I graduated therapy recently.
What? You didn’t know that was a thing?
After about two and a half years on the couch, including a brief affair with hypnotherapy, I was released.
But Go Jules Go, you’re probably thinking. You? Therapy? How can this be? Is it the chipmunk thing? ‘Cause that’s been making me kind of uncomfortable for a long time now.
It’s true, friends. This hilarious, blonde bombshell you see before you has some clumps in her mascara.
At first I felt uneasy being set free. Who would I talk to? And then I remembered you!
The thing that made me realize my therapist was right, that I was indeed ready to stand on my own two, massive, massive, size 11 feet, was the fact that I had made friends with my demons. I’d invited them onto that couch with me, and instead of trying to suffocate them with one of my therapist’s oversized pillows, we started chatting.
The one demon in particular who led me to therapy was an old
friend frenemy. FOOD.
When I’m stressed, angry, sad, wondering why Darren Criss still hasn’t returned my calls, you name it, I’ll let it build and build and then the sun will set and suddenly I’m surrounded by crumbs, salt and shame. Even positive things, like embracing an ethical vegan lifestyle,
running a marathon, going back to grad school, and making the move to tiny living, brought monumental anxiety.
Every moment in my personal history, a history rich with love, laughter, beautiful sights and broken hearts, is colored by whatever I happened to weigh at that time. Give me any year back to 1991, when I was 9 years old, and I can probably provide an exact number – and exactly how I felt about that number.
During my first couple of years in therapy, I thought I could fix whatever the hell was wrong with me. I knew food was a merely symptom, but for goddsakes, I was in my mid-30s now, surely time to turn a corner here. Then I realized: My issues were never going away, least of all this one.
And that’s what has made all the difference.
My issues and I can sit side by side in this life, sometimes in companionable silence, other times in a raging battle, and everything is going to be O-KAY. It’s how I relate to them, how I deal with them moment to moment, that really matters. Why not pull my darkest parts into the light where I can admire and understand every
ugly lovely inch of them? They are part of me, after all.
Besides, if I’m going to fret over anything, it should be the fact that Darren Criss STILL hasn’t called me back.
“I remember how panicked I was when I first came here,” I said to my therapist on our second to last visit, gazing between her cluttered desk and oversized necklace. “It’s not that my issues have gone away. It’s just that I feel so much differently about them. So much calmer.”
She nodded. “Does that feel like progress?”
“If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is,” I replied.
So now that I’ve invited my favorite frenemy over to spend some quality time, I’ve decided (s)he needs a name.
I’m thinking Osama binge Laden. Yes? No?
Any other frenemies out there you’d like to introduce?