Interviewing for the role of psychologist in “Dolce: A Life”

So.  I’ve been sad for a year.  Not your run of the mill ups and downs.  But a sort of malignant undertow.  A feeling that if I don’t pay attention, I’ll be dragged under.  And to be honest, it’s been exhausting.  And a little scary.  And life is too short to be shattered and sad and scared.

But I’m not one to sit around moping and bewailing the life. If something’s wrong, fix it.  So I decided the time had come.  To get the professionals in.  The head shrinkers.  The mind sweepers.  The stick pokers*.

First point of business: find one.  Not as easy as one might think.  This is not something I was going to trust to the yellow pages.  (Although I was tempted by the advert posted on a local lamppost, which offered to get rid of “bad mind trouble tokoloshe”.)

I had two options.  Ask the shrinks I know or ask the people I know who go to shrinks.   In the former category, a sort of ex-step sister, an ex-boyfriend and assorted friends of my parents.  Not an option.  In the latter, a handful of fabulous women who are facing the tough stuff.  So I started my research.  And settled on two recommendations by women I love and respect.  Shrinker1 the girl and shrinker2 the boy.

This week was Shrinker1.  She’s gooooooood.  In session one, I lasted a total of 2mins28secs before launching into the ugly cry.  I hiccupped eye-rolling apologies for the cliché of it all through great wracking innards-betraying sobs.  But she was kind.  And she said some pretty interesting things. And I was fairly surprised at the emotion that poured out.  How deep the sads went.  How quickly that ‘space’ allowed me to stop pretending.  Didn’t know how much wallpaper had been slapped over the cracks.  How much self-doubt and self-blame I was carrying around.

All that in one session.  There’s a thought.

The irony is that I’m usually an open book**.  I tell the stories of my life for entertainment.  The loss, abuse, pain and disappointment paraded out as self-deprecation for cheap laughs and superficial displays of strength.  Starting to tell those stories again with a different perspective was a little odd.  Because there’s a lot there.  And maybe I should be gentler with myself.  Maybe I can cut myself a little slack.  And, as my friend Sam says, just be ok to stand in the sore place and feel what I feel.

Easier said than done, methinks.

And next?  Shrinker2.  Who may or may not make me cry so easily, now that the beginning has begun.  But let’s see.

On the upside, wearing my sunglasses in to work is stirring the water cooler gossip.  Odds are split between me finally embracing my messianic complex or sporting a black eye.


*With apologies to Robin, who may or may not be offended by the flippant Shrinker monikers. I hope she understands that the flippancy is still a bit of a necessity.

And with apologies to everyone else, who will probably be seeing more of my insides than they might be strictly comfortable with.

**Well, it’s not the only irony.  But we’ll leave that alone.


26 thoughts on “Interviewing for the role of psychologist in “Dolce: A Life”

  1. daisyfae says:

    ” be ok to stand in the sore place and feel what I feel

    i love this. i am in the midst of comforting a friend who is in the process of burying his 16 year old son. and there are no words that help. but these are as good as any…

    hugs to you, dear dolce. shine that light on your innerds, and maybe you’ll see what we see, and why we all love you so much!

    • Dolce says:

      Aaah, Dais, I’m sorry to hear that. Please share my condolences. I can’t imagine how that must be for someone.

      And thank you. But I ain’t shining that light too closely. Wrinkles!

  2. Wow! You got all that out of just ONE session?! That’s highly unusual and a very good sign. It seems you’re going to fast-track your way to a healthy tomorrow. Well done, dear.

    • Dolce says:

      *cackle*…welll, if I’m strictly honest, I’ve been pondering a lot of this stuff for a while, and I think the session was more a consolidation of it all. My psycho-maloligist might have other ideas 🙂

  3. robinaltman says:

    Yay for you! I like Shrink 1. Don’t you worry. I am soooo unoffended. No one is as silly about shrinks as me. I’m just happy that you found someone you could resonate with. I think you should bag Shrink 2. Shrink 1 is a hit. Unfortunately, this is reminding me of Cat in the Hat, and I’m going to be reciting that book all day now. Thanks a heap.

    • Dolce says:

      Shrink 1 I will, I think, I say, or Shrink 2 I ponder, oh all day. Which Shrink I choose, which one, which one? Oh fuck, I think I’ll just have a run.

      Or something.


      And yeah, the silliness makes it do’able.

  4. nursemyra says:

    Go for it girl. And then plan on meeting up with me in New York in July.

  5. You have already gotten some great advice in two comments. I agree with robin; if you have such fine results with shrink 1, why waste time with shrink 2? Stick with what worked so well. And anybody that can get you into the heart of the emotional matter so quickly and effectively sounds like a fortuitous match.

