I met with Therapist for the last time today. We talked about all the things that have been causing me stress, and the fact that I don't always cope in the best way. However, Therapist also pointed out that the stress I'm currently under would have broken me a year ago, and even though I had a few bad days, I'm still here working through everything. The negative coping was momentary and not repetitive. He's concerned about the eating disorder, but has given me the responsibility to decide if I need further therapy to address that. My decision is: not right now. I'll deal with it later. Darrin has been brought in as a watch dog. He'll monitor my weight and eating habits, and if he feels intervention is needed, he'll let me know. I'm not happy about that, but it's better than being referred to another therapist at this point.
So there it is. I've been blessed to have had the greatest genius Therapist in the world for ten months. Who could ask for more? Things he told me during our therapy session:
1. I had mentioned to him a couple of months ago that I was thinking of going back to school to attain more training in marriage and family therapy (mostly because I want to do more research with SSA and MOM's). Therapist told me today that when I feel that I've reached resolution with the personal issues I'm currently researching and working through, to let him know. He'll give me a recommendation to any school I choose--as long as I give him access to all my research. He also said I was a better candidate than most who enter the field because I had excellent boundaries, good intuition, and was a wonderful listener. Coming from him, that's high praise, and even if I don't follow through and return to school, it was worth going to therapy just to hear that.
2. He told me that he'll have quite a bit of latitude in choice of clients at his new job, and said that if I ever felt like sending him referrals, he would love to work with people I know and have contact with.
3. He said it had been a joy to work with me, and that he'd learned a lot during our time together. He promised me that I'm stronger than I think. He told me that most of my success has been because of me, not because of him (which is a lie, but still kind of nice to hear). He told me that I just need to keep working on things and thinking/researching as I have done for the past ten months, to be aware of my work load and take breaks as needed, and I'll be able to eventually come to a point where resolution will happen.
4. He told me that even though it hurts, I should finish my research on grief, and then allow myself to go through the process. He told me to rely heavily on any support person who will allow me to do so as I grieve, and to talk a lot, blog often, and eventually I'll make it through the worst of it. He made me promise not to do this alone. He says it will be the worst of all I've done thus far, because I'll have to allow more vulnerability, trust other people to help me find comfort, and change some belief structures that have been in place for my whole life. He told me I need to be certain not to overload myself during this time or take on more jobs to mask or ignore feelings. He did say I could run to my heart's content, as long as I eat regularly. If you're a person who is close to me, and you don't want me to take advantage of our friendship when this begins, let me know now. It will probably be ugly, and I might even cry or act irrational, so believe me, I'll understand if you need a friendship sabbatical during that time.
I don't know what else to say. I'm going to miss Therapist's unique assignments (he confessed that he's never asked another client to do most of what I've done--interesting), his sense of humor, his willingness to be open-minded and to think outside the box. I suppose, if I'm being honest, I understand that I'm losing a major support person. I need to think about what that means. I think it means that I'm sort of sad. I'm going to miss him.