Jan. 21st, 2014

gansje: (Gansje)
A while ago I realized that unless I spend a little time each week with my therapist, I'm not going to be able to maintain my own sanity in the face of all the stresses I've been under: over-work, worry about finances vis-a-vis Adam's college costs, Jo's OCD (which is much better this week, thank God!), and some things that had been challenging to L's and my relationship. It's all too much at once. So finally, after a few scheduling misses, I went back to see D. after a year and a half.

She's an excellent therapist, though she mostly just listens and lets me make my own connections and discoveries. For the first fifteen or twenty minutes, I just filled her in on how everyone was doing, and we slid into talking about Jo and what CBT exercises she and I can do together. She suggested that since Jo is so active, we act out at her strange thoughts together -- punching them at the end -- and since she's artistic, we draw her fears and then crumple the pictures up and throw them away, or we sculpt them and then mold them into happier figures. D. is great.

Then she sat bolt upright, which is D.-speak for, "warning, changing topic," and said, "All right. What are you going to do to take care of yourself during this time?" This, honestly, is what I was there for, but it was still a bit of a shock to have to think about myself instead of trying to puzzle out how to manage the latest crisis. What AM I going to do to take care of myself, anyway?  Hm.

It took her the remainder of our session to pull it out of me, but we landed on a plan. One hour of every day will be all mine, apart from everyone else, inviolate. I am to leave the house (weather permitting) when I need to, and while I'm still awake enough to be productive for myself, instead of spending all my productivity on work and at home with the kids. We decided -- I decided -- that I'll spend 30 minutes of that hour exercising, and then I'll go to Starbucks or some other coffee shop to nurse a cup of tea and write.

So welcome to my first writing half-hour. I started a poem, but I haven't written one in almost three years. The opening lines were too flawed to keep, so I landed here, but at least it's a start. I have to remember that I'm not writing to produce art right now. I'm writing to reacquaint myself with the act of writing seriously -- with contemplation and the art of finding something to describe in stillness. I should also reacquaint myself with the art of not starting out paragraphs with the word, "so." Just sayin'.

Before I sat down to write, by the way, I danced. Jo and Henry are with bio-mom, Adam is with bio-dad, L was working out downstairs, and there's about a foot of snow outside, so dammit, I danced all the hell over the living room to some sultry jazz. Oh yes. I think I can do this. Well, I can dance, anyway. And if you like, please give me a writing prompt! Maybe I can get this writing thing off the ground too.


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