    From my own experience with shrinkery, once you get all that buried crap out and on the table to sort through, it is amazing how fast the healing can start. I think it is like lancing a boil, the buried, unexplored and unexpressed emotions act like a psycological poison. Getting them out and expressed allows the wound to start healing.

    I for one am feeling privileged to be allowed to see within you, rather than uncomfortable. Hoping you feel better Pdq.

    • Dolce says:

      Eep, yeah. As I said to UB, Shrink 1 didn’t say very much at all. I’ve just come to a whole bunch of conclusions, all in a big old tumbing rush. I reserve the right to be horribly wrong. But what I do like about this woman is that she’s kind. And she’s paying attention. I think she’s looking to really see me – and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting that. I was expecting a note taking, eye-contact avoiding, aaaah-huh’er. But no, she actually feels like she’s in the room with me. Which feels good.

      Of course, I might not be able to afford this long term, but I’m going to give it a go.

  6. kono says:

    Can i say that lately i’ve been looking forward to your posts? riveting methinks and though i know you’re going through a tough time take solace in the fact that there are people out here who actually care and want to hear what you have to say. No one ever said it’d be easy but i think we like to think it will be, i figure there’s enough people running around who dislike me that there’s no reason for me to not like myself even when i am a complete bastard, hell i can’t count the number of times i’ve been told to see a shrink but i seem to revel in mental illness, as the girl once told me, you love your pain and keep it locked away for your own enjoyment, it’s not for everyone. here’s hoping you get what you need out of it and get back on track.

  7. hisqueen says:

    I think Shrink #1 also, but I’m weird and would still go see #2 just to make sure I still feel the same. Having some trouble getting the stepson to see the school counselor to help him make friends and have an easier transition from on school to the next. Someone (suspiciously I think his mother) told him that shrinks are for babies. He didn’t have that problem last year when he went to the other shrink. We’ve tried to reassure him that everyone at some point usually sees a shrink (though we say counselor)..Hell, I even liked going to see my shrinks..would have never quit that job or finally filed for divorce without their support and guidance.
    I noticed once I opened a long buried problem, the rest just spilled out like water through a dam. I would feel physically lighter after going.

  8. Rox says:

    ^^ what they said about shrink 1.

    Strangely enough, I have been in a very similar space lately – found a very lovely therapist lady earlier this month, and having my second session soonish. It was a wonderful thing to be able to release all that baggage I’ve been hauling around and even though it took her a while to get acquainted with my rather complex family and situations, it felt like a good fit right away.

    If anything, I think that being strong can sometimes stand in the way of our happiness and contentment – we are always focused on being ‘fine’ to such an extent that it becomes harder for us to admit that maybe we’re not that fine after all.

    New year, new patterns… think it’s time to let go for once and for all and move onwards to a lighter and brighter future! 🙂

  9. tysdaddy says:

    “How deep the sads went.”

    That there’s poetry . . .

  10. Shrinker1 sounds like the Oprah of psychology. People just get on that lady’s couch and cry. I’m sort of convinced she pepper-sprays guests during commercial breaks. Great for TV ratings, and great for patients ready to face their demons, too. Wishing you lots of tears. The good kind, that is.

  11. Do you think they (“they” being the head examiners) work because they’re an outside force? There’s stuff that I’ve always thought, but never verbalized until the shrink started poking around…
    Amazing how much stuff you can keep locked up/pushed down/hidden away, isn’t it?

    Here’s a pinky shake to hoping that one, if not two, of your choices work and you get those clouds away.

    • Dolce says:

      I’m a veritable chinese treasure box. Or a Russian babushka doll. Or some other nationalities multilayered, complicated, finger-snagging thing. That’s me.

  12. Rob says:

    You could fund the trip to NY by starting a pool for the water cooler folks and then anonymously bet big on the black eye. Then, apply make up or, for the “real effect” use the Fight Club technique of the narrator.

    In all seriousness, it’s good to hear you’re taking this first step on the road to wellville. Let it all hang out, Dolce. Let it all hang out.

  13. Flutter says:

    Well done on taking the leap Dolce! During my “pokey stick” phase, a wise friend who helped me get through it, described the experience as: digging in a festering wound in order to heal it. And that pretty much how it feels for the first few weeks. Messy and extremely painful. It might even feel alot worse before it feels better. Kind of like deconstructing your soul and then gathering up the jagged bits to fit them all together again. But eventually, eventually you will feel better, lighter and brighter. Just hang in there!

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