Like Jim, over at Patriside, I’m a psychotherapist so I don’t write a lot about my work. But two things collided this morning: reading Muzikdude’s post on his addiction to coffee and a separate thought entirely, "Say this would be a great week to knock off five pounds!" Being a woman of that certain age my weight fluctuates wildly and frequently but only by four or five pounds. That’s because for one whacky week there is not enough salt under the City of Detroit (read that!), enough bacon at Oscar Meyer’s, or enough chips at Lays to satisfy this woman. During the same week I consume about a drink a night which is something I’ve given up most of the rest of the time because it gives me headaches. During this whacky time my brain shuts down and I fail to make any connection between consuming 43 times the daily value of salt plus alcohol and killer migraines. It’s sad. I can’t wait to be done with this nonsense. Anyway, then those cravings all disappear, I go back to eating edemame and tomatoes and lose 5 pounds. So, this morning I told myself it’s back to edemame and tea-totaling. Which is fine because I like both.
Okay, get to the point. So I read about John’s addiction and thought, well, at least I never got started on coffee! FG struggles with caffeine and I don’t envy him. Then I remembered how much I love tea and how much of it I drink. I’ve gotten to be more of a tea snob over time, adding green tea and high quality imported teas; I used to just use Red Rose so I could get those little animals. Every morning I make a whole half gallon bottle of it and drink it in one day. It starts out as hot tea and then goes to room temperature tea by lunch time. I refill my drinking glass between clients.
Commonly then, routinely in fact, my clients see me drinking a tall glass of tea. I usually offer them water unless they’re so goofy they’ll think I’m offering to come live with them but by and large I see people just like you and me, suffering the human condition.
Many years ago I had been seeing a brilliant but very neurotic and flaky woman in intensive therapy. I saw her twice a week for three years. I do very little of this Woody Allen therapy anymore. So after about 2 years- approximately 100 sessions because she never missed- she cleared her throat and we had this little conversation:
Her: Um, ah, ahem, uh…
Me (being helpful): yes?
Her: There’s ah, um, something, um that I’ve…
Me (still helpful): yes?
Her: Something I’ve been, ah, wanting to ask you for a long time.
Me (ditto): Yes?
Her: Ah, I’ve been wondering, ah, well, um, what is that you are drinking?
Me (cleverly): Huh?
Her: Well, I was just wondering…
Me: (thinking, WHAT? WHAT do you think I’m drinking???) What do you think I’m drinking?
Her: Well, ah, it could be tea, but, um, well you know the color, I didn’t know, I thought maybe it might be like whiskey or bourbon or something…
Me: (thinking, what the heck? She’s been watching me drink 8 ounces of this stuff twice a week for two years as she pours herself out to me, heart and soul, and she thinks her therapist might be sitting there, drinking a tall glass of whiskey every 50 minutes??????) Well, our time is about up for today.
In case you’re wondering why some people take a little longer than others, that alone took us another year to untangle.