Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Therapeutic Breakthroughs

I was talking to a friend the other day, and she said something about having had a "lightbulb moment" in therapy.

I've done therapy before this, not necessarily for years at a time, but still, enough therapy to reap its benefits. And I don't remember ever having had a lightbulb moment. It seems that, for me, therapy plants little seeds, or simply gets me thinking about an issue, brings it to the forefront so that I can work on it in my head. Which is a great thing, don't get me wrong. Without therapy, I wouldn't have been thinking so much about choices, and then ranting about it here, and then you all wouldn't have sent me the comments you did, and then this whole realization that I do have choices and I just have to be a little more creative and a little more patient would never have come to fruition.

But I wonder what it's like to have a lightbulb moment, one where clarity suddenly strikes, rather than this sort of ongoing, who-knows-when-or-if-it-will-help-me percolation of what I say to my therapist and how she reacts. I think I might be a little bit jealous, is all.

Still, despite a few minor reservations about my therapist--dude, she had never even HEARD of a blog before, didn't even know what it was, which kinda threw me, not to mention that she's one of those 'stare at you at the beginning of each session and refuse to say a word or start the conversation until you do' people, and that makes me a little bit nuts--I'm impressed with what three sessions alone have wrought.

I'm not saying my therapist is some kind of miracle worker. For one thing, she's had some serious help. I started the gnurontin the same time I started seeing her, and it now carries the official title of All-Time Favorite Psychopharmaceutical, leaving Xnax in the dust. I love that little GABA-giving capsule. It truly is a Happy Pill. Need proof? The other day I asked Baroy, who has in previous months said that my PMS would be the only thing that would ever make him think of leaving me, if he even KNEW I had had my period earlier this week. "Well, yeah, I knew," he said. "When I saw the supplies out."

How cool is that? In previous months, he's been able to tell because he feared for the safety of varioius parts of his lower body. This month, he knew only because there was a tampon box out on the counter. And I'm calm the rest of the month as well. Not like comatose calm. I'm my usual knee-bouncing, idea-hamstering self, if not more so. But I feel like I can handle almost anything. Instead of begging Em to go visit friends, I've got hoards of them swarming through my house again--even as I make latkes or prepare for Chanukah. We've even had kids sleeping over here two nights in a row, and sharing in our Chanukah celebration, and I've not only dealt, I've enjoyed it.

But some of the stuff that's been going on is clearly therapist-related. Like, for instance, this new thing I'm trying out with Baroy. It's called communi..something. Instead of just stewing and getting anxious and resentful and rolling my eyes when he does something that upsets or annoys me, I've been talking to him. Not arguing with him, or blaming him, or tearing him down. But actually talking to him. And I'm pretty sure that comes out of the moment when, after I'd been complaining about him for quite a while to my brand-new therapist, she said in a somewhat bemused voice, "Please, tell me something good about Baroy right now." At the time, I was merely embarrassed, but I realized, later, how frequently I forget to do that; how I assume that it's a given that I love him and that he has some very strong points. And that I need to stop assuming, including when I talk to him.

And so, we've been talking, sharing, even giving each other advice. We've been commiserating. I'm sure it's not the easiest thing in the world for him; he's been hearing about how I wish I could stay home without worrying, and he knows that he's what stands in the way of that. But we've talked about it as two people who are both working towards the same goals, not as two people blaming one another for the place they're in. I told him that I'm trying to work out an exit strategy, or even just a way to cut back my hours as much as possible before I lose benefits. And he understands that I need to do this, and is helping me figure out some of the budgeting issues involved. At the same time, I've told him that I'm not going to do anything right away, and when I do, it's going to be a reasonable plan that allows for us to continue to live in our house and eat at the same time.

So I may not be having sudden epiphanies, flashes of light and insight. Instead, I'm doing a much slower burn. But it's working. It's warming me up. And that's good. Because I've been cold for an awfully long time.

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