Two sides of the same field…Entry 2 of a Girl and her books.

Over the month of August, among the other many books I got to read, I came across a book that I consider myself quite lucky to have found. I believe the book is a memoir, I am certain that it is a memoir, written by an author named Lori Gottlieb. The title of the book is Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. When I first came across it, I wasn’t entirely sure it was a book I would fully be invested in. I knew it entailed matters concerning therapy and I was a bit iffy on whether it would be artistically motivating to read. I can say with certainty now that this book is a lot more than I anticipated. I read it gradually, but loved every bit of it, including how expressive the author wrote. I am genuinely glad I got to read it to completion.

Without giving out too much of it, the plot of the book is something that quite captivated me. I learned a lot and it gave me quite the insight. I say this from the perspective of someone who has mildly studied psychology, ( I say mildly because all I have had the chance to study it, is through a diploma and if I am being honest, I still consider myself quite the amateur in regards to it). Before I can delve into my own relation to psychology, I just want to elaborate on how insightful it was reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Insightful in that, it was able to bring light into the subject of therapy from both a therapist’s opinion and that of a client’s opinion. It sort of normalized seeking professional therapeutic assistance, to those who already had sort it out and equally to those who hadn’t. I found that quite wonderful about the book. Besides just normalizing therapy itself, it too humanized therapists as more than just their professions. The author who is a psychotherapist takes us down the journey of being a therapist as well as seeking one out for herself. I found that quite great because, speaking from a personal opinion, one can be quick to perceive therapists as invincible. It is easily misjudged that therapists, being what their profession entails, are too strong of human beings to go through similar motions as those of their clients. On the off chance that they do experience similar hardships, the perception is that they are equipped to somewhat counsel themselves out of those said hardships. I should clarify that it does not work like that at all. As a psychology student, it is insisted enough that therapists need their own therapists for themselves. It’s entirely a chained link of therapists seeking out therapy from each other. That aspect of the book was quite important for me. I applauded the book mainly for that, besides all the other wonderful aspects of it that were brought out.

If someone came to me and asked me if I would advise them on seeking out help from a therapist or counsellor, or even a psychiatrist, my outright first answer would be yes. It is entirely important to give time and care to one’s mind as is given to one’s body. It would be instinctual for me to say yes as my first answer, but I owe you the honesty that it will not be technically a walk in the park. This is from a very biased opinion, this is my opinion as a client who’s been to therapy, it is not the opinion of a psychology student. This is also not meant to be a discouragement towards anyone out to seek therapeutic help, not at all. Therapy is great, wonderful even, but it will require a lot of you. Some parts of you will be required, parts that you may not be quite yet aware of.

My first experience of professional therapy was with my school counsellor in college. If I am being truthfully honest, it was long overdue. I want to be very clear that when I refer to professional therapy or counselling, I mean it as therapy from a professionally trained counsellor or psychologist. One who has studied in that field and is not a self-appointed counsellor. Anyone can give advice, not everyone can offer therapy. Just needed to be clear on that. I am strictly talking about a professional psychologist.

It was quite a big step for me to reach out to the school counsellor. I wasn’t the most approachable person, and neither was I the most approaching. At school, I knew well to never be too personal with anyone. Actually, if my memory serves me right, I was incited by my sister to seek out the counsellor because my sister thought of me then as a ticking time bomb. I was convinced that I wanted a baby, ( major eye roll) and I was only twenty years old. Then, it felt like such an urgency for me, like it was the only thing that I was missing, and it would somehow complete my life. I was quite naïve then because even now, I am not remotely ready for a child. Therapy was able to show that to me. I later learned that I was overcompensating for something entirely different. Anyway, my first take on therapy was good. I found solace and empathy that I had never quite experienced before. It was as it should have been, it was therapeutic for me and I was able to go through therapy for the next three years I had in college. It took a bit of a turn for me because the relationship between me and the school counsellor progressed to a very close friendship which in therapy is regarded as a dual relationship. To be able to maintain the levels of professionalism, it is frowned up to have any other sort of relationship outside the client/counsellor relationship. It is perceived that if the boundaries are severed, the therapist will not be able to give enough credibility in her profession hence why it is important that one seeks out a different therapist when boundaries are crossed.

For me, I wouldn’t say she entirely quit being my counsellor, and I didn’t seek therapy elsewhere. She transformed into a guide to whom I sort out counsel and advice. Now she is practically like my best friend who is also my Yoda. 

