Sunday, April 14, 2013

Graduation Day

Well, this past week I graduated. Not from school but from therapy. After having gone to therapy actively since the summer of 2008, the summer when my wife and I had the last marital troubles that led to our marriage dissolving, I am now no longer seeing anyone. And it feels...weird.

I started going to the first therapist, Marie, as a marriage counselor with Portia, my then-wife. The marital therapy was about as effective in keeping the marriage together as the Cleveland Browns offense was that year (4-12) in winning football games. I then continued to see Marie for the next three years, surviving the break up and then the tumultuous relationship with Stella. But progress seemed slow and less than satisfying.

Then two things happened. The first was that Marie, after three years, found out that my father was an alcoholic. I never hid it from her. It somehow just never came up. This led her to suggest I read Co-Dependent No More, which is where I heard of Adult Children of Alcoholics. But the other thing that happened is that Marie took an opportunity to do some special work elsewhere, leaving me in the care of her colleague, Caroline.

Caroline had a much more assertive style. She pushed me. She gave me homework. And so, between ACoA and her, I began to make much swifter progress. Of course, it didn't hurt that my relationship with Stella was soon over, allowing me to focus even more on healing myself, since she was a bullet still lodged in my open wounds.

And in one last push, she pushed me to push off and leave therapy. I could argue with it. I'm better. I can do things in love relationships (like set boundaries) that I couldn't before. I have come a long way. Am I fixed? No. I will continue to evolve as long as I live. But I am moving to a new chapter, so play the music; I'm marching in graduation.

Pomp and Circumstance No. 1, conducted by the composer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that you feel strong enough to leave therapy and you got a lot out of it. That makes me hopeful.