Taking Joy in the Breaks from the Pain

ErinUncategorized11 Comments


pineconeThese past few weeks have been hell. I cheated on my therapist by seeing another, ran smack into my childhood traumas and just about broke. I turned into this ball of incredible shame and guilt and anger. My migraines took over and I cried to my neurologist about wanting to die the pain is so bad.

I also found the world’s cutest pine cone on the sidewalk by my house. I brought it inside and it flowered open in the warmth of my apartment. I saved it to show you. It’s so beautiful it makes the pain not overwhelm me as much.

I think about you so often but I feel so many negative and difficult feelings I feel like I should protect you from them. My pessimism overwhelms me. I feel like I’m nothing but sharp edges and hurt and suffering.

Therapy is so hard. Working through your emotions is SO HARD. Surviving traumatic memories is so hard. The physical pain that accompanies therapeutic work is staggeringly hard.

Maybe you can relate to my stress of wanting the difficulties to be over so I can get on with my life. I’m at an age where a lot of the people I grew up with are now married and having children. I look at photos of their lives, their accomplishments, their happiness, and I get so bitter. I withdraw from people who have a life that looks like I want mine to look like, instead of celebrating with them in their joys.

I would love to just be happy with where I’m at. I have small joys like the pine cone, and I have big joys like the people and animals in my life. I have a dog who I’ve always thought is quite silly and then I caught him reading the same book I took out from the library on finding purpose in your life. He looked so ashamed! I am so proud of him.

I visited my sister in Cambridge and with my parents. We went to an art gallery in Waterloo and got bubble tea and it was the loveliest day I’ve had in so long.

The emotional and physical pain that I feel overwhelm me until I don’t want to live anymore, but I do live. I do. Spring is on its way. Look how far we have come. Our lives may not look like we think they “should” but fuck should. Seriously, FUCK SHOULD.

This pain won’t last forever. We get breaks from it. The breaks are so important. Let’s give them the joy they deserve, and remember them when we struggle.

I’m so thankful to have you on this journey with me. This messy, painful, beautiful journey.

We may be miles and miles apart, with separate lives and separate struggles, and I don’t have much energy beyond what it takes to survive and take care of myself, but my heart holds your hands when you’re in your darkest moments. Just as your heart holds my hands.

I love you. Never forget how much we matter.


P.S. WordPress formatting is kicking my butt. I’m in too much pain to figure it out. Rawr!


ErinTaking Joy in the Breaks from the Pain

11 Comments on “Taking Joy in the Breaks from the Pain”

  1. Lilith

    I just found your website and I have truly appreciated reading your posts. Thank you so much for your honesty! I just turned 31 yesterday. Turning 30 was rough, but turning 31 was awful. I feel like my life has come to a complete standstill, mired in the swamp of depression. It is hard not to make comparisons at this age and the contrasts can be quite stark!

    I really liked this hopeful little quote and thought it might resonate with you as well:

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/56/1e/fa/561efa04fe91f24d96b5baa02e8de664.jpg :)

  2. Morvinia

    I just found your blog. Your what do you call it. I’ll call it your ” web address” called to me. I’ve just googles depressed blogs. I’m only 17 but I really like your blog. I skimmed over it and I’ve been lifted in spirit but a format before. But… That’s what happened. So thank you for that feeling.
    In this moment I don’t feel so alone anymore

  3. Anna

    I am a stranger to you but I feel your pain. I will keep you in my prayers because I want you to feel better. May you have many more better days an keep being blessed by the small things in life, like you lucky pine cone. Your friend always.

  4. Juli

    Erin it is so good to hear from you again. I’m sorry that guilt and shame have been causing emotional and physical pain. I find it difficult to see classmates graduating, marrying, and having children on social media. I feel so far behind, but I try not to compare my life to others as much anymore. I’m not sure if you are spiritual or believe in a higher power… but I believe those things will happen if they are meant to. Our journeys are beautiful and happen for a reason. Although those reasons are not known to us, I believe it is so that we can touch the lives of others in community. And Erin your blog has touched so many lives. Your struggle makes me feel less alone and I can relate to how you are feeling. Praying that you will be freed from the guilt/shame and being those things into the light. Harboring them inside only gives them more power.

  5. Isabelle

    Hi Erin,

    Thank you for putting into words something that I have been feeling so alone in experiencing. Please feel free to ignore the rest of this message, it’s my selfish need to write it down and leave it somewhere to be found. My main message is to thank you, and to hope that your moments of peace become more frequent and more beautiful with time.

    I have bipolar, and I’m really struggling to cope with a university work load. I too experienced childhood trauma. I recently started seeing a psychologist, and I am now having to deal with these confusing memories of someone who is supposed to love and protect me, someone still in my life, finding satisfaction and amusement in causing me intense fear and pain. It is exactly as you described, Erin, because you describe things so eloquently; it is painful. It is painful because I have had a four year dream in the form of a four year degree for as long as I can remember, and I can see it slipping away from me as others gather speed toward their goals, because it takes me until noon to get out of bed and clean myself up, and then as I face what remains of the day I start to feel the familiar confusion and panic and I can’t think clearly anymore. I’m so afraid. I long for my friend, the only person apart from my therapist to know about this, to ask me to stay the night, so that I can fall asleep on her couch and just exist in her space to feel safe; not taking up much room, speaking or intruding. Is anyone out there reading this who can relate? I am desperate to break this wall of silence.

  6. Declan

    Thanks Erin. So nice to hear your dog is reflecting on the meaning of life and you noticing the small but beautiful things around us. Stay strong as best you can. You matter to so many.

  7. fay

    Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrllllllllllllllllllllllllll you are a fucking writer !!!!!

    that is your life purpose. Man your insight and ability to describe what its like to feel sad is incredible.

    Just wanted to say people married with kids don’t have it all. You know why because I am one of em. Its more pressure more disappointment and more sadness when you cant make those around you happy because you cant get over your grief and trauma and be a good mum wife friend all of that shit… You never know what is behind a person who is posting constantly happy shiny fake pics. for me its obvious

    Facebook is bunch of fake fukers trying to paint a picture that just don’t exist. Best thing I ever did was get off it.

    I am sorry it hurts so much.

    I have been there. May your load be lifted….

    May God,the Universe or whatever you believe make it a bit easier for you….

    best wishes and keep writing

  8. fay

    Gosh Isabelle you are a beautiful writer too. Don’t give up. You are not alone. I will read you anytime. Get help its an illness my dear. There is light at the end of the tunnel. took me triple the time to finish my studies but I did and so what ? Perfection is the enemy of good. You only need to do the best you can. Who gives a shit about anyone else? Have they walked in your shoes for you to factually compare them with you.

    Best wishes

  9. Lizanne Corbit

    Thank you for sharing this!! You are absolutely right. Therapy and working through past issues, and memories of traumas is incredibly difficult. Give yourself a huge pat on the back just for showing up to face those things head on, because that is no easy task. Many people don’t realize the incredible strength and courage it takes to actual work through these things rather than just letting them take over. Your journey is an inspiration to so many. Take strength and comfort in that, but always remember, to be gentle with yourself. It’s a process.

  10. Bob Waterhouse

    Hi Erin and friends on line….I am a 57 year old male getting through my third episode of major depression. First one was at age 42….was hospitalized in Hamilton at St. Joes. …thankfully I have a great psychiatrist…..and therapist. ..and most importantly wife and 2 sons to pick me up. Your insight and courage is readily apparent Erin….if taking life one hour at a time is what works then keep at it. I’m on the day by day program myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *