Counseling, Christmas and Needing More (ie. Depression)

Last week, I had some serious blues.  It happened when my alarm went off on Monday morning; I just decided to have a bad attitude about life and be downtrodden for a huge majority of the week.  At one point, it started to feel uncomfortable.  Really, why do I feel this way?  Why are there more moments and flickers of agitation, discomfort, dread, hopelessness and anxiety than I have had in the past six months?!  It was such a relief when I plopped onto my therapist’s couch late Friday afternoon – one of the few places of no judgment where I can complain about literally lacking nothing.

It was there that something inside me changed.  Not a permanent kind of change, more like the kick-in-the-pants change that I really needed.  We talked about all sorts of things, but it was one of the last few comments my therapist made that really stuck with me.

“I have been freed of the anxiety of needing more clients.  I get to sit in a privileged place with several individuals each week and do what I love.  I don’t have to worry about the more – I have what I need.”

Ugh, nail on the head for me.  I have the curse of wanting more, more, more.  And the feeling of “not enough” comes with the price of worry, angst and discomfort.  I want more financial stability, more time, more sleep, more clients, more intentional conversation, some new chairs (just to tack more on).  I just want more in general.  But, the paradigm shift that took place for me was that when I stopped and looked at what I have the agony I was facing went away.  Drastically.  I really have so much.  I get to really, really love my job and love my clients.  I have superb health.  I have friends and family.  I. Have. Enough.

We live in a culture where we fear scarcity.  Where not having enough literally frightens us.  I believe that Christmastime is a season for a lot of things, including a season to relieve or trigger us of the infringing pressure to have more.  And that’s where depression, anxiety, dread and agitation come in.  Christmas reminds us if we have loved ones, if we are married (happily or not), if we have money, if things “look right” for friends and neighbors.

This month in my therapy practice, I have seen my clients respond to scarcity and Christmas in two ways: 1) be relieved of scarcity by the distractions of gifts and the holiday buzz and skip out on therapy or 2) be reminded of their scarcity by the holiday buzz and need more therapy.

Checking in with my feelings about scarcity and Christmastime have been so helpful and relieving, and I encourage you to do the same!  What feelings come up when you think about wanting and having more?  Do you know when you will have enough?  What are some things you have now that you have lost sight of?


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