This is premature, but I thought I’d write a little about what I think thus far about doing therapy/counseling. I mentioned it in this post, but basically I have been unhappy with something for a long time and kept shoving it down hoping it would go away on its own. Finally facing up to the fact I could only take it so far on my own, I found a therapist with the background I thought could take me to my end goals, and there is an end goal in mind where I will stop going.
So like most of us, I have some issues. I am an adult and they are adult issues. When I first met with Mr. Therapist, a young 30-ish dude who had good energy, talked about goals, background and so forth. It became apparent fairly early on that we’d be delving into my childhood and adolescence a fair bit. Maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised, I even wrote about it here (It all comes back to your youth). When you start facing your childhood and teenage demons, stuff you thought you put to bed many years ago, it’s not very fun. Reopening old scars and shining a light on all the skeletons in your closet doesn’t make you feel very good. However, as Mr. Therapist said, it’s hard to move ahead if you can’t properly face and address the past.
I think of it like eating a giant shit sandwich years ago. And despite brushing your teeth 10,000 times and using mouthwash, there is still an underlying flavor that you don’t notice it in your forebrain but your subconscious knows that poop taste is still there coloring everything you eat. Using that flashlight the therapist has shining directly on those issues and using tools that he has available to him, you can start to cleanse your pallet and finally properly bury those zombies.
This approach does suck though. To face the past is never easy. When you have neutral perspective weigh in on your past life situations and imply they were kind of fucked up is enlightening, sad and scary. Memories you had long forgotten come back to light like a new specter in the night. Shame and weakness are common roadmates on this journey.
Though it has only been a short while and a few visits, I do feel like some of the albatross I have been carrying has been lifted. A journey is still ahead and to some degree my goal doesn’t appear much closer. Perhaps it’s some of that two steps back before going forward deal that is so common in life. Cleansing the pallet is still going to be a good thing.
Apprehension about going to therapy is justified, but not because it doesn’t work. I think it does. But being afraid to admit you are a weak, flawed person isn’t something many of us want to face. If you have past hangups that are preventing being awesome today, it is time to admit your faults and get help. Like any athlete, you need to get torn down a little before you can be remade into a champion.
Be soft and pliable, admit weakness to gain strength.
A man is born gentle and weak; at his death he is hard and stiff. All things, including the grass and trees, are soft and pliable in life; dry and brittle in death. Stiffness is thus a companion of death; flexibility a companion of life. An army that cannot yield will be defeated. A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind. The hard and stiff will be broken; the soft and supple will prevail. -Lao Tzu