October 23rd, 2017
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s really weird to think about, and one of the major revelations I had with all this. It was that therapy can actually work. It sounds stupid to type it aloud right now — that’s kind of the reason I’m writing this whole damn article for you, because I’m absolutely not alone here — but I always thought therapy was for other people. Fuck, I told many, many other friends to go talk to a therapist for years, because I had seen it work for people and I had hoped it would work for them too. But this motherfucker right here, this Carnegie Mellon graduate, this alleged not-a-complete-idiot programmer type, couldn’t see that such an obvious thing could be relevant for themselves, too.
Depression’s funny like that. Not even depression, really; generally, we’re really good at analyzing other people, but can’t hold the mirror up to inspect ourselves quite as easily.
A huge reason behind that is that we probably already broke that mirror in a drunken rage.
Anyway, therapy worked fairly well for me. I’m not going to say it was a panacea, because it wasn’t, but it’s sort of like… well, it’s kinda like what Republicans thought about marijuana way back in 1992 (or 2017, depending on who you’re talking about). It’s a gateway drug. Maybe the therapy itself isn’t the answer, but it’s going to open doors for you to the harder stuff: the self-reflection, harder medication (yeah, this drugs metaphor is getting confusing), and leveling your therapy skills up so that therapy itself becomes more valuable to you. And yes, therapy is a skill. It takes courage to open yourself up to a stranger, but it takes fuckin’ courage to open yourself up to yourself.
I did therapy on Thursdays, but honestly, some of my biggest breakthroughs happened Monday to Wednesday. I had had the weekend to think about my previous week and my upcoming week, and I knew that Thursday was coming up quick and that one way or another, I’d be talking about my week with my therapist. So I found myself talking to myself fairly regularly — in the shower, brushing my teeth, sitting on the bus, walking on the street — and thinking about what was bothering me. Therapy basically got me rubber duck debugging myself. Even when I’m not programming I’m fucking programming, I can’t get away from it, ha. But it’s true: the mere notion that I’d have to discuss my life with someone else later meant that I became far better at self-analysis than I ever had been.