Even though I’m into meditation, questioning life, and Buddhism, I’m pretty much the biggest asshole on the face of the planet. I’m the kind of person who does Bikram Hot Yoga and then lights up a cigarette the minute I’ve said Namaste. The kind of broad who has Buddha figurines all around her house, yet ends up using one to throw in a fit of rage. The kind of person who ends up having an anxiety attack whenever she tries to truly relax. You know, the kind of woman who has an Eastern mudra necklace that is supposed to ward off negativity, but sadly bought it from Lauren Conrad’s line at Kohls.
I mean, but at least I try. It’s also why therapists love me. I’m neurotic and I know it, but hey, I do TRY.
I’m not totally fucked up anymore. In fact, I feel like a fraud for still even engaging in therapy sessions. Yet there is something so satisfying about sitting on a couch, dumping your shit on someone, and leaving feeling like you just took a much-needed…. shower. I have turned my therapist into a life coach of sorts, and she knows it. I’m almost certain that she enjoys our sessions so much that she looks forward to seeing me, so that’s part of the reason I still go (what would she do without me? She’d miss me, for sure) but that may be because I have a huge ego – which no amount of therapy can cure.
Every other week, I plop down on a couch that has more pillows than a Pier 1 sofa display, and I sink down about six inches into my seat. I swear, this is a trap that all therapists use. It’s almost like they purposely buy a couch that sinks, so it makes it harder for you to squirm and/or run out the door. Trust me, I have tried many a time to make a quick exit, but the quicksand sofa constantly wins. I wonder if they buy these couches from a special psychologist store, maybe Saymore and FuckingQuittheShenanigans? Regardless, It’s also a given that I engage in a mini-fight with the pillows, because they are always in my way, and I don’t know how the fuck to arrange them.
I have admittedly been in therapy on and off for around 10 years, of all kinds. Behavioral, cognitive, course-based, and I even dabbled in EMDR, which is like eye-movement desensitization or some shit, but always made me dizzy. Yeah, I USED to be fucked up. Agoraphobia (which sounds like it’s fear of snuggly bunny rabbit fur, but it’s not), emetophobia, panic disorder, depression – all this shit that plagued me for years. I’m fine now, or as fine as one can be.
So, when I found myself unhappy last spring, I figured I’d go back into therapy. I had a few reasons:
1.) I’m a do-er. Things are fucked up? I won’t complain – I make changes.
2.) I’m a huge proponent of therapy, even when life is good. A little forced self-reflection is always a good thing.
3.) My insurance covers it. Make a co-pay of $20 bucks to hear someone listen to my shit, you say? Sign me the fuck up.
During my time with my lovely therapist, we’ve shot the shit about men and how much they suck, the importance of truly not giving a fuck what people think, how it’s okay to wash the dishes tomorrow and focus on having fun today, and how drinking can be a great means of escape. Who wouldn’t want to get on board with that kind of ideology, besides, like, Mitt Romney’s wife? It’s almost like sitting with a girlfriend and having a bitchfest, minus the cocktails. We hit it off immediately when I first met her. Sometimes I want to invite her out for dirty martini and continue our discussions. Secretly, I think she does, too. I can’t leave therapy yet. I can’t leave HER yet.
So when I came to her with what I like to refer to as my Quarter-Life Crisis, (Am I in the right career? I’m not happy, but I should be happy!), she’s guided me onto a path of freedom– although, I admit, I do stray from it during moments of weakness. I have a new tendency to want to control every single fucking aspect of my life. Maybe that’s because I spent so many years feeling NOT in control, and living in fear. You know, of that scary snuggly bunny rabbit fur.
One of my therapist’s suggestions was to go away, alone, to a retreat – maybe like a Buddhist one, and to experience absolute silence. No TV, no cell, and like, pick berries, ride horses, and journal. I’m looking into doing this next month, but I need to figure out ways to smuggle in wine, and how to properly identify poison ivy.
Lastly, (and here is where I get deep – so cue the music) one of the most poignant things she said to me was that I need to remember that I’m in a trolley car. I looked at her like she was nuts, but she explained:
“Life is like a trolley car. It’s on its own path, and you can’t control where it goes, because it’s on its own track. But rest assured that it will never lead you through darkness. Instead, it’s meant to lead you to light and greatness. People will get on the trolley car at certain points, and at other times, people will get off. These people may ride with you for a little while, or the whole trip. The main thing to remember is to stay in the back of the trolley car and enjoy the ride. Stop trying to find out where it’s headed and stop trying to control where it goes. Life is so much easier once you quit trying to control its destination.”
And I found, she was right. Some weeks I’d stay in the back of the trolley car, and I’d find shit was so much easier to deal with. Other weeks I’d come in and be ranting and raving and she’d yell, “GET IN THE BACK OF THE TROLLEY!” I’d sigh, but I knew she was right. I kept creeping up out of my seat in the trolley and trying to derail it off its course; I kept running towards the start of the trolley, trying to take a peek as to where the fuck I was headed. ‘d be trying to stop it completely, and accelerate it at my own desire. Yet each time I pulled this controlling shit, it worked against me.
So, I’m currently in the back of my trolley and I’ve been good. In fact, I’ve been better than I have in months. Some would abandon therapy at the point I have reached, but I want more. I want complete freedom, which is ironic, as control is all I have ever craved. Freedom, to me, means being okay with NOT having control. I can’t promise I will stay seated, because I know my history. I do, however, know that I will stay seated in the sinking couch at my therapist’s office.
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