I Can't Self Help This Away


By Deborah

I have been told, on more than one occasion, that there’s no way I’m going to self help my way out of this - that the work is done in the water, dragging my feet forward, experiencing progress in what feels like slow motion. Despite weeks of finally feeling like I’m turning a corner with my broken heart, I am back in the water. The breakup opened up my world. I obtained a job in the field I want to work, in record speed (three weeks start to finish) and found solace in fleeing this city that holds my past like walking ghosts. But I think with all change, I had a vision of how it would go. I saw my world set up, but lighter and with more activities in the Bay Area. I envisioned a somewhat broken woman completely healed and settled in an apartment in Oakland. I forgot about the work that goes into becoming that woman.

The slow descent back into the water is from my housing hunt. The speed in obtaining the job meant that I had very little time to find a place. And the current housing market in the Bay Area is adding a level of complexity that I hadn’t fathomed. I have such supreme faith it will work out, but lately that faith feels heavy, like a favorite jacket that is now wet and doesn’t serve the same purpose. Carrying it makes you feel slightly sentimental and silly. My job starts in exactly one week. I have found only one apartment that I can see myself in and am waiting to hear back. My stomach is knotted in fear and anxiety has settled in like a devoted friend.

My inclination is to find quotes and read lectures about manifesting or positivity or faith, but I know that peace won’t be gotten there. I recognize that I can’t self help this away. As with all great change, there are periods of such palpable fear that you can only be awed at the sheer humanity of it. Marvel at it from a distance and try not to get sucked up in its atmosphere. That’s where I am. Standing wide eyes, mouth agape at the spectacular unknown, finding a place for the pit in my stomach.

So I’ll just sit here. Breathe. And know that one day I’ll be grateful I never threw away the jacket.

writer photo


I am a writer, reader, lawyer, lover of the mountains and things that inspire. I am also, most recently, the owner of a broken heart and slightly shattered life plan. My hunt for work that is more inspiring and less stressful and the breakup of a three year relationship with the man I believed I was going to marry coincided perfectly. This is my journey through. May it speak to your experience and help you, too, find a way to let the light in.