“I’m in therapy to learn how to deal with people who should be in therapy.”
The day I saw the above sentence in a meme on Facebook a few years ago I had a coffee cup drop moment, Usual Suspects style, or as Oprah would put it, a ‘light bulb moment’ (wow, did that feel cheesy and cheap to type. Thanks for nothing Oprah).
When I was younger, 20-25, I thought I was the craziest person ever because everyone else seemed to have their shit together and be living ‘normal’ lives whilst I was dealing with an identity crises after graduating from uni because I no longer enjoyed or wanted to work in the field I had studied, technical theatre, and I had no idea what else I wanted to do. I also didn’t really gel with my friends anymore. They were so ‘arty’ and pretentious and I just wanted something real, you know? Anyway, fast-forward a few years to Jan 2009 (I was 23) and I found out the person I thought I loved (my first love) was cheating on me for the last four months we were living together. Well, that was the breaking point. I completely fell apart and it was that catalyst that sent me to therapy. I saw counsellors first and then I went to my GP who put me on 10mg of Lexipro a day (later upped to 20mg a day) and wrote me out a referral letter to a psychologist. Although I loved my first psychologist because she was so sassy and strong her sessions didn’t really help me much. I think because my arsehole ex was still fucking me around, I was too ‘in love’ to break ties with him and I guess I was still too ‘in my head’ to see the forest from the trees, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) didn’t really help me at that time.
As time has gone on and I have had more life experiences, dealt with more people, and seen other therapists (due to me moving or my therapists moving, going on maternity leave, heading overseas etc. I have had 5 psychologists since mid 2009 which has been a blessing and a curse because I have to go back and start my story all over again [curse] but then again each psychologist has insight and wisdom to give that the others did not [blessing]), things have clicked for me and I now realise every mother fucking cunt you meet is bat shit insane to some degree. Grasping this basic, and now obvious fact, has just taken the most incredible weight of my shoulders, answered so many questions about the world, how it works and how I fit into it, has cleared the fog and confusion from my brain and it has made me such a good judge and read of character. I am getting so good at sizing people up, hearing the crazy in their stories and picking their personality types I could turn it into a career. The greatest thing I have learnt so far is no body has it ‘together’, some/most people are just better bullshit artists and actors than me! They might call it stoic but I call it phoney, display home acting.
See, one of my biggest problems was/is I’m too real, I’m too organic. I can’t hide my crazy because I was never raised to be a phoney. In my family if you had something to say you just said it. If you were upset you cried. If you were angry you swore and yelled. There was no stiff upper lip and suppress your feelings even if it kills you type of behaviour. There was no putting on airs and graces for the neighbours, or friends or family. Our lives were ‘what you see is what you get’. So when I left high school and entered into uni and saw everyone pretending (pretending being the operative word) to be all cool, capable and nonchalant while I was a brimming cauldron of crazy (nervous about being in uni, unsure of myself, trying to find who I was as a young adult etc.) I thought I was even more crazy!!!
Don’t get me wrong, I was and still am to a lesser degree crazy, but now I have learnt that so is everyone else, they are just better at hiding it than me, so much makes sense! The coffee cup dropped and all the puzzle pieces were put together.
So I want to metaphorically go back in time for a moment to speak to my younger self, say age 20-21 (2006)…
“Yes, you are crazy but so is everyone else! It’s just they have been conditioned and trained to hide it, where as you weren’t. You are suffering from an identity crises and depression due to said identity crises. Don’t freak out! You are probably just exhausted from a massively demanding university course and your serotonin levels are down. Also, you are a very passionate person and it is always hard for deeply passionate people to lose their ‘dream’. Don’t worry about your friends either. They’re arty, pretentious wanks and you will make new, more authentic friends as you go along. Fuck your current friends off (they are good people but they are not the right fit for you) and start spending more time with your none theatre friends.
Also, make an appointment with your GP and ask to see a psychologist. If sessions alone don’t help go back to your GP and ask for some meds. There is no shame in seeing a therapist and there is no shame in going on meds. Meds are not the addictive, destructive things laypeople make out (what the fuck would they know, anyway? Do they have degrees in neuroscience? NO! So they can shove their judgemental, pseudo-science ways up their arses). Start dabbling in the things you enjoy; art, singing, dance, environmental causes, human rights causes. Don’t be self conscience. It doesn’t matter if you are a prodigy at something as long as you enjoy it. Also, laugh!!! Fill your down time with comedy movies, tv shows and books. Comedy will be your best friend when things seem most dark.
And lastly, you are one sassy, funny, funky, capable, happening diva and you are going to meet a lot of parasites, leeches, lunatics, narcissists, egomaniacs, megalomaniacs and sociopaths, in your private and work life, who are secretly jealous or intimidated by your happy-go-lucky, extroverted, rambunctious, out spoken persona. Fuck them! Every little passive aggressive comment they make towards you. Every little, niggly put down. Every condescending, patronising sneer. Fuck them all!!! Try not to lose your temper or allow them to get to you because all they are doing is projecting their own insecurities, inadequacies, inferiority complexes, emptiness and self loathing on to you, and people like that are master manipulators. They are so good as spraying their own vileness onto others while making others think they themselves have problems and issues that they don’t actually have. Hence why a lot of your/my therapy sessions will/have been about learning how to deal with people who should be in therapy.”