Saturday, December 24, 2011

Beyond Therapy: Trusting Your Community

Although I've been done with actual therapy for years, I finally completed the process last Monday. Therapy gives you a theoretical framework upon which to re-build your life. You learn the how and why of what brought you to therapy. You eventually realize you are DONE! I may not know everything that happened to me, but I know ENOUGH. You leave counseling and begin actually living life.

I have many shame issues around my several disabilities. When our church plays the "drawing" game I have always declined to participate. You are in teams, you are given an object to draw and your team has 30 Seconds to figure out what you have drawn. This was the first year I dared to actually draw and be a part of this game.

A blind friend of mine lamented that I couldn't participate in the picture-guessing when others drew something. I decided not to be a downer on the other 30 people at the party and just accept this very small item that I couldn't participate in.

When my turn came I joked that I didn't want something really complicated like The Waldorf Astoria. I had to draw a Christmas Wreath. I quickly drew a sketch like I used to do for Physics problems and my team got it right away. What a victory! I felt so much better having made an effort, vs just sitting back wondering what it would be like to participate.

Unfortunately, my shame issues really got me in another area of my life. I use a walker and  hate the idea of using the lift on the bus. I got up before the driver had fully positioned the bus. I was parallel with the seats near the door when the bus lurched forward and I fell with all my weight on the right rail of my walker. I had the wind knocked out of me and it turns out that I cracked a rib.

Needless to say, when I can get back to my normal life in about a month, I'll ALWAYS take the lift! I can hear you all saying I have nothing to be ashamed of, but that damage is something God has been healing me of for years. (Guess I'm not done huh)?

Unlike when I was laid up after being hit by a car, this time, I follow directions and am totally thankful and at peace. People call me and I have folks willing and ready to assist me with laundry and shopping anytime I request it. I am so very thankful. People don't have to deal with me and having learned to be thankful does wonders for my general attitude.

I think of this phase of my life as the "lab" that goes with the "lecture" known as therapy.

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to one and all.