So, after I nearly took my own life back in 2011, it was only that point in my mental history that I really focused on being real with myself. I went through a lengthy outpatient program. I found a (nother) therapist. She was one of many. There have been so many therapists that have floated through my life. Some were better than others, but I have had some doozies. Like the woman that fell asleep with her eyes open while I was pouring my 23-year-old heart out. Maybe my dysfunctional, suburban white girl problems were just too bland for her. I don’t know.
But I also know that up until I met the Therapist of My Dreams (I’ll call her Kay) I wasn’t very serious or honest with my therapists or myself. And being the guarded person I am, I was skeptical the first time I saw her. Defenses are pretty high when you’re in a situation like this, I will admit, but I also knew that I didn’t want to feel the way I was feeling for the rest of my life. So I went in with an open mind and the desire to feel better about life in general.
I can’t tell you what we discussed that first visit, except the phrase “first thing’s first.” But I can tell you about how Kay grew to actually know me as a person over the years. To the point where she could call me on my shit in a way that didn’t make me feel attacked or belittled. I grew a lot as a person because of her, and I learned a lot more about myself and what I was capable of because of her. I could call her at any time and she would always stop and talk to me, despite therapy being a part-time job, on top of her full-time job. She taught me the value of therapy by being the therapist I never knew I needed.
Earlier this year, Kay told me that it was time for her to hang up her therapist hat, as she was over 70 (which floored me. No way was this woman was close to being 60! Let alone over 70). WHAT?!? NOOOOO!! This couldn’t be happening. I took it in stride. I’ve felt better, sure, but I am so mentally aware of myself, that I wasn’t worried I couldn’t live without her. But I didn’t want to. Like the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke…”
The last couple of years have been tough for a multitude of reasons that are just not all my story to tell. One is a chronic illness that ended up exacerbating my anxiety to off the charts levels. On a hunch I am working on, I may have found the cause of it, so I’m feeling better there, but at that point in time, leaving the house was extremely hard for me. Not being in pajamas was extremely hard. The drive to see her caused more anxiety than the relief she provided. But that didn’t matter. I still looked forward to seeing Kay.
It has been five months since I last saw her. I’ve seen another therapist in the interim that is basically like the equivalent of overcooked spaghetti for me. I’m just not feeling it. I’m not giving up on finding someone that I’ll find a good rapport with. But I miss Kay severely. I called her once, just to say hi. Like an old lover that you try to remain friends with. It wasn’t that awkward, but I knew I wasn’t going to be talking to her regularly. I mean, It’s not like I’m stalking her or anything. Don’t be ridiculous.
In all seriousness, I miss her like air and some days I DO feel like that ex that wants to find every damn excuse in the book to call her and cry and have her tell me that I’ll find someone else and it’ll be OK. I know it’ll be OK, I just want to hear her voice.
Instead, I’ll repeat my mantra: “first thing’s first,” and go on with my life.
This post originally appeared on Failure to Nap.
Statia Manger is an improv actor, YouTube content creator, professional badass, and mom. Sarah Fader, CEO wrote this bio without asking Statia, because of love. Follow her on Twitter. Read her words on Failure to Nap.