I see a psychologist once in a while. During the last 10 years, I have seen several actually and the visits have been moderately successful. After our conversations, I often felt that new connections were made between memories, emotions and ideas that I would probably not have been able to make myself. But it was rare that I felt prompted to change anything as a result of our conversations. The sessions felt were more like I was being offered a momentary emotional inventory that I could use as basis for thinking about my life. It is a slightly different situation with the psychologist that I see now. She doesn’t mince words. To put it mildly. As soon as I enter the room, she starts commenting on my physical behavior. The first thing she said yesterday was: ‘You still use a high energy level to hide your nervousness, huh?’ We hadn’t seen each other for seven months.
She is surprisingly quick to form an opinion about something. Anything, actually. In the beginning, it really took me by surprise. Other psychologists would try to get me to form opinions about by nudging me with challenging questions. The psychologist I see now doesn’t wait for me to form an opinion. She already has plenty herself and is happy to share them with me. At the beginning of our conversation yesterday I told her about this blog and explained my reasons for doing it. I had talked for no more than 3-4 minutes when she interrupted. ‘You are clearly doing the blog to punish yourself’. I have really thought a lot about what I can do to keep myself focused on the project of quitting alcohol. But I honestly haven't thought of the blog as a kind of public self-flagellation. She continued: ‘It’s like you want absolution. You want to publicly punish yourself for loosing control’.
And that was just what happened during the first five minutes of the session. As is usually the case after a session, I was completely exhausted when I left her office yesterday.
She was not as enthusiastic about the blog as I am. She kept emphasising that if I do this to establish a more healthy balance between my inner and outer worlds, it is not sufficient simply to make a personal blog and then not talk about it. Because the truth is that I really don’t have any need for talking about the blog. It is ok when friends ask me about it but it is absolutely not a conversation topic that I cling to. And she kept nagging me with questions about whether I was actually as honest about myself as I think I am. ‘Isn’t the blog just another project that you put up between yourself and the world? Because you don’t think that you are worth people’s attention being yourself so you make yourself into yet another project that people can engage with and potentially admire’. She is brutal.