I Pay My Shrink In Candy Corn

It’s true. I am lucky enough, (SO lucky) that I have a therapist that won’t charge me money while my husband isn’t employed full-time. I love this woman and it is the furthest thing from transference ever.

Candy corn detail.

She asked me last time I saw her, “How on earth did you get into my practice, I don’t accept new patients”? I grinned widely and said ‘you liked me on the phone, I present well.” Sure enough that was the truth. My old shrink, Doc, had retired somewhat against his will, to Florida and I looking for someone new.

Finding a good fit is the hard part. My doctor is a really good fit. I asked her once “what happens if I move?” she answered “we Skype!” How can you not love that?

For me, there is absolutely NO SHAME at all in seeing a therapist, in fact if I had the money I’d probably do it more often and with great pleasure. I do feel that we need MORE FUNDING for mental health and more trained people in the schools. I really do. I think that if each elementary school had really good therapist they would be able to track problems at the beginning and should follow through, working with middle school, high school etc.

Obviously, I have anxiety issues and I’m HIGHLY emotional and sensitive. I’ve told her that I want to be less sensitive and be a cold, hard woman. This way was just not working for me.  I was getting hurt and misled and I am too gullible believing the good in people. She looked at me intently, her blue eyes facing my green eyes, her red hair, wild like some sort of plant in the dessert and she laughed.

I said “I’m serious!” and she said “I know you are. But, you can’t change who you are. You are sensitive and that’s good and bad. Yes, you will get hurt but you can’t all of a sudden change and be a cold-hearted, feeling-less person. It isn’t you, it’s not who you are.” Inside I gurgled with disappointment and took a deep breath. I knew, down deep, she was right. How could I change the way I am?

The only thing I could change were my reactions (maybe) and not to get so emotionally invested in the beginning (maybe.) So, I am planning to greatly appreciate my wonderful, happy times that are greater than great with detail when they are positive and ride out the storm just like everyone else when bad things happen, when so-called friends disappoint. I take things way too seriously and if I find out a friend is disingenuous and fake, not to mention a back-stabber or liar, I admit I hate it but I learn again, not to trust everybody.

I KNOW who my true friends are, I cherish them with all my heart.

Friendship

Music Therapy (aka as cheaper than the other kind)

Ever since my  friend Linda and I were eliminated from singing in the chorus in seventh grade (with mean Mr. Patterson) I haven’t been the same and still  think he was totally wrong (not that I hold a grudge).   I have moved on and his mistake did not stop me from singing out loud and enjoying it but even being placed in the chorus?  How bad were we?  I love to sing and while I may not have the BEST singing voice I’m not horrific. I think I can carry a tune fairly well, I don’t shriek or scream, doesn’t that count for something? People don’t look askew when I sing or give me dirty looks. I have said before I enjoy it no end; the world needs people who love to sing.   Music makes me feel better and since I can’t afford therapy as much as I would like or need,  I have relied on this blog ( which has gotten me into serious trouble with some family members) and music. Music, trust me, is much, much safer.

I know I am dating myself and calling myself a nerd at the same time but in the early seventies, John Denver could take me out of any vile mood and make me smile and sing along. No, I was not “passing the pipe around” as he sang but he could always make me feel better. Always. Until he divorced Annie and then when he died. My best friend Paula and I were devastated. After not being in touch for months, we called each other that day. How could John Denver die?  We barely had forgiven him for divorcing Annie. She “filled up his senses,” he named the song after her, they adopted children ( oh wait, am I confusing him with Tom Cruise again?) Apparently  after the divorce from Annie, who we felt we all knew I think he remarried.  I mean, really.  Then there were viscous rumors, a lot of rumors about his excessive drinking, cavorting and doing major drugs.  Allegedly. That was when the John Denver fan club ended.

But dying?  That was a whole new and last chapter and one that was really sad and unbelievable to us. How could he have died in an airplane? What was he thinking? It seemed too horrible to think about; after all he was our first musical crush and the first ever concert we went to.

It took a long time after his death to play his music again. First it made me sad and angry and then with time, like everything else, I began to remember the John Denver that made me happy when Paula and I were in High School filled with some type of drama. Now I can still play his music  (and yes, I do still play his music) and feel the happiness I felt when  I was 15; kind of.  It’s not  really the same, of course, but now it’s better and soothing and I know every word to every song he ever made. RIP.

My latest choice of songs to make me forget my troubles and to smile is a song by The Kinks called “Better Day” which I have been playing every day since my friend Scott posted it. It is going to be my theme song for 2010. It’s upbeat and it makes one feel happy and hopeful like no other song.   For variety, my happy mood music always includes Bruce Springsteen( that’s for you Claudine).  I have different music for different moods; there is Josh Groban, Neil Young,  CSN&Y and of course The Beatles. There’s also time when you just need girl music: Sarah Mclaughlan, Sheryl Crow, Wynonna, The Corrs, Carole King and Carly Simon, Madonna and yes, Barbra Streisand.

Of course this is all biased but we should never, ever forget Simon and Garfunkel whose songs I think should follow the National Anthem o or at least played in the Smithsonian.  They sing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline at Red Sox games, there should be a place for Simon and Garfunkel, somewhere.

There aren’t many people I would see in concert again. Saw James Taylor and he was rude and sarcastic, saw Crosby, Stills and Nash and their voices were….umm…different.  There is/was  Peter, Paul and Mary who I could not enjoy since another legend, Mary, died.

I would see Simon and Garfunkel again (perfection)in concert and maybe Carole King. I leave the Rap bands to my 2 teenagers, I know they like it but they also like that we hate it. Works every time.  It would give my husband and I a headache to go to a Rap concert, but it might be worth it to totally embarrass our kids!

So next time, before you head for the Xanax container or your favorite cocktail or 5, take a deep breath, turn on the music and listen. Listen until you find the song that makes you feel good, or if you want to cry, try a sad song. Therapy is very expensive and it is worth it bu give music therapy a try first.  Music therapy, the first step for intervention, give it a try. Because even though it helps to have someone nod his or her head at something you said, music is relatively cheap, it’s always available and you never get charged for an appointment if you don’t cancel 24 hours before the session. Try it because the beat of music, really does go on and on….

For Paula, Scott and Claudine