My job, an unrelenting struggle for perfection, frustrating family relationships, and countless other things lead me to a therapist a few years ago. It took a long time for me to come around to seeing a therapist (that’s what my friends are for, right?) but I can’t imagine where I’d be now without her. She’s fabulous and if she weren’t my therapist I’d totally want to be friends with her.
My dear friend K has long seen a therapist who she calls Niles. I love that: 1. Because I love David Hyde Pierce and 2. K is incredibly witty and I don’t know anyone else who would call his/her therapist Niles. So for the purposes of this blog my therapist needs an alias. But I won’t steal Niles (even though I want to). Instead I’ll go with Jane. Why? Because Jane Lynch was a hilarious psychiatrist on Two and a Half Men.
Anyhow… Jane and I have been discussing mad. Such a basic emotion, right? Well no. Not for me. I don’t do mad. I suck at mad. But I’m awesome at sad. I feel sad a lot and I understand it. I’ll go so far as to say that I’m an excellent crier.
But mad feels wrong to me. So instead of feeling mad I turn the feelings inward and get sad. But today was different. I walked to my car feeling sad and annoyed. And then I stopped myself and thought “Am I really sad? Am I really annoyed? — Hell no. I’m mad.” And when I got to Jane’s office and told her about this, she told me to name five things I was mad about. And I did! It was hard to do, but I did it. I succeeded at mad! Sort of. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t sound mad. And I cried. But still – yay me!
This can only be described as a breakthrough. I’m going to work on accepting mad as a valid emotion. Mad can be good. Mad can be productive. Mad can kick sad’s ass.