Therapy was able to open me up in ways I probably would never have had the chance to before. It even motivated me into being a better student in psychology. Sometime last year, I was able to go back to the professional context of therapy with an entirely new therapist who was just that, my therapist. I only got to see her for about a month before I stopped. The experience of it was quite different than my first which leads me to my next piece of advice, you don’t have to be stuck in a therapy that you don’t feel is working for you. It is absolutely okay to decide on changing your current therapist and seeking out one who best fits you. I understand for those who have been to therapy that it may sometimes feel like a betrayal to your therapist if one considers leaving, but it is best to remember that it is your wellbeing that comes first. There will be no hard feelings from your therapist.

From the standpoint of being a soon to be counsellor, I have only had so little experience as one. I did my first internship as a counsellor at a hospital and I genuinely disliked every moment of it. I was extremely underqualified and my supervisor thought it best to leave me alone on most occasions to tend to actual clients who needed therapy. I often hope that the clients I got to see were able to seek out a second opinion from a more qualified professional. Over time, I have not had the chance to be a counsellor since I finished my diploma. Let’s just say I have been putting it off for nearly a year now. I have convinced myself that I am not ready and I am not certain when I ever will be. On multiple occasions, I have had some serious self-doubt over whether psychology is even the right course for me. Most of the self-doubt best comes from the fact that I am on most occasions, a better client than I am a psychologist. I am two sides of the same coin. Reading this book sort of gave me a perspective of what it is like to be on both sides of the spectrum. The author delves into her own therapy and how difficult it was at first to not feel like her own therapist wasn’t doing enough for her as she thought she would towards her own clients. I am well aware of how that feels because it was in that exact position that I quit seeing my last therapist. Every day, I go through it in my head whether psychology was the best choice for a career. I knew I wanted to be a psychologist when I was in high school. I knew that I needed to be able to give some form of help to those who were like me then, to kids who had never quite felt like they were ‘’normal’’. I believe that I still want to do that, even despite the self-doubt. I still very much want to help people who struggle with their mental health. All I can do is hope that soon, I will get to offer that help.

To finish this off, I would definitely recommend reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. It is a wonderful, insightful, inspiring, beautiful and enlightening read. Lori Gottlieb is a wonderful author from whom I would love to learn more from, especially as a psychotherapist. Be sure to check it out. One can access it on the e-reader called Z library.

Some quotes I picked up from the book that I absolutely loved…

we have to let go of the fantasy of creating a better past.”

” When the present falls apart, so does the future we had associated with it. ”

Naked Truths.

Do you ever have truths about yourself that aren’t exactly known to others but are quite obvious to you? Well, if you do, I do too… Some are always there, like some permanent life fixture that doesn’t change. Others, are new every other time. Without further embarking on the specifics of what type of truths I’m talking about, allow me to share a few of which have been skimming through my thoughts for the past while.

Oh, and by the way, now I will refer to them as Naked truths …hopefully, it will make sense along the way why I refer to them as so.

Naked truth no.1

I don’t think I have friends anymore. Be rest assured that I am not saying this in some search for a sense of pity or sympathy. It is partially my doing that I am not acquainted with others besides my immediate family. I must confess that I am not the most tolerant of people especially if there is not much to tolerate about them. Pardon me for sounding like a bitch; it is not entirely to mean that I am surrounded by intolerable people, I just don’t do well in the area of creating and maintaining relations with others. This is especially when I most often don’t feel like people genuinely do want to maintain long-lasting friendships with me that carry some form of bond. I have had friends here and there, a few acquaintances, but none who have stuck around long enough. It has always been seasonal relations that are a matter of circumstance which is fine, not everything is technically meant to last. All I am truthfully saying is that I have a lot of temporary friendships and they always never feel solid, if I may use this term lightly. So yeah, that is one of the recent naked truths that recently dawned on me. I wouldn’t say that I am exactly disturbed by that truth. On most days, I am comfortable with the little cluster of people I get to interact with every once in a while. I also, as I admitted earlier, feel like a partial reason for this fact is because I don’t make much effort in being a friend to others. I admittedly tend to be caught up in my own mind and nonfunctional life that I easily get exhausted having to mingle with others outside the walls of my life and mind.

Disclaimer:  If anyone who happens to read this first paragraph gets offended by it over the meagre chance that they actually do consider themselves my friend, I am immensely sorry and maybe we can catch up sometime when either of us is somewhat ready to communicate. Cheers mate.

