There's nothing like taking your car to the shop, after it's been making a "noise" for awhile, and having it run perfectly smoothly for the technician. It makes you wonder if the car ever made the noise, or if somehow you're doing something dysfunctional to make it make the noise. In any event, leaving the repair shop after one of these episodes invariably fills one with a combination of disappointment, confusion and a touch of dread.
Yeah; so this isn't really about my car. But I think you know that.
In the interest of not buying into my own hype, I've starting seeing a new therapist. I've been so focused on being supportive for everyone else in my life that I haven't taken the time to check in and make sure I'm working my own program well. And the fact is that I'm pretty stressed; I can't concentrate well at work, I feel completely overwhelmed in balancing work and home, and my husband and daughter are both telling me, "dude, you need to talk with someone."
So today, I had my first session. I had the luxury of 90 minutes to talk about meeeeeee. We covered a lot of territory. He asked the normal questions about "Tell me about your support network. What are you doing for you? Do you have any guilt about your daughter's death?" We probed denial, diversion, and re-direction. We talked about the afterlife.
And we got to the end of the session.
"So what do you think?"
"I'm wondering why you're here."
"What do you mean?"
"You're already doing just about everything I would tell you to do. I'm wondering what you're looking for here."
"A magic elixir might be nice. Just sayin'."
"It's always going to hurt. That's never going away."
We agreed to spend some time working on making sure I wasn't spoofing myself over the next few sessions, finding tools to let me better support Mr. Bean and Daisy Mae, and finally to working on strategies for making this year less painful than last. But in the end, it was rather like going to your doctor with a hacking cough and having him tell you that you have a virus, you're already taking a decent cough suppressant and getting enough rest, so it's really a matter of gutting it out.
But I like him, and not just because he was validating today. He's a good listener. He's obviously got his ducks in a row. So I'll keep going back. But at the end of the day, nobody expects to go see a psych and be told, "you're pretty healthy; go home." You wonder if there's another shoe to drop.
With my luck, I'll develop a shimmy in my front passenger wheel on the way home.