It’s been so long since I’ve last written! It’s been an eventful half year so I’m going to break up what happened in the last 7 months into several parts. So, without further ado, here’s part 1:
Therapy, and going to Arizona.
My last journal ended with me trying to find a therapist and getting more involved in things around the city. Well, I only really did one of those things. I managed to find a therapist, but the rest of February I pretty much did the same thing every day. At that time, therapy itself wasn’t too helpful since I was leaving soon to Arizona to work in a conservation corps. I opened myself up to her, but there wasn’t much we could do with so little time, and I essentially learned a little more about what I had already known: that I had tons of negative self-beliefs. I struggled with these all of my adolescence, and while they were getting better due to the CBT I was doing online, they never fully went away.
Then, off I went to Flagstaff, Arizona to start work in American Conservation Experience (hereby referred to as ACE). I was nervous of course, and those negative thoughts didn’t just go away. It was hard trying to work through those while still being desperate for some friendly attention, and I often felt like I shouldn’t be there and would be better off at home. A couple nights before going out on my first 8-day job, I broke down in a bathroom and cried for probably around half an hour. I distinctly remember feeling the pain of all those negative thoughts and beliefs slamming and bouncing around my brain. It hurt a lot, but crying can be therapeutic if you let it.
At this same time, before going out on my first job, I found a therapist in Flagstaff. We had our first meeting in a coffee shop (per my request) which, in retrospect, was a bit strange since I was talking about deeply personal things. She, Lisa Shows, told me similar things as my previous therapist: that I had deeply negative beliefs and thoughts about myself. One thing she provided, however, was a clear, workable plan. Lisa specializes in EMDR therapy, a therapy used primarily to combat PTSD, as it works to make traumatic memories no longer disturbing. Lisa believes that it can also be used to free people from negative beliefs tied to old memories. I knew that plain old talk therapy wasn’t as effective, so I decided to give it a shot. And soon after that, I went out for my first job.
Over the rest of the parts about my time in Flagstaff I hope to provide a more in-depth and personal look into myself at that time. This part has been mainly a summary, but as I get farther into what was a very transformative time in my life, things will get more interesting.