Therapy Is Hard Work…

Therapy is hard work! But we knew that already, didn’t we?! It’s funny – not funny ‘haha’ more funny ‘strange’ to think a lot of  people still assume that therapy is just going and talking to someone who listens, says nice things, and makes you feel better each week – basically a ‘paid for’ friend. Ha! I wish it were as simple as that!

I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to explain to people whom I know that know I am ‘still in therapy’ (‘how much therapy does one person need?!’) that doing depth work isn’t about pasting over the cracks or simply patching the hole in the roof for a few months and then sending you off out in the big wide world again only now with a thin veneer of ‘coping’ laid on top of whatever the issue is. I’ve done this short-term work in the past (in my early twenties) and I can say it only took a few rainstorms for the problems to be exposed again.

I am sure, for some people, CBT and short-term work is totally fine. Maybe if you just have one small hole in the roof, or a bit of wallpaper that keeps flapping in the corner of the room (or you’re just a pro at doing therapy!), then working on some strategies to fix the leak/paste the paper back might be quick work and that’s therapy done. When I first entered the therapy room I hoped my problems were largely cosmetic. Unfortunately, this seems not to be the case. Having undergone a full survey it’s pretty apparent that the issues are structural and abundant.

I mean let’s be real here, despite first (misleading) appearances, when you get close, my building is bordering on derelict. There’s more holes in the roof than slates on it, everything has a distinctly precarious off-centre lean, there’s woodworm, rising damp, and all manner of missing bits and pieces: floorboards, doors, windows…! It’s not what you’d call ‘habitable’ right now but it’s all I have so I have to camp out whilst I do the work.

Therapy, for me, is a bit like undergoing a complete renovation. The therapy/my therapist is providing a scaffold to sure up the main frame of the building whilst I painstakingly, bit by bit, strip layer after layer back ready to rebuild from the ground up a solid, storm-proof me… it’s taking a while, longer than I had anticipated, and I’ve gone way over budget (!!! OMG I wince at the $£$£), because every now and again just as I start some delicate reconstruction work a bloody great tempest whips up and starts shaking everything with force and then more bits and pieces fly off and I realise I haven’t actually got back to the base on which it is safe to build. Ugh. Annoying!

Every floor of the building is pretty fucked – so much work to do!… and the central stair well is rickety as hell too. Every tread has an issue on it: C-PTSD, Anorexia, Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Fear, Doubt, Shame, Panic, Lethargy, Grief… I hate walking up and down these stairs but it is unavoidable if I am to sort the building out. I am trying to install a handrail at the minute and make sure there aren’t any sneaky holes on the stairs that I might get my foot wedged in. I’m aware that certain areas are more dicey than others: anorexia looks solid but it’s a bloody nightmare and I can find myself waist deep and dangling if I misjudge my step.

As my holiday approaches in two weeks time signalling a two session therapy break I can see that I need to be especially careful not to go arse over tit as I carry my suitcase out over the C-PTSD step…I want to enjoy my holiday. I want to leave this ramshackle project behind so I can have a rest, regroup, and start again on my return with renewed vigour and energy. I guess we’ll have to see what happens, though.

One thing I can be sure of: no one is going to burgle me whilst I’m gone!



15 thoughts on “Therapy Is Hard Work…

  1. Kelley Hageman May 10, 2019 / 9:25 pm

    I once related so well with your posts, now I just envy you. Your therapist is still seeing you, she has for years. Mine is terminating, with no future contact. I am broken. 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. behindapaintedsmile30 May 10, 2019 / 9:41 pm

    My therapist once said that there’s no point trying to rebuild a house which is falling down. You have to tear it down and build it back up. Your post reminded me of that.
    It takes as long as it takes! If you rushed through, you could end up worse off.
    I hope today’s session went okay and was connecting. x

    Liked by 5 people

    • rubberbandsandchewinggum May 10, 2019 / 9:43 pm

      Yeah that’s absolutely the case. I think I get optimistic and despite living in a falling down barn occasionally think it’s possible to go pick out curtains because I have visions of how things will look in the end. Ha! Today was fine. It’s all going ok. Gentle work after the wrecking ball last Friday 🥴

      Liked by 3 people

  3. skinnyhobbit May 11, 2019 / 11:23 am

    Yep, I’m done trying to paste flimsy tape over the deep cracks and structural damage in my psyche. Depth work for deep healing. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  4. summerSHINES May 11, 2019 / 7:51 pm

    I love this metaphor throughout. Therapy is just like a renovation project xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. easetheride May 22, 2019 / 1:51 am

    You’ve got a good foundation though, so the rest will keep coming with time. That building has served you for a long time, you just deserve a more beautiful and enjoyable space to live. Maybe you can pick out some fun little knick knacks as part of that renovation project, just to make it more enjoyable 😉 Keep knocking down walls and rebuilding as needed, sometimes the project doesn’t come out just right the first time. But it’s looking great. You’ve put in such work!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Q (formerly known as Quemada) June 6, 2019 / 4:49 am

    Ah, you’re so right, renovating the house is a hell of a job. E tells me it’s rare that people are invested in doing the really deep work in therapy. Maybe it’s more often the people whose houses are more beat up, but in a twisted way, that might be a blessing in disguise. It motivates us to do the deep work, which in turn helps us gain a level of wisdom and self-awareness that can also bring a rich and beautiful texture to our lives. (At least, that’s what I tell myself when I am struggling and wondering if it’s all worth it!)

    I love this post, the excellent metaphor, and the tone of cautious optimism that I hear in your words. xxooo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rubberbandsandchewinggum June 6, 2019 / 8:34 am

    Thanks Q! I’ve uncovered a flooded basement this last month which is a bit of an inconvenience. I have no idea how to pump it out and until I do none of the other work can be done. Ugh. It’s so bloody frustrating! 😂


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