ECT is so clearly a physical, tangible experience compared to taking those pills or talking in therapy. There’s something being quantified each and every time we receive that little spark to the head. Perhaps it is the collecting of quantifiable data that makes one wonder about other things, like what’s a tangible way to tell that I’m getting better? Well, I found something last night that serves as evidence, not of my improvement just in the last eight months, but how I’ve grown and matured emotionally over the last fifteen years.
Last night I was procrastinating, as usual, from doing my reading, and I ended up looking through some boxes in my closet. One of the boxes contained some notebooks, including my diaries from seventh grade and ninth grade. I decided to peruse through those pages, and what I noticed was that there was practically no substance. Where is the pain? The personal revelations? There is not a hint of any emotion whatsoever.
Perhaps this is how middle-schoolers write in their diaries, just listing what they did or ate during their ordinary day. Maybe they don’t have extreme emotions to write about. But I remember so well just how depressed I was during those years. I can recall how the thought of death just came over me during seventh grade. Though the main reason for the change in my journal-writing style may have to do simply with the fact that I’m older, I think what these diaries over the years show is how I have learned to become emotionally open to myself. I don’t think I felt safe to write down my true feelings when I was younger. Over the years -and especially through therapy, I’ve come to realize that it is okay to feel how I truly feel and not have to pretend to myself that nothing is wrong. Now I know that just because I don’t write my feelings down doesn’t mean they’ll go away or don’t exist.
Those old journals served as proof that I’m no longer that closed-up little girl who couldn’t let go of her own feelings. It may not be so obvious from the outside, but it’s good enough for me that I know I’ve grown on the inside.
By the way, I suffered my first loss against Dr. Jeff, my high-school friend and now English professor, this week in fantasy football. It was a close game, and Jeff desperately needed a win. I was the only one with a 2-0 record until yesterday. So, maybe there’s no women’s football league, but we can certainly kick butt in fantasy football.