Saturday, December 09, 2006

Up Against The Wall


I've often debated the benefits of therapy with friends, sometimes for, mostly against, but as the saying goes, there are no aetheists in foxholes, and when my back is against the wall, I often suggest it to people in pain, not because I think it will help, only because I hope it will, much the same way a non-religious person prays -- with desperation and little to no faith. I once turned to a counselling center for a particular issue (I was getting to where I didn't want to leave my apartment which seemed a little too Howard Hughes for my taste, and I could fast-forward to the day where I'd be draping Kleenex over every available surface and letting myself go, as in go slowly or even worse, quickly mad) and had to take a test to see how crazy I was. The test consisted of hundreds of questions, and even I in my agitated, broken state knew how to answer, questions like Do you see your face on national magazines? Unless you're Cindy Crawford, I assume you're sane if you check no.

I'm a therapist's nightmare; this much I know. Like my worst students, I radiate the aura of not wanting to be there, looking around for the exit like someone in the grip of the delirium tremens. Like many writers, I'm afraid to analyze the source of my material for fear of "ruining" it. I had a moment of true panic when I read Jane Smiley, author of the brilliant book A Thousand Acres, write in Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Novel, that after she rid her life of conflict, she found herself unable to write. Smiley said she protected herself from this fate in many ways -- no drinking, no drugs, no crazy ego -- and still. As for me, I've never had much luck with ridding my life of conflict or much of the other stuff, so I guess I don't have to be nervous. As for me, I got over my trauma without too many visits. For me, it was a mercy that almost all insurance eventually runs out, and you're left on your own to cast your bread upon the waters, wander the desert, or leave your apartment, your head down braced against what might happen next.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"I've been in psychotherapy for fifteen years. If it doesn't work by next year, I'm going to Lourdes." Woody Allen

Cocktail Hour

Drinking movie suggestion: The Thin Man

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Saturday!

20 comments:

JR's Thumbprints said...

Speaking of "Up Against The Wall," no matter where I go, I keep my back to the wall and my eyes on the exit. Something about crazy ex-felons suddenly appearing. Call it a phobia if you will, but I'll never be broken of this habit.

Waylon J. said...

I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane.

Crazy Guggenheimer said...

It seems like every other person is bipolar nowadays

Hamlet said...

I am but mad north-northwest....

Baba Wawa said...

Never mind.

R.P. McMurphy said...

Well, I want to watch the world series. Don't you guys want to watch the world series? What about you, Martini? Don't you want to watch the world series?

Greta Garbo said...

I vahnt to be alone.

Al Capone said...

Line up against the wall, over there.

Howard Hughes said...

No, I don't want a fingernail trimmer kit for Christmas. Nor do I want a beard trimmer, either.

Don Gardner said...

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.

Patsy Cline said...

I'm crazy for feelin' so lonely.

Anonymous said...

I've always liked therapy. I can't get enough of talking about myself.

Tim said...

I've gone to therapy sessions and found them slightly helpful for my issues, mainly because I was getting insight into things that hadn't occured to me that could be connected with my problems. Ultimately though,it's up to me to face and conquer my fears, and I've often wondered what kind of a person I'd be if I could accomplish that. Better, I'm sure, but also very different I know.

Laura said...

I'm good at giving advice, but terrible in taking advice. In a conflict, I know in my mind what I should do, but that doesn't mean I do it. Oh well, no one's perfect.

Paul said...

Cajun Q Im almost up against the wall but you rock me, Foxy Lady Electgtric Paul lovesyababy
Shazammm O Mighty Isia
R2 C2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a strange blog.I like the pictures.My first visit.You are cute.

r's musings said...

Therapists are like any other form of counsel, there are ones that are helpful and ones where you'll find that you're saner than they are. The question always seems to boil down to how much are we willing to face in any given moment. Sometimes it's not much at all. And that's okay, it's all part of learning self-acceptance. I don't think you have to be crazy to be a good writer, but you know what they say about opinions...

Jon said...

You may be right,
I may be crazy,
But it just might be a lunatic you're looking for.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle, anything Bill Joel agrees with me. Such a smashing view and post and thoughts. However I would never see a therapist I think it's bullshit. Champagne kisses, caviar, Bravo dear girl!

The Walking Man said...

The Walking Man has been to to many therapist and psychiatric hospitals to remember, most of the time he was carried in through sheer force or court order, all of the time through seer sanity he found a way to walk away from them and the very last time he was fired by his therapist with a letter in the mail that said to the affect "you're too nuts for me go somewhere else."

My opinion is how can someone I am paying$200 dollars for a fity minute hour to be my "best friend" actually help me? If I need to talk about myself I will talk to myself and find the answer inside (meaning, yes, answer myself)Yet I think everyone needs to hear the "um hmmm and how did that make you feel?" from a shrink once maybe twice just because in a way you understand that you have a better vocabulary than the one being paid.