Updated: May 1, 2019
My hands were shaking.
“Do it.” My therapist pleaded with me. His eyes heavy with concern.
“Okay I will, but I’m fucking terrified.” My fingers slid across the keyboard, typing, erasing words that Swype got wrong, and starting over. It was the message I’d sent several times over the span of a year, but erased every single time.
“Let me read it before you send it.”
I passed the phone to him.
“Great. Now press send.”
Off it went. The shame I’d been carrying, feeling heavier than the 200 extra pounds I used to carry around. There was no going back this time. I sat there crying in his stuffy office, knowing that this had to be done and yet, feeling like it could all blow up in my face.
I’ve never been the person who had or needed many friends, but, typically the friends I had were ones I could truly count on. Ones that had always picked me up, dusted me off, and got me back on the path to Oz. Why was I so scared that this time would be different?
Because I lied to them. Repeatedly. Then again, I’d also been lying to myself. You can’t give away what you don’t have.
“Have they responded?” I hadn’t even thought to look. I’d been in my head predicting the outcome and then following it to its conclusion where they called me a loser and said they’d finally had enough.
Their responses were diametrically opposed to every thought flying through my head at fiber optic speeds.
“We love you.”
“How can we help?”
“What is our plan?”
If I was crying buckets before, the levies just broke. I couldn’t see through the tears.
How had I been so lucky? They still wanted me around. Not only wanted, but needed. I hadn’t felt needed in years. Relationships had come and gone. I felt wanted many times but never needed.
But here were my best friends, not judging, not chastizing, but taking on my issues as their own and waiting, ready to help me through this…together.
I was reminded of one of my favorite interviews between Oprah and Brene Brown, one I’ve watched or listened to at least 20 times.
Oprah: So what are we looking for when we open ourselves up?
Brené: Well, I’m looking for the person who loves me not despite my vulnerability and imperfections but because of them. I’m looking for the folks who are going to wade through the deep with me. You need only one person in your life who, when you call and say, “I just told a bald-faced lie and I’m in a shame-storm of epic proportions,” will say, “All right, let’s do this thing. I’m with you. I’ve been there, too. Let’s talk it through.”
Oprah: And if you have two or three –
Brené: You’ve won the lottery.
I had won the lottery. I was ready to cash in my ticket.
On we grow…together.