I met a new friend recently. NOT just a new friend; a fellow West Wing fan - these things are important! As it turns out we have some other things in common too, including the fact that we're both dealing with the effects of some ugly stuff in childhood. Our stories are not the same by any means but there are some common threads.

I was around at her house on the weekend to watch some West Wing... we got through half an episode (I know - and we call ourselves fans!) and spend most of the evening chatting instead. At one point my friend asked how long I'd been seeing a counsellor. I said it's been about 18 months: 10 months with Bad Counsellor and 8 months with Good Counsellor (yes, that's how they're designated in my head). My friend said, "You're amazing. You've come so far in such a short time!"

This threw me entirely for a minute. Let me give this some context... I would estimate that there are about 1 in 5 counselling sessions where I say things like I never expected to be in counselling for this long; I feel like I'm doing something wrong because my progress is so slow and half the time I feel like I'm going backwards; I feel stupid that I talk about the same things week after week and don't seem to be getting anywhere; and I feel like I'm never going to feel any different from the way I feel now. So to hear someone say I've come "so far" was surprising. It reminded me that most of the time I have very little perspective about any of this. Often I feel like I'm approaching counselling from a reactionary stance. Things come up and I talk about them; and while I'm dealing with the Crisis Of The Week I forget to look and see how the thing I'm dealing with RIGHT NOW, that seems like the only thing in the world, fits into the bigger picture.

You all know I hate using the word 'journey' in relation to counselling and healing, but (yes, I'm going to do it) I'm afraid I can't escape the fact that it IS a journey. If I don't look back occasionally at where I've been then I get caught up in the urgent and start thinking I haven't taken any forward steps at all. Similarly, if I don't have at least some idea of what 'better' looks like it makes it very hard to work towards getting there.

I don't know that I want to use the word 'amazing' just yet, but it was good to get someone else's perspective. I have a long way to go and most times I have only the vaguest idea of where I'm going anyway, but in all that I shouldn't lose sight of how far I've come.


Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

It is good to get someone else's perspective on things isn't it.

Hippomanic Jen said...

God Bless her for being able to give you some perspective.

It must be hard to see the whole war when you're involved in today's battle.

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