The angst of giving up my profession as a psychotherapist was eased by moving into life as a writer.
In my beautiful office that is now but a memory, I practiced as a licensed independent social worker. The last few years I was there, I started thinking in a psychoanalytic way.
This resulted in moving a couch into my office so my clients could lie down if they were brave. I wanted them to experience what it was like to free-associate as this was the customary practice in Freudian psychoanalysis. Clear I was not a psychoanalyst, I paid a supervisor who was trained in psychoanalysis to guide me. I read many books on Freud and psychoanalysis. And as you know if you read Fear, Folly & Freud, I attended four sessions a week of my own psychoanalysis.
The other day I thought it makes sense my writing has been mostly about psychoanalysis. It’s what I love to contemplate and study. The psychoanalytic way of thinking adds another layer of meaning to life. I have loved learning about psychoanalysis.
Now, I am welcoming another love into my life: Writing. I’ve started adding books about craft to my stack of to be read books. Poking through one of these, Deena Metzger’s book Writing for your Life, I resonated these sentences:
“When I don’t find time to write, I am aware that I am not finding time for myself.”
When I read those words, I knew they were true for me, as when I don’t write, I miss it and don’t feel like myself. When I care for myself, I find time to write in my soft-covered Moleskine journal using my fountain pen before meditation, write four lines in a 5-year diary in the morning after I take my thyroid medication, record daily activities in my Moleskine Daily diary when I crawl into bed at night, write a weekly blog post, and of course, work on my second book.
But what I would like to know from you is – what do you do daily that feels essential to your well-being? What makes you feel like yourself? For me, now writing seems to be it though I didn’t realize how much writing I was doing until I wrote this blog post. But what about you? I would love to know what makes you feel like yourself! Let’s celebrate our differences and our similarities!
Image: When I feel like myself, I let my teeth show