I’ve been seeing a therapist on and off since second grade. There was the one with Lego figures on her desk (8 yrs old), the one who told my mother never to bring me back after I successfully went the entire 50 minutes without speaking (9 yrs old), the one with whom I discussed the plot of every single V.C. Andrews book I was secretly reading (12 – 14), the one who yelled at me that I was “going to hell in a hand basket” (15) and of course the one who baptized me Mormon to ensure that didn’t happen (16).
One might assume there was something horribly wrong with me, considering my mother put me into therapy before my two front teeth had even finished growing in, but it’s more complicated than that (isn’t it always?).
Mostly, I was just a very unhappy child at home, one who felt misunderstood by her family and wanted nothing more than to be somewhere -- anywhere -- else. I even managed to convince my mother to send me to overnight camp for two weeks at the age of five. It was the happiest two weeks of my life up to that point.
Needless to say, I’m a bit of a therapy expert. And I’m a huge fan. I believe that anyone can benefit from taking the time to speak with a trained professional. But I also believe that, for the average person, therapy is a luxury, not a necessity.
Which is why I decided this week that I was going to breakup with my therapist.
After a five-year hiatus, I went back into therapy this past November. I was going through some stuff that required emergency therapy stat.
I truly believe that had I not gone into therapy at that point in time, I would not have been able to survive the next few months without having a nervous breakdown. While it was still difficult, my psychologist helped me manage my anxiety, come up with a plan for how I wanted to deal with everything, and was a sounding board for all of my fears, frustrations and follies.
Plus, he laughed at all of my jokes.
But now things have calmed down and though my life is certainly not perfect, everything is pretty status quo, which means I can’t really justify the $200 per session price tag and mostly that therapy just feels a bit unnecessary. I mean, I say that I think everyone can benefit from therapy and I believe it, but there's also something sort of indulgent about sitting in a chair and talking about yourself for an entire hour. (That being said, if you're the type of person who enjoys that, please, get a therapist instead of inviting your girl friends to cocktails under the pretense of "catching up.")
So while therapy might be great for many people, fo me, it's just starting to feel a bit gluttonous. Which is why I marched in there yesterday, slightly hungover from my pre-birthday drinks, and announced that I was seriously considering quitting.
“Are you happy?” my therapist asked.
“Sure,” I said. “I mean, not right this second because I drank my weight in vodka last night, but for the most part: yes. Not like overly happy, but I'm fine.”
“Why do you think you want to stop therapy?”
And so I explained. “Of course I have issues. Everyone has issues. But I feel like I am very well aware of mine and there’s no point in talking about them. I mean, I know what they are; just deal with them, Daisy!”
“Well," he said, nodding thoughtfully while jotting down some notes, "perhaps we should talk about why it is you feel it's better to just deal with them yourself instead of discussing them with someone else."
Which we’re totally going to do in our session next week.