and put them away, but not me. My wardrobe is still bursting at its seams, in fact, I have enough clothes to wear till the end of the year without ever having to touch that pile. A fact that I have made damn sure of. 

Those clothes are a painfully accurate metaphor for my life and I just… The thing is this, shiny new problems keep arising, taking place of the old problems and because the old problems are terrifying – deep set traumas that definitely need attention – and I am afraid of what I’ll find, they stay untouched in a corner of my mind, judging me daily and hindering me in ways that I am aware and unaware of. Just like these clothes at the foot of my bed. This apartment is tiny, I can’t access my windows and dressers without doing a pole vault over the clothes or stepping on them, it would be far easier to simply sort through and clean up but, no. 

See, If I sort through those clothes, I will find that I have far too many duplicates of the same items, or I might find that there are items there I forgot I even had. I might even find the one article of clothing I have been searching for in my wardrobe and have had to replace. It would make me feel terrible for spending money when I absolutely did not need to – a guilt I thoroughly hate feeling – but, BUT it would also give me a holistic view of my wardrobe, making my life and dressing up in the morning generally easier. 

But I don’t want to feel guilty about whatever I find, so I make do with what I have, and what I can’t find, I conclude that I don’t have and promptly buy a new one, thus highlighting the fact that I tend to polish problems instead of solving them…deep breath. 

Just like my laundry, I have been putting off seeing a therapist or even seriously considering seeing one. There are too many negative connotations of therapy where I come from – you’re insane, weak, an attention seeker, too rich to spend money on basic things so you pay someone else to listen to your entitled problems – the list is endless. I have been grappling with the idea for over a year, talking myself in and out of it in the same breath.

“But there are so many things you need to work through, you know this”

“Yes, but my problems aren’t special, other people have bigger problems”

“You’re diminishing your issues because you don’t want to get help, that’s toxic”

“Yes, but thinking that I’m special enough to warrant therapy is also toxic”

“This is bullshit, go to fucking therapy, your partner, your friends, your family, EVERYONE WILL THANK YOU FOR IT!”

“Sigh, I’m an asshole and the therapist is going to see through this blatant attention grab and call me out on it. I would have spent money to have someone tell me I’m a complete shitbag, I don’t think I can bear it.”

“My God, please, I’m begging you be kind to yourself, talk to someone.”

“…It would break my parent’s hearts…”

On and on and fucking on. I have endless arguments with myself and they’re all circular. I never end anywhere but right where I started. Even when I decide to go for it, I put it off to an undefined, yet specific later date, just to shut myself up. I never do it, just like I haven’t folded my laundry even though all it will do is help…

Now that I’ve written it out and put it out there to be judged, it sounds ridiculous to even me. Alright, I’ll do it. I’ll fold my laundry.

And…and I’ll speak to someone. It’s 2019, what people will say should not be my problem anymore…right?

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