Last night I went to my first session of a Chi workshop I am attending. I missed last week's first session because I caught that disgusting cold that is going around. One of the homework assignments was to write a journal entry, "A Letter to Myself", as if we were three months in the future. How I am feeling, what I am doing. I did the assignment incorrectly, I misunderstood the instructions, I wrote about how I have been feeling for the past three months. I had no idea we were going to read these aloud to the group. The first woman to read hers, she did the assignment correctly. She read the loveliest, most loving and positive letter. Next, it was my turn. I looked over what I had written and my stomach turned, I started to sweat and my heart started to race. I had written about how depressed I have been feeling over the past few months. How I feel lost, that I feel like a failure, that I am not doing the things I need to be doing in order to feel better, that I lack all motivation. I felt so much shame that I did not have a warm, glowing letter to read. And I was a complete stranger, I did not know anyone in the room. I could have completely deflated and told the group that I would not read my letter, that I did it all wrong. But part of me thought that maybe this could be a way to connect, to learn, to grow, so I read it. And I cried. And I was so embarrassed that I showed so much vulnerability, so much pain. So ashamed of myself for admitting I was not perfect, not happy, not bubbly.
It is still so painful to relive, crying again now, as I write this. But I am glad I shared my letter with the group last night. Two of the members approached me and told me they were feeling exactly the same way this winter. It is so easy to feel isolated and alone, but I am not alone. And neither are you.