We all know the first rule from the 1999 movie Fight Club is to never talk about it (it wasn’t my cup of tea, but my partner loves it). But do you know the 2nd rule? Yes, it’s “You DO NOT talk about the fight…until it is over”. I bring this classic movie quote up because one of the main things people do in therapy is to fight themselves. There is no 2 man rule when it comes to therapy, the fight is always in the mind and sadly you are hardly ever the winner…
When it comes to the rules of Therapy Fight Club they are pretty simple…
Rule 1: Whenever your therapist tries to dig a little deeper into your history you need to instantly go on the defensive
Rule 2: If therapy isn’t working always blame the therapist!
Rule 3: Whenever your therapist accuses you of sticking to rule 1 go on the offensive and keep rule 2 in your mind as a backup defence.
But what if we break those rules. What if, just for once, you give up fighting therapy. You give up ignoring all the boring homework I keep setting and actually do it for a change. When you are willing to stop fighting you will soon see the only winner is yourself. There is a lot to be said about the simple act of letting yourself stop fighting. You will soon start to realise you are in control of both your mind and your body. No one else can control you, no one else is fighting you, it has mostly been your own mind making the whole fight up much like the main character in that said movie.
Sadly it can be hard to see the way out of the fight sometimes because you are part of it. Therapy is there to help you step back and take a look at things from a new angle, a new perspective. Take a moment to think about your deeper feelings and needs behind the concerns and issues that you have been battling in your mind. Notice those emotions and thoughts, then like we have already learned, simply notice them and accept them. It’s OK to be depressed when you have flashbacks, it’s OK to feel down because of money issues and it’s OK to be annoyed with yourself at something. But there is no need to fight those thoughts and memories as you can’t do anything about them. Let’s say today you are feeling down, but just for once…you DON’T let it ruin your day.
Please note that this is not me telling you to roll over and play dead, far from it. What I am telling you to do is to stop fighting yourself. Are these self-help pages not working? Then ask yourself this – Have you really tried to implement everything being taught in these pages? – Did you do all the homework suggested? If you have you will probably start to notice small changes in how you feel. OK, so you are far from being in total control, but you might feel a little calmer, a little more relaxed (even if it is only now and again).
This Week’s Homework: What I would like you to do this week is to buy a small candle for yourself, but never, ever light it. It doesn’t matter what brand it is, just as long as you can carry it in your pocket wherever you go. Then, whenever you feel down, or angry at something take a good long sniff of it. Just imagine all the different things that have gone into making that smell. Feel the wax, feel the wick, just try and ground yourself before you end up fighting yourself yet again because it clearly hasn’t worked so far, so maybe it is simply time to try something new before you throw the towel in for good.