The Therapy Booth

resting, doodling and holding love signs

Your Tender Hearts are Welcome Here

As a human and no stranger to heartbreak and sadness, I welcome you to The Therapy Booth.

I’m feeling protective today, a little defensive. I have a friend going through the immediacy of a heartbreak, a right-in-the-middle-of-it-can’t-see-straight-from-all-the-tears heartbreak. And I feel protective of her. And of all folks in this moment of such storms.

You may find a picture of me on this blog, a few weeks ago, trying to hide under a rock. Crying, crying, crying, and fearful of the crying never stopping and the heartache never ending, I went to what I could for comfort, which, at that point, wasn’t much. A drink of water. A few drops of Rescue Remedy. A meal provided by a friend. A package of markers and a fresh sheet in my doodle notebook.

Wanting to speak publicly about it – as I’m a share-er by nature – but not wanting to be smothered with a barrage of well-intentioned lip-service-y aphorisms (or, as I’m now calling them, amorphisms), I was cautious of where I shared.

Recently, I’ve begun to write my story from right where I am. And I notice even my defensiveness and protection showing up there. Yesterday, in a moment of craving validation from my both long and recently lost sweetheart, I wrote:

As I write this, I have this vision of women out there reading these words and shaking their heads and clucking their tongues and telling me about what I deserve and don’t, about my value not being dependent on anyone or anything else. Well thank you very much and screw you for the moment. Let me tell my story. Let me tell the truth about my experience. Don’t try to talk me out of my experience, and don’t shame me. It is.

So today when I saw someone offer all the insights she’d gained from her heartbreak (a year ago) to my friend who’s right smack in the brand new middle of it, I felt my fierce protective mother element come up. To be fair, the friend offering the insights acknowledged that it took her quite some time to get there, but, gosh, I just didn’t want to hear that for her. My own tender heart too tender to hear others’ healed insights? Perhaps.

It may be a rejection of insights, overall, that I’m feeling into. I wonder if they are simply other thoughts that we attach to, that seem to fit and make sense when we apply them, and they make us feel better, maybe for a moment, but do we have to cling then to them to maintain them? Don’t insights come and go with the rest of the thoughts we have?

This recurring theme of being able to emote and express without being told that it’s going to get sunnier and rosier and more insightful and oh my gosh the dreaded gratitude that we eventually feel for going through it . . . I just want to come to my own conclusions, and, when I’m feeling wrecked, I just want some water, some doodle materials, my gut-wrenching longing for my man, a good cry, and a place to say whatever’s coming through, to have it witnessed, empathized, and allowed to be.

I have so much to say on this topic of telling it. It’s a message I’ve started to write many times, and maybe there’s more in the next post.

Meanwhile, I want to invite you into The Therapy Booth to be heard and witnessed. You can even send an email to tell.it.email@gmail.com. I will probably read it, and you might get a “/m\” in response, just meaning that you’ve been witnessed, and nothing else. No words of encouragement. No light at the end of the tunnel (sorry). No insights that I’ve gained from getting-over-this-or-that. Except maybe this. That there’s great value in laying our burdens down, laying our sadness down, exactly how it is, like a track in the studio, like Jack White or Adele or Joni Mitchell. Tell it all here, and you need not make any excuse or apologies.

Your tender hearts are welcome here.

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Welcome Home

 

I came across this book during my holiday travels this weekend. I was in the bustling Dallas/Fort-Worth airport, grabbing some Chinese food and a Starbucks in between flights. I didn’t get to read very much of it, but it did affirm my feeling that airports are great locations for The Therapy Booth. Having felt all sorts of emotions while traveling this weekend, I would have loved a stop-in at a booth.

On the way to NYC, I had a really early flight and had been going through a few weeks of rigor (see crying post below). It was a chat about The Therapy Booth with the fella next to me on the plane, begun by my saying, “It’s hard being a person sometimes,” when referring to a guy who got left behind in the airport who was having a stressful exchange with airport security, that got my head clearing. Laughs with a friendly stranger on an early-morning-hoping-to-shake-off-the-blues flight = very Therapy Booth.

Leaving NYC a few days later, I was filled with emotion. I hadn’t seen my dad in a year and my sister in almost two years, and I had a sweet visit with them both. Add to that a highly stimulating visit to New York, filled with love signs in Times Square

and Van Gogh’s thick brushstrokes.

How wonderful it would have been to have a little resting, regrouping, and creating space in the airport: a place where I could drink some fresh water, breathe for a few minutes, write, cry or doodle a bit about what I was experiencing.

