A Realization

When we were actively living through each of our losses I saw a counsellor at least once a month. Sometimes more. Mr. MPB even came with me. Heck, I think he even went once or twice on his own.

Our counsellor became a very big part of our life. She has been integral to our ability to weather the storm that we’ve faced. She helped us turn our sails every now and again and re-prioritize our lives. She’s always given us a safe space, a space to deal with our emotions.  A space to talk about the hard things and to give us an unbiased opinion (I can will say unbiased because she didn’t always agree with me). (Gasp!)

I didn’t always listen to her, and on more then one occasion you could say I’ve been a slow learner when it came to absorbing her advice.

Living through multiple losses meant that we were living with death, constantly. In the time that we lost 5 babies we also lost multiple grandparents. And we also saw friendships that we deeply valued disappear. It was hard! In fact, it has been the hardest time of my life. I know they say you cannot compare pain, but I would say the last few years of our lives have been even harder than losing my mom and sister in a car accident when I was 14 years old.  She has seen it all with us, and she continues to offer her professional advice and her loving support.

To be honest, I’m thankful I know I can call my counsellor if I need to. I’m thankful that even if I haven’t seen her in the last 7 weeks that should I need her, she will be there. Should we encounter a failed adoption (my biggest fear at this point), she will support us. Should I experience post-adoption depression, she will be there.

So, today I realized something about my counsellor (who may read this at some point) – I haven’t seen her since May 20th and I do not have another appointment booked.

I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. And since this fact donned on me it’s been weighing on my mind.

On the good side, maybe this means I’m doing better and managing the stress of life a bit better? Maybe this means things are okay? Maybe this means now that we are adopting, we are through the worst of it? Maybe it means that I’m ready to face the next hurdle on my own?

On the bad side, maybe it means I’m letting my work life get in the way of my personal life, and am going back to my old ways? Maybe it means I’m doing a very good job of sticking my head in the sand and ignoring my emotions around the baby-shower that has now come and gone and the baby that will be born into our family shortly? Maybe it means I’m not owning up to things that are going on in my life that I should be? I wonder, am I avoiding something that I just don’t want to talk about (I do have avoidance tendencies)?

Honestly, I really don’t know what this means. Maybe the real meaning here is that rather than writing 500 words about this, I should pick up the phone and book another appointment?

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31 Comments on “A Realization

  1. Do you feel like you need to see her? I am back in therapy weekly at the moment but often I’ve gone for weeks, months even and then will make an appointment to “touchdown” a bit. It’s like a check-in/check up. It’s been a few months, you’ve entered a new phase of the adoption process so it may be useful to just touch base.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for sharing. I’m thinking I’ll book an appointment for August (I know she’s away on vacation through most of July) and by then I’ll probably really need the check in anyways.

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  2. I guess I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing that you haven’t been to see her. I guess the question is: do you think that if you felt you needed to talk to her, would you pick up the phone and book an appointment? There’s something to be said for knowing when you need help, and recognizing that you can’t do it on your own at the moment. I think that’s the key point. I think you’ve seemed like you’re doing great over the past few months, unless you’re hiding something, and if that’s the case then maybe a call is in order. 🙂

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    • Thank you Amy! I really do appreciate your thoughts. I think in many ways you are right, it’s a good thing that I do not need to go as frequently, that she’s taught me a few techniques and I’m doing better using them. I’ll probably check in later this summer.

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  3. I have never had a counsellor, i wish I did one when I was in deep sea shit.
    But my heart says, if you are able to smile and look forward to tomorrow whatever that brings, you are healing and thats why you havent booked an appointment with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For what it is worth your voice coming through on your posts seems strong and stable and in a good place. That being said- I feel like a download with someone you trust is never a bad idea. I say you at least plan a phone call. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, I feel more like my old self now, then I have in years. Yet, also nothing like my old self at the same time. I guess that’s what RPL will do to a girl, eh? But for the most part, I really do feel my confidence returning to what it once was. Yes, I still do have bad days, but that’s just part of being human, I think.
      I think I’ll book an appointment to check in with her in a few weeks (I know she’s on vacation right now).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it’s normal for your need/desire for therapy to wax and wane over years and months. My mom has been seeing the same therapist for over a decade, and there have been times when she’s seen her multiple times in a week (like during my parents’ divorce) and times when she’s checked in once every few months. As long as you’re comfortable that you’ll recognize when you need to make an appointment and do it, I wouldn’t worry too much about appointment frequency — it’s probably a good sign that you haven’t been missing the relationship and feeling like you need more contact. But if you want to talk about adoption now that you’re facing the imminent prospect of a match (and the very, very scary possibility of a failed match), go for it!

