One of the best things I’ve done for myself this time around is see a psychotherapist, aka shrink. I really feel like the use of the work “shrink” has wrongly diminished since its surge in the ’90s. I thank my boss for bringing it back into my life regularly.
Going to see a shrink again was not easy. I had done this several times before. It never went anywhere. I just blabbed on for an hour or so while they listened and nodded patiently. Sometimes they would give me lots of compliments on how insightful I was, which inflated my ego and gave me a false sense of control. (But to be honest, it felt pretty good sometimes!) Picking up the phone to make the appointment seemed so hard. I kept thinking:
Where will I begin?? Oh my goodness… all the way back there!? How do I cram 34 years into a few weeks?
Now that I’ve started, I look forward to my appointments. Talking about my past, present, and future has never felt so good. What I realize is that hard is good. Therapists I had in the past made it too easy for me to sit there and talk about myself without having to do any work. Nate, my current shrink, is a trauma specialist and he makes me work. He still listens, nods his head patiently, and even throws me a compliment every once in a while but he also makes me do difficult things, he gives me homework… sometimes he makes me take the time to do the work in his office because he knows I won’t do it at home. Surprise: hard work is what makes me grow.
He also is willing to talk to me about my life and my hurdles from a spiritual perspective without lecturing me. I have appreciated our dialogues about my relationship with God and how God sees me as his worthy child instead of his failing one.
Now I think everyone should see a shrink. Isn’t that what we do? Push what works for us onto everyone else? Usually for good reason, of course.
So seriously: Go get yourself a good shrink!