My Biggest Fear, or My Mental Health Professional Would Love This

Every Thursday for a few weeks, I have been going to see a Mental Health Professional. Initially, I felt that 50 minutes of uninterrupted bitching about everything from not being able to drive to how much I resent my neurologist for prescribing a drug I describe as “horrific” on a good day would be a welcome relief. After all, there are a limited number of people that I feel comfortable truly expressing this type of frustration to. How many people really want to hear about this stuff? And that number becomes even slimmer when the possibility of crying is involved. All boys are automatically out, and I find there is a very complex structure in Female World about who you can cry to. There was a high Crying Potential here, and I was all about paying somebody to pass the tissue.

I’ve always been a big believer in seeking help when life is a little more than I can handle. In law school, when I was the facing the big Do I Really Want To Be a Lawyer Crisis, I hauled booty over to a very nice lady a few blocks from school. After many particularly grueling Tax Law classes, she helped me see reason and understand that smooshing my professor’s head under a stack of tax code books was not the quick fix to my dislike of law school. Apparently, there is a difference between fantasy and acting out and actions which will land a person in jail. Anyway, when insomnia came into my current reality, in addition to everything else, I decided I should once again find a nice lady a few blocks away and I have been going ever since.

These sessions are really a life savor. I can discuss the heavy stuff but I also can vent about the small things that have unexpectedly developed into life issues. For example, where else can I discuss my newly discovered fear of strobe lights and not seem totally ridiculous? I know they can lead to seizures, but really, should I flinch every time I pass the fire alarm strobes in office hallways? Um, no. And after ten minutes of complaining about how stupid it is to potentially cause somebody to have a seizure during a fire evacuation, I no longer flinched. Irrationality: be gone!

This past Thursday I thought would be pretty innocuous. But it wasn’t. Turns out we discussed my biggest fear. It came up because I was on a Work Bonding Excursion on Tuesday and one of the questions we had to answer for the group was about our biggest fear. Tangential Thought: who is about to share their biggest fear with work colleagues and actually be honest? Not even all of my good friends know that, let alone the person I only know as Person Who Never Makes More Coffee And Consequently Irks Me Even Though I Don’t Drink Coffee But It Is The Principle Of The Matter. So, I copped out and said my biggest fear was cellulite but it didn’t bother me as much anymore because I had all ready acquired a good amount and I got a good laugh and we all went about the business of bonding some more. End of Tangential Thought. I threw this tidbit in as part of my Recap of Annoying Things Since Last Thursday, but my Mental Health Professional apparently thought my avoidance in actually answering the question pointed to a Bigger Issue.

Just so everybody knows, my biggest fear is Loss. Yes, I know that can encompass a lot of things, but my fear is pretty all inclusive. When I have a fear, I don’t skimp or limit it. In the nifty way that Mental Health Professionals have, my MHP got me to realize that the entire reason I had even mentioned the Work Bonding thing was to talk about this fear and its manifestation currently. Yeah, sure, I talk about loss with her all the time. Hello, loss of driving, loss of freedom, loss of the essence of being an adult, and all that. But what was hitting me so hard was the loss of a really important friend and we picked that apart, as well as my panicked, extreme, and even slightly-psychotic reaction to that loss.

Here I am, several days later, and still reeling from that 50 minutes. The sappy music is pretty prominent on the stereo right now and I really want to eat ice cream. These are my usual coping mechanisms. And I’m still mentally exploring why I hurt so badly and struggling to let go of this sense of betrayal. I’m trying to forgive and understand that I can’t fix this and accept that I can’t change other people. I’m having to let go of worrying about somebody who doesn’t want me to be concerned anymore. But perhaps most importantly, I am trying to realize I might never understand. “Why?” is an awful big question to live with but we all have to. And until I can accept that, there is ice cream and Bette Midler.


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