Monday, December 08, 2008

Conundrum with the Shrinky Dink

The weird thing about therapy is...

being in therapy.

I am spending a lot of time debating whether any of my time and money spent focusing on myself is useful. I know that's a pretty defeatist attitude, and I know some of that attitude is fueled by some not-so-encouraging family members. How shitty is that? I've also been reminded by Myles that therapy is really a luxury of the upper-middle class. This of course makes me feel HORRIBLE. We can pay for therapy, it's true. And we aren't victims of sexual assault, alcoholics, addicts or members of the lower economic strata... more guilt for my brain. I can't stand it.

This week my assignment was to work on checking in on how I FEEL, rather than trying to tackle some big task (like applying to school, finding childcare, being honest with my mother, calling my financial advisor). I found it pretty funny to realize that I view a therapist like a teacher or a coach giving me homework, and I want concrete things to look for, to mend, to solve... She would rather I take some time to breathe and notice where I'm at emotionally with the things I do.

And the result from this week: nothing. I felt yucky thinking about myself too much.

So I did what I usually do, and have done for the last 13 years, which is to kind of disconnect from my internal dialogue and get involved with doing stuff. We started gingerbread houses with the twins, we decorated the tree, I made beef stew (hysterical... stew always makes me think about Beef Stroke-me-off), I'm making appointments and play dates all over the place. Myles is working his ass off and I can barely think about what he's up to. This is how I deal and distract myself. Why would I want to stop and FEEL how I feel? Especially during the holiday season, when we are more focused on family and friends and rituals... Why bother with ourSELVES?

Acknowledging all of these things has been really really exhausting - yet somehow I am still scrambling around, finding people to look after the kids so I can take myself to the little tiny office above the bank in town... to sit with my shoes off, in an overstuffed couch, face to face with an 50 year old jewish lesbian from Brooklyn who thinks she can help me out. If you had told me this would be my reality 10 years ago I would have laughed in your face.

At the end of the day I do convince myself that the therapist is good. She reminds me that in the end, all we really have is ourselves. When I consider how individual happiness positively affects the people around you - I can't argue against that. So I'm sold on taking care of myself. I just feels kind of lame to admit it.

1 comment:

MamaC said...

Have you ever considered a life coach instead of a therapist? Just sister has one and says wonderful things. She pays monthly and has as many phone sessions as she needs. Just a thought! I'm glad you are motivated to take care of yourself. It certainly can be hard work. And scary. Big hugs Mollie!