Dear Therapist To Be,
This isn’t my first time. I’ve seen one of you. Well, 3 of you. There was a god-fearing portly woman during junior high, a lady with a smoke machine in high school, and one of the most articulate Italian ladies ever during undergrad. All were smiley, almost too much so, and one even gave me hugs after every session. I’d leave feeling satisfied and placated. I’d come back feeling worse.
So, please excuse me if I’m skeptical at first.
I tried not to contact you for your service. I’ve gone four years without really needing you. I got in to yoga, found an amazing job that fulfilled my soul, and even dated around just to play- just like the three of the past suggested. And it worked, to my surprise.
For four years, I wasn’t anxious about impending car accidents or various fatal injuries. I didn’t dwell on my regrets as much as I tended to, and I certainly didn’t re-visit details of my parent’s divorce like they were a well-read magazine. I even felt ok enough to let go of a person who meant that absolute world to me just because he wasn’t the one anymore. Oh, and I stopped being so dependent on comfort food, ambien, and late night tv to put me to sleep. For four years, I was happy.
And to an extent, I still am. Frankly, I’m not sure if I should even be here, sitting on your couch, fighting for an excuse on why I need to shell out my hard earned money just to talk. I’ve still have a great job- even if it is not that dream job I worked so hard for. I have a just perfectly swell boyfriend who holds my hand at night. And I finally feel stable in the realm of finances and living quarters.
Over the last few months, things have changed. I’m more agitated and frightened, and I cant even muster up the courage to sit at the front of the bus. I cry over the silliest or mundane things- youtube videos, inspirational sports wins, abandoned or missing children news stories, and even episodes of “What Would You Do?” My fear of abandonment makes it even more difficult to let myself go around people. My even larger fear of not being liked makes every friend de-quest seem like a shot to the heart. And nights alone are dark and void of thoughts.
When I talk to you, I will be defensive, even over people I dont want to defend. I will make excuses for them and then for why I am making excuses for. I wont do your exercises that will force me to confront someone. And I certainly wont be making phone calls or composing emails that apologize for my actions.
For awhile, I will agree that I am a child of divorce and all my abandonment issues and occasional codependency come from the fear of losing my family. But then I will grow tired of talking about my parents and will want to focus on me. This will be my breakthrough. I wont mention the person I’ve been dating or my ex. I wont cry over the loss of a particular friend. Heck, I wont even mention a certain person’s suicide as much as I did at the start. It will be all me speaking- working through my issues.
And when I come to the realization that all I need is to stop blaming past events and others for my depression (because that’s what it is)’s current state, then I will be ready to let you go. It could take four sessions. It could take four months worth. But I’ll let you know.
Now, when do you start evaluating me?