Sometimes all it takes is a good night’s sleep. And while I wasn’t 100% myself in the morning, the feverish self-loathing and self-pity had turned into a more sizable, more manageable, slow humming doubt.

I went to therapy. There was a fire in the fireplace when I walked in and that immediately lightened my heart. She made me a cup of coffee. We talked and I cried. “I’ve been working so hard,” I said. “I just feel like I keep knocking my head against the wall. Nothing changes I don’t feel I have any clarity. At the same time I feel so different than the person I used to be. I have such a better sense of myself.”

“I’ve never seen you more centered than these past few months.”

“I just feel I’m still struggling with all the same things that I always have no matter how hard I try not to. I still live in fantasy. I still think that something is going to happen and my life is going to fall magically into place.”

The thing about therapy is that you can say anything and it doesn’t matter. You can go in there and say, “I feel so out of control about food. I can’t stop putting cookies in my mouth! I’ve been fantasizing about this man who has a girlfriend. I’m so annoyed about my coworker. I feel so worthless as a human being or this great thing happened to me.” It doesn’t matter. It’s all a tool to look deeper into what makes you tick. You figure out how to be more able by understanding the things that enable you.

“Shadow work stirs things up,” she said. “It may not seem that way but believe me all of this is part of the process.”

We talked about trying not to control outcome because of course we never really control anything, and about the things that I could do to be more present. When I left I drove feeling the palms of my hands on the steering wheel, the sun hitting the tops of my hands and arms, and how my back and thighs pressed lightly on the seat. By the time I got home I felt a little more on top of things.

Willa and I were supposed to have a writer’s meeting but ended up having a long chat over the phone when I told her what a mess I’d been the past day.
“I just feel so lost,” I said. “Where am I going to live? How am I gonna make a better, more fulfilling living? Who is going to be the father of my children? I have all these questions in every aspect of my life, and I don’t know where to start.”

“You are going to figure it out,” she said. “I have no doubt that everything is going to work out. You have to give yourself the space to go about your day, day after day, while still dealing with your feelings. This huge thing happened in your life and you were very brave about it. Don’t underestimate how brave you were but also you can’t forget that this huge thing has happened. It’s like a meteor that fell in the ocean creating not only ripples through out everything but this tsunami of emotions. And I can help you be better about money stuff because I had to learn to be better. I can give you tips. Just think every time you don’t buy something you are empowering yourself, you are taking control. It’s like quitting smoking, after awhile you start to feel proud, to take pleasure, every time you want a cigarette and you don’t have one. What you can control is how you spend your money, what you eat, because you can’t control the bigger things. I know you’ll figure it out. I have known you for a long time. I know things are going to work out. I know that you are going to figure it out. I would bet money on it; lots of money.”

She was right, and I hung up the phone feeling grateful and also knowing that the feelings of disappointment, of being let down where still fully alive in me. I was hurt and there was nothing I could do but acknowledge it.