It's not always about being funny.

Puzzle pieces. Or the end of an [th]era[py].

Her head was cocked and I could tell she was assessing me. “So, you’ve been coming here for almost a year.”


“And back then, you were in a bad place, wouldn’t you say?”

“Yeah. I was broken.”

“Now, you’re . . .”

“I’m not fixed. But I’m definitely not still broken, either.”

“I was going to say that you seem content. Happy, even.”

“I feel content. For the first time, I feel relieved. I know that after the divorce, I was a single man with the world at his fingertips, but I was still in the same patterns, relying on the same tricks, sticking to the same routine, all for the sake of comfort and familiarity. And now . . .”

“Now you’re not?”

“I’m definitely not. Now I finally see that the world is my oyster. There’s so much that I can do, and I don’t want to be tied down anymore.”

“The person who’s sitting here before me today is so much different from the person a year ago.”

“I feel different. I feel better. I feel . . . like a chapter of my life has actually closed and a new one is beginning. I never knew what that felt like before.”

“It does feel very much like a chapter closing of a very interesting book.”

“And I think part of closing that chapter is . . . finishing what you and I have here.”


“I think . . . I think that I will always have issues. And most of those issues will center around control and my need to control everything.”


“But I think our sessions will never resolve those issues. The only way that I can tackle them would be through in-depth serious analysis. Two to three hours a day, five days a week. And at this point in my life, I have neither the time nor means necessary to focus on that. Maybe someday.”

“Everyone has issues. Everyone will always have issues. Being cognizant of them is an excellent first step. And I agree. I don’t think there’s anything more that we can do here.”

“Thank you for . . . for the last year.”

“Good luck, Adam. My door will always be open for you.”

I have always had an easy life. I have always been sheltered. I’ve never wanted for anything, and there are no childhood traumas in my life that I’ve blocked out. I have no real deep, dark secrets from my past that affect who I am today. Yet, when I went to therapy, I was broken and shattered. I didn’t walk in with a problem that I needed to solve – I needed a safe place to put myself back together.

It took me a year to understand that therapy does different things for different people. My sessions were like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. When a piece fell into place, things felt a little lighter. The tunnel grew shorter. This wasn’t the type of therapy where I was emotionally and physically drained after every session. With the exception of two times that I cried, my sessions were almost clinical in nature, analyzing my statements and moods by sorting through the minutiae of my day. And almost every week, I looked forward to my session. It was a place without judging or derision or criticism. And now, in retrospect, I realize that it was a place of gradual rebuilding.

We’re all works in progress. I want to consistently push myself to understand my motivations for my actions. I will take the input and advice of my friends who I trust and respect, and I will take the jigsaw puzzle that is my heart and soul, and I know that I will be okay. Better than okay. I know that I will be happy.

93 thoughts on “Puzzle pieces. Or the end of an [th]era[py].”

  1. I feel the same way about ending my therapy sessions. Sadly, my sessions didn’t end this way; it became an expense that I could not afford anymore.

    That said, I also know that I have issues (will always have issues, perhaps) and that when I have the means, I should return to therapy and work on them. I doubt I will return to my previous therapist; I believe she has taken me as far as she can, and that I need someone that will challenge me a bit more. We’ll see when that comes up.

    Regardless, thank you for writing this. You spoke to me more than you can possibly know.

  2. That last paragraph is purely amazing. I hope you don’t mind that I’m totally gonna copy it and read it everyday. Totally turning both our lives for the better? Better than unicorns pooping cupcakes.

  3. Welcome to the world of the sane. Sort of. It is weird when the therapist dismisses you, but it feels good, too. Knowing that one more thing is “done.” You seemed peaceful in New York. Awesome.

    (does this mean you will keep your pants on?)

  4. Happy Graduation!

    What I loved about therapy is that you could say exactly what you were thinking and it was received without judgement. Talking to someone who has no emotional investment in what you’re saying is very freeing. And sometimes just getting to say certain things out loud makes you feel so much better.

  5. I will take the jigsaw puzzle that is my heart and soul, and I know that I will be okay. Better than okay. I know that I will be happy.

    I’d really like to be able to say this myself. Hopefully some day soon, I will. But, also, sometimes I sorta feel like everyone else knows how to do this… this whole thing… better than I do. Like everyone else is on a merry-go-round and I just can’t figure out how to jump on too. I want a ride!

  6. So true. I like the line about needing the safe place to go to rebuild. You brought a tear to my eye. Fucker. Nice to be on the other side of the hump in regards to the repair process. I’m happy for you.

  7. Good for you, therapy can be such an amazing thing, I think sometimes about getting back to it. I wish more people would, good for you for not just ignoring the world around you and your place in it but taking the time to figure things out a bit. I think we never stop figuring it all out.

  8. I thought I loved the post before(I am) but this just topped it all.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy your other posts too but I always look forward to your “serious stuff” because it has so much depth and soul to it.

    You’re an interesting person, you sometimes come off tough and cynical but there is also this very sensitive and kind side of you. I see it in your friendships and in the care that you take to protect and nurture those friendships.

    I respect your privacy but I am thankful that you share these bits of your soul because it is beautiful.

    I am so proud of you and I am so happy that you’ve found “you” again.

    You hit it right on the ahead about “graduating” and you did it so eloquently. Right down to appreciating the little things, and having a whole new perspective, the realization of how far you’ve come and ‘oh man, i really was quite broken when i started’ or even just the brilliant “aha” at the end when it’s over and the understanding that it is a constant work in progress but that you are “not fixed but definitely not broken either”.

    This was everything I wanted to say but didn’t know how to say.

    Thank you, on behalf of the more silent ones, for giving us a voice.

  9. Congratulations, my dear. I remember the year of therapy I spent after my father died and hearing the therapist (and myself) come to the agreement that I was good. I was OK. I could walk and figure out the rest as I went along, that I was no longer in danger of exploding from the anger and grief I felt after his death.

    It’s a good feeling, isn’t it?

    And by the way, where’s your penis in that picture? Shouldn’t it be draped over the couch?

  10. I am a year and a half out from my last session. Much like you, I needed somewhere to go to sit and think and collect what was left and patch up what wasn’t. And then one day I had The Conversation, and it went much like the one above. I didn’t think I was ready to stop coming, so I kept coming. And we talked about the weather. Or whatever. And then one day I had to cancel an appointment and I never called to reschedule. And neither did the therapist.

    And now I think I’m ready to go back, but just for some routine maintenance. I feel good but I want to stay that way.

    Because I’ve always been and always will be a crazy person I will forever wait for the other shoe to drop. For things to fall apart again. And they may. But then again, they may not.

    I’m enjoying the interim.

    Even if it does sometimes feel that I’m hopping along on one foot.

    I hope this feeling lasts for a very long time for you.

    And for me too.

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