By Will

There are endless stages during analysis. Like floating in the sea you are continually tossed around. Sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards and sometimes downwards. Constant movement and chaos without an absolute end result to cling to. It takes courage and perseverance to continually lay out your often out of date thought patterns and beliefs.  I often liken it to peeling back the skin from an onion. Bit by bit, layer by layer, the premise being to get down to the inner core. Some stages are painful while others are liberating and some moments seem to change perceptions for good. Some sessions can make you feel like an unprotected and vulnerable child and the following session had me feeling that way.

With my head in my hands sitting up on the couch I was trembling, anxious, emotional and distraught. I wanted to ask my therapist something. It felt so child like to ask and I imagined that my question would not receive the answer I needed to hear. My therapist never gave me advice, it was up to me to work things out by myself, and to ask this would feel like a school boy error. I felt like I was falling into pieces, my emotion was overwhelming and finally after what seemed like 30 mins of deliberating on my question, it just came out. ‘Am I going to be alright?’

The silence seemed to last forever when my therapist finally said ‘I don’t know’. His answer did not dry my tears, nor did it stop the deep pain I was experiencing but I knew that he was telling me his truth. How could he possibly know I was going to be 100% alright. Like a child bearing pain I wanted to hear ‘of course you are’ or ‘this is just part of the process.’ What I was left with was an unfamiliar feeling of realness, that I was connected to something truthful and right. That moment is when I fully trusted my therapist and the first moment I truly trusted anybody.

We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy ~ W Anderson


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8 responses to “Trust

  1. This seems so familiar. The desire to be given the answers, to be told what is wrong with us and to be given the answers. Then realising that it would destroy all the learning. I llok forward to reading more.

  2. It is so brave of you to create this blog,;I hold you in awe. I also value that you trust your readership enough to be so brutally honest in what you share. I don’t want to relay my therapy experiences to the public; I fear being judged but maybe I am my worst judge here?!

    • I know what you mean, it took me quite some time and much deliberation to publish these moments. Its about time I just excepted me as I am, I will never be perfect!

  3. Thank you, Will. I echo Helen’s awe and deepest regard for you. You’ve given much; not only awe and regard, but gratitude. You teach.

    I asked that of a near sponsor, once (near meaning she wasn’t “technically” my sponsor). With the same awful trepediation, mulling for a long time before I was able to actually say.

    She, too, said I don’t know. And of course there can’t be any other answer.

    But she also said this: I don’t know if you will be. Maybe not. But I know that you already are, right now. You might screw that up, though.

    I have that big, black dog of a shadow, breathing on my neck. There is something in me that doubts alrightness, something in me that is sure I will never be alright, never be okay. My deepest secret (yay anonymity of the interconnected web) is that I’m afraid I’ll one day kill myself. That I won’t be able to not. Sobriety has made that vulnerablity more real, that doubt loud: alcohol was my grit that allowed me to not do it, today.

    Trust and doubt maybe exist together. Doubt of future strength, trust that it’s not right now. Not today. Not this time. Trust overwhelms me with its poignancy. One day in my drinking life, my sister was due to visit me in NYC. I woke up beaming. I put on an old record, sha boom sha boom, and I danced in my pajamas with a stupid kind of joy, uncaffenated and simple. Near my one year dry date, I realized that I have that feeling all the time now, every day. I realized I don’t want to die, any longer.

    The fear, the doubt, is still there. Because I’ve known the dark, I am always aware that the dark could come back. It could. I may be a miserable mess of a human being. I may collapse. I may utterly fail.

    But not today. Not this time. Not now.

    It’s warmer here today, Will. I’ve just been walking with my faithful hound. That love, whatever it is, felt so big in me I spent half an hour throwing snowballs into an empty field. I made you a snow angel. It exists. And maybe no one can know what it means. But you do, now. And I do. It means nothing at all, and everything, all at once.

    Namaste papi.

    • Karin, It took me a while to reply to your comment as I had to let it digest fully. It is always comforting to know we are not alone and that we all share similar experiences and bless you for sharing yours here. In this case experiences of trust. I guess what we are really floating around is trusting oneself and to do that we perhaps have to fully trust another first. Then we are comfortable with our boundaries.

      I believe, like nature, there will always be dark and shadows lurking. Always. Lighting a single candle in a dark cave illuminates everything and your candle has been lit. Like you say, you can only fear something that has already happened. The complexity is that that fear becomes the basis of fear of fear and so on.

      I have goosebumps when I think of my snow angel, how kind you are to me, and how kind you will be to yourself. The snow angel was for you.


  4. You are a braver man than I to detail such emotive thoughts. Thank You.

    • Fenlander, thanks for the comment about being brave. I always think of bravery as doing something despite being frightened and I have been brave in that respect in therapy. Writing about my emotive thoughts did not take courage for me strangely enough, they just are what they are and I think I have now accepted them.

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