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By Madeleine Dopico
“What is a therapist going to tell me that I haven’t already analyzed and figured out myself?”
That was the answer I gave. Or rather, that was the excuse I gave, to run my personal growth show exclusively the way I wanted.
I’d never been to therapy until now. As a creative, artistic type with a strong intellectual interest in the human mind, I’ve always identified myself as extremely introspective. In fact, I’ve often been told I “think too much,” as I constantly question myself and those around me.
As a confident people-person pursuing entrepreneurial careers in both business and music, I am very used to controlling my narratives. I take center stage, both physically and metaphorically, and wouldn’t say I “fake it”, but am extremely conscious and thoughtful about how I present my sense of self.
On my first day of therapy I sat down and clearly mapped out what I have to work on. Then I recited my core principles that influence everything I am:
1) I think about death every single day. Not out of dread, but as a motivator to charge at what I want out of life, and to never take a single moment with the people I care about for granted.
2) Creating something that wouldn’t have existed without me- whether it’s a song, a resilient love in a relationship, or this very blog post that I hope means something to even one person, is what gives my life purpose.
3) I will ultimately do things my own way, for my own reasons. Just try and stop me.
“So you came… prepared,” the therapist said as she smiled at me. I started at the beginning and told her the story of my life that I could repeat in my sleep. I consider myself pretty honest and comfortable processing my emotions, as I write songs and reflections about my life daily.
The words came out as usual, but this time I started to cry, pretty hysterically. Now that has never happened before.
I realized it was the first time I could truly feel the disorganized weight of my tales in front of someone, because there wasn’t a little part of me that wondered if the person listening would somehow disappear if I didn’t do a good enough job.
“I guess I have a fear of abandonment,” I laughed. She nodded.
Trust me, this grand revelation is something I’ve also thought of. But for all my experience analyzing what guides me, I have never felt it connect to who I am in that way.
Now of course, my wheels are busy turning to determine how I can use that to achieve all my passionately personal goals. I’m not sure yet!
But I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity that therapy provides- to not just figure it all out, but to feel it all out.