It’s been a long time since I dumped someone. I forgot how hard it is. First you cancel dates and avoid their phone calls, but eventually you have to “woman up” and tell them the relationship has run its course.
I did this a few weeks ago. My therapist was a great guy – I even set him up with a colleague – but I had achieved what I needed to.
I wasn’t a big believer in therapy until I met him. I thought it was a self-indulgent waste of money.
I used to work with a woman who would shout to the whole office each week, “Bye everyone, I’m off to therapy!” I’ve known a lot of people like this. They wear their fragile mental state as a badge of honour or proof of creativity, but never seem to make any real progress. Hence my reluctance to get on the couch and pay hundreds of rands to talk about myself.
But crying all the time and staying in bed was getting rather tedious. So was all the hurt, anger and resentment I felt towards people I love. It just wasn’t me. I may be a passionate person but I’m also a pretty happy one.
Desperate times call for psychological measures, so I thought, “What the hell, I’ll give it a try. If this doesn’t work there’s always whisky.”
Luckily, it did work. My therapist was perfect for me – cool and unemotional. I was too blinded by my feelings to see things clearly and he made observations I was incapable of. I hated this of course, having to admit things I knew to be true, but denial was making me miserable.
He gave me the tools to manage issues and stop worrying about everyone else the whole time. I learnt how to take action instead of reacting.
And how do I repay the guy? By telling him he’s been so great that I don’t need him any more – and I did it over the phone.
I felt a little guilty about that. I mean, we did share an extreme level of one-sided intimacy for three months. Surely he deserved a handshake in person? But he was gracious and accepting (unlike some lovers I’ve had), so I’ve let it go. That’s probably what he’d suggest anyway.