Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Counseling is a crap shoot. In this age of HMOs, PPOs, and Web-search everything, looking for a mental health counselor is quite simple. In the case of my insurance, it has its own site entirely dedicated to mental health...punch in the criteria you're looking for in a head-shrinker, press Submit, and viola! Looking for a psychiatrist as opposed to a social worker? Click! Feel more comfortable with a black male, or a white female? Click! But you're still spinning the roulette wheel as to how you'll feel once you've met the person, whether you'll actually be comfortable enough to open up with them and get any work of substance done.

This wasn't my first time on the couch; I started counseling at 19 in college and tried it on and off til age 27. Then my meds put me on a reasonably even keel, and I've spent the last 10 years feeling, dare I say, normal. So it wasn't so much trepidation as skepticism that tagged along as I went to my first visit with X. Keeping in mind that it's impossible to feel satisfied after the first meeting with a new counselor, because you're forced to nutshell your life into a 50-minute segment so that they have a clue about your issues . . . I was finally getting down to the details of Dad's death with 8 frickin' minutes left in the session. So my initial feeling about it is...blank. She'll be fine, nice lady, mid-50s, country club type without seeming airbrushed (which is a relief, lemme tellya...I try not to judge books by their covers, but those women who look like they just stepped off a golf course drive me nuts)...but I can tell that time and study will be quite the healers in the coming months, maybe more so than her skills...won't sell her short yet, it's not her...it's just this grief thing really is a growth experience that can't be pigeonholed or categorized too stringently. Lil Sis made a comment on her Facebook about how she's ready for things to seem normal again.....I hope she means a new version of normal, because I don't see back to normal in the cards at all. We're all going to change from this, are changing...there's still this abyss in my soul where my dad used to be, and getting that abyss to heal ain't gonna happen overnight, that's for sure. And when it does, it'll be an entirely new section of my soul, from chrysalis to butterfly, as it were. I'm being a little close-minded about the counseling, I know...I'm going to dig into those grief books from the library in the meantime, and I have another appointment scheduled for next week. We'll see...my brain may be blank, but that existential ache in my belly's pretty bad today.

One thing I'm tired of...being tired. I catch up on the weekends, but I'm lucky to get 5 or 6 hours a night during the week, because my brain won't turn off, and work is just exhausting. Which is quite frustrating because all I do is sit on my ass in front of a computer all day, I'm a true cubicle mole, but then I get home and my brain's oatmeal, so that even knitting takes an act of will at times. I'm going through the motions at work, and I don't even realize I'm holding something in, it's entirely rote or robotic or something, doesn't feel like I'm holding anything in, until I'm driving home and can't catch my breath because a memory pokes its way out...I can tell I'm due for some more therapeutic screaming.

So, Suns game tonight if we're not rained out (fireworks and free ice cream! gonna rain all day tho', so trying not to get my hopes up), and family time tomorrow. Gotta renew the library books Thursday, so I'll take a look at them in the next day or two and decide which ones are even worth keeping.

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