“No one mentioned until I was in late middle age that—horribly!—my good, helpful ideas for other grown-ups were not helpful. That my help was in fact sometimes toxic. That people needed to defend themselves from my passionate belief that I had good ideas for other people’s lives. I did not know that help is the sunny side of control.” ~Anne Lamott
I’m a well-meaning empath.
If you share your problems with me, I’ll quickly make them my own. I’ll listen intently, feel deeply, and want to help. I’ll give you advice and solutions you didn’t ask for, then be annoyed …
“Emotional pain cannot kill you, but running from it can. Allow. Embrace. Let yourself feel. Let yourself heal.” ~Vironika Tugaleva
Ah, therapy, my old friend. We meet again.
I thought I’d released you from my life. I thought I no longer needed you to maintain my sanity.
I was wrong.
Third time’s a charm, as they say.
The First Time I Went to Therapy
I was eighteen when I had my first encounter with therapy. My parents had just divorced under pretty devastating circumstances, and my first serious relationship had crumbled at my feet.
It was a double betrayal.
“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” ~Dodinsky
It hit me as I cruised along at full speed on a busy motorway on my way to a friend’s house.
Shaking like a leaf, I pulled myself out of the car and stood by the side of the road. I desperately gulped in the fresh air, a frantic attempt at calming myself down.
This was the ninth day in a row I’d experienced a wave of panic so intense, it felt like I was about to …