What about when we get off the plane? I was so incredibly wiped out, exhausted, thirsty, tired, discombobulated when I finally arrived back in Austin, nine hours after I left the apartment in Manhattan. Usually, I just want to get the heck out of there — and that’s what I felt last night. But I’m curious: what if we had a place, like a car wash or a flight wash, where we could get grounded for a few minutes when coming off of a flight? A place to breathe, rest for a moment, have a Tell it! session, unleash whatever might be there, have some water, did I mention breathe? – before getting in the car with my roommates? Instead I was withdrawn and sleeping on the way home, disconnected and not sure what planet I was on.

A day later, I’m still not sure!

Something about coming home from travel, however long, however short, I’m always a little different, and sometimes a lot.

Having some space to regroup: definitely Therapy Booth.

It’s a grey and chilly day here in Austin, and I’m glad for the room to be pensive. Much to process and integrate. Blogging = Therapy Booth.

Welcome home.

Me, my dad and my sister, NYC

 

For the original article on The Therapy Booth in the Airport, click here.

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It Must Just Be Part of the Deal

I’m writing this while lying on my bed. My roommate’s in the kitchen, pulling together a hodge podge of leftovers for our lunch. I’ve spent most of the morning crying my eyes out. Actually, it’s 3:36 in the afternoon, so I could say, I’ve spent most of the day. I’ve cried more in the past 24 hours than I can remember in ages. And I’ve done me some crying lately. But this bit is taking the cake. My eyes can’t seem to get a chance to get un-puffy before the next puffs come along. Swollen, sleepy me.

Here’s a picture of me, wanting to crawl under a rock:

I have the good fortune of having several close friends who are Living Inquiries facilitators who met with me last night and today to usher me and my stormy emotions along. Much, much crying. Much seeing of all the mixed up confused, sad, loving, ashamed, frightened, freaked out glory. And totally not feeling glorious. Not glorious. Not at all.

It takes me over sometimes. Glad to report, it’s not often, and it’s been a while. Yes quite a while since I’ve been pulled down quite this shockingly.

And it’s not like something super major happened. I could call it a little reality check. That may or may not be accurate. It doesn’t matter. I just wanna call it heart break. I wanna call it shock. Nervousness. Fright. Great big giant YIKES.

He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me . . . not? Knot? Knot.

I just flipped over to Facebook and saw a comment someone wrote on the Relationship and the Unfindable Self page: “Humbling, what is happening here….”

You got it, baby. Is this the great leveler? This cutting us down at the knees, bringing us to our knees, having us beg on our knees for grace, for guidance, for some fucking relief from the misery?

I just got this little flash of: I shouldn’t be saying this stuff here. This is a public site. This is my work. I’m a facilitator. I mustn’t let people know – what? – that I have feelings? That I spend hours bawling my eyes out in fear and grief when I feel the departure of a dream, leaving a gap of longing, of aloneness? That I skipped over Tom Petty’s Freefalllin’ cuz I didn’t want to hear the lyrics (I’m a bad boy, cuz I don’t even miss her/I’m a bad boy for breaking her heart), landing instead on a sweet Derek Trucks Band song? What the fuck.

Here I sit, on my bed, hoping the eyes are all cried out. Worried that they’ll come back. Not so sure I want to hang out by myself tonight, when all I’ve been wanting is to hang out by myself. When all I’ve been wanting is time alone in the house to have him come over. The mind spins when I don’t recognize the moment. When I’m unfamiliar to myself. All the while disgusted with what I take myself to be. This loving, longing, confused pile of tears and nervousness.

Well so what?

So what if I’m lonely.

So what if I long for this ghostly image and such specific sensory memory, it’s as if I’m actually feeling that hair, smelling that skin, seeing those freckles? So the fuck what?

And so what if I’m not writing eloquently today, trying to model myself after some advanced genius Joni Mitchell, writing her immense emotions, longing, leaving, lingering into tunes to be kicked out on a piano while the rest of us cry in recognition?

Somehow I’m landing on blues music on my Pandora. It’s sort of rubbing me the wrong way, but what wouldn’t today? Exhausted. Praying that I’ll sleep better tonight.

My thoughts go like this: Fact is, I’m crushed. And when I think that, I feel a weight on my chest, a sinking of my body. And so what?

There’s such a brutal fucking expectation that life won’t suck. That my heart won’t be broken. That I’ll see through every this and that and come out untouchable.

But I don’t think that’s what I want, but then again, what I want seems irrelevant. That is, my wants don’t result in their appearances beyond the wanting. Well, sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Not this time. I want to feel something other than what I’m feeling.

And that, my friends, must just be part of the deal. Because it is, in fact, part of the deal.

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