It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this compelled to write a blog post, and I’m feeling a little anxious to share.
I’m back in therapy but It’s different this time. 2017 was the last time I was in therapy focused on processing the most impossible grief. As some of you may recall from my story, in three months, my sister was hit by a farm truck and broke nearly every bone in her body, my daughter who was active duty in the Navy at the time was in the hospital, my father, the most brilliant engineer, fell off a ladder and suffered a severe brain injury and the thing that broke me was my best friend, Laura lost her battle with depression and took her own life. I broke. I was depressed and couldn’t get off the couch. Therapy helped me process my grief, not only losing my heart friend, but helped me to grieve my father who was still alive. Therapy inspired me to take up a hobby to get me off the couch. I was on an LOA from my corporate engineering job and I applied my love of science and testing to create the perfect candle. I used a home labeling software to print my first label. I was playing around and remembered that for 22 years, Laura and I chatted or texted everyday about all the things we would say if only we were more Malicious. I had to incorporate that in the candle somehow and started typing “Malicious Women” I added Candle Co as an afterthought, never imagining I would ever sell a candle. The chandelier in our logo is for our shared love of chandeliers and the type font honors Laura’s love of old typewriters.
I couldn’t think of anything loving or sweet to type on the label. I was feeling sad and full of rage and I remember yelling at Laura for leaving me alone in this Shit Show and chaos. I typed it out on the label, then cried. Then saw my counselor and the rest of the story about the actual shit show and how this became a business is in the ‘Our Story' section of my website.
You may be wondering why I am telling you all this. It’s because I feel like the darkness is starting to come back in, slowly and sneaky. It is different this time. Where my grief was the focus of my depression, now it’s me. I’m the problem.
I have never felt more seen as I did when I heard Taylor Swifts new song, Anti-Hero. It spoke to my soul and gave voice to the spinning and obsessive thoughts I am battling right now.
I mean, I am a housed person, I own a car, I have clothes to wear and a husband and children I love AND like. But all I see when I look in the mirror are my wrinkles, my scars, the beginnings of grey hair. When I am alone with my thoughts I can’t stop obsessing over things I’ve said that day and how those words might have been received. I am battling this incredible imposter syndrome that I know logically does not make sense.
I walk into my shop everyday and immediately begin worrying about every word I say or decision I make. I am surrounded by 25 highly-capable, smart and talented men and women, yet still wonder how I am going to fail them or if they secretly think I am a terrible leader. The anxiety is exhausting.
So therapy and meds. I’m not ashamed to talk about it. I’ve pushed so much trauma down in an effort to be strong (total Gen X BS) that I never focused on my own healing. Every Tuesday at 10:00am You’ll find me in our on-site therapy room trying to learn how to unfuck myself and start to love myself…and my wrinkles.
What I love most about the incredible people I get to work with is that anytime one of us has our therapy, we know there is someone outside that room waiting to ask us how we are doing. We are forming one hell of a Malicious Trauma Bond.
We were talking about this on Tuesday and we all made this custom candle for everyone in the Malicious Therapy club. Katie said we should offer it to everyone that might relate. As always, we donate a portion of every sale to The National Foundation For Suicide Prevention in Laura's honor.