Why does therapy have to be so hard? Why can’t it just be easy to talk about all the stuff that needs talking about? We’d all be a lot healthier that way. But then I suppose we wouldn’t need therapy in the first place…
I’m so tired this evening. I’m tired of trying and I’m tired of always feeling like I’m pushing a boulder up a mountain. Therapy didn’t feel particularly tough while I was there today, but now I’m home I feel totally deflated.
Maybe that’s because I started the week in good spirits – relieved at the return of normality and routine. Now it has dawned on me that nothing has changed. I didn’t like my day-to-day before Christmas, so why I was looking forward to it resuming I just don’t know. Perhaps it’s just because the crappy everyday thing is so much better than the REALLY crappy Christmas thing. It’s always greener on the other side.
During the holidays I spent some time thinking about where I’m at with therapy now. I’ve been working with J for two years, and I wanted to make a note of what I think has changed and where the obstacles still are. Toward the end of last year I was experiencing a lot of stuckness in our sessions, and also feeling very resistant to the process.
Just before Christmas, J asked me why I keep coming to therapy. I couldn’t think of an answer and that bothered me. I am conflicted; on the one hand I don’t want to keep feeling like I do, but on the other, I don’t want to change. I hate how I am and I want something different to be possible – I just can’t believe in it. And I sabotage it.
I am fully aware that when things seem to be improving, I consciously derail myself. I hate it when people recognise that I’ve achieved something. When my wife tells me she thinks I’m doing better, I feel angry. I noticed the same thing when J said yesterday that I am ‘more stable’ at the moment. I hear those comments like they’re insults.
I know all this, yet I continue to do the same things. I know there’s a big part of me that wants to suffer. While that’s there, I can’t help but feel like therapy is futile. I can’t force compassion for myself. I can’t make myself care about my future. I’m not even willing to try. And if I won’t commit to having a future and being healthy, what is the point in spending hours talking about horrible, painful stuff and spending a fortune in the process?
Although I’m aware of all of this, I can see that there must be a tiny part of me that has some hope. It might be small, but it matters when I hope that I might find myself less perplexing, or that one of those important, but infrequent sessions might come along that makes me feel better for talking. And sometimes when I feel connected with J, even when I’m in the blackest of moods, that seems like a reason enough to keep at it.
Photo: Alexandra E Rust, Creative Commons.