“Bless Your 💜” & Starting with a New TherapistJul 06, 2022
When I was in the middle of getting divorced several years ago, a friend recommended I meet with a therapist. I hadn’t ever been to one, so I was nervous, not to mention defensive. Not knowing anything about the process or how to begin, I waltzed into her office (remember when we went places?!) and blurted out, “I need to get over my ex-husband as soon as possible. How long will this take?”
She took a long breath and adjusted herself in her chair, motioning for me to sit down. I couldn’t exactly tell what the expression was on her face, but I could see her start to say something. And then she changed her mind.
It was only years later that it occurred to me what she would have said if she weren't the ultimate professional. A uniquely Southern expression that simultaneously expresses grace, condescension, sarcasm, and pity.
“Oh, bless your heart.”
Today, I’m back shopping for another therapist. I wished I could have stayed with that first one, but “your insurance doesn’t cover out-of-network providers.” (Don’t get me started on the systemic issues of mental health and insurance.)
To be honest, I’m apprehensive. My first therapist and I had developed a relationship over time. She knew my sh*t, my demons, my proud moments, my mistakes. It was helping. Now I’ve got to start all over with a new one?
And yet I suppose it’s not totally starting over. I’m not the same person I was in the middle of that divorce. I healed, and through therapy, got tools to process emotions and better understand myself and others. So I'm going for it.
Bless your heart, dear reader, and I’ve got two pieces of unsolicited advice:
- Get ye to a therapist (if you can find one and afford it). I’m using Talkspace and I’ll keep you posted.
- Take my course Fresh Start where I interview two mental health professionals. They give outstanding advice on picking up the pieces during and after divorce.
Image: Woman at a Mirror, Gerard ter Borch (II), c. 1652. Rijksmuseum.
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