This morning we had our final meeting with Sheila, our Compass counsellor. Since that first meeting, when I was still so withdrawn and suspicious of strangers, it hasn’t really felt like counselling at all; it’s been more like visiting a friend for a laugh and a chat. Had we met under different circumstances, I would like to think that we would have been friends on a social basis as opposed to counsellor and client.
Sheila wanted to focus on how far D and I have both come since that first meeting, and I was eager to tell her about my latest “lightbulb” moment concerning my routine with alcohol. This occurred when I was blogging about the tragedy of Sandy Hook and found myself wandering into the kitchen for a glass of wine so that I could settle in to my subject and a good hour of formulating my thoughts into an acceptable blog post.
It was when D asked why I was getting a glass of wine that it hit me. If I’m blogging on a sensitive issue and/or I am settling in for a long blog post I immediately reach for the wine.
I have always dismissed this as nothing by saying that I “need to oil the cogs in my mind”. I don’t; it’s a prop that I’ve become accustomed to having, and it doesn’t help me in my writing. I’ve only conditioned myself to believe that it does.
So what did I do? I put the wine glass away and got to blogging. I only managed to get halfway through that post without any wine, but it’s an emotive subject and I’d been upset by all the accusations being thrown at autistic individuals – and after more than twenty years with the same routine I cannot expect to magically change my habits overnight. It’s better for me to take note of the fact that I am slowly making these connections without help and trying to do something about them, and give myself a pat on the back.
As this was our final meeting we all chose to look at the positives and not the “oops” moments that D and I are both guaranteed to have for some time to come, since it’s quite senseless to worry about the inevitable.
Sheila was regaled by stories of just how delightfully silly a couple we can be here at Tribble Towers, how I’ve come to enjoy making a lovely mess in the kitchen (whoever invented the phrase “Don’t play with your food” obviously had no enthusiasm or passion to add to their cooking – food is supposed to be fun and it’s all about getting up to your elbows in the preparation!) and the Great Tribble Hunt that D organised for me a couple of years ago for my birthday (he printed out a stack of pictures of Tribbles from the internet and stuck them in random places for me to find throughout the day). She laughed at a picture of myself and a friend dressed in full Doctor Who regalia and didn’t rush for the phone to have me committed (thousands might). We discussed anything and everything and laughed a lot. I have to say that – due to her approach – Sheila isn’t so much the therapist as the therapy itself!
I personally feel that D and I have come quite far in just a couple of months. We still have our “Because I feel like it” days and that’s bound to continue for a while, but we’re thinking about and controlling our intake now, to the best of our ability.
So thank you for everything, Sheila. For me personally you’ve achieved more than you set out to do – I have far greater self-confidence now, and have all but lost the fear of getting out and about. We shall both miss you.
And if you’re reading this, Sheila? There is not a glass of wine in sight as I write this. I have, however, ingested a small amount of last night’s leftover garlic mash potato, so you may well be glad that you’re not sat in a room with me!