Fix Me Doc – The Basics of Change
When I went to therapy for the first time I was petrified. Having an anxiety disorder had me nervous about everything. I mustered up all the courage that I had and went into the counselor’s office to get that thing that would make me better in that instant! Fortunately, it didn’t happen that way, nor does it. In repeatedly showing up for sessions, I let my guard down, discovered who I was under the surface of a scared little boy, and soon discovered a man.
When somebody says to me, “Fix me Doc”, it brings me back to my very first counseling session. Once being there, I understand the desire, but also understand the process.
Imagine you are walking on a beautiful field of grass and on a well-established path. Your steps are easy on the path because it is firm, flat, wide, and easy to see. This path can represent your current life and the way you normally think and feel. The path is very comfortable because it is familiar. If you were to stray off the path, it takes effort, isn’t as smooth and sure footing, and it can be easy to simply give up.
Change is off the familiar path and is something that needs continuous effort and repetition again and again. If you were to make your own new path and go into a more functional direction, at first it would be uncomfortable, difficult, and after one time walking across it and looking back, you may see that you haven’t even left a footprint. Please don’t let that discourage you. The mere fact that you are making the effort to change is praiseworthy. But, the more and more you walk upon your new path eventually you will see a line forming, then dirt beginning to show, and eventually you will hit bedrock and establish something new.
Our brain is wired like the original path. After you repeat something over and over again the brain will hardwire the thoughts, behaviors, and emotions you have. This is when we automatically think negatively, feel jealousy and hopelessness. “Why am I such a loser” maybe what dominates your thoughts. In repeating messages to yourself of hope, love, and dependability – over and over again, the wiring will change.
No, I can’t fix you. This is not what therapy is all about. Therapy is a process of self-assessment, learning to love yourself, or if that seems too unreal to positively care for your own needs.
There are two paths you can walk on in your life. The shadow path in which you find all the negatives and life is a battle of tolerating pain and doubt. Or, you can travel the Lightpath where every step is about learning, growth, being your own best friend. You decide.
Many people are confused with the Light because life has been obsessing over their faults and the faults of others. Or, a contest of making themselves right and the other person wrong. On the first day of grad school, my teacher stated: “There is no right and wrong, but only learning.” That took me a year to finally agree with.
When we make ourselves right and the other person wrong does it foster good feelings in them? Love is a shared experience where people are at the same level. If you put yourself on a pedestal and are in your righteousness will the other person love you? It can be a lonely place being right all the time. Mother Theresa said: “If you judge people, you don’t have time to love them.” Do you want to be right or in the loving? Is it really important to win all the time? This was hard for me personally because of the family system I grew up in. We always tried to one-up each other, it was all about the competition, and when I created a different path, I didn’t judge my family when I interacted with them again, I just didn’t play that game anymore and modeled the love I had for me and showed my love to them.
I needed a lot of guidance and support as I walked the new path. It took a lot of time to get the habit of putting myself down, always feeling second best, and looking for approval out of my system. I don’t know how many times in my life I said “I’m sorry.” As if my existence offended another person. Today I am a kind and loving man. I enjoy life to the fullest because I choose to do so. I also take an honest look at myself, avoid the rationalizations and make the needed changes because I owe it to myself and the people I interact with. I don’t wait for others to change or say “I’m sorry” to feel better because I have learned my healing doesn’t come from others but from within.
Can I fix you? No. The real question is, “Are you willing to fix yourself?” There are so many approaches and tools you can learn to do that very thing. All I can do is support and love you through that process.
Compassionate Care is Always Available
There are many more tools and strategies you can use in your pursuit of happiness. Here is where we come in. Contact us at Basic Steps Mental Health and let us support and educate you on this journey back to your loving heart center. Imagine living a heart-centered life, regardless of what is happening externally. We’d love to be of help.
For 25 years, Dr. Scott Alpert, the clinical director of Basic Steps Mental Health, has treated over 7,000 people with mental health and addiction problems, using a Psychological approach that mixes and matches ten of the top approaches used in the industry. We are here virtually and in-person to help you get through this COVID-19 pandemic and many other difficulties you may be experiencing.
May you have good mental health.