A couple of posts ago, I received a small groundswell of comments urging me to get into therapy. At first I was all, Lulz, what do you think this blog is, if not my hour? But that was only marginally funny at first, and increasingly less so as more comments rolled in. I imagine there were a fair number of you who had similar thoughts and didn’t post.
The commenters sounded sincere, thoughtful and concerned, and in my experience, it takes a certain amount of guts to say something to a person’s face instead of just thinking girl’s a trainwreck and closing the browser. So, thank you. I gave those comments and the reasoning in them careful consideration.
The thing is, my whole life has been dedicated to seeking approval from others. I’m a revelation here at 39, finally understand I’m crippled by the need for it and the need to do it. I’m struggling to let go of those bad patterns and learn how to be assured of my own OKness by nothing and no one other than my own self.
Right or wrong, I’m not going to therapy. It would be recreating a relationship in which an authority figure told me whether or not I’m OK.
Even if the therapist told me everything I did was awesome fantastic, the premise of the relationship would still be trusting his/her approval over my own. Even if the therapist had some really boss skills to pass along to fix my life up nice and tidy. I can’t give that authority away — I’m struggling too hard to hold on to the piece I have. And more importantly, I don’t want to. I want to figure this out myself.
I know one of the hardest things to do is watch someone struggle. Especially if it’s a puzzle where the answer is so obvious from the outside, and the person puzzling can’t see what you see. OH MY GOD, JUST MOVE ASIDE AND LET ME DO IT. I know my blog right now probably pushes those buttons for some of you. I know you are trying to help.
I have to learn this. It’s probably going to be messy, not a straight line to healthier living, and I’ll undoubtedly make cringe-worthy mistakes. If it feels like nails on chalkboard to watch it happen, I am sorry, but I’m doing it anyway. I know sometimes “please get help” is code for “you are making me uncomfortable, so please do this somewhere else so you can be normal when I see you.” I know that feeling, I know that code. But the mission of this blog has always been to tell the things I’d be embarrassed to discuss in real life. No harm, no foul, if this is not for you, let’s hook up at some future date.
PS: Also, super not trying to single out people who left comments — I imagine since this was a running theme that it was on a lot of people’s minds.
PPS: Specifically to the people who commented about therapy — I know we’ve talked off-blog, and I appreciate the care you took to give me risky feedback. You are very much appreciated, even if we don’t see eye-to-eye on this point.