Don’t Tell Me I’m Doing Well: The Cry of the Stumbling Woman

Three sessions in and I panicked. Things were going well. Good questions were being asked, validation given, truth was being shared.

But, towards the end of each consultation, my inner child would get fidgety. Eyes darting, hands wringing. Internally, I was terrified.

Please don’t say it. Please don’t say it. Don’t tell me I’m doing well. Don’t tell me I’m doing well. Don’t tell me I’m doing well. Please don’t say it, please don’t say it. . . 

And, she wouldn’t. She’d smile, reach for the calendar on her phone and offer, “Well, if you this is helpful for you, would you like to keep going?”


“Sure, that’d be great. What’s your schedule like?”

I learned very quickly that the goal was not to do well, but to be well.

This is where I’ve been struggling.

Most of last year, I’d thought about counseling. Kind of a, You know, it would be good to check on things. Check under the hood. But, that was the problem. Things were fine and that’s how I was gauging my life. I’m fine! The kids are fine, you’re fine. We’re doing great. Everything’s fine.

And, then they were not.

2016 came flooding (along with some sewage) and did everything it could to reveal that everything was not fine. Much of what I had been ignoring came to the surface and in a holy moment of fear and astonishment, I asked my husband, “Can I go to counseling now?”

DSC_0144 1.JPGCounseling, for me, is not new. I’ve gone before, sat on the couch, said what I’ve needed to say, and after a few weeks, the results would come back the same. Negative, if you will, in a good sort of way. The synopsis would amount to, “Well, it looks like you’re doing okay. There’s not much more that we need to do here.” I believed them. That is the goal, right? To do okay? To function? To be fine?

And, that was the issue.

 I was doing fine but I wasn’t fine. 

The disconnect between doing and being stretched as wide as the Grand Canyon and I didn’t know how to fuse the parts back together. Split in two, walking around with broken pieces, I was doing fine. A person can accept anything as normal if they live with it long enough.

But, not this time.

Hence, the panic. Hence the relief. I came broken and she agreed. After one particular session, I fessed up to my inner angst. She laughed and said, “Well, I know you’re doing fine but that doesn’t mean you don’t have things you could work on.”

Bless her.

So, I am not fine. Really. I am broken. I’m being still, getting some emotional x-rays, holding the results up to the light and discovering where all the pieces are and where they’re supposed to be. It’s a gift to be on the table and to be under the care of someone who is able to read the results correctly.

The rest is process, questions, more questions, and maybe, eventually. . .

I’ll be fine.


“All shall be well, and all shall be well,

and all manner of thing shall be well.”
Julian of Norwich


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