I have been pretty open about the fact that I’m struggling lately, so I think I will mention every once in a while how therapy is going. I figure that talking about it might help someone, especially if they have never been to therapy before.

One of the things that happens when you go to counseling/therapy (or “therpy” as Pop used to call it) is that you and the counselor discuss your background and go over your issues at a very high level. (There is also a lot of discussion of privacy and patient confidentiality and insurance.) After all that, at the end, they give you homework.

The homework that they give you at that first visit is pretty. damn. daunting. I’ve been picking up those homework pages all week, and then setting them back down with a sigh.

– “What do you want?”
– “How do you envision your life when you reach your goals?”
– “How will you know when you get there?”

(I mean, really? Does anyone really know how to measure that, even if they are happy all the time? Aren’t we all just works in progress, always working towards there, but never getting there?) There were a number of other very specific questions (and by specific, I mean worded in such a way that you cannot prevaricate when answering.)

“What do I most want?”
“What is it that is causing my problems?” (be those anxiety, depression, anger, resentment, etc.?)
“What exactly is causing me pain?”

Please, Dear Reader, imagine for a moment asking yourself that last question. Now imagine yourself dredging the depths of your brain and your heart for the answer to that question. There are answers to it that are easy to say, but those snap answers, the ones you would say if a friend asked you this question, are very likely prevarication.

Dig deeper. Answer the question as if only you will ever hear the answer.


So, that’s where I am. All in all, I’ve felt pretty crazy and not at all myself of late. It’s good, though, to know that there is some “me” left inside: Procrastinators unite! Yeah, I totally put off doing my homework until the night before it was due. Total Roswell-High-School-Ms.-Swearingen’s-Great Expectations-project flashback. The funny thing is that, in 9th grade, I thought that was insurmountable.

Maybe in another 30 years I will look back on tonight’s homework and laugh at the fact that I ever found any of this difficult.


7 Responses to “Therpy”

  1. noelle says:

    At least you did your homework. I never did mine…it was journaling and I hate writing. Glad you are getting to the issue love:)

  2. Becky says:

    My last therapist didn’t give me homework like that! Not at first anyway.
    She did however, make a huge difference. After being in & out of therapy since high school, it was a breath of fresh air to finally (!!!) find one that helped me. I hope you get that out of this experience.

  3. Dogwood Girl says:

    Yeah, it was only my second visit, but i really like him, and the way he keeps me on track instead of me just vomiting up everything I’m feeling, with no direction. I am hopeful. Although I feel like I am on a roller coaster. Peaks of hopefulness, depths of depression and hopelessness. Both are preferable to simple depression and paralysis.

  4. Dogwood Girl says:

    Noelle, you crack me up. It is easier for me to write things down than to say them, despite the fact that I tend to be a straight shooter in my speech and writing. He was like, “uh, wow. I am going to have to take this home and read it all.” But some things you can’t say out loud. I need wine, couch, and dog pile time in Opelika. Soon.

  5. ashli price says:

    Anne! I love you and your honesty. We ARE all works in progress!!!! And, procrastinators unite. 🙂 xo

  6. […] have been to two counseling sessions now. I wrote about the first session recently. My second session was last Wednesday, and we quickly got down to brass tacks. (I am a […]

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