Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Level Up

About a year ago, I wrote this post about starting counseling to learn how to deal with some of my past trauma.  This week, my counselor told me that she thinks it's time for me to take the next step forward.  To start some of the intense healing stuff.  I don't really know what that'll look like, but I know that this is a new stage in the process. 

It was really nice to hear.  I mean, I'm certainly nervous about just how 'intense' things are gonna get.  But I feel like all the work I've been doing has just been affirmed.  It has led me to this new level.  (Is it weird that I keep imagining it as graduating from Kindergarden?)  I definately can see a difference in the way I handle/experience stress since I first started going last April.  But to actually hear from a professional that she thinks I'm ready has really boosted my confidence. 

I love it when you can track progress like a map.  I love little concrete markers.  When I have to pack for a long road trip or something, I always make a list and check things off as I get them packed.  I tell my counselor all the time that I wish there was a set list of steps that I could take where I could tangibly see my progress and be able to know what I still have yet to do.  But it doesn't work like that.  It's so maddeningly subjective.  I realize that it should be dependent on the individual.  That one person will react to trauma completely differently from another person.  I appreciate the more individualized therapy.  Really, I do.  It's just frustrating to me that not only can I not keep track of my progress on a chart, there isn't even a chart!  'Healing' for me might look different for someone else.  When we first met, my counselor had me write out a list of goals that I hoped to accomplish through therapy.  We've been working towards those.  But we can't even chart that because as I get further along in the process, my goals are evolving.  I'm realizing that I don't have to sell myself short.  That I can really reach for something that I hadn't the foggiest clue that I could hope for before I started.  So as I'm growing, so are my goals.  Pretty exciting!

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