Further proof that the “now” is a bit behind here on the no-coast:
- Ugg boots proliferating six months after the jet-set declared them passé.
- Tanning beds abound, but spray tans are nowhere to be seen.
- People in therapy? A shocking whisper ’round the water cooler.
The first two I couldn’t care less about. I embrace my natural aversion to the sun and don’t like feeling like I’m stepping into sheep. But the third one kind of sucks.
Though it could be a false perception spurred on by Hollywood, I kind of thought that being in therapy was, if not mandatory, at least pretty normal. But when I mention the fact that I see a shrink, I inevitably get what I like to call “The Look”. The Look consists of a small double-take, while people visibly adjust to the new information and quietly search the proceding conversation for anything that may indicate what’s “wrong” with you.
But I’m neither broken nor self-centered. I do admit to my imperfection, and like getting a fresh perspective on what I’m doing. And, being someone with trust issues and a Scandinavian heritage, it’s quite useful to have the whole Doctor-Patient Privelage thing to help me to open up. Is that so wrong?
To further the social-acceptance of therapy, I would like to clear a couple of things up:
- I do not lie down.
- No hypnotism or regression therapy is involved.
- I don’t talk about dreams, and still firmly believe that a cigar can be just a cigar.
There’s no magic to this. You go and sit in a room with someone and chat for an hour about your concerns and your life in general. I talk to my shrinkjust as I do everyone else – I argue with him, share philosophies and opinions and listen to his perspective. And I think about it; I do not swallow it whole. In effect, he’s another friend . . . but one whom I don’t have to fear offending, or getting too personal, or mentioning things I’d rather not tell other people. It’s nice.
A line from a Toad the Wet Sprocket song I first heard in 1993 might sum up how I feel about therapy best: “You know how when you get so close to something that big, you can’t see anything at all?”
Well, that’s life.
Being so wrapped up in our own perceptions and our own lives sometimes require a step back and a fresh perspective to help you see the whole thing clearly. Identify patterns, get to the bottom of attitudes and behaviors which may have served you once but are now hindering you, sort through complicated emotions. . . it’s all good.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.