Maybe My Kid Isn’t the Only One Who Needs a Therapist
By: Christina Gentile
Yesterday I had a Tarot card reading via Zoom. This wasn’t the first time that I’ve had a reading done, but it’s been awhile. I’ve had a yucky sense of foreboding lately - a sense of impending doom. I had chalked it up to my chronic things-are-going-well-so-any-second-things-will-fall-apart attitude, but I thought it might make me feel better to talk to a professional and get it checked out. Hence the reading. It went pretty well, other than when my psychic’s dog knocked her laptop off of the table, but that’s certainly not the worst thing that can happen to you in a reading. She told me that everything was looking good, but that she was concerned about my level of anxiety, and that I need to find a way to enjoy it when things are going well. I was waiting for her to offer to clear my aura for $200, or to sell me some crystals, which I would have been totally on board with. Sign me up, easy enough to carry around a rock and feel better! But instead she suggested that I get some online therapy.
She said that my 13 year-old son and I impact each other’s energy, and when my anxiety increases so does his, and vice versa. I haven’t thought about that for a long time, and the last time that I did, it was in the context of lots of my tears and thinking, “His anxiety is all my fault.” But this time was different - I was able to see it for what it was: the objective truth. I am certainly not the cause of his anxiety. However, he and I both are like tuning forks - way too sensitive to the moods of people around us. It gets exhausting, let me tell you…
So I realized, for about the 1000th time, that I need to put on my own oxygen mask before I try to help him. I need to be able to model a positive, optimistic outlook on life (my target year of completion for that goal is 2060). I need to be able to show him that life isn’t just about waiting and preparing for bad things to happen. I need to do a little bit better on a mantra than “things can be worse.” I truly have absolutely no idea how to go about this. I’m taking suggestions on how to completely rewire what has been a longstanding predilection for pessimism. I’ve been a proud glass-is-half-empty worrier for most of my life and I’ve worn it like a badge of honor. I’m still working on making the connection between this negativity (or realism, as I like to call it) and the anxious tendencies that I have. I am mulling over this quote: “pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” I’m optimistic that in time I can find some truth in that.