I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of throwing things away, not just in the material sense. Part of the work I’m doing in tapering off antidepressants and engaging in (so much) talk therapy is aimed at shedding those things, mostly in the form of emotional baggage and harmful habits, that don’t contribute to my wellness. At the same time, there’s also this voice in the back of my head that encourages me to hang onto it, as if I could somehow run out and it would be a bad thing. Ironically, I seem to have developed insecurity insecurity, where I am anxious about no longer having anxiety. I hate throwing away anything for which I can perceive a purpose, no matter how remote. Whether it’s old wine bottles or shredded paper, I can envision a craft or art project for which they would be perfect.

When it comes to my emotional baggage, it’s a combination of comfort and familiarity with which I do not wish to part and fear that I do not know what will take up that space. As I emerge from the dark place I have inhabited these many, many months, I find myself feeling hollow where the emotional turmoil used to be. Although I should be celebrating its release, I’m struggling to accept it. This new lightness feels both freeing and exposing. There is less shielding between me and the outside world. It’s something for which I have no good answers at the moment. Instead, I sit with my newfound space, learning to recognize that not every gap needs to be filled.

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