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    • Thank you for this Lyra – I really appreciate learning from you! I think I am starting to see that the need for therapy does ebb and flow. I do suspect as our adoption reality progresses there will be some need to check in – as you say, the very real and petrifying possibility of a failed adoption is not something we can over look and also not something I will likely handle well given all our past losses.

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  6. I think that the timing of counseling is very individual. There have been times in my life where I needed to go every week. There have been other times where I’ve decided to take a break and didn’t really need to go at all for awhile. I really just think it’s up to you. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re avoiding anything. I know from reading your posts that you strive to be the best person you can be and are very introspective. Sometimes it’s okay to do that on your own. Just do what feels right. If you think it might be helpful to talk to your counselor and/or have that extra support, you can always make an appointment. I’m glad you have found someone who is a good fit for you! ❤

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  7. I think recognizing it is good enough. I’d only book an appointment if you feel you need it. Recognition isn’t always a sign of needing something. Sometimes it’s just a moment to pause and reflect on how far you have come.

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    • Thank you for your encouragement and support! I think you are right, recognizing this doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing or a good thing, it may just be a thing and that’s okay. Thank you!

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  8. I think it means at least in part that you have learned a variety of coping skills, in part with your counsellor’s guidance and support no doubt. I think it also might mean you have found other supports and self awareness so that you don’t need her as acutely right now. I think it’s a good thing. But I might go see her just to check in and see what she thinks.

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    • I think you are very likely right. And honestly, it would probably be a bad thing if I hadn’t started to learn and implement some of these coping techniques.
      I suspect I’ll check in with her next month (she’s on vacation now) and be a bit more regular with visits once we get closer to the adoption actually happening. While the adoption should be a happy time I think it will also be a time full of many fears and uncertainties, so an extra helping hand probably wont be a bad thing then.

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  9. I’m wondering if it’s actually a good thing that you are now able to go extended periods of time without needing to reach out to her. That you’re stronger and you’re learning to navigate with Mr. MPB instead of the 3 of you. However, that being said, it is worth considering a call if you feel like touching base and getting a good refresher! It never hurts to have someone in your court and it never hurts to KNOW you are supported in what you’re walking through.

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  10. It sounds like you’re in a great place! A counselor is a great resource to keep in your back pocket for those tough moments. Reach out if you feel like it, but if you don’t, just keep on keepin on!

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    • Thank you Erin! I think you are right, I need to keep her in my back pocket and be willing to reach out to her when my great place starts to feel more stressful then I’ve become accustomed to.

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  11. As someone who has been in and out of counseling all my adult life, first off, I’m glad you have someone you trust! Well done for seeking help when you needed it – and a special WELL DONE to Mr MPB. So many guys are just too much like Guys to be willing to accept counseling… 🙂

    Secondly, I think it’s great that you’re needing her less – and also completely normal. A counselor is someone you go to when you need help sorting through or coping with issues or challenges. It would be pretty sad if the counseling didn’t lead you to a stronger, more self-sufficient space! That said, sometimes you need to go back – maybe just to check in, maybe because you’re experiencing a new challenge and want their input.

    I would encourage you to set an appointment and just check in with her, because – and ONLY because – that is what your heart is telling you to do. But my expectation and hope is that she’ll pat you on the back and tell you you’re good to go. She’ll probably be delighted to hear that things are going well – it must be so rewarding to a good counselor when they actually manage to help someone! And maybe she can give you some ideas regarding how you can prepare for this next big change in your lives.

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  12. I think counsellors are there for a season. I had a great one who helped me through when my anxiety was so bad but I only see her on an as needs basis now. I’m not cured but she has taught me well. I can now use all the tools she gabe me to function so much better in times of stress. I still see her if things get too much but I rarely need that anymore. Maybe that is where you are at too? Maybe you have evolved a bit and are coping better during a hard thing. It doesn’t have to be the negative option 🙂

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  13. It probably is good to call and check in with her. How great, though, that you are tuned in enough to ask yourself these questions. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to say, I think your idea of checking in is probably a good idea. I do think I’ve come a far way, but I do know that all the adoption stuff is going to take a lot of emotion and energy to manage, particularly when we are matched. I’d like to believe that it will be all sunshine and roses, but I am smart enough to know that the fears associated with a failed adoption and the emotions around another loss will be hard for me. As always, thank you for your encouragement!

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  14. Pingback: Obsessively Internalizing | My Perfect Breakdown

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