Nashville, TN: Breaking up IS hard to do, but sometimes, just sometimes, both parties can walk away, appreciating the sweet and the bitter and realizing that saying farewell could actually be a good thing.
On Wednesday, I ended my nearly two-year relationship with my therapist. We began seeing each other when I was on the road for months at a time, throwing myself into my work (as always), but still needing to sort through the ghosts of years past. Knowing I couldn't make a weekly in-person commitment while traveling on a tour bus across America, through some random suggestions and leads, I found someone who was not only a trained psychotherapist, but who also happened to be tech-savvy. So began our "video therapy" dates. Each week, we would set up a time (usually when I had a day off in a hotel room) and either Skype or iChat our way through a 50 minute session, deciphering through whatever the hell was going on in my head.
As the months rolled past, I found myself spending more time in Nashville than anywhere else and we were able to meet face to face. I would sit on her office couch, comforted by the miniature schnauzer on my side, and trudged my way through my murky confusion and heartache. As I tried to unravel the chaotic webs I had woven, she was there with me, not as a judge, but as an third party observer, empathizing and pointing out patterns from long ago.
The best thing she (along with meditation) offered is learning the act of noticing. I never realized how hard it could be to simply notice something without judging it! But she also offered me other gifts, such as an introduction to Richard Rohr, an endless supply of kleenex and a guilt-free alloted time to just talk about my stuff.
Soon, our meetings went down to twice a month and my once necessary therapy turned into maintenance therapy. I enjoyed sharing the times, when on the edge of crisis, I could literally think "WWAS" (what would angela say), and though I wouldn't necessarily follow the imminent advice, her guidance was showing its impact on my life. I realized I was living my life instead of talking about living my life.
As I continue on this always-changing path, I see that my schedule has morphed into a healthy balance of manageable workload and necessary volunteering. My friendships have become more authentic and I can count on a mix of brutal honesty and complete compassion. My relationship, though still in the learning-about-each-other phase, is one where we communicate equally and support each other's journeys. All of THIS would not have happened without HER.
Knowing that I am in better place, knowing that the BIG STUFF isn't as big anymore, and knowing that I can come back anytime I need to (whew), I said my goodbyes and though I won't be seeing her anymore, I know she'll always be one click away.