Unnecessary Answers

Published in Mental Health - 3 mins to read

Yesterday I had an initial appointment with a therapist, and part of our conversation sparked a deeply uncomfortable feeling in me - the kind that comes from someone else giving you some deeply personal insight into yourself that not only were you not aware of, you were inwardly in denial of. This happens a rather alarming amount with therapists - I am lead to believe this part of their appeal, although personally I still find it an especially jarring habit of theirs.

The revelation in question was that I spent my time and energy pursing answers to questions I already have; attempting to find a somehow more intensely rationalised solution to my perceived problems. Doing so is a defense mechanism against the fear of actually trying to implement any of potential resolutions I’m aware of, to try and break out of my various cycles; instead I’ve created a whole new one. A cycle that keeps me stuck in all my other cycles. FML.

Having mentioned it to a couple of good friends, they were both in complete agreement. One even said to me that she thought this pattern was very obvious in me, she had just always thought I’d react badly if she ever pointed it out.

And now with hindsight, yes of course it’s true. Even in terms of this blog, I think my recent infatuation with David Foster Wallace is a huge testament to its truth. He was someone who was far more intelligent than me, who I felt akin to in some ways, who spoke eloquently about depression and very much intellectualised the problem. By lapping up as much of I can of his thoughts on the subject, part of me is very much hoping is going to offer me some kind of previously unattainable insight into my own psyche, into my own problems, and offer a potential solution; I want a silver bullet on a silver platter. And obviously, that’s dumb. (Also, I read this great article earlier in which the author acknowledges that a big part of the reason she was drawn to Sylvia Plath was due to the nature of her death, and how that inherently invites a huge amount of projection and is unlikely to be helpful for her. It’s pretty much the exact same story with me and DFW. Also also, it made me read some of Plath’s poetry for the first time, and made me feel a great fool for not having done so earlier in my life).

So, no more searching for the anwser - from today, I am only putting the theory into practise.