This week's blog is by a big Mr. Perfect supporter and originally appeared at Finding Franky - a new site for Counsellors and those needing help - it will be live soon so watch this space!
I met my wife for dinner last night after my second session with my new shrink. She looked at me, knowing not everything was quite right and asked how the session went. I paused for a moment and thought about how I really felt. Sad, happy, relieved. And then answered her honestly, "I’m absolutely buggered!"
Now, this is not my usual answer and she was unsure on how to respond. I never needed a response to be honest, her support just being there is plenty. I know I should really tell her this. Anyway, back to the point. My usual answer after sessions with my old shrink was, "It was great, got a lot off my chest, feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders...." etc etc. Happy days!
That response was repeated until my sixth or seventh session when, in one session, I had ran out of things to talk about and there was an awkward silence between us. At that point I left thinking, "Great, I must be cured".
This was incredibly naive on my behalf as several months later, and with no further appointments, I noticed I was slipping back into my old bad habits. My mood swings returned at pace and my anxiety was at it's worst. I decided it was type to jump back on the horse.
After a discussion with one of my best mates he recommended a shrink that he had met and thought highly of and so here I am. At dinner with my wife, exhausted.
Normally the feeling of exhaustion after a session that is meant to help may seem like a nightmare for some, but for me it is exactly what I need. I love going to my early morning boot camp with my friends and the feeling of exhaustion afterwards but knowing I have worked so hard gives me an incredibly proud feeling. After a quick bite to eat and shower I am feeling great and ready to face the day ahead.
In my new sessions I don’t go there and vent about my boss, colleagues, the wife and general pressures in life. Don’t get me wrong, this type of therapy may be perfect for others, but not for me. I found I was just skimming the top off my problems and not delving into them.
After just two sessions, I realised I have opened up more than I have to anyone and started to dig down to the real problems. As painful as it was to be pushed to get there, my God it felt good to be honest with myself and start to see where the roots of the problem are. For the first time I am seeing progress.
The same good friend told me a brilliant analogy, "Going to see a shrink is like going to the gym. If you come out of the gym fresh then you have not worked hard enough and you will see no change. If you come out knackered you know you have worked hard and you will see improvements". Now, as true or not as that may be, it certainly works for me and that is the entire point of the sessions. For me to get the best out of them.
If this blog can teach anything it is there are many therapists out there, all different, with different skill sets suitable for different people and personalities. Not everyone will be a match. You need to find the correct match to get the best benefit for you. So do not be scared of "shopping" around until you find yours as when you do find the right one, the progress can be amazing. Like turning that beer belly into a six-pack (that can be my next challenge!).