I can’t quit you!

Written by Amy Banocy

March 8, 2023

“I can’t quit you!”

This line from the movie “Brokeback Mountain” rang in my head as I sat across from my therapist today.

An hour before then, I had walked into therapy thinking I was going to break up with my therapist. Derek and I had been talking yesterday and I really thought that I was in such a good place that I didn’t need to go to therapy anymore. I was going to tell her this was my last session.

Well, this morning I woke up with a pit in my stomach and a lot of anxious, nervous energy. My body was tense and I just couldn’t get rid of it or figure out where it was coming from. So, when I sat down on her the comfy, welcoming couch in her office, I told her that I was feeling anxious and I couldn’t figure out why. Over the course of the next hour we unpacked my anger toward cancer, my anger that I still have all of these unknowns in my body. I’m pissed off. Why did cancer pick me? I am facing the anniversary of healing from my bilateral mastectomy, and I’m now healing from another surgery related to cancer. It is also close to the anniversary of starting chemotherapy for me (3/17). It’s all too much at once. When I think about these things, I hear a little voice that says “Oh, stop it! Get over it! Quit complaining. Cancer is over.” She validated my feelings and encouraged me to let all of it out. When I hear that voice, I am to tell it to sit down and shut up! It is not helpful right now.

We talked about things in my marriage, things and other relationships, things about my body, we covered so much in an hour. With about 10 minutes left, I looked at her said, “And this is why I can’t stop coming to see you, (I actually said her name which I will leave out here), because in an hour you help me realize just why my body was feeling the way that it was yes it was displaying as anxiety and it was displaying as tension, but it was these deep feelings and emotions that I still struggle to release that were causing me to feel this way.”

Not only did we talk through these things, we talked about what to do now. For me, it’s all about releasing. See, I’m really good at holding things in, pushing them down, suppressing them and then they manifest in my body. One of the things I am working on is greater awareness of this pattern and being able to recognize and release some of these emotions; be it through getting in the car with loud music and screaming, going for a long drive by myself ,whether it’s meditating , whether it’s journaling, raging on the page, whatever! For me, recognition is what is important in trying to break this pattern of holding it all in.

Now I have a plan. I will journal. I will be creative. I will rage on the page and I will riff to get it all out. I will move my body. I will move my voice and I will move my energy. This is why, to me, therapy is so important. Today was a reminder that even when I’m “all good”, sometimes therapy is just what I need. It’s important to work with somebody who understands you, who knows your innermost workings, who acts as a professional, as well as a human, and who can in the end, help you to better understand the things that you’re feeling. To be able to sit with your feelings, to think about them and to help you move through them in the best way appropriate for you.

I left her office with a plan, a giant hug and my next appointment on the books. Because, I just can’t quit her!

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