Goat Therapy

After I wrote this raw and emotionally-charged post, one of my blogger-friends asked me if I’d considered therapy.

Now, she didn’t tell me I needed therapy, and she didn’t condescendingly suggest that I get help. So, please don’t go hating on her – a lot can be lost in translation when you read someone’s words without body language or tone. Her words and tone were kind and caring….at least in my mind.

So, I am very happy to openly and honestly answer the question: Have I considered therapy?

Absolutely.

Every day of my life.

Seriously, I freaking love therapy.

Love.Love.Love.

There is nothing in the world like walking into a bright and tidy office, pouring a cup of tea and sitting on a comfortable sofa across from someone who is not only a professional listener, but knows exactly what to say; whether that be self-affirming positive thoughts, suggested anti-anxiety coping mechanisms, or the tough questions that everyone else in your life tip-toes around and ignores.

I love cliches: the therapist’s cat, sitting on the windowsill, the trickling fountain or CD of whale songs, the pleasant smell and happy shades of yellow, orange and green. The fuzzy pillow and shelves of leather-bound books. I love the cliched way therapists talk! And how does that make you feel?

I love feelings! I love talking about them and comparing them and analyzing them and feeling them! I love how you can morph your feelings into new feelings when you understand from what part of your soul they are rooted. Suddenly, anger becomes hurt, and hurt, disappointment and disappointment, betrayal.

I love how, for 60 minutes, you are that one person’s number one priority. They don’t take phone calls or keep their iPhone on the desk at all times so they know the moment someone “likes” their current Facebook status.

Nowadays, it can be hard to feel like you are anyone’s priority. I don’t remember the last time I was out with someone who kept their phone off the entire time. I don’t remember the last time I had dinner with someone who wasn’t obviously monitoring their phone or discretely trying to send under-the-table texts.

Now, I know what it is like to be on call and whether you are a working professional or a parent needing that direct line for the babysitter, sometimes, the phone must stay on. Still, most of my friends are not on-call neurosurgeons.

But that is another rant for a different day.

Back to therapy.

I think everyone could benefit from therapy. Whether it is a real need or not, exercising your introspective side with a trained professional will only help you. Just like everyone could benefit from hiring a personal trainer to work out with them at the gym several times a week.

In the past, therapy helped me work through one of the most difficult challenges of my life: my father’s sudden and unexpected death. I was 23. My dad was a psychologist and I felt the loss of not only my father, but my go-to sounding board. I was devastated. I was stationed far away from my family. I reached out to friends, but I was too sad for most of them to handle. I started losing my confidence in reaching out. Talking to a therapist helped me put all the broken pieces inside me back together again.

However, I am not currently considering therapy.

Why is that?

It would make sense for me to – I recently lost my job, moved myself, my dog and my cat 1,800 miles to live with my mom, and broke things off with someone I used to know (yeah, just like the song). I left behind the little niche I had carved for myself in Branford, Conn. and the hot dating scene.

I also had two very traumatizing incidents involving squirrels.

Aside from all of these big life events, I don’t really need therapy right now, I have goats!

Well, they are not my goats. They belong to acquaintances of a high school friend of mine and we are self-appointed goat milking interns.

With a baby goat nuzzling your neck, who needs therapy?

Milking the goats is innately cathartic. It is simple, natural, a physical task requiring that you feel the milk, adjust your grip and pull down, squeezing without prompting the goat to kick a dung-covered hoof into the bucket of frothy milk.

I’ve never done anything like it before. But, when I leave the goats, I am not focused on worries or stresses.

Besides, I don’t really have time for therapy right now. I’m about to embark on a month-long trip to Japan and Hong Kong and Thailand. I’m going to visit an old roomate and an elephant sanctuary. I’d feel a little weird asking a therapist to schedule me around my awesome world travels…

So, therapy? Not now, thanks.

Maybe later, when I have more time and money.

Maybe later, when I have a real need for it, rather than an appreciation.

Maybe later, when my emotions are too big to blog about and I can’t control them.

Right now, though, I sort through all of my feelings on my blog. If you can’t tell, nothing stays bottled up inside of me and I’m not afraid to release my most intimate neuroses. The key is, right now I’m in control of my feelings. I feel them, recognize them, analyze them, chew them up, spit them out, laugh and cry and write about them. Then, I let them go.

And I move on.

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About ermodi

i like champagne and nachos. i watch people’s mouths move when they talk to me and judge if they are a good kisser i like to write with fine-tip Sharpies because i think it makes me look confident i bite my nails i think doing the dishes is a very lonely chore i think “autumn” is the prettiest word in the English language. i believe in love – or, at least something that resembles love, but i don’t trust this idea of forever.
This entry was posted in Advice of the Solicited and Un Kind, Featured and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Goat Therapy

  1. Erin Maureen, I’m so glad to hear that the goats are working for you – I can so believe that. I know how much Pablo means to us – just having to be there for him makes you get up on a low day (of course, his whinging near my pillow also helps!).
    You are right that as long as we can express our feelings we’re okay – it’s when we feel the need to hide and not name our feelings that we are in trouble. I know that from personal experience.
    Have a fantastic trip. I want to visit that elephant sanctuary someday soon!

  2. Hi, Erin Maureen! ~

    I had to laugh when you began your intro by imploring your readers not to go hating on me — haha! I guess I forget that some people still consider ‘therapy’ a dirty word.

    Most of what you’ve said about therapy makes me smile and nod in agreement, especially, “I love how, for 60 minutes, you are that one person’s [a trained professional] number one priority. They don’t take phone calls or keep their iPhone on the desk at all times so they know the moment someone “likes” their current Facebook status.”

    To clarify my stance on therapy, in my personal life I have used therapy as a tool for alleviating overwhelming feelings of grief and trauma, as you describe. I have also used long-term therapy with one particular individual as a way to move toward greater personal empowerment, over the long haul. I think that’s more where I was coming from when I brought it up to you — Because you seem frustrated by ongoing struggles with dating, not because that one boy broke your heart which you now need to fix.

    Anyway, goat therapy sounds fantastic and your upcoming trip sounds amazing! And, if you suddenly found yourself in a solid, intimate, committed relationship you’d have to give up your career as the dating blogger… we would miss your crazy adventures terribly ;-x

  3. rimly says:

    I so enjoyed reading this. That goat is a

  4. rimly says:

    cutie. Sorry that was my Fudge putting his tiny paw on the enter button. I am sure you will have loads of fun travelling.

  5. sukanya says:

    Commenting after a long break-I am more into your FB updates now:-)
    You describe therapy so beautifully-yes, it is just that. How wonderful it is to have someone LISTEN for a change eh? But I am glad you have an alternative. A cute, adorable one at that.
    Have a fantactic trip-hope you come back feeling renewed and energized.

  6. T says:

    B-AA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AA-AAA-AAA-AAAA-AAAAH!

  7. Nikky44 says:

    “I love how, for 60 minutes, you are that one person’s number one priority”
    Thank you for this!! I was never able to understand why I kept going to therapy although I didn’t like my therapist! You gave me the answer!. That’s it! Exactly. I liked to be in the presence of someone who had no choice except to listen to me and be there for me, someone who had to consider me a priority for those 45 minutes! 🙂

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