Actually, it IS Rocket Science

Therapy is for closers

You guys, I’ve been such a bad boyfriend to this blog lately.  She keeps on being all “Hey.  Um.. I know you’re busy… but would you maybe want to get some lunch sometime?”

And I’m all like- “…Um, yeah.  Sure.  When?”

And she goes, “Well, it’s lunchtime now.”

And I go, “Shit, you mean today??

And the other line goes silent for a couple of seconds, which is when I realize I blew it.  But you can’t bring a blog flowers or take it out to dinner to show it you’re still really into it.

So instead you tell it what you’ve been up to recently…


So in the past few weeks, my life has changed.  Drastically.  …Severely drastically.  Like, holy-shit-I-can’t-believe-my-life-has taken-such-a-veer-in-this-direction-and-I-am-about-to-go-over-a-cliff-a-la-Toonsis-the-cat-porportions change.

Okay, maybe not so severely drastically.  Maybe just a few more errands to run here and there.  But what would this blog be if not a source of unnecessary melodrama and overreaction once in a while, just to keep things fresh, eh?

For those’a’yall that don’t know, I’m currently getting my Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with a concentration in Marital and Family Counseling.  It’s a two year program and I just recently passed over the pinnacle of that hill.  This, under normal circumstances, would mean you would now join me in a unanimous mental high five, right?  We can still do that if you want; no one’s gonna tell on you either way.  But in this case, that means that the all knowing ones in my department have decided to jack up the ante and toss me into the snake pit.  …With snakes.  Snakes that bite.  Hard.  And draw blood.  And I’m a hemophiliac.  And allergic to the Suborder Serpentes.  And I’m going to die and so is everyone else.

We’re all gonna die.  Sorry.

I now spend my mornings dragging myself out of bed at 5am to work in an office and off-site at a practicum location where I work with clients for about 2 out of 8 hours there, the other 6 spent writing those lovely, damning things of torture and self-hatred known as Government Required Notes, and then… then!  IF I’M LUCKY I get to go directly from there to class and sit there for another 5 hours or so until I crawl with my whole body weight on my hands because my legs have been hobbled by the Kathy Bates of exhaustion over hot coals to get back to my apartment around 11pm.  Where I pray for the sweet relief of sleep.  Or death.   Whichever comes first.

But this is what I asked for, right?  This is what I nose-dived into debt for… RIGHT??

Actually?  Yeah.  And I wouldn’t replace it or change it for anything.

Because when I left my job in Chicago; my sweet, cushy, all-inclusive insurance covered job that sometimes looks like Val Hala in retrospect, to come out here, I was so goddam miserable knowing that I really wouldn’t be able to go much further than that in my occupational life and still be happy.  And I’ll let you know my own personal philosophy that has both damned me as well as pushed me forward in a lot of the past several years:

You. Cannot. Pay me. Enough.  To be miserable in a job.

That’s it.  And I can’t get past it.  No matter how hard I try to put it behind me.  I can dress it up, put a fancy three piece suit on it and give it several teeth-whitening sessions, but it still sticks out at me like a Gorbachev birthmark.  And you can’t bleach that shit out.

Also, I’ve known since beginning my higher education that I wanted to eventually do something in the realm of helping others own mental health.  But this blog post isn’t gonna get all mushy on you.  Promise.  You forget who you’re talking to.

What I AM saying is that the past month has been bonkers.  Like, holy-hell-they-actually-expect-me-to-do-this-shit?! bonkers.  Like, I actually have to get in there and help people??  NOW???  How many question marks to I have to berate you with for you to get my point that I’m sort of freaking out about this shit right now??  THIS MANY?????????

Okay. Too many.  I know my limits.

Cause here’s the fun part, you guys!  You spend a year leisurely doing your readings and participating in class, and then about a year later when you’re all comfy in your bedHOLYSHITREVEILLEMOTHERFUCKERSOUTTABEDTIMETO



I don’t know if any of you guys reading this are or have ever been in the beginning throws of therapy.  But trust me when I say that the above is the internal monologue that goes through a newly emerging clinician’s head every time they set foot into a therapeutic setting.  Only we’re not allowed to let you see us sweat.  And the truth is?  We’re feeling you out as much as you’re feeling us out.  Magician’s in-secret disclosure.  You’re welcome.

It’s daunting to try to help someone you don’t know jack about.  And I’m being very forgiving by using the word “daunting.”  It’s more like those-snakes-just-unhinged-their-jaws-and-are-now-swallowing-my-legs full-on fear.  Because it’s not so much that we’re worried about fucking you over (we at least covered that much last year).  We’re more worried that we’re not going to be able to help you.  We’re worried that you’re not going to feel comfortable enough to move forward with us and let us help you move forward, in turn.

Think of the first date with that person you really, reeeeaallyy like.

Do you go for the salad?  No.  NO ONE looks good eating salad.  That lettuce goes everywhere BUT your mouth.  And it leaves a dirty looking balsamic vinaigrette mark on your cheeks that you might not notice and they’ll be too shy to point out.

Do you go for the family issues right away?  No.  They CLEARLY don’t want to talk about that right now.  And it’ll leave you with blushing cheeks that they’ll totally notice and you’re too shy to bring up.

The thing is this, though:  we’re all surrounded by those that can help us.  Other coworkers, classmates, supervisors, family, friends, boyfriends (or girlfriends), assholes, whomever.  Those who will slap the stupid out of us as well as push us forward and won’t let us pluck our hair out one by one (unless it’s our eyebrows that have gotten way-hay-hay out of control).  And that goes for the practitioners as well as the clients (but you probably already knew that).

So instead of flipping the fire alarm every time my pager goes off, I gather my things and walk toward the door.  What.  Did you think I had some sort of superstitious habit or routine that I performed before each encounter?  You forget who you’re talking to.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * perpetualnervousness says:

    wonderful post. I owe you a proper e-mail, so I’ll write more there. but wonderful.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 9 months ago
  2. * Sula says:

    You are going to be awesome, Ashlin! Wanna know how I know that? Because I remember exactly who I’m talking to! :-))
    You go, Girl!!!!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 9 months ago
    • Sula, You have no idea how much that meant to me at the exact right moment. I flippin love you until my brain stops functioning. That’s a promise. 🙂

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 9 months ago
      • * Sula says:

        Wow! If that’s true…Then it’s a lottery worth winning! 🙂
        I love you back….(Keep me posted on how it’s going! I’d love to know!)

        Posted 6 years, 9 months ago

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