Life as the mom of a distractible child and the wife of a wannabe rock star is not often a day at the spa. Both necessitate extraordinary flexibility and the ability to multi-task to the extreme. It does not leave much "me time." It does often leave me wanting to scream.
A few months ago,with the stress threatening to suffocate me, I started seeing a therapist. Now, I am not a good therapy patient. I like the idea of it. But the idea never quite translates into reality. I've used more than my fair share of first-time Employee Assistance Plan visits, but I rarely make it to the second visit.
One therapist, at my first and only visit with her, was convinced I had figuratively married my father since my husband is 14 years older than I am and I had never known my father. But unless my father was a teenage dad (and he wasn't, of that I'm sure), that scenario couldn't be further from the truth. Another could not figure out why I used the EAP since it only covered three visits. I was seeing her for work/family stress, which to me did not require a years-long commitment.
So far, this therapist has worked out okay, and it's good to just have someone to talk to. But it doesn't replace a girl buddy. Unfortunately, I haven't had one of those since college.
Work doesn't help much. I work for a university, and it's the kind of place (at least in my office) where people come to work, do their job, then go home. There's just not a lot of bonding.
Before this job, I worked at an event planning agency. Bonding was plentiful, if a bit much at times. It was like a large dysfunctional family. You knew everyone's business and they knew yours. One coworker hated it, left, and never spoke to any of us again. But I liked the family aspect, maybe even more because I didn't have family here.
So I reached out to one of those coworkers and had lunch with her today. And it felt so good. While she doesn't have a child with ADHD, her youngest (now in college) does have a very mild case of cerebral palsy, so she knows about 504s and IEPs. And her husband never tried to make it big in the music biz, but he did run his own company - badly - for a few years and it took her threatening to leave with the kids to get him to close the business and work for someone else.
Therapy is a good thing, but it doesn't replace history, common experience, and mutual affection, all of which I found today.
Saturday, I'm hosting my second-ever book club, and I'm hoping that there will be more of that.
Make time for friends. They'll help you get through what life throws at you.