There’s this amazing book for young people written by Jerry Spinelli entitled Loser. It’s about this kid named Donald Zinkoff who is too happy most of his life to realize that he is considered a loser by those around him. Well, it’s sort of about that. It’s about a lot of amazing and wonderful things. It’s basically one of the best, most rewarding books of the genre I’ve ever read. You should read it, even if you’re a grown up. But I digress… There’s this scene in the book in which Zinkoff is asked to write down who his best friend is. He doesn’t know what name to write and it’s pretty heartbreaking to read as an adult.
It turns out that therapy is sort of like that moment.
I finally started therapy recently and, while I know it will take me down many paths of discovery and pain and joy and understanding, I didn’t expect my first revelation to come on my intake paperwork. A question in the documentation asked something like, “Who are the people in your life who act as your support network?” There were so many lines! I wrote Husband, of course, then a family member, and a friend. I was asked to write where they were located. Well, they’re not close; New Jersey and California are pretty far away places from where I am right now, even though I hat with the people often. Really, the friend is the only one I speak to daily about my mental health. She is a true lifeline for me. But in my Pennsylvania town I’m managing on my own. Except for Husband.
Sure, at first I had my Zinkoff moment of feeling pretty alone, but then the guilt set in. I realized in that moment that I didn’t just need therapy for me, but for Husband, too. It’s not fair of me to ask him to be my everything beyond the everything he already is to my heart. He needs me to have someone I can confide in, someone who can listen to my pain, someone to help me process. I realized in that moment that therapy for me was really therapy for my marriage. I’m so glad I could get there on my own.