The last post went pretty deep; I needed it to. And you know what's really great about having a blog? I got some pretty great "I know what you're going through" e-mails from people, as well as a ton of supportive comments--it's always comforting to know I have some comrades.
Last week, I went to therapy for the first time. It was actually amazing! She helped pinpoint what was bothering me quite a bit about leaving London: that I felt like my most authentic version of Ashley there, making it hard to leave. Truth. What I liked about therapy is how the psychologist took the enormous amount of tangled thoughts in my head and restated it so I could hear what I was feeling--out loud. It made more sense that way.
What I can say about all of this--panic attacks, therapy, recovery--is that it's a process. I don't expect to be beamingly happy all the time. What I do is expect is an uncomfortable next few months to face truths about myself that maybe I've been avoiding, or unaware of. I am so ready for this. Another thing my therapist picked up on about me? She asked, "You really like challenges, don't you?" Oh yes, yes I do! And I'm also really good at getting help when I need it. I can give myself a gold star for that.
Lastly, it's not so easy sharing this with everyone. To be honest, it's opening up a very private part of myself to the whole internet. I mean...should I title this post, "A Trip Into Ashley's Psyche"? Although it's not easy sharing this, it's necessary. And considering the amount of e-mails I got from people going through the same, well, we're in this together! And I think it's time we talk about it:
We are NOT RIDICULOUS for loving travel, the expat life, and discovering different cultures. This is who we are. We are NOT RIDICULOUS for feeling anxious. This is how life is sometimes! I will not apologize for being me, and nor should you apologize for being you!
What I will work on is voicing how I feel instead of remaining silent. More often than not I find, it's getting better all time.