Thursday, January 14, 2010

Been There

When I was little my best friend was Catholic. She told me about nuns, and I've got to tell you, it sounded pretty cool to me at the time.  Nuns didn't have to live with any boys around, they got to wear  halloween clothes every day and they had a ticket to Heaven.  We thought surely all nuns went to Heaven.

Then one day I couldn't go see my opthamologist because he was sick.  Hmmmm.  If doctors could get sick, could nuns go to 7734?*  H. . . E. . . double hockey sticks?

Right after high school I went to nursing school to learn how to help people be well.  It's where I, and probably most of my sister students learned to smoke cigarettes.  AND the place was run by an old nun who is probably dead by now, but whom I doubt very much is in Heaven. My whole vision of how the world works turned topsy-turvy.

I did not become a nun or a nurse.  But I did eventually become a psychotherapist and regardless I've had more than my share of flu, smoking, boys, major depression and PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder)  and various combinations of those.

But I get flu shots every year now.  And I kicked the smoking addiction years ago.  I have absolutely no fear of going to an eternal lake of fire, my depression is pretty much controlled right now, and I have no doubt that soon I'll be able to hear a loud noise without breaking into tears.

Now if you're thinking that I'm a weak person, let me ever-so-gently correct the pooh out of you. I'm strong enough to know when I need to take care of me.  I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, I am woman hear me roar, I am music and I write the songs.  Ok, so I'm a wee bit off center.  I am a good therapist.
A therapist who's never needed therapy is like a baker who can't eat wheat or a male obstetrician - sure they exist, but they can't understand their work completely.  Not completely.

And some of you are thinking that I shouldn't share so much about myself.  That I should keep my shameful little secrets to myself.  Well, I guess that's my point.  I am not ashamed.  And if you've ever had the flu or smoked or had depression or PTSD, foot odor, or occassional irregularity go ahead and celebrate your humanity. You're in good company.

*7734 (read it upside down)


  1. Two comments.

    In my years of working with inpatient drug addicts, they much preferred therapists and techs who had "been there"--they sensed our empathy, and trust developed more quickly because we spoke the same language.

    About "sharing so much about yourself," you probably make people uncomfortable by your ability to be open and honest ("transparent" as it were), rather than hiding behind a mask. Keep it up, Fay!

  2. I found your blog through Carlie. I hope you will stop by my blog and let me know what you think. I think it's very interesting you said about "a therapist who doesn't need therapy is like baker who can't eat wheat or a male (OBGYN)." I would definatly like some of your input. I would also like to come back and visit your blog sometimes too.