It’s one week on. This is the test. The first Monday of a new era.
My years worth of therapy ended last week. We didn’t just waffle away the last session, there were still some more learnings to come out and we went right up to the final whistle. A firm handshake (I wanted to hug her but I’m twice her size and worried I’d break her) and I emerged blinking in to the light.
When I started therapy I was mindful of the Nietzsche quote;
“Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”
I was frightened of what therapy would bring up, the dark thoughts from a life lived partly in shadow, maybe the final accounting for some of my deplorable behaviour when manic in past years. Also I was afraid that there wasn’t much hope for me. Able to function (albeit badly) I knew I had to make the most of this chance. For me it felt like everything was riding on it. I had let down too many people, hurt so many others and also hurt myself…….
……….and yet there is also a side of me which has always stood up for those less fortunate or able. I’ve been the watchman, patrolling the gates. Could I let my own guard down long enough for some help and understanding?
I have stood for a year on the edge of my own personal abyss, gazing in to it. It has gazed back with an unwavering stare. It has exposed my weaknesses, laid bare many of my defences but I have also fought back, striven to understand myself. I have tried to stop “thinking my feelings”, have tried to forgive myself and accept some situations for what they are. In some cases I have been successful, in others less so.
So that’s it. Therapy is done and I’m released back to my GP. I get a review in six months but unless there is a major relapse I’m on my own – and that scares me. I’m worried about how it goes from here. Whether the bad dreams and the terrors will return, whether I am strong enough to cope without the regular support, the release of tension that characterised my sessions. Already my sleep is disturbed but that might just be a phase.
The feeling was that more therapy would be beneficial, however I’ve had all I’m allowed. They offered to find me someone who would take private clients but I can’t bear to tell my story again to a new therapist. I also know that I’m better off than many out there. Currently I can earn a living and have a large degree of autonomy in my life. I need to apply myself in order to stay healthy, I need to make that happen because as I found a few years ago it can all slip away from you very quickly.
So for now, I’ve walked away from the edge of the abyss. I’ve battled with monsters but hopefully I’ve kept that human part of me.
The watchman who stands up for others must also stand for himself.