13 November 2014

The Balm of A Good Therapist

I had a therapy appointment last night with my therapist from back home, via Skype.  It was so good. He offers a great blend of empathy, knowledge and humor that keeps me from taking myself too seriously, which I'm likely to do in therapy.

My primary goal from the sesssion was to hear him tell me I'm not crazy, and I'm not over-reacting. About 47 minutes into our conversation he hadn't said those things yet.  So finally I just asked him

"Why won't you just TELL me I'm not crazy?"

He chuckled and then got straight with me.

"Because I'm afraid that if I tell you, you won't do the work to figure it out yourself."

Recovery, wellness, healing, mental health.  It's like a bank account he explained to me.  When I "do the work" of self-care, therapy, support groups, study, meditation, etc, I am making deposits in my bank account, and together Pete and I make deposits in our marital account.  Then when a crisis comes along we can take out a withdrawal, NBD.

When we moved here, to our new home, our life was simple and lovely.  Our first few weeks here were like a holiday where we spent time together, there were no demands for our time, and his company was giving us a daily monetary cash flow.  We were virtually stress free.  Our simple life required no withdrawals of our "wellness" bank account.  But we made no deposits either.  We didn't go to meetings or have therapy appointments, we saw no need.  We were happy.

Then Pete went back to work.  I got lonely.  He got stressed.  Culture shock.  Homesickness.

Withdrawal. Withdrawal.  Withdrawal.

I could see the writing on the wall, the account was emptying fast. I asked Pete to make some deposits, but he wasn't willing and I didn't make any myself.  Until the next thing I knew I was so emotionally bankrupt that I think I hit another rock bottom of powerlessness all over again a few nights ago.

Last night my therapist pointed out that I'm trying to manage Pete's recovery again - which of course is unmanageable.  But I'm also trying to manage Pete's perception of me.  Which is, also unmanageable.

"I've seen you when you are happy Jane, and I can see you are not happy.  But I know you know how to be happy, or at least at peace, even when Pete is in his addiction.  Let's get you there again."


  1. That sounds awesome -I'm really glad you were able to have a therapy session.

  2. Can I have this therapist too? Ha.
    I'm sorry things have been thrown off course. I esnt a happy Jane also

  3. This is a beautiful post. I am going to work on my bank account. We are struggling through detachment and it's horrible!!! I will keep working and make sure that my account is full. Thank you.