It’s been too long since I last posted. Shit, it’s been too long since I last wrote anything. This isn’t healthy for me. Whether to publish or something private, writing is one of my foundational habits to balance my mind and spirit.

It is my mental health.

There have been a few significant changes in my life this year, and all this change and movement consumed all my cycles. All my free time. All my mental energy.

By the time the day was over, nothing was left to give, not even to myself.

It’s a shitty excuse, I know.  It’s the old “if I can’t do it ALL the way, then why do it at all” bullshit. If I couldn’t write 1,000 words, it wasn’t worth writing.

But listen, I’m not here to beat myself up. I’m okay I took a hiatus because, in the past five months, I’ve realized that I do not want to put any pressure or deadlines on my writing. It owes me nothing. So, when it happens, it’s beautiful; when it doesn’t, it’s okay.

And today, I was reminded in a conversation with a friend to just write. (Thanks, friend!)

So, even though I’ve been busy, life has been finding ways of rewarding me with moments of contentment, fulfillment, and love. I’ve been finding amazing humans to connect with and building new relationships that have given me life.

I know there isn’t any one catalyst to explain why my life has been opening up in new ways, but rather a bunch of decisions made along the way.

One of those choices was to seek out a somatic therapist.

(If you’re unfamiliar with somatic therapy, it’s basically a body-centered form of therapy. So going deep in the body versus the mind as you do with other modalities. Check out this [article ]( more info if you feel so inclined.)

It happened about three months ago when I came home heartbroken after another family dinner, tucked the kids in bed, and began my nightly ritual of walking into my room alone, shutting the door, staring in the mirror, picking myself apart, bit by bit.  Moving through my physical body and into my spirit and, finally, my mind. Then collapsing into bed.

I struggled to find the good. I was a giant, walking ball of insecurity.

In the haze of my self-inflicted emotional abuse, I grabbed my phone, opened it up, and started randomly scouring the internet for anything I thought could make me feel better. I happened upon this therapist who practiced somatic therapy. I was intrigued.

I was already seeing a therapist who specialized in EMDR. So I can’t tell you why I felt the need to have two therapists, but let’s chalk it up to my body’s intuition pushing me. I don’t fucking know.

I clicked on her contact form, sent my info, threw my phone to the side of my bed, and passed out, convinced I wouldn’t hear from her.

I woke up the next morning feeling hungover from my emotional self-abuse. I reached for my phone, checked my email, and, well, she responded. Surprise! One month later, I sat, in a chair, waiting in the waiting area for my appointment to start. I checked my watch, 9:58 AM. I re-read her email, “Please wait until exactly your time before walking to room 702.” I waited one more minute, then stood up and walked the short distance to her door.

702. I stood there. Staring at the number. My hand slowly lifted as I went to knock. I paused. I took in a shallow breath, in a shallow attempt to appease my anxiety. I let my hand drop on the door.

A soft, weak knock.

I stood back and waited.

The door opened, and she invited me into her space. It was filled with bright sunlight from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Outside, a view of the not-so-impressive Rochester City skyline. I headed towards the couch, past the oversized kitchen island. I took my shoes off and sank into the sofa. Sitting crisscrossed, I put a pillow in front of me, clutching it for safety and to hide my shame.

She joined me on the couch, and I began sharing how disconnected I felt from my body. How I felt every day that it was actively trying to kill me, convinced something was wrong. I vomited out my insecurities. I cried about how angry I was that I didn’t have Ariana and the frustrations I had with dating, fuck that, dating while also aging.

But, as I sat there on the couch, what I was really trying to say was how scared I was.

I was scared of dying.

I was scared that I wasn’t enough for Ariana.

I was scared that I wouldn’t BE enough for someone new.

I was scared that I wasn’t man enough, good enough, smart enough, attractive enough, rich enough.

It was so overwhelming. I was fixated on all the externals, the things I see daily in the mirror. And all the “not enoughs” that I convinced myself of.  I was in a full-on competition with some idealized version of myself and my desperate need for approval from other men.

She was patient and listened to me for an hour. Afterward, she paused and invited me onto the floor for our first body-work exercise. I climbed off the couch, found a spot on the floor, and lay there quietly. She positioned pillows all around me. Covered my body and put a mask over my face.

Then we began.

Slowly she guided me into a deep body scan meditation, then invited me to let my body go and sink deeper into the floor. My body did not heed, and I became frustrated. I fought with my mind, begging it to let go. But I kept coming up short. Until I finally accepted that it was the experience I was having and stopped judging it. Then, within a minute, I began to see myself floating down a mountainside, nestled in a hammock.

Something was guiding me deeper and deeper. I felt myself free-falling but had no fear. A few minutes later, I found myself on a forest floor. There was rich green vegetation all around me. The canopy was thick, but I could still feel the sun’s warmth.

I became curious and observed my surroundings. Then suddenly and quickly,  my body began to dissolve into the earth. I no longer existed.

I stayed with the sense of non-existence, and the more I accepted it, the greater the feelings of peace flooded my body. Then, one by one, a garden filled with flowers and vegetables began to spring up from the ground where my body once lay.

Tears began to break through the mask and dripped down my face. I was confronted at that moment with my true worth. I had a sense that all these externals that I was so focused on, so scared of, didn’t matter because when I let them fall away, when that fear and insecurity falls away, my true worth can come forth.

I saw the nourishment and life that I bring into the world. And I heard the words repeated, “This is your true value.”

I stayed with it for as long as possible until I heard her voice break through to bring me back. I slowly began to move my body. I pushed the mask off my face and blinked my eyes open.

“Sorry, I wet your mask with my tears,” I said.

“Haha, it’s okay.” She said.

“Thank you for this.”

We sat together in silence and appreciation. A few minutes later, I stood up, put my shoes on, said goodbye, and walked out the door a different person.

Why I Stopped Beating Myself Up for Not Writing and Started Listening to My Body