My Therapist is Retiring!?

This was the announcement from my therapist when I saw her in April.  I’m excited for her.  She is my mother’s age and has spent decades helping others deal with life’s challenges.  She is a wonderful, caring lady.  But….What about me?!

I’m Worried

When I was looking for a good therapist 17 years ago I actually had someone tell me that they could not help me because my life was too stressful for them.  That was frightening.  If my life was so stressful that a professional could not handle it, how was I supposed to deal with it?

Then I met CC, my current therapist.  She took me on with grace and optimism.  There were many times that I looked into her eyes and could see that she had no idea what to do or say.  She stuck with me though.  We have been through some really challenging and difficult times.  We have worked hard to keep me out of the hospital and succeeded.

Serious Soul Searching

FindMyselfNow it is time for some serious introspection and contemplation.  I am in a good place right now.  Physically I am relatively healthy.  Mentally and emotionally I am fairly stable.  I have all the tools to deal with anything that comes my way.

I have had to ask myself some very important questions.  I have also had to give myself truthful answers. Could I live without any sort of counseling?  No, I cannot.  I need someone who is totally outside my family and social circle to listen and add perspective.  Do I have the emotional and mental energy to bring a new therapist up to speed?  No.  I don’t even know where to start.  My file is over three inches thick.

So now what?  I have actually been going through the grieving process.

My Family is Really Concerned

My mother is really worried.  For many of the same reasons I am.  So are my children.  We have all relied on CC’s ability to help me monitor my mental and emotional balance and find perspective if nothing else.  Who am I going to talk to now?  Will I be able to find a new therapist who can truly understand?

My Last Appointment With CC

Tuesday I went to my last appointment ready to say good-bye and get a recommendation for a new therapist.  I told CC about my soul-searching and the conclusions that I had come to.  She agreed that I would need someone to at least monitor how I am doing and be there in case of emergency.  She had a recommendation that I was willing to accept.

Insantiy FrogThe question I ask her was, “Coming in this late in the game, how would a new therapist be able to handle my situation?”  Her comment was simply, “They would put you in the hospital.”  What else could they do?  My diagnosis is very serious and permanent.  Nothing is going to change there.  They would not understand my history and have no experience to work with.  Only the notes in my file.

CC admitted that I was the most interesting and challenging case that she has ever worked with.  I am still the bar by which she measures everyone’s stress.  She is amazed every time I walk into her office with a positive attitude and a hopeful perspective. Often she has not known what to do or say.

The Best News Ever

After taking three months off to spend time with her family and have some fun, CC is returning to a small, selective, part-time practice.  She has graciously extended me an invitation to continue seeing her.  After all the work we have done together for the last 16+ years it is the only realistic way to keep me out of the hospital.  She knows the history and has the understanding that I would not be able to get from a new therapist.

I will have to drive a little farther to see her, but I don’t care.  Its only an extra five minutes.  I would drive across country if I had to.  I am so grateful.  Hospitalization would not do me any good.  It would, in reality, nullify all the years of hard work.

That I have been able to overcome my diagnosis and live the life I do has been a constant source of amazement.  Even to me.  All I know is that I have developed a strong faith in God and his tender mercies.  Years ago I put my life in his hands and asked nothing in return except that I be able to be the mother my children needed.  I believe that he led me to CC who has been a key part of it.