When I was about 15 years old, my parents sent me to therapy.
That sounds a little harsher than it was, but the reality was that I was drowning under the weight of both of my brothers being gone & me being alone with the cousins we adopted & a family I didn’t recognize anymore. I was knee-deep in the stress of AP classes in school & cheerleading & church & Girl Scouts. At 15, I was already feeling the anxiety bubbling up into my throat. So they sent me to a therapist who also saw my little sister.
Strike one, parents.
I already hated her, already felt like she wasn’t on my side since she knew my sister’s side. At that point in my life it was ME versus THEM & I saw her as the enemy as I sat in her chair & she handed me a stuffed Beanie Baby moose to hold.
Strike two, therapist.
She talked at me, making assumptions & I cried. Not because she was digging to the root of it all but I just wanted someone to listen to me & say, “That sucks” & she wasn’t going to be it. She just wanted to tell me how I needed to be the bigger person, help out my parents, be a little more kind.
Strike three, you’re out.
I climbed into The Momma’s car an hour later & told her that I would never, ever, ever go there again.
I sat on her couch again, curled up with a bottle of water & she had a Diet Coke & this is just how we do therapy.
We talked about last year & how 18 months ago, it would have sent me all on my head but this past year was such a year of growth for me as a person. That life is just life & it’s messy & dirty & unpredictable. I’ve grown to accept that & to realize that there is so very, very little I can do to control it.
Like how I couldn’t control how long it took to sell our house or the hiring freeze at work. I can really only control the dishes in my sink & let’s be honest, that’s a 50/50 crap shoot on the best days. I never thought I’d look back at 2012 with a grin but there I am, totally stoked about how last year went & looking forward to any challenges that might come. For the first time, I am ready for fight & not flight. It feels so smooshy-face good to say that.
“Plus, no matter how shitty your day is, it’s still better than medieval times,” my doctor rationalized. ”No toothbrushes & it was likely your village would be raped & pillaged at least twice per year.” Then we spent the better part of 10 minutes discussing the Tudors & how King Henry probably wasn’t much of a babe.
But the point is that when I start feeling sorry for myself, when I start getting frustrated, I remind myself that hey! I get to own land & brush my teeth!
Maybe give it a try the next time you’re feeling like the world is falling in?