Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Thursday: You Can’t Unlearn It

pocket therapist front cover small.jpgI have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.
My therapist swears to me that you can’t unlearn your progress.
And I’m holding her to it.
She says that just because you have a day or week or year where you flop on building better personal boundaries, or silencing the inner critic, or identifying and replacing the old tapes, that you still have all the right stuff inside. You haven’t lost any of it.
Man, is that comforting in the hours I know my footprints are going in the wrong direction, when I seem incapable of making myself turn around toward healing, when I fret about losing it all–the knowledge, the insights, the discipline that I procured in my recent past–as my strides reverse.
She says your progress is there, stuck in your neural passageways along with instructions on how to ride a bike, even though the dusty thing has been stored in your garage for ten years or more.
So, though we may feel like we’re spinning around in circles, lacking the gravity needed to pull us in a certain direction, we’re really just learning more. We’re exploring … as T. S. Eliot so beautifully said: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”


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  • Bill F

    I just ordered this book yesterday! I have been going through a very difficult time and I have been in therapy for many years so I do think that what your therapist has said is true. I was 18 when I first hit bottom with emotional difficulties and even though I am going through a difficult patch I can see how all the years of my therapy I have not lost what I have learned.

  • Elizabeth

    I have this passage marked and highlighted in my copy of the book. It is a HUGE COMFORT it me!

  • JoEllen

    I really needed to read that!!!!!! God bless you for being here. I have 21 years of sobriety… several in Al-anon. I have come out of 2 years of full blown panic attacks…(4:30am like an alarm clock every single day!) Depression. Feeling stuck and overwhelmed and at times like I was losing my mind. Getting sober is not a cure all but it makes it possible to live in the solution. I am going thru a phase where I feel like I should be better. My head can really lie to me. I love your courage to put yourself out here. Like the song says… Let your little light shine shine shine. You are a light for so many of us. I just wanted to thank you. You matter.

  • Frederick Arend

    If homosexual marriage succeeds, then,marriage will automatically have a new definition, it will no longer be: the union of one man and one women. Men and women will be totally out of it and all boundary’s will be off, anybody and anything can be married.

  • marymargaret

    Ever hear of fibromyalgia? Due to fibro-fog, I must often reach deep within to pull out “lessons” I just know are in there somewhere.
    I will choose to believe your therapist. I am not unlearning on dark days.

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