Naked truth no.2

I am a wimp at trying out this thing called living. Like my history may show, I am more of a survivor/ exister more than I am a live’r. Death is often painted in my thoughts as some form of escape from having to go through the day to day agonies of life. Before this turns out sounding a lot like some version of suicidal ideation [probably slightly is], let me elaborate.

Do I want to die sometimes? Yes. Do I always want to die? No. Is the idea of death as an escape romanticized in my head a little too often cause I am a wimp at life? Absolutely.

When it’s hard to conceptualize that life isn’t meant to be easy on most days, I struggle with myself over why I have to live through it. I find difficulty within myself over the fact that instead of simply ceasing to exist, what is expected of me is that I am supposed to trudge through the hardship, tumbledown, pick myself up and move through it with showing just enough weakness, but not too much. In those moments when life has dealt me a hard one, it is usually a strain for my mind to not want to jump ship. It is like my mind, loses all ability to conjure a better way out which is very cowardly of me now as I listen to myself say it out loud. I never said my mind was strong. With my history of things, it is quite obvious that mental strength isn’t exactly a stronghold of mine. I allude to this to why I think I might not be the one to live till fifty, perseverance sure doesn’t sound like a stronghold of mine but who’s to say how strong I will be in the future. With the uncertainty of things, I may as well surprise myself. I may probably survive all this while still believing that I was never quite cut out for it. So for now, I choose not to be too worried about it, at least in the hope that I’ll keep on surviving long enough to live somewhere in my life.

Naked truth no.3

I have mentioned before in previous writings that I have occasionally been a smoker. Quite recently actually, I would admit that I went beyond the limits and became a light smoker. When I started smoking, it turned into quite an enigma for me. It was something I picked late last year and might I say, I arguably don’t really regret it. It didn’t necessarily serve the intended purpose that I had initially thought it would, but it worked for me somehow. I will never forget the first night that I had my first real cigarette. For starters, I considered having my first cigarette mainly because I thought I would look cool, being a female and smoking. You would understand what I mean if I could paint a better picture for you outside of my mind. It was a cheesy reason, I know…no need to roll your eyes too hard. I had thought of it for a while but never did I quite get around to trying it. Finally, when I did get around to doing it, I was alone in my sister’s apartment and I felt like there was never a better time than the present. I might have convinced myself that I needed to unwind and calm down a little, from what exactly, I don’t remember. It was quite the experience and truth be told, I did feel quite calm afterwards. I could have imagined it, or it may actually have worked. I remember smoking that first night in the house on the couch while directly facing the mirror in the living room. I was so enthralled by seeing myself pull out smoke from the cigarette and then slowly hold it in for a second or two before releasing it to the air. Over the next few weeks, I smoked at least two cigarettes a night. It was in those moments when I felt invincible to a degree. Like nothing much could hurt me, as long as I could smoke it away into the night. It was a mild sense of power that I had never quite felt. I liked it. On the downside, I began to smell like cigarette smoke and my lips were turning a shade too dark for my liking. Then over time, I stopped it for a while, picked up the habit again later and now I stopped again. Now, like four days ago, I bought myself one cigarette thinking that maybe my intolerance for it had sort of reduced …I was incredibly wrong, the moment I lit up and took a go at it, I was beyond nauseated, I could hardly stand it. I am still working out what theories could explain to me now over why I can’t in the least stand the smell of a lit cigarette. Maybe, I just don’t consider it so cool anymore.

For now, those are just but a few naked truths of myself. I can assure you, I’ll be revealing more in time. Maybe it could become a segment of mine. We will just have to wait and see, now won’t we.

Mary Oliver, Here’s my puny but precious life…

“Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? “Mary Oliver

Well Mary, I can’t say there’s much I’ve already done with my one wild and precious life for I’m just twenty three as of a month ago. But let’s say it ‘s all the life I’ll ever get to live. Let’s picture this as the only life I’ve lived and that be enough. We may as well not plan for a future that’s yet to be lived, am I right? So for my puny little life, I will have quite the childhood. I’ll try to find the words to sum it all up but I’ll always come up short. It will be a mesh of a little bit of everything; it will not have been the best years of my life but it will be the years I’ll wish to have held onto more. It will be the years I should never have taken for granted, but still somewhat did. As a kid, I’ll be my best version of prime & proper, at least to the world I’ll try to be. Back at my house, I’ll be the biggest pain in the ass and my arch nemesis will be none other than my dear ole mum, God bless her soul… She’ll take the blunt end of my onset of puberty and will match my energy of being a serious pain in the ass. But despite it all, I’ll adore her existence like that of a god. She’ll be to me like every mother is to their child, their first god and their lifeline. I will not realize just how much the world is unfair to you until the day my lifeline will be taken away from me. Simply, I will learn of one of life’s toughest experiences which will alter the entire basis and trajectory of my life.

