I cannot deny I am a day late with this post. Yesterday’s therapy session proved fruitful so I thought I would give myself the day to simply ‘be’ rather than blogging straight away. The reason for this will become clear by the end of this post. Or, that is the hope.
As I wrote last week, I missed my therapy session last Wednesday and was frustrated as I was desperate to bring up an issue that had been bothering me. It was a simple question; who am I? I asked the question to my therapist and we talked for a time. I said the usual things about knowing it was part of the process. It was not a completely negative idea either as I saw that it is because I am making progress in therapy that I am in the middle place of getting over depression and crossing to a happier mindset.
I described it as being like a redevelopment project for a building. The building is not knocked down completely; instead, rooms are redecorated, a conservatory is built, walls might be knocked through. The same goes for me. I don’t think every part of me is bad. There is a lot of good I want to build upon, while chucking out the negative luggage that is still knocking about since depression moved out.
It occurred to me that I was lacking confidence in myself. This is very odd for me. I have never thought of myself as lacking confidence, yet the tell-tale signs have been there for a while; feeling apologetic for stating an opinion when asked for one; thinking everything I said was dumb as soon as it came out of my mouth; even with blogging, I feel like I am an annoyance and hope I don’t bother people too much when I put up a post. I was not sure who the new me is and therefore I was not sure how to put myself forward as a person when meeting others.
My therapist stopped me and asked if I fancied trying something different? She said she had a box of toys and wanted to know if I would be willing to pick a few that called to me and then talk about it. I could see the hesitation in her eyes and that she thought I was going to say no.
I said yes for a couple of reasons. One, asking me if I want to play with toys is a no brainer. Of course I do. It is a running gag between Gauri and I that when we have kids, it is the kids who are going to have a hard time getting to the toys before I do. Another reason is that I spent two days with Gauri at a phototherapy in prisons project she has been working on with her professor. In a nutshell, photos/photography are used with prisoners to help them deal with emotional issues or help them find employment after prison.
If you want to learn more about it, you can on the following link – http://www.phototherapyeuropeinprisons.eu/
I like the idea so I was willing to try a similar idea in my therapy. I picked through the toys, discarding Darth Vader as it was ‘Anakin’ Darth Vader from the rubbish Star Wars trilogy and not the good trilogy. If you have to ask me which is which, then we can no longer be friends. I picked two dinosaurs, a fawn and a bear.
The bear, in his nonchalant pose and wearing his dungarees without a care in the world was the inner me I want to be. The fawn, because it had one hoof raised was me getting ready to go to the place where I can be who I want to be. The dinosaurs were there because I simply like dinosaurs. Now, as you know, I am a fan of therapy and therapists (I am going to marry one afterall) but they do have this little thing where they look at you and without saying a word, convey the sense of ‘Is this really nothing? Perhaps it has some meaning that you are not aware of?’ And they are usually right. As soon as she raised her eyebrows at me saying ‘they are just dinosaurs’ I realised something.
The dinosaurs were me fearing that my beliefs in life might be outmoded ideas unsuited to the world around me. I want to be an honest, innocent and positive person but I fear that this is asking for trouble in a world where, let’s face it, bad things happen. I didn’t want to become as extinct as the dinosaurs. She asked if I needed to add more people to the picture and I said ‘No. If I am going to be ok with being myself, then it should be based on me being comfortable with the idea and not trying to be different for other people.’
So, she asked what I wanted to remove? I took away the fawn and one of the dinosaurs. I figured there was no point in being in a perpetual state of readiness for something. I might as well crack on and get started. I left one dinosaur and the bear as I realised that it was fine to be the little positive bear that I want to be and it is also fine to be careful of the world around me. We look both ways when crossing the road, so I figure it is the same with our beliefs. I am happy to be optimistic, but that doesn’t mean I want to walk blindly into dangerous situations.
And that was where I stopped the session. I like that each session feels like a chapter in a book and when it comes to a natural full stop I enjoy the sense of completion that comes with it. At the end of the session, I came to a conclusion that is only revelatory in terms of the fact that it is so obvious and I am stunned I did not realise it before. Therapy does not have to be about depression. I talked about anxiety and how I am struggling to find my place in this big old universe of ours, but depression did not come up once. I know it is obvious, but hey, learning the obvious is part of the process too.
Take care buddies,