The downside of starting therapy is that whenever I have bad days I think, “OH NO! IT IS NOT WORKING! DAMMIT.”
I know. That’s ridiculous. Therapy isn’t the beginning of a perfect life. It’s just giving me tools to get me through the bad days. BUT STILL. I want it all to be easy. I like when I can say, “My life started being 100% better because of this ONE change.” But improvements are baby steps over time, I know that. In my brain anyway. My heart would rather a rom-com moment where everything changes for the better and everything falls into place forever and ever. Amen.
My therapist and I sometimes talk about my need to be “winning” at therapy. She feels like I’m trying a lot of times to assure her that I’m great, almost like I’m trying to convince her she’s doing a great job because I’m doing so great. And she’s right. I feel like if I come in and say, “I had a really bad day on Tuesday,” then in my mind the subtext is, “So you suck!” And I’m trying to reassure her that’s not the case by also showing all of the times her advice has already helped me.
“That’s not necessary,” she said.
But there is a lot of truth to what she’s seeing. I do feel overly concerned with my therapist’s feelings, I think. It’s a good thing, mostly. I like her and I want her to know and understand that; and I want her to feel like she’s helping so I’m telling her all of the things that has helped me this week. BUT, I’m so concerned with that and fearful admitting when something doesn’t work, that I tend to gloss over the stuff that might need attention.
I’m assuming this is all part of just getting used to therapy. Getting used to this type of relationship. I’m not used to the take/take/take type of relationship. I feel like if I’m the only one getting help then it’s too one-sided. But then I remind myself: I AM PAYING HER BECAUSE SHE IS A PROFESSIONAL. It’s supposed to be one-sided. YET STILL…my instincts are hard to fight. I have to resist asking follow-up questions when she makes connections with me on certain things. She’s lost people close so she’ll connect on that and I’ll want to be like, “How did they die? How old were you? Were you close?” etc. Which is what I’d do if we were FRIENDS, but we’re not. Right? It’s okay that we’re only here for me, right?
PS. It’s funny. I was just typing that last paragraph thinking, “Is this a good way to close up this entry?” And then I heard my cat vomit outside the door in the hall and I kinda want to think of another reason to keep writing so I don’t have to deal with that. ALAS, I think that last paragraph was a good ending.
Cat Vomit, Here I Come.