So periodically I like to see what gets dredged up from the mental depths with a post inspired by the first word out of a random word generator.
Considering the first word out this go round was “rehabilitation” I almost chunked the whole thing because that seemed pretty damn fraught what with the past year and all. But what the hell, we’ll give it a shot.
Most obviously the mind jumps to… Rehab type rehab.
I did have a family member in rehab this year.
And it has been needed for oh, about a couple of decades now at least- for alcoholism.
It was something I’d pushed for for YEARS, and then it happened and I was angry. I was angry? I was angry.
It actually led to a lot of good things, but for the longest time I couldn’t identify or pinpoint where the anger about this loved one finally getting help was coming from. I did eventually figure out if the loved one gets help for the alcoholism and that’s fixed, then any other issues can’t be blamed on that anymore and I’ll have to come to different terms about those. (That took a long time to pull out, lemme tell you)
Anyway. To be supportive I went to Al-Anon. (loved ones of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings) and read an absolute shit ton of the literature. And I started realizing some pretty damn uncomfortable things.
Like a lot of the traits that I prided myself on… were ones commonly associated with children of alcoholics. (Yes, yes. Spoiler alert and all.)
I mean, and here I prided myself on my:
- Extreme sense of responsibility
- Tendency to shoulder the burden
- Dark sense of humor
And then there were some no so great ones like:
- Seeks approval (overachiever)/crushed by disapproval (perfectionist)
- Hyper aware of other people’s perceptions/feelings
I was… not happy to find out so many of what I thought were just intrinsic traits were in fact reactive to something I wanted distance from. So, that sucked. But I knew about Nature vs. Nurture so I shouldn’t have been crazy surprised I guess.
Yeah… so if those were coping strategies in response to this thing I’d been dealing with from my past… well that sucks. But then, I liked a few of those things? So weird.
And so the thinking at this period of time got REAL introspective.
So I tried to read my way out of it. And so many of the books were so close… but not exactly right. And then one day, the thought just kinda welled up: “Forty years is enough.”
I made a call. I got in therapy the same week as the call (few weeks before my birthday) and have been going weekly since. At the beginning I was… not my greatest me in the evenings after the sessions- just felt kinda raw or overwhelmed or something, though the past few weeks have been markedly better.
It… it dredges up a lot. The focus is on mental pathways and identifying patterns of thinking and yes; it’s helping but it feels like work and it is. Considering “Rehabilitation” is just another word for “Therapy” consider this applicable to the blog post.
And I like my therapist. She’s about my age. Says “fuck” a lot. Sprinkles in a rare “shit.” Gives me Ted-talk homework occasionally. It’s a good fit.
So. There ya go. It’s the thing I’ve been dancing around for months here on the blog and it took “ye ole random word generator” to get it out there.
Anyhoo… I’m fine, swear to god.