Some days I wonder long and hard why in the world I want to be a therapist. I’m pretty sure, with my inability to make so many people feel any better, I would completely suck at it. Some people say “OMFG you are going to RULE as a shrink,” but that’s mostly because their minds (and issues) are less complicated than the people I fail with. Thinking back, I don’t even know if I’ve helped anyone at all. Therapy is supposed to be about a patient talking, and a therapist directing thoughts. With most people all I do is opine. With others, I can say little to nothing, mostly because I can’t handle the continued negative reaction.
I should take that for what it is: a self-help technique. If it makes me so uneasy to hear something like that, how do other people feel when I act similarly?
As for “treating,” I understand that I’m not a shrink, nor am I actually close to being one as of late. But I used to be so good at helping people. At making them smile. At being a bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. Now all I can do is frown and say, “chin up?” and wait impatiently for something magic to happen. What’s the only real possible reaction to that? “Yeah, thanks,” and likely a response frown.
I suppose I do actually understand why I want to make people feel better: true happiness is pretty contagious. (But, mind you, that fake shit that is most commonly seen is not.) Does that mean the key to responding to people’s problems is to just be an uber-optimist and cheerily smile in their face and say, “aw, you’ve nothing to worry about. It’ll all work itself out; you’ll see!” Because that just seems like a fake shortcut.
And I imagine that without being truly happy myself, I will do little good for anyone else. At present, happy people still kind of grate on my nerves, which is an indication that I’m not quite there. Yes, there are certainly times I couldn’t be happier, so all is not lost, but to be able to find that place … the place of peace and tranquility and patience … now that would be an accomplishment of a decade.
Regardless, I should be able to put (most of) my own issues aside, and deal with things for others. Again, though: brick wall. I get met with a lot of sidewards smiles and “I’m going to go”s. Is it just a case of a lack of training? I suppose no matter if it is or isn’t, I should at least view it as such, to keep my inspiration and hope alive.
I can’t seem to figure out if I’m supposed to be empathetic, equally as whatevertheyare, optimistic, or try to help them see a brighter side. Does misery want company or help or just someone to listen? I believe that answer is entirely subjective. Personally? I like company. I like someone to force me to smile, or laugh, because how can I possibly be mad/sad/othernegativeemotion while laughing, or feeling loved? It’s difficult. But who’s to say that’s what everyone else, or anyone else for that matter, wants? I know entirely too many people who want to deal with their shit by just “going away” and “being alone.” Granted, all that usually gets its a pretty bow on top of some sadness or anger, but when solitude is what is sought, it’s hard to argue for the adverse.
So ultimately, misery may or may not love company, and the phrase is a bunch of hogwash?
“Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe