Originally written: October 2017
Therapy is not like I thought.
I’ve been in therapy before but it didn’t feel quite right. Now that I’m back it feels right it just feels different. I thought it would be like a checklist. Like a road map to get back to being a normal-functioning person. It doesn’t feel that.
iIt feels like tearing yourself open to a stranger just to come out with no more answers that before. The answer are not billboards or even road signs. They are scrawled in the margins of an old book at the library and on a scraps of paper on the ground. They are hidden and I have to find them. Really find them.
It feels like breaking up cynicism and breaking down blind optimism. It feels like awkward silence even them words are spoken. Not knowing quite what to say next. It feels familiar and foreign at the same time. It feels like thinking. Forcing yourself to. It feels like writing. A lot. Writing to try to make sense of all the scraps I find. I know the end won’t mean a road map or a checklist. I know there is no one.
It feels like I’m slowly being softened and molded. Like a hard piece of clay. It’s slower than I would like. But maybe that’s just how it is.
I thought it would feel like the starting line in a marathon. But it feels like waking up, opening my eyes, and seeing it’s not some dumb race metaphor. This is life. I’m in the middle of it. And it doesn’t end til I’m dead.
There’s not pausing.
There’s no taking a break to figure it out.
There’s no starting over.
It just it.
There is no end product of therapy. It’s not a factory shooting out Olivia 2.0. It’s a slow shift in how I view myself and the world around me.
It feel like realizing it’s not a second or third chance, it’s a trip and a fall and picking yourself up. I don’t need to start over. I am not beyond repair. It feels like lowering the stakes.
It feels like listening to myself.
“Figuring it out and failing gracefully.”
It feels like grace.
Mountains and mountains of it.