I’d been looking forward to meeting my therapist all week.
I knew booking this trip would be as big a deal for her as it was for me. While my sponsor helps to guide me through the winding roads of my alcoholic thinking, in a way that my therapist can’t be privy to, if for no other reason than she’s not in recovery, my therapist is the megaphone for the little voice in me that is so often shut down.
One piece of my problem is the alcoholic problem. The other piece, is that part of me that feels completely worthless and useless. And, even with all the progress I’ve made, confidence I’ve built up, and pride that’s been restored in my sobriety. I still live in fear of judgement. I fear making mistakes. I fear that I’ll always rely on others in some capacity to keep my head above water. And, those negative voices still silence the the happy ones from time to time. And, in therapy I’ve really started to break down where all that stems from and how to make changes to dissuade those voices from piping up and drowning out the good guys: The underdogs.
I was right. When I told my therapist about my booked trip she nearly jumped out of her seat. After all, it was just a week ago that she told me to just give myself permission to entertain the idea. I don’t think she expected me to close the deal. But, rather than look at me with concern, she looked at me with joy and pride. As if by doing this thing for myself I’d given her some kind of gift.
As a patient, I sometimes forget that even though my therapist’s job is to be there and to listen to me, no matter what is going on, that it must be nice when her patients have success. And, not just success you can measure, like getting a great job, or, taking a trip. Success that measures the strength of the inner voice that she’s been working so hard to help me locate and amplify. There have been many times when I’ve sat in front of her panicking, crying, frustrated, and defeated. And, thank God I have a place where I can do that without any judgement at all. She has only ever offered me kind and compassionate feedback. The kind that the candor of AA member’s sometimes lack. With her, there doesn’t have to be advice, solution, or commentary. My therapist is acceptance personified.
And, acceptance, oddly enough is the thing that I’ve constantly sought in my life. I’ve walked many different avenues to find acceptance for all kinds of things and wanted to receive it from all kinds of people. But, it’s something that has to come from within. It sounds cheesy, but, it’s true. One of those lessons that you can only understand when it’s actually happened. When you feel the freedom of the acceptance that you provide yourself with, and find that it’s even better than the acceptance you thought you were seeking to get outside of yourself from something or someone else.
So, I made sure to thank my therapist today. Because, had it not been for her megaphone, I wouldn’t have heard my own voice, I wouldn’t have taken this trip. I would have silenced myself in fear and negativity. But, instead I get to feel this independent joy and sense of freedom, excitement, and adventure for something that’s all my own.
She made my day, and, I’m pretty sure I made hers. And it’s all because we both heard each other, and loudly. And, we accepted what the other had to say.