As the title suggests, today was my penultimate therapy session. Next week will be the last one. This is an odd thing to contemplate as I feel both happy and a little bit sad about this. I am happy because I feel in a good enough place to not need therapy any longer. Which was the whole point of starting therapy in the first place. I also feel sad because I will miss my therapist and my valued talks with her. Still, it is on balance much more of a positive than a negative, so I feel good about it.
I went to therapy today and for the first time ever, I wondered ‘What on earth am I going to talk about this week?’ I literally had nothing. Well, I had nothing I thought really needed to be spoken about in therapy. I thought I could tell her about my weekend holiday to celebrate seven years with Gauri and two years since we got engaged. Or that we are planning our wedding. Or that a homeless guy we saw in Brighton refused the leftover pizzas we offered him because he was dairy intolerant.
Interlude – Does anyone else think the idea of a homeless person refusing food due to being dairy intolerant a bit weird? I know it can’t be good to have a bad stomach when homeless, but then again, I think of children in Africa who knowingly drink unsafe water because they have no other choice and I can’t help but think there is a huge difference between those two situations. And surely he could have taken the cheese off? Ah, anyway, I am in danger of getting seriously sidetracked. Back to the point.
My therapist asked me how I feel about endings and what coming to the end of a therapeutic journey means to me? Endings mean different things to me. As a writer, I am obsessive about endings for books, plays, tv and films. If the ending to something is not good, I have a hard time liking anything that came before it. I have a different view to my therapy ending.
I have never finished therapy before, so I was not sure how to explain where I was at. The best way I can explain it is by saying that I felt that the only reason for me to continue therapy was because I was too scared to face the world without it. And I didn’t feel scared. In the best way possible, therapy had made me not need therapy. I even joked with my therapist that she might want to rethink her business plan as this is not good for keeping customers returning. I do value her ethics in that she always checked if I still needed therapy, rather than just continuing to take my money. Good on her.
I am fine with not needing a grand final therapy session where everything is resolved and all loose ends are tied up. I think this is an impossibility. What in life is really fully resolved? When we do not know what tomorrow will bring, how can we say we know everything today? Therapy has left me in a place where I feel I can handle whatever happens in the future. I think that is perfect. I wouldn’t believe it if I was told therapy would cure me forever. I simply hope it helps me to never need therapy again.
This was another thing. The double edged sword of ‘I thank you for the time we had together and how much you have really helped me but… I hope I never have to see you again in this setting.’ I imagine it is the same for Funeral Directors who say ‘See you later’ and people respond with ‘Not too soon I hope.’ On the other hand, it must be cool from the therapists perspective to know they have done a good job and they can send someone off into the world much better equipped to deal with it than before.
The final question she asked me was ‘What are you going to do on Wednesday now that you don’t have therapy?’ Isn’t that a damn fine question? I don’t know exactly what I will do, but I feel hopeful that whatever it ends up being, I will happy to do it.
And my journey through therapy can be boiled down to this:
One year ago.
Therapist: What do you want from therapy?
Me: To be happy again.
One year later.
Therapist: How do you feel now?
Me: Happy again.
Take care buddies,