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
Drinking movie suggestion: The Thin Man
Benedictions and Maledictions