Your therapist doesn’t have it all figured out, either.
I’m proud to say this, and I’m proud to tell you that I have insecurities, I have depression, my eating is disordered, I have a tendency to overthink and analyse things that I did and said years ago in the early hours of the morning, and I cry easily. Earlier this morning I cried at a specific part of a song and then I repeated it several times so I could cry even more. That’s not an unusual occurrence either, that’s just me. I’ll probably do it again this week, and that’s fine.
I repeat unhealthy patterns of behaviour, I choose the wrong men and women, I’m quick to be defensive and I swallow my feelings to please others too.
I think I’m right in saying that there’s a very unhelpful assumption that people make when they meet me, or any other therapist for that matter, which is that I’ve got it all figured out. That because of my training and the type of work that I do, I must breeze through difficult situations and conversations with ease and grace, or that what I say goes because I’m “The Professional”.
I don’t mind being very honest with you and saying; I feel like I literally have no idea what I’m doing with myself most of the time. It’s a very blunt way of putting it and perhaps I’m being too judgmental on myself, but it holds a lot of truth, because sometimes I feel quite lost in this world. I go to therapy, I read self help books, I trawl through my past traumas, I have nightmares and trouble sleeping sometimes, I cry a lot, I’m overly sentimental and write everything down, and at times I give myself such little self care that you’d think I was a robot. I’d say because of my training I actually over analyse myself and over-forgive others, so much more than I did before and I’m perpetually in a state of learning.
In my training, we were told never to cross our legs or fold our hands together. We had to sit openly and carefully so we were seen to be inviting and conscious, when really I thought it made us look like we had poles shoved up our backsides. We were taught not to share much about ourselves so we don’t cross over into that awkward realm of the space suddenly being more about us than our clients, but at times I think it can be helpful to know a bit about who you are unravelling yourself in front of. I hope I bring my personality into my therapy room, where I do not have a pole up by backside, and that I bring a freshness and lightness to therapy even when the subject can be somber.
You are The Professional of your own life, you are The Expert, The Creator, and The Chief Executive too. I am The Professional and everything else of my own life, even if sometimes that feels like a great exaggeration.
What I just want you to know with this total rambling of a blog post, is that you’re normal and that going to therapy is a meeting of two people, who are just as full of life and experiences as each other. We’re not better than you, we’re certainly not judging you, and you’d probably be hugely surprised at the weirdness and oddities we have experienced or are currently going through. We’re human too. Warts and all, perfectly imperfect, just learning how to be happy and trying our best.