What I really want

About eight years ago, I self-assessed minor depression and asked my PC doctor to refer me to a therapist.

“You want drugs? I’ll give them to you,” he offered.

“No thanks, just need someone to talk to.” And so I had my first appointment. It was early summer and my school year had been intense — I did a masters in ed in math problem solving within the year while I taught full time and worked with SJ Writing Project.

Our first appointment didn’t go well, in my opinion. I was expecting someone to help me unravel my mind and offer solace and advice. Ha! The therapist leaned back and asked me what I want.

“Until you know what you want, we can’t get anything done,” he said folding his arms. My time was up so I took my nervous wreck out to the parking lot. Part of me was feeling gypped the other part ticked off.

Our second appointment was postponed which gave me a bit of time to realize I could write to myself about what I really wanted. Then write a letter to my future self naming what I accomplished.

It was stomach wrenching felt sense to begin with “I want….” and free write. And keep writing to that prompt. My guts were in turmoil because I usually asked what others wanted. It was a big shift with feelings of lost time.

So, the next appointment I came in, with the self-check on depression showing I’d changed, and two letters for the therapist. He tried to hide his surprise. He read them over and made a few comments. Then we had this great talk about middle age crisis and why I was not having one. He clearly supported me and said he preferred I’d get that new position and fly to France than come see him.

WIRW. This prompt has served me for centering for discovering since then, I was just leafing through one of my many unfinished journals and found a 10 minute write last May.

Here are some excerpts that ring true still:

I really want to hit the groove where it’s truth and love and it — my material is mine, with credits to awesome mentors, of course. This means I want balance between the inner and outer.

I want to read til my eyeballs roll up inside my head. I want to draw until my mind fizzles and write til I ache — and still do good to others in the real world.

I want to think unthinkable thoughts. Let stray ideas that need to be reunited merge and meld. I want to love more deeply and be way less attached. I want to take down that dumb wind chime.

I want to live off gratitude. I want to show up. I really want to let wanting go and move from something deeper.

I don’t want to die without being the person I came here to be I want to not want. I want to be. I want to truly belong and yet stand alone.

I think I’ll try that prompt again, soon. Meanwhile, there are blogs to read and comment on and dinner for my dear Mamma. And I’m only a third of the way into The Source of Self-Regard, by Toni Morrison. That will be a joy this evening.

4 thoughts on “What I really want”

  1. Quite moving Laura. I sometimes forget that we share that deep undercurrent of depression, which in my case I inherited from my mother.

    You have developed quite remarkable coping skills, and from my perspective have grown into a person I value enormously.

    Fondly. Jonathan


  2. Wow, this is a really personal journey and very brave that you shared. I enjoyed every single word. I think some therapy should happen for all teachers if they are going to continue to love what they do despite the crap that gets thrown our way. I respect you so much for giving us a look into that you 8 years ago. Those prompts and answers at the end made my mind spin. So provocative. Loved it.

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