Knowing What’s Broken Is Good Enough

Vanessa Torre

The rest you can sort through when it’s time.

I’m a fighter. It’s not always a good thing.

I’d like to say that I’ve fought so much, for so long, for my mental health. But I haven’t.

I’ve been the kind of person who would go see a therapist to make myself feel better. But, not really feel better. I would feel better in the sense that I could say I was working on myself without really working on myself.

I totally called it in. I fought therapy for a long time.

I watched as my well-being turned into the equivalent of the stack of magazines in the corner that you swear to God you’re going to get to at some point. But you never do.

A friend and I were talking a couple of days ago. I told her that I’m feeling like I can’t figure out anything in my life. I feel very unsettled. I have high anxiety right now.

Nothing seems permanent and, at the same time, nothing seems temporary. I am in limbo. I hate it.

Oddly, I’m in a position where I can look behind me and see the person that I was. It’s not pretty, though.

I have let things influence me that I shouldn’t. I have accepted certain realities I never wanted. I have looked to others to make me feel better about myself and make me whole when I should have been the one to do that.

I’ve been hard and judgmental, mean and selfish. At times, I have let events in my life be the excuses for not being a decent person.

I’m not a fan of that person but I understand her. And the more I understand her, the easier she seems to live with.

I told my friend that I feel like I don’t have my shit together. I want to be five miles down the road from here and I’m not. Patience has never been a virtue I’ve been steeped in.

She said something that surprised me. She told me, “Of anybody I know, you might have your life together more than anyone.” I joked that she really needs to get higher-quality friends.

She explained that though I may still have cracks and chips and breaks, I know what is wrong with me and therein lies my strength.

Mind. Blown.

What she said hit me in the core. A few weeks back I started going to therapy again under the auspice that I wouldn’t snow over my therapist this time. The result: Freaking painful. Oh my God.

There was that moment, though, when I realized what was wrong with me. Or, in my case, the several things. Everything made sense. It was liberating. It was freeing. It was also terrifying. Because now I have to DO something.

I’m no walk in the park. Especially right now.

I have spent the last few weeks tapping into every damn issue that I have and dragging them into the light. Like I was putting them on parade. With fire batons.

God damn it, I have no idea why the acceptance of our broken places feels so good other than we can finally get to applying the glue. Ironically, it’s the worst part of this.

But the best part, though? There’s plenty of time. That freeing moment of acceptance of the shitty parts of our lives is glorious.

Right now, I’m working through some crap. It’s a massive, dark, cluttered room and I’m fumbling around trying to find the light switch and it’s not easy. The room just keeps expanding outward.

But what I’m feeling around for is worth it. Forget shame. Forget judgment. That light switch is everything. It doesn’t matter how long it takes me to find it. It matters that I know it’s there.

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Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, she won’t stop taking pictures of her drinks. IG: vanessaltorre Twitter: @vanessaltorre

Phoenix, AZ

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