My physician described it as an “exhausting process.” One that includes “bearing your heart out for an hour, to a total stranger, and then doing it again until you find the right therapist.” And instantly, I could see how exhausting it could be, how much it could drain you.
Therapy makes me anxious because I am desperate to real human connection. Not artificial connections, lasting only through small talk until the clock runs out.
I relate a lot to Justin McElroy, who, on one of his many podcasts, talked about his “managed anxiety disorder.” And then, on a more recent episode of MBMBaM, Justin brought to the conversation an example from his driving trek home from Cincinnati, where he saw Jimmy Buffett. The example was about people on the highway, that car you see out of your periphery, the one that keeps showing up and never takes the exit, the person you’ve already imagined a picture of, and you feel, or at least perceive, a camaraderie building between you, even though there is no evidence that the driver or anyone else in that car noticed this happenstance connection building. A small relationship, made entirely from coincidence. Griffin called it the “grocery store shuffle”: when you accidentally bump into someone or try to sneak by them in the store and mutually apologize. Justin responded that he loves it because when the two people accidentally look up at each other and apologize, you forget everything else, the baggage. The hard feelings. You focus on the moment, and that brilliant but small moment where everyone involved feels at the same level, emotionally. You have connected the dots together. I loved when he spoke about that, because it reminded me so much of how I feel day-to-day, and how I wish others acted. I wish we were more appreciative of those small moments when people see eye to eye, not because of belief, but from situation or circumstance. It’s when I love people the most.