Like it is for most people, those lucky enough to have the blessing of family, I’ll live for my family. With one sibling and a single father, I’ll pour out every bit of love in me to them, which now that I think about it, might explain why it will be hard to love anyone else with the intensity and magnitude that some will seek from me. I will adore my family and be in their embrace through every day spent of my puny but precious little life. My dad will be that friend you can’t quite get enough of but still gets annoying every so often. He’ll have my back always and I’ll grow to protect him to the best of my little ability. As for my sister, she will be my best friend, my companion, my roommate and my all rounded life partner. We won’t have much of separate lives since we will be often together too much of the time. She will be my provider for quite the while and I’ll ride it out till what I hope will be the start of my own adulthood. She’ll complain I eat a lot but continue to feed me regardless. What can I say Mary, a girl’s gotta eat to grow. Sometimes indulging into her cravings a little bit more than she should. All my life’s significance, regardless of whether puny or not, my sister will be there for them. She’ll cheer me on and help me brush of the dust from the times I’ll have fall off my feet. She’ll vicariously live through me in my relationship escapades for they will be quite a few… Mary, you may be quite surprised by just how much I’ve experienced in the realm of “love”…I will trust no one more than I trust her and I’m uncertain I’ll ever know what it’s like to have anyone closer to me than her.

I will go through highschool and regard it as the worst years of my life. I’ll hate every day of those agony ridden days. I’ll want to escape to my dreams every day of my life for those four years and I’ll have my heart broken by the impossibility of my dreams ever coming true. I will peg on God to pay His dues to me even despite knowing deep down, He owed me nothing. I’ll walk down the streets of my school every evening looking up at the stars and hoping against everything that the brightest star of all will mean my redemption from my misery. It will surprise me that despite feeling incapable of feeling anything else besides sorrow, I’ll grow to love a girl immensely in the midst of it all. I’ll use her as a distraction from my grief but then, my emotions towards her will envelope me like a dome. She will eventually become all I’ll ever think of in those years and even a few years after that. I will feel hate and this wildly twisted obsession over her that will force me to think again over what I thought I knew about my sexuality. She’ll become the true bane to my existence and I will not know till date whether it was all just a projection of my grief or I just had the worst case of adolescence. Even later in life, I will still regard this girl as quite the enigma. I will have gotten better reins of my emotions when it comes to her but traces of her will still linger and hover over my conscience. I will complete highschool with the passion to charge the world. I will have my dreams hanging from my shoulders and what will then be a well sort out plan to kick start the dreams into motion. I will then learn that it’s a lot harder than I might have thought. My passions and my sorrow will set sail my career into psychology.

I will go through college and have quite the silent rollercoaster. Silent because not a lot of people can attest to anything major happening in my life but it being a rollercoaster because I certainly will have my fair share of things happen in those years. I will loose my virginity in college, and it won’t be memorable. It will not mean much and neither will it be some instrumental rite of passage for me. It will happen and I won’t care to much over it… that’s all that will be to it. I will have boyfriends, and a man-child friend too. My first relationship will be, for lack of a better word, meh. Though at the beginning, I wouldn’t have considered it so, for I will have wanted more from it. It will be based on sex marathons and on and off breaks. In time, it will be the trigger to a very uneventful onset of my first depression. It will kick-start a tirade of emotions, downhill turmoils and a whole lot of anxiety. It’s in college where my battles with mental health will become the fore front of my life. Depression will become my shadow and I will loose recognition of myself without it…Before I can even delve further into what my life will become in regards to my mental health, let me tell you about the man friend I will be crazy enough to date… It will also be in my early twenties, when I’ll have my interest picked on matters BDSM. In the case you’re not aware Mary, this is a kink in sex for those who are unconventionally woke. It will be in my venture of this kink that will lead me to meeting and somewhat dating a man-child who will then be 44 at the time. I know what you’re probably thinking but trust me, at the time it won’t seem as absurd as it might now. He will at the beginning feel like a breath of fresh air (no pun intended in regards to him being old and all..) and I will be enthralled by him and his take on the world. His bluntness will at the start look like something to be admired but it will soon wither in my eyes for it will not go unnoticed to me how emotionally dry he will be. As he himself will say, “I’ve got the emotional depth of a pin cushion”. I consider myself lucky for I will actually know what a pin cushion is like. After that, we will end things between me and this man but we will keep in touch and that will be a mistake I will soon learn dearly from.

I will go through life one day at a time…I will experience a mental agony that nothing will have ever prepared for me. I will learn to cope with this said agony in ways that will leave permanent scars, both on my skin and on my mind. I will still continue to dream and be a little girl on the inside. I will go through life plagued with anxiety that I’m never doing enough, that I’m not the best at anything that I do. I will still keep trying regardless, even when I will want to choose death over life. As I said earlier Mary, my life is still puny and hasn’t matured as much so there’s only so little I can tell you of how my life turns out… I will try my best to write more of how my life goes, maybe when I’m thirty, I will write this again. I will to you how my puny but precious wild life will have gone down. Hopefully, it won’t be so puny anymore.

“Inspired from the book ” It’s okay to laugh ,crying is cool too” I haven’t even completed it yet but I’m sure it’ll be a wonderful read.

Daddy turns Fifty Five. 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎊🎊🎊

First of all, am writing this a few hours before my dad’s birthday. I am writing this now cause I have so much to write about my main man and I feel like I don’t want to stand the chance to loose a single detail. This post is sourly dedicated to my father. I don’t know where to start when it comes to even having words that give emphasis on how much my father is the most amazing, most admirable, most loving, most caring and my biggest reason for living. All those characters of his are him for me. This isn’t about trying to compare anyone else’s dad, I just want the rest of the world to see who he is through my eyes.

My father and I have always been very close since I was a little girl. I might not have the most vivid memory but he was my dad in all the greatest ways. He would come home and if he was chewing but didn’t have extra gum with him, yeah, you know it, he gave me the gum in his mouth. That was my father for me. My dad often talks about how my sister and I were as kids ,especially the poop stories 😁😁 where he changed all our diapers. My father is the sweetest man I have met. He is my life and I say that with the utmost honesty and sincerity that it’s in me. Six years ago, I never would have thought that there would come a time I would survive without my mum or even not try cut short my life in multiple instances just so I could quit feeling hollow. My father picked me up figuratively without his knowledge. At first we were a fucking mess. None of us could see eye to eye and I guess that’s how we sort of both grieved cause we had no idea what we were meant to do with each other after we lost our source of strength, faith and life. But slowly we picked each other up and became the three musketeers. It’s now Dad, Harriet and I against the world.

My father is both my mother and father. I say this because the morning of my mum’s burial, we sat down in my parent’s bedroom and I remember it felt unreal. We were picking out my mum’s clothes that she would be buried in and I recall my dad telling that from now onwards he would be both our father and mother. Then I thought that he probably was saying that cause he needed to assure that despite the turmoil we were all feeling then, he wasn’t gonna give up on us. How many fathers would do that for their kids?? How many fathers would stick around and raise a fourteen year old and eighteen old whom he hardly ever saw eye to eye with and go through with it without sucking at it not once. I am fucking crying right now because my father is my hero in more ways than one. He has never failed once to be there for us and give us everything he could. He put aside his needs so my sister and I could get the best. I adore my father and I probably have repeated this to my sister that on my wedding day, I will probably go back with my father because I can’t imagine being able to stay away and start another family without him. My life is non existent without him. Every waking moment I breathe, I do so with the fear that I might loose him and scares me shitless .

“Dad, you are my world, my reason of living and the best person in my life. If I could have one wish, it would be to never go a day without you. I am always going to be your little girl and I wouldn’t be fucking breathing if I didn’t have you with me and Harriet too. Thank you, I can’t even say it enough to appreciate how much you have done. From building us a home and being my source of peace, tranquility and immense happiness. For being my safe haven. I love you beyond the moon and stars. Beyond the universe. Your always gonna be the first man in my life and the best Father that lives. Nothing will ever change my adoration for you. I love you always. “❤❤❤❤

P. S I am crying mess right now, I would go on and praise my father for who he is but words are not enough. Happy birthday dad. I hope you love my present for you tomorrow on your birthday.

4th of December . My present to my dad. Is 👇. I am Daddy’s Young Lady. Right above my mum’s tattoo.