The shower is such a therapeutic place. Have you ever been in the bathroom just scrub-a-dub-dubbing, cleaning your beautiful body, and all of your best thoughts come up to the surface? I swear the shower is where all inventions have been thought of. Or, when you’re in there and you think back to a conversation you had that day and you think of a better response or even better comeback you could have said? Maybe that’s where all those great well known speeches have come from. The shower.
Ok, well, I was in there and I was talking to myself. You know, just checking in with my inner being. (Don’t know why the shower though, but I was also thinking maybe its because we’re all naked and we’re the most vulnerable that way, and our thoughts just come out? Not sure, anyways off topic). I have been debating on seeing some one. Not romantically, I mean for my brain. And then I told myself, why don’t you just help yourself? You know? Get to know yourself. Be your own therapist.
That’s exactly what I did. And this is how the first session went.
Therapist Me: Please sit down. (Yes I told my self to sit down, don’t judge me).
Actual Me: Thank you.
Therapist Me: You’re welcome. How are you?
Actual Me: I’m good.
Therapist Me: I’m glad. How have you been?
Actual Me: I’ve been ok.
Therapist Me: Just ok?
Actual Me: Yes. Last week I had a little meltdown.
Therapist Me: Do you want to talk about it?
Actual Me: I don’t even know where to start.
Therapist Me: What did you feel?
Actual Me: I felt sad. I think.
Therapist Me: You think?
Actual Me: I wasn’t feeling like I could handle life at the moment.
Therapist Me: Is there something in your life that you are having a hard time with?
Actual Me: There are many things. Too many things, and I don’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do.
Therapist Me: Do you remember what started it?
Actual Me: No. I was fine, at least I thought I was.
Therapist Me: What do you think changed?
Actual Me: I’m not sure. I woke up Friday. Everything was fine. But it just changed.
Therapist Me: What were you thinking about?
Actual Me: My friend. And something that happened Thursday.
Therapist Me: Are those two connected?
Actual Me: Some how. My friend and I are in this religion. I like it. But sometimes I feel like they want me to be someone I am not. They have these plans for me. They want me to be like my friend.
Therapist Me: Who is your friend?
Actual Me: He is a “servant” at my church. It’s some one just under an “Elder”. He has responsibilities and stuff. But to get that tittle, or um, they call it a “privilege”, you have to be a very spiritual person.
Therapist Me: He’s very spiritual.
Actual Me: He is. He does everything he is supposed to and always follows the rules. Since we are friends, I think everyone just assumes that I will walk in his foot steps and be just like him. But I can’t.
Therapist Me: You don’t have to.
Actual Me: I do.
Therapist Me: Why do you think you have to?
Actual Me: They all want me to.
Therapist Me: Who is they?
Actual Me: My mom, my church friends, the Elders in the congregation, and basically all the other people that go.
Therapist Me: You mentioned Thursday. What happened that day?
Actual Me: One of the elders had been texting me that he and another wanted to come to my house and just chat with me. But I already knew what they were going to say.
Therapist Me: How did you know?
Actual Me: They have gone before.
Therapist Me: What do they talk to you about?
Actual Me: Usually its because I am doing everything in my church I am supposed to and then suddenly I lag or don’t really do that much as I was, and they want to check up on me and read me Bible texts.
Therapist Me: Sounds like they care about your spirituality.
Actual Me: They do. But, I feel pressured at times. I was just not in a good mood. Or just scared. I don’t really know. So I went out with a friend instead and told them I wasn’t going to make it. They still went to my house but I wasn’t there.
Therapist Me: A different friend than the one we are talking about?
Actual Me: Yes. She doesn’t go to my church. She’s actually not in the religion at all. I have a couple of friends that aren’t in my religion. I’m not really supposed to talk to them because they are considered a bad influence.
Therapist Me: Are they bad people?
Actual Me: No
Therapist Me: Why are they a bad influence?
Actual Me: They don’t believe what I believe, so they are considered bad. They might persuade me to do something that goes against what the Bible teaches.
Therapist Me: Do you like being around these friends?
Actual Me: I do.
Therapist Me: You are in this religion. You have friends there. Your mom is there. You like it. But you also have other friends that do not attend, who you like to be with but are told not to. The, “Elders”, as you said, want you to assume this role they have planned out for you but you don’t want it. (Pause) What would happen if you just told them? You’re not leaving the church, you’re are just not assuming any responsibilities.
Actual Me: That’s not a good thing to do. It will look as if I don’t want to be there. Or I don’t want to help out with what they ask me to. They will think I don’t want to grow within the church, and they will just be disappointed.
Therapist Me: Why don’t you try it. If they care about you so much they will understand. Try to find a way to tell them that it is bothering you that they are trying to compare you to your friend. I’m sure they will understand.
Actual Me: I can try.
Therapist Me: Pretend I am one of the Elders. I ask you about your spiritual goals. What would you say?
Actual Me: Uh, mmm. Some times I feel like everyone has a set picture of who they want me to be, but no one asks me how I feel about it.
Therapist Me: Go on.
Actual Me: I feel like you want me to be just like XXXXX. But I can’t. I know saying it sounds so bad. But that doesn’t mean I hate God, it doesn’t mean that I hate the religion. It just means I can’t be what everyone already expects me to be. I’m sorry.
Therapist Me: Good. How do you feel?
Actual Me: Nervous but at the same time a little better.
Therapist Me: Why don’t you practice saying that over and over. Think of other ways you can say it, so when the time comes, you can express yourself and let them know how you feel. How they are making you feel.
Actual Me: I will. Thank you.
Therapist Me: You’re welcome, that is what I am here for
In all seriousness. This helped a lot. I don’t know if talking to myself like this makes me a total loon, but if so, it doesn’t matter, it helped.