“From the very beginning to the very end, pointing to our own hearts to discover what is true isn’t just a matter of honesty, but also of compassion and a respect for what we see.”
No matter what you do, it doesn’t go away. The feelings. The memories. No matter how hard you try to push them away. Drink them away. Sleep them away. Eat them away. They stay, causing dust storms everywhere in your life. Soon these storms become predictable patterns and you feel stuck.
Your friends try to be supportive. You still feel stuck. Your family doesn’t get it. You feel more stuck and alone.
Someone says, “Maybe you should talk to someone.” You cringe. You remember when you were 12 and your parents “made” you see a therapist. You remember not knowing why you had to be there and you could never figure out what you were supposed to do. You decide it probably won’t help now. You stay stuck.
Then out of desperation, you find the phone number of a therapist, maybe from a friend or maybe from your in-network insurance list. You call the number. Of course, you get voicemail. Damn! Do you hang up or leave a message? Through the sandpaper in your throat, you leave your name and your number and a quick, “Call me”.
An hour and then 3 hours go by and finally this therapist calls back. You jump at the ring of your cell phone. You suck in your breath. You answer the call. She sounds friendly enough. You sigh a small sigh. You say you want an appointment. Not too soon and not too far away. Day after tomorrow at 2 pm is OK for you and her. You hang up not knowing if you feel relieved or not.
Uber takes you to the appointment. You’re too nervous to trust your GPS. The train is too slow. What is that address? You see a building. Is it the right one? Should you do this? You ring the bell, the door opens and, right in front of you, is the therapist.
Her office is quiet, sort of cozy, if you let yourself look around. You’re breathing again. The knotted fist in your chest relaxes a little. You hesitate. She waits. You talk. She listens. She asks a question. Your tears come up. She waits. You talk.
Slowly, slowly these genuine moments take a plunge and then rise to the surface for you and this therapist to hold. With honesty. With compassion. With respect for all that has been, known and unknown, lived and unspoken. Now with words, with tears, with hope, for a view of the path to come.