Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How I fooled my shrink into thinking I'm nuts

My shrink likes to know anything that has upset me recently. But he's not there for talk therapy. So I have to vent ahead of time,  to my friend Gina verbally, or in an email to one of my online  confidantes, then edit it down to the most important information & points, in under five minutes. I need to do this only a couple of times each year. If I get too rattled about something, I get all wound up & anxious.   What gets wound up must unwind, & that can lead to depression.  In matters where I can make a quick decision & stop the winding up process,  I make one.

I could vent longer to the shrink's freshly-minted social worker, who looks about 21. Young social workers love to hear you talk, it's the only way they get experience. But they're solicitous rather than insightful. An experienced social worker has heard everything  & discourages you from struggling with any situation where  nothing tangible  is there to be gained.  But if you choose to  struggle, they want you to battle, &  are kickass allies.

I told my shrink  what bugged me & why, &  for the first time in all the years I've known him I caught a glimpse of a WTF? expression in his face. Then the phone  on his desk rang,  the moment was lost. When he hung up, he had me elaborate a little bit. I'm not interested in  discussing the ancient history anymore, I glued that together years ago. This current situation required a practical decision that chose itself, since it is the same decision I currently make for every social event:  Avoid em. Who invites or how I get there don't even factor in. I didn't think the event was an exception.  To imagine it as exceptional would also be delusional.  I had dealt with it the best way I could  without a personal therapist helping me design a strategy for it that would make  the event a ... teachable moment for those involved. We all need a teachable moment now & then.
If I'm as smart, devious & persuasive as a few people give me credit for, I'd have won two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships by now, have  a poet-in-residence  gig at a college, & a show on Sirius radio.

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