It's time. I've felt like it was time for a while now. The initial issue that brought me back to therapy this time is not an issue now. But I worried that I would have a crisis and not have any way to get in to see my therapist. I worried that one crisis would be enough to make my life spiral out of my control. Again.
So week after week, appointment after appointment, I kept scheduling. My therapist is scheduled a month or two out and I didn't dare let a gap happen.
It's not like I don't have plenty of issues to work on. It's not like we haven't gotten good work done. But the things I have to work on aren't emergencies. Right now, they aren't even urgent. I'm feeling strong. I've got a good support system in place. I'm getting better at communicating when I'm not okay.
And over the last few months, when I've had a crisis, it's usually been between sessions and I dealt with it before I got back in anyway. We ended up reviewing it in therapy, but not really facing it -- because I'd already done that before I got there.
Honestly, I've been feeling like I was using therapy as a crutch. A crutch is good when you're really wounded, but when it keeps you from making progress in healing, from standing on both feet when you're capable, it's no longer a good thing.
So it was fear of being alone during a crisis, a feeling that I needed backup, someone to protect me, that kept me scheduling.
But my therapist isn't my big brother. He isn't my dad. He isn't even my friend. He is the person I pay to help me see thinking errors and choose more wisely. It's easy to get confused about that relationship -- especially when I go frequently without interruption.
It's easy for therapy to just become a part of my schedule. Just what I do Mondays at 9:00am. And to get swept up in continuing it because scheduling becomes part of the process.
Even though I've been feeling like it was time for a break for a while, I didn't act on it. Partly due to that fear, but also because I didn't feel like I had a good reason. I couldn't explain why.
Well, that's dumb. I don't have to explain why. It's my life and my money and my time; I get to choose how I spend it. And I don't have to have a good reason.
It took a few episodes of not seeing eye to eye with my therapist, being offended and/or angered by what he said, and another bad session to hit me in the head and wake me up.
When I need therapy again, really need it, I will probably go back to him. He is a good man who knows my story. He's good at what he does. And I think we will work better together after a break.
But it's time. It's time to get some distance from my therapist so I can get the relationship clear in my head again (and he can, too). It's time to figure out what I want to do instead of being swept along by the process. It's time to get back to protecting myself, because that's MY job.