As I have written before, my mom has managed to survive depression and anxiety. From a young child living in poverty in Mexico, to the move to the United State in the 1950s, to falling in love with an alcoholic, to raising six children…to the santo Jesus Tortilla. My mom has managed to survive. But she never really sought mental health care and really attributes her surviving, to her deep faith in God. All the while though, she, like many in our culture, carry this badge of honor about not needing therapy, describing it with bold words of:
“Como que voy a ir a ver una consejera? No estoy loca!”
And so even writing this post, feels a bit…icky. Although my therapist sent me home with some homework this week, writing about my first session on my blog wasn’t part of the deal. However, when I first started The Tortilla Kid, I really wanted it to be as raw and as real as TTK could get.
So here I am modeling raw and real…for what it’s worth.
I live a pretty happy and “normal” life (whatever that means). I have a job that I love. I have a very supportive family. I have many great friends that I trust and care for, near and far. I am highly motivated and involved in my community. I belong to some pretty kick ass circles that have helped me further my professional and personal journey in life.
Get this: People actually care to know what I think about stuff. Like, people actually seek me out for my opinion.
And yet, if we’re being truthful here, I don’t always feel as fearless as I would like. That’s exactly what I shared with my therapist this week.
When I was an 8th grader in Lake Arthur Schools, I got moved up to varsity sports and one of my first
basketball games with the varsity team was against Dexter’s JV in Dexter. My cousin, Amador, who was always such a superb athlete, was visiting at the time and came to my game and I was really excited. One, because I was such a show off and two, I just loved the game and I was really good at it. During one of our drives down the court, I had the ball and as the defense approached me, I turned on my mad dribbling skills, did a quick jook, cross dribbled, ball between my legs and then down the court and up for a beautiful lay up. Within minutes, my cousin and those in my family, sitting in the stands and watching the game, started yelling out “no fear.”
It’s a memory that just came to me as I journaled and it became the perfect metaphor for what it must have felt like to be fearless.
Fast forward to about twenty years and, well…things are a little different. The fears one has as a young 13 year old, are not quite the same for a woman at the age of 35. And while my life is not as complicated and complex as a 35 year old, Maria Rubio, I do have a lot of unpacking to do.
Today’s fear’s consist of becoming crippled by depression and anxiety. Growing up at home with my mom and spending more time in the doctor’s office with her then in school, is a constant reminder of what could potentially become of me. There is this fear that I live too much in my head and not enough time spent on my soul which then leads to ignoring my intuition, which then jeopardizes healthy relationships I have built in my life. And despite being unique, special, divine and awesome, there are my insecurities that put all of that into question. There is this fear of subjecting myself to too many false assumptions I create in my head. Scenarios I make up for every facet of my life, that are not even real, and yet overwhelm my chance for real inner peace.
It’s pretty exhausting.
So how cool would it be to dribble down the court of life, penetrating through fears and to come out with the winning layup of peace, tranquility and objectivity? Meeting with my therapist this week, she made it sound like it was that simple.
I cried a lot on Thursday during my first session. Mostly because there was just a lot to unpack. But I also cried because I knew my mom will never get to experience this sort of self-care. I thought about how different her life would be. How much healthier her 75 years of life could have been, had she just sat down and talked to someone about her own fears; living with illnesses, the challenges of being in love with an abusive alcoholic and raising six children, in extreme poverty, pretty much on her own. And then there was the tortilla.
Embracing therapy as a positive and seeing it through the lense of adventure, is scary…to say the least. But my new mantra, as of Thursday is:
Wish me luck.