Two years ago, I decided that I had tried to get pregnant naturally for long enough and needed professional assistance, and so I hired an RE to help me. At the same time, I decided that I had tried to manage my mental health on my own for long enough and needed professional assistance, and so I hired a therapist to help me. After about 18 months with the RE, I graduated from his care, but it was easy to tell when it was time – I had a baby in my ute that appeared to be viable. But it’s harder to tell when to graduate from a therapist.
I’ve been seeing B (my therapist) regularly for two years – weekly up until about three months ago, and then every other week. She’s been asking at the end of our sessions if I still want to keep going on, and I’ve always said yes. But last night she kicked me out – she said I don’t need to come back anymore! She had been hinting around it for awhile, and two weeks ago she asked if I wanted to do one more session, so I knew it was coming, but it was still weird walking out of there without an appointment scheduled. She said that I can come back for tune-ups, and I can come back after Alex is born if I think I’m having problems with depression, but she thinks that I now have all the tools that I need to deal with my life. Weird…
I’m a little nervous, being out here in the world without B behind me, helping me figure things out, asking me how I could have handled things differently. She’s a bit of a security blanket for me, and being without her is somewhat scary. I wonder if I really am ready to be without therapy. Because not everything is easy, there are still a lot of hard things that I deal with, and the thoughts that go through my head are not good!
But then I remember a couple nights ago when I was up at 3:00 am, and I couldn’t sleep. Baby Alex wasn’t moving, and my thoughts immediately started racing – what if she’s dead? When was the last time I felt her move? What if I’ve gone through all this and I won’t bring home a baby? But within just a few minutes, I was able to stop myself, and remind myself that the likelihood is very slim that I won’t be bringing home a baby, and that I just felt her move a few hours before, and everything was ok. And sure enough, I got up, drank a glass of milk, and little Alex started moving around.
I also remember a few weeks ago when I found out that my mother was not coming to see me, even though she said she promised to buy a plane ticket to come see me before Alex was born. In the past, I would have been very upset, but this time when she told me she was coming, I told her that I was very excited to see her, but I told myself that it was likely not going to happen. And I shouldn’t expect too much. And when she said that she was too busy to come, I told her I was disappointed, but I didn’t get upset. I didn’t even cry or anything, I just told myself that it was her loss, and it was ok. Sure, I wish my mom was different, but I can’t make her into someone she is not, I can only manage my own expectations, and choose to treat myself well when others don’t.
Maybe all these things mean that I really am ready to be on my own without B. The bad things will continue to happen, my mother will probably drive me nuts until one of us is gone, and my husband will frustrate me to no end after Alex is born, I'm sure! But maybe I know how to deal with this stuff better than I used to. I will probably always have awful thoughts go through my head, but the difference between now and two years ago is I used to allow them to stay, and I couldn't move on. Now I acknowledge the thoughts, and turn it around, bring it back to reality, so much quicker than I ever have before.
I know that I can go back to see B if I feel like I need to, but I feel ready to take on this next chapter in my life, motherhood, with all the tools she has given me. I’m so much stronger than I was two years ago, and I’m very proud of myself for continuing to go to her and talk through things in my life. Sure it would be easy to keep seeing her, but we all must grow up and move on to the next place in our lives, without our security blanket. I guess it’s now my time.