I know I say this a lot. However I found myself in some rough slumps last week. Before my eye opening post, I had shared a few days ago.
I arrived at the happy house almost distraught. I was extremely anxious and completely shut out from the world. In the waiting room I felt as though everyone was watching me as I sat underneath the TV that was hosting Spongebob, again. Greasy hair and un-brushed teeth I sunk deep into the cushion hoping no one noticed I didn’t do those things. Twitchy and rocking back and forth I sat and sat and sat for what felt like forever. Until someone called my name, and there he was. Standing there peering through the door frame was the one I desperately wanted to see. Without skipping a beat we greeted one another like we always do, shake hands and smile. I was shaking the whole time.
On the verge of tears I sat down yet again into a couch- on the edge of it though. I wanted to feel something. A sense of fear or maybe even just being aware that I was on the edge and could fall off it any moment. However I never felt neither of them. As my body grew heavy I once again sunk into the edge without any fear or realization that’s what I was doing. Just moved on from the though, with a tapping foot. Fiddling with my hands still on the verge of tears, my face red from what I think was confusion and embarrassment. Even though I desperately wanted to belch my soul I found no words to come. I couldn’t form a single thought, or a sentence for that matter. And after what felt like hours, he finally spoke.
“How are you doing today Faith?”
Open the flood gates. Leaning back I breathed in sharply as my body refused to speak. Because no words wanted to come. Nothing, once again nothing made sense to me. And I couldn’t do it. Even typing this out now, the feelings that I had that day still linger and I want to cry all over again. From the indescribable pain that I felt. It’s like on presentation day, when you have to stand up in front of the whole class and you have to explain your presentation board or read your book report out loud. And as you stand there, clearing your throat and shifting your weight from one foot to another; looking into the crowd. Waiting for the right moment to speak. And for a split second you are sweaty and clear your throat one more time, as a signal to your brain that it’s time to talk. However nothing comes. You’re just standing there in front of everyone choking. But.. don’t know how to tell them you are. So you think “maybe they know I’m choking. Oh god they can see it, I know they can.” So you clear your throat for the last time and with trembling words you begin to sputter them out. You’re stuttering even though you know clearly what to say from the digital prompt in your head. It’s just your throat and voice box disagree and refuse to work. Called out for the day. I felt all of that in that two minute span of me sitting down on that couch, just waiting for that moment to come. Nothing did.
So as I coughed and cleared my throat over and over and over again that light in my therapists face fled. And I started to cry because he knew I was choking. And I knew that he knew it. So with caution and a tenderhearted voice he asked me if it was ok if we did a guided meditation. I nodded, and there it was. My moment. “O-o-o-kay. S–su-sure. I’d like t-t-t-t-t-” breaths in sharply once more “that”. As he’s dimming the lights he gets on his chair with the wheels. I can feel the vibrations as he sits down in it, and rolls around. The hardwood floors making the tiniest sounds of rejection as he continues to go back and forth from his desktop to his notebook. An ad plays while the YouTube video starts up and he chuckles just the slightest, which makes me smile too. “Darn ads.” he whispers. And I silently nod in my head in agreement. I’ve closed my eyes at this point. Wanting to just escape this moment and listen to the sounds around me. And as the video begins I mentally note how I leave my body. My eyelids were like concrete. Sealed and dried over ready to be driven on. My face relaxes and the tension that I didn’t know I had lets go. It was like that specific couch cushion had a secret trap door into another world and I was calmly reclined into it. Where all I could see was trees and a the sounds of birds fluttering. The faint sounds of gushing water over rocks, and the sound of grass swaying in the wind. That inner peace that no one talks about. I let go. I let this woman’s’ voice transport me into a realm of my deepest dreams. And it was beautiful.
As the guided meditation came to an end, I found myself disappointed. In that inner peace of burning blissfulness where it felt almost endless- it violently ended. What felt like months simply turned into 5 minutes. Cracking the cement off my eyes felt like the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. My eyes were watery like they always are when I’m done meditating. However this time, it felt different. I was sad. And as I stared once again at the white walls around me I felt something so indescribable.
“How do you feel?”
“I don’t know.”
Shifting his weight once again, I found myself aware of my surroundings. Realistically this time. I breathed in another deep breath and I muttered “I don’t know how to describe it.” And then it was his turn to breath in. Which he’s told me from before that sometimes he needs a moment to be aware of his clients and his surroundings too. Take a moment to think about your response. And that’s what he was doing.
“You’ve done better before. What makes today different?”
“I don’t know how to describe my feelings.”
“Ok, but you don’t need to do that right now. Just start small and say whatever it is you’re thinking.”
“Empty.” I said speaking over him. “I feel empty.”
And he took another breath. “Ok. That’s a start. Good.” writing down whatever it is he begins to nod. I just stared at him emotionless. My body not sure what to do, so she cries in frustration. He hands me tissues once again. “Why do you think you feel empty?” he asks after a long moment. “I don’t know. I have no meaning I think.” And he nods again. An hour goes by so fast when you’re not paying attention. Or when you’re so wrapped up in whatever project, event, task, chore, whatever it is- that has your focus. It just zooms by. As we continued going back and worth; him with the super long questions and me with my two word reply he finally says something that made a click inside of me.
“It’s ok to feel that way. Just remember it’s the depression.”
It’s just the depression. And guess what, I don’t remember anything else from that session. I believe we as humans only want to remember- what we want to. Like when someone is talking and they say something and it triggers you instantly to talk over them. Because whatever it was that they said, it was the only thing you wanted to hear. So the rest of their speech goes out the window. Because you only wanted to believe that one thing. Like in arguments. You cling to the point of what they are mad at. So when they try to explain why they are mad you tune them out. Stirring up your own angry pot with their words. You’ve done it. We all have. And that’s what happened in this session. I only heard what I wanted to hear.
As I was hustling out the front door into my car, I didn’t speed off like I usually do. I sat there once again. Feeling trapped. I didn’t want to move or do anything anymore. I just wanted to sit there with an empty mind and not do anything. It was less then a minute though of me sitting there. I felt like everyone was watching me as I breathed in and out. Watching the sun set around me a flicker of peace had sprouted. Although it soon died as I drove off to go home.
I haven’t seen many movies where they reference therapy sessions. And I just wanted to say this.. that not all sessions are “good”. Not all are going to be about talking back and worth and really engaging with whatever it is that you wanna talk about. Sometimes the happy house people will do all the talking. Sometimes you will do exercises. Sometimes you will sit there not wanting to talk. Sometimes you will come in happy, and sometimes you will come in a complete mess like I did. Returning as a renewed person or a broken soul. It’s not about you laying on a couch while you cried about whatever it was that stressed you out, and that fake librarian looking person is head deep in a notebook going on and on about “Mmmmm. How’d that make you feel?”. It’s never like that. And the people you “think” you see going into these offices aren’t some ugly, no shower having, dirty cloths looking nobody. All the people I’ve seen in this office look so normal. With their makeup and perfume. Nice clean cloths.. and designer brands at that. They are smiling and waving like they have no problems. I shouldn’t get too far into it. This office does a wide variety. It has “family” in it’s name it for a reason. So it’s not something… or what I believe to be, something to do with an individual per say. But just couples issues. I know children come here too, I’ve seen plenty of them (that is why Spongebob is always on) and honestly, that doesn’t make me feel better. I never cared about it until that day when I did come in like that. Dirty and ugly and like a sore thumb. Like a weed that left unattended because that person was too lazy to pull it. Until it grew big and noticeably ugly. That was me. I was that ugly wallflower.
I didn’t learn anything either that day. I was just anxious and depressed and wanted to feel anything else but those. Sad to say I let them go for a moment that day.