I have a new therapist. She’s still getting oriented to who I am and what’s going on because no matter how straightforward and blunt I manage to be, there is a lot of territory to cover in explaining my depression and my life choices, good and less so. I admit I would prefer to find a therapist with a magic wand. Poof! I am transformed into a functional person! Second best would be a therapist who could download the contents of my brain and my heart and my soul in some quick backup process, analyze the data, and then upload some kind of patch.
However, here in Reality Land, things take longer. Worse, I have to do the work myself.
I can talk for days. I can analyze and re-analyze the nuances of every interaction well past the point of all sense. Knowing this, I try to make a point of coming away from my therapy appointments with something specific to do. Analysis is nice, an excellent armchair sport, but I have to be more practical.
This week, I have two related things to do. One is to sleep. You’d think that this instruction would fill me with the kind of glee that I experienced when I was pregnant with Syd and the doctor said, “Eat ice cream!” The circumstances are more similar than they might first appear. Eating the ice cream wasn’t the problem; keeping it down was. My doctor’s goal was to get enough calories in me that I could sustain Syd’s healthy growth. Obviously, that ended up working out fine. I’d love to sleep. Really. Tuck me in and call me in April or so. Not that simple. And I was perversely happy to be confirmed in my sense that I am doing all the things I’m supposed to do to get more sleep. It’s not my fault they’re not working.
The second thing is related to the sleep thing. I’m supposed to pursue my meditative practices. As an organic free-range hippie, I know lots of different meditation techniques. My therapist suggested focusing on progressive relaxation as a way to help me sleep.
So last night I lay there in bed. I relaxed my toes and the balls of my feet, my calves and knees. I thought about the pan soaking in the sink and wondered if the pork chop crust would scrub off easily in the morning. It isn’t fun to face dirty, greasy dishes first thing in the morning, but sometimes things need to soak. And I’d have to empty the dishwasher, too. Oh, wait: knees relaxed. Right. Thighs relaxed. Hips. Lower back. What do you call that place between your shoulder blades? I noticed it was tight when I was driving. I’m so glad that Brent fixed my tire problem. I wonder if it’s going to recur…
Eventually, I did fall asleep, over a book. Maybe I’ll get better at this relaxation thing with practice. Next Monday, I’ll at least get a new assignment.