JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Breaking up with a therapist

357-dog-therapy-couch

My wife finds this blog sort of puzzling. She’s a wonderful person, but significantly more private than her husband. She keeps things close to the vest; doesn’t relish the idea of letting strangers into our business.

I, on the other hand, have never been bothered by jabbering. It feels good to get a load off; to open up, babble and have a dialogue. I was a wee-bit nervous back in June, when I ran this post along with a link to my old virgin video. But, come day’s end, it provided a really good laugh. even when Deadspin chimed in. Blah, blah, blah.

This is a long way of saying that, a few days ago, I broke up with my therapist. Which means I was seeing a therapist.

The reason? A couple of months ago, I started to grapple long and hard with my death obsession. Literally, I would wake up every morning thinking about death. Then, come night, I’d plop down in bed and think about it again. I suppose pondering death is, in many ways, a good thing. It keeps the fragility of life in perspective; helps one live for the day. But, in my case, death was an obsession. A really, really, really, really, really, really, really dark obsession. It’s one thing to write about death, as I do here. But to wake up in the middle of the night, getting up, pacing, gasping—eh, no good.

Hence, I decided to see a therapist and hope he could help me handle things. The man came recommended by someone I trust. I visited him four times, hoping for some sort of enlightenment that never came. It was boring, expensive, far (a 40-minute drive) and unproductive. I arrived anxious and left annoyed. The final straw came last week, when he cut my session short by 15 minutes because he accidentally scheduled another appointment.

So I decided to stop.

I can’t imagine it’s ever fun breaking up with a therapist. This actually reminded me of breaking up with a girlfriend: Awkward. Confusing. Weird. I kept thinking about what I should say, then felt incredibly relieved when I got his answering machine (I know—wuss). I left a short-yet-kind message, then never looked back.

I can definitely envision seeing a therapist against, because death doesn’t become me. But until then, feel free to call me whenever. I’ll be up pacing …