Thursday, November 06, 2008

east berlin

I've been meaning to send my therapist a thank-you card.
Before I started therapy, I never heard many people discussing being in therapy. It seemed kind of secret and perhaps shameful, something people did in New York or on TV, not something people I knew took part in. This is not the case as it turns out, but it still seems like a frequently hidden act. Because of that, I tried to make sure I talked about my therapy experiences from time to time, to emphasize what I was getting from it and that I was going at all and that that was just fine. Because it is, and it was.
I think being in therapy was one of the best things that I ever decided to do, in all honesty. Obviously a lot of other things have changed for me recently as well, but I know for a fact that I am far better equipped to deal with anxiety and stress and also to recognize when I'm not dealing with those things well and to take steps to help myself. And actually, as part of the study I was taking part in Tabitha and I had to interact in front of a camera so that a doctor could study our visual cues. We did this at the very beginning and then again after my last session. When I saw my therapist a few weeks later, she told me that I had actually been deemed to no longer have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, the disorder that I was originally diagnosed with. So whoo! And I know for a fact that I'm happier overall than I can remember being in a long time, and I think that's related too.
I recently got some Dar Williams cds from Anna after a few years of not really listening, and I've been greatly enjoying them. My old favorites are still on heavy rotation-- Iowa, Mortal City, etc.-- and I'm discovering new favorites as I go along. But my newest favorite is What Do You Hear In These Sounds, which is essentially an ode to therapy. Anyway, so here it is. I'm happy that she talked about it and that she could so accurately describe what I feel for me. Also, I like how her choruses always seem to employ nonesense syllables. (So much more fun to write out!) Anyway...

What Do You Hear In These Sounds
Dar Williams

I don't go to therapy to find out if I'm a freak
I go and I find the one and only answer every week
And it's just me and all the memories to follow
Down any course that fits within a fifty minute hour
And we fathom all the mysteries, explicit and inherent
When I hit a rut, she says to try the other parent
And she's so kind, I think she wants to tell me something,
But she knows that its much better if I get it for myself...

And she says
What do you hear in these sounds?
And... Oooooooh,aaaaaaah
What do you hear in these sounds?????

I say I hear a doubt, with the voice of true believing
And the promises to stay, and the footsteps that are leaving
And she says "Oh", I say "What?"...she says "Exactly",
I say"What, you think I'm angry
Does that mean you think I'm angry?"
She says "Look, you come here every week
With jigsaw pieces of your past
Its all on little soundbytes and voices out of photographs
And that's all yours, that's the guide, that's the map
So tell me, where does the arrow point to?

What do you hear in these sounds?
What do you hear in these sounds?????

And when I talk about therapy, I know what people think
That it only makes you selfish and in love with your shrink
But Oh how I loved everybody else
When I finally got to talk so much about myself............

And I wake up and I ask myself what state I'm in
And I say well I'm lucky, cause I am like East Berlin
I had this wall and what I knew of the free world
Was that I could see their fireworks
And I could hear their radio
And I thought that if we met, I would only start confessing
And they'd know that I was scared
They would know that I was guessing
But the wall came down and there they stood before me
With their stumbling and their mumbling
And their calling out just like me...and...

The stories that nobody hears...and...
Oooooooh,aaaaaaah, and
I collect these sounds in my ears...and
Oooooooh,aaaaaaah, that's what I hear in these sounds...and...
Oooooooh,aaaaaaah, that's what I hear in these......
that's what I hear in these SOUU OUUUN NNNDS!


pulley-whipped said...

This will always be my favorite dar williams line, ever:

I say "What, you think I'm angry
Does that mean you think I'm angry?"

Oh and perhaps "fur is already dead and besides a name like that doesn't make a good acronym"

ps: i didn't know you were in therapy!

ammie said...

Yes you did! We had conversations about it... I did that study thing last year at NU for GAD and got 16 free sessions. And I like the "fur" line for funniness, but this one is good too :)

ammie said...

Oh, and also I'm not anymore, due to lack of funds. Hence the thank-you note.

pulley-whipped said...

oh the study thing. i guess i didn't count that.