Mondays. My favorite rehab day. My one-on-one session.
Today, it was the last session with my rehab counselor.
Yes, of course, I cried like a child. I cried because I was sad, nostalgic, and excessively emotional. But, I also cried because never in my life have I had a person that wasn’t my mother or father, my best friend, or my therapist, so profoundly change how I see myself.
Treatment has been a whirlwind. It’s been an onslaught of information. It’s been a tidal wave of emotions, strategies, and discovery. But, through it all my, my counselor stood like a pillar, unwavering. He never hesitated to hold me up when I threatened to fall, never shirked a hard question, never judged or critiqued any thought or feeling I put on the table. He made me think. He made me see. Sometimes, I think, without even trying, he pulled things from my inner depths that I would never have known to be there.
As I sat in the upholstered chair facing his desk, looking into his eyes, he questioned my innermost self today, even though it seems that in our last session all the questions should have been asked and answered. He asked me to see my progress. And, after having reflected a shit-ton in the last few weeks, it was in that office, at that moment, I truly saw the woman that I’ve grown into in these past few months.
I cried because, truly, without our time together I would not be who I am now. And, when I read those words: WHO I AM, they seem trite. Overplayed. But, today, I felt the weight of those words. They became more than a sentence or statement. I felt them. I felt this person I’ve become. Not a shell, or a reflected image created by a bunch of smoke and mirrors. I saw what I am. The woman sitting in that chair. A person, much like Frankenstein. Parts of me uncovered, others built from the ground up, others that were there and never went away. This collection of time and experience. This assembly of new found glory and hope.
I can’t thank him for what he’s given me. It’s so far beyond thanks. How do you reward someone for helping to create you, to find you? How can you address someone without tears who has discovered you by helping you to discover yourself?
There were so many things I could not see before. So many dark, twisty corners that I’d either avoided or missed altogether as I bumped along down the hallway that was my life when I first arrived in treatment and sobriety. My counselor held up a flashlight that got me through to the other side. He held the light up so that I could walk and so that I could see. But, he didn’t walk or see for me. The work was mine. The victory, mine.
To have this man in my life, is truly a blessing. My heart is still unfolding, and, I still want him to know what hides in each crevice. And, I can tell him. I can go to my treatment center, even as a graduate, and fill him in. That gives me great comfort. But, today was the last day I got to sit with him as an active client. This Monday marks the first day of the last week of an era of my life that is rich beyond wealth. My heart is full. My person, changed and new.
This gift, one human facing another, nothing more or less, is one of sight. A gift of understanding that I gave myself with the help and guidance of someone who has been there. Someone who held my hand and didn’t let go. And, still hasn’t. It’s a piece that is not in my heart, but rather, one that helps to make it up.
How do you thank someone for helping you to see who you truly are?
You can’t. You can only honor them, by knowing, and using, the heart that beats inside you. The gift they helped you discover.