Monday, November 12, 2012

So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain

Today I saw my therapist for the first time in several weeks. His wife just had a baby, so he's been taking a paternity leave.

Two years ago, a year ago, even six months ago, his absence would have been very difficult for me to cope with. The inability to reach him by phone, to set up an emergency appointment, would have made me feel panicked and abandoned.

(I know that might sound weird to some of you. All I can tell you is that when you have grown up feeling like you can't really depend on or trust anyone because they will eventually screw you over, and when you have so many relational hangups that are so ingrained in you that for the longest time you don't even realize they are there, when someone trustworthy and parental finally does come along and sticks with you, the bond is very strong. And age does not matter.)

But this time, I just felt happy for him. I was so busy with running, working, traveling, parenting, having fun with friends and my husband, and - dare I say it? - thoroughly enjoying my life that when my therapist finally did call me back to set up a new appointment, I didn't get around to calling him back for nearly a week. I was just in my zone, and I wasn't in a hurry to see him again. As it was, I felt like I had little to discuss.

Fast forward to my session with him today. We talked about recent goings-on, how being nice to myself by "talking" to myself in a positive way is actually working, about how even though circumstances haven't really changed (including the common presence of difficult emotions), my way of handling them has. I have worked very hard to change the way I treat myself, to be more self-aware, and to give myself space and encouragement. What I've recently realized is that little by little, I have established an internal "new normal." 

These are all very good things, but I ended up crying quite a bit during the session . I don't quite understand why, but I think part of it is the sense that this very difficult part of my journey is coming to an end. And although this journey to deal with the past and rewire old behavioral patterns has been hard, it has also been intensely profound. One amazing thing about it is the bond I have developed with my therapist. It is a deep and meaningful relationship, as is any relationship in which individuals overcome an exceptionally difficult challenge together. 

But I don't need my therapist the way I used to. Even if I do feel depressed again, even if difficult situations arise (as they surely will), I am simply less dependent on him now, and that likely won't change even if circumstances should nosedive. It's a good thing, but it makes me feel sad, too, because it means that our paths are starting to diverge.

It's not just about him. It's also about the hard things I have realized, the difficult memories I've had to look full in the face, the struggle to take responsibility for my own life now. I'm not the same as I used to be. And even though I like my life now, I guess there is some sadness in realizing that there are certain things I am moving on from.

This post sounds sappier than I intended it to be. I heard this song on the way home and was struck by how it mirrors the mood in my head right now:

Two Fingers - Jake Bugg

"So I kiss goodbye to every little ounce of pain
Light a cigarette and wish the world away
I got out, I got out, I'm alive and I'm here to stay
So I hold two fingers up to yesterday
Light a cigarette and smoke it all away
I got out, I got out, I'm alive and I'm here to stay

There's a story for every corner of this place
Running so hard you got out but your knees got grazed
I'm an old dog but I learned some new tricks yeah"

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