If My Therapist Won’t See Me Anymore, Is That A Graduation or a Break-Up?

My next session with my therapist will be my last.

We had planned to continue seeing each other through the end of the year, but through an insurance glitch we discovered that I am only covered through one more session.  Next year her insurance changes, and I won’t be able to see her then.

SO.  Here we are – the end of the road.  She says I’m ready to be therapy-free, and she’s maybe right.  Obviously with bipolar disorder there’s no guarantee I won’t end up back in therapy at some point (actually, it’s veritably guaranteed that I will…), but it won’t be with her and it won’t be this year – the year I was diagnosed, the year that my life was blown to pieces and then built up again, and the year that I learned to let go.  It’s been a crazy twelve months, and I have put a lot of my heart and soul into that well-worn therapy couch.  This is a significant ending to me.

I don’t know how to feel about our last session.  Should I be happy?  Sad?  Hmmm…maybe I will talk to my therapist about it. 😉  I told her I’m bringing cake to celebrate, but I don’t know what to have the bakery people write on the cake.  Here are the main contenders:

“Congrats Therapy Class of 2016”

“To Never Coming Here Again”

“I Won’t Get Crumbs on the Couch”

“Feeling All the Feels”

“Sorry For All the Kleenex I Used”

It’s weird to think of life beyond therapy.  I’m glad that my therapist has confidence in my stability, but I feel a little like I did when my parents took away my yellow blankie when I was six years old.  The blanket had become so ragged and dirty that it had long been unable provide any warmth, but it was my blankie.  I was not at all confident that I could survive to see my seventh birthday if I didn’t have that blankie.  But I did turn seven…and seventeen…and twenty-seven, and life went on like they promised it would.  I’m hoping it will be the same here: scary at first, but surprisingly okay.

I don’t know how to say goodbye at the end of next session.  It’s a weird thing, therapy.  This person knows all of your deepest secrets, and then one day it’s simply, “Bye.  Have a great life.”  Does this strike anyone else as incredibly odd?  Who invented therapy?  Did they write a manual on how to say goodbye properly?  Am I supposed to cry?  Am I supposed to hug her?  I’m so not hugging her.  I’m not very huggy.  I want her to know how much she helped me, but I don’t want to get all gushy about it.  Maybe I’ll put it on the cake: “Thanks.  You’re sweet like cake.”  I’ll let the frosting convey my sentiments.

Also, I would like to point out that even though she repeatedly said that there are no grades in therapy, I am taking her approval of my moving on as a tacit passing grade.  If she won’t give me the grade, I’ll give me the grade.  I’m a teacher, so I think I’m authorized to do that: HAZEL THERAPY 2015/16:  PASS.  PROMOTED TO NEXT LEVEL OF INDEPENDENCE.

I don’t know about this, blog world…you’re about to see untherapized Hazel.  Let’s hope she’s as ready for this as my therapist says she is.

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Wal-Mart Doors Can’t Tell Me What To Do

I have independence issues.  The fist full sentence I said as a toddler was “I’ll do it myself.”  Seriously.  That’s probably where it all started… *lies down on a therapy couch to discuss these issues*

Having a mental illness (or any serious illness) tends to rob people of independence. If I think a train is about to crash through my wall and I’m running away in panic…yeah, someone’s going to have to help me out with that.  If I’ve got a stubborn brain tumor that keeps growing even though it has way overstayed it’s welcome in my head…I’m going to need help with that too.  Hand over the drugs because I can’t, in fact, shrink it myself.  I’ve tried to Jiminy Cricket or Cinderella this sucker and dream with all my heart that it will go away…but DISNEY LIES.

Anyway, I think because of all of my medical crap and my loose grip on reality, I am always fighting to feel like a normal, respected human.  Maybe I’m even fighting to respect myself.  *puts arm on head dramatically as I lounge on the therapy couch*  The other day, I think I went a little too far.

I was walking out of Wal-Mart.  The sign on the door said “DO NOT EXIT THROUGH THIS DOOR.”  My honest-to-blog thought was, “Eff you, Wal-Mart.  You can’t tell me what to do.  It’s a DOOR.  I’ll go through any door I please!”  It’s not like it was a secret door to an employees only section; it was a clear automatic door leading to outside.  There is no reason why I shouldn’t have been allowed to use that door.  Wal-Mart was just trying to keep me down!  One more reason to hate Wal-Mart!

So I walked through the door.  No sirens went off, and no one stopped me.  I simply walked through, and I was outside.  Then I thought, “HA!  See, Wal-Mart?  You can’t control me!  I WILL DO WHATEVER I WANT!”  I felt jubilant.  I felt triumphant.  Then I felt like a complete weirdo and thought, “Holy wow, I AM crazy.”

Maybe life is about the little things…  I can’t avoid taking pills, I can’t avoid my tumor, but I can stick it to Wal-Mart.  I can be independent and rebellious on tiny things, and if that helps me avoid being rebellious on bigger things, then I say whatever.  Bring on the wrong door.