Therapists go through transitions, too. A few weeks ago, I found out my office building was being sold, and I had a short period of time to change my location. While I had a plan for a future expansion and a timeframe, this was not it. Additionally, sudden disruption or elimination of my home or work space triggers difficult feelings for me personally, due to a past house fire trauma, and I felt not only logistically disrupted but personally rocked as well. I was anxious, scattered, frustrated, triggered, and in what felt like a disempowered position. 

I am lucky. I have tools to identify and manage my anxiety, I have supportive family, friends, and colleagues who helped, and I was able to find a new space for my business that, while not perfect, is great in many ways, and I am genuinely excited to be in a new space with possibility for new and different growth opportunities. 

Why do I share this? Because therapists are human. Sometimes we get sent spinning from silly things like a move. Sometimes we get overwhelmed by what theoretically are normal, human, adult tasks. We have our own crap, our own weaknesses, and our own bad days. The simplest unexpected change can bring up feelings of being untethered, out of control, unsafe, disempowered, and straight anxious.

What knocks me off my game might not be the same as what gets to you, but we all have our things. Transitions of all kinds can make us feel vulnerable, bring up past losses or feelings of grief, or just mess with our sense of who we are for a bit. Make a mental post-it note for the next time you might be going through a transition, whether that's a promotion, a new baby, a move, or a graduation: it may rock you a little bit, so have some compassion for yourself. The extra sensitivity, unexpected emotions, or extra anxiety will subside, but be kind to yourself in the meantime. Do your best. We are all human and prone to unexpected difficulties, and transition can easily put us in that space, so you are not alone. It's one of many things you probably have in common with your therapist.

Giving to Feel Good

In honor of the first day of 2018 and a New Year, I wanted to share about a unique experience I had this holiday. My husband and I rescued an injured puppy, who we found wandering around a parking lot in freezing temperatures with a serious open wound in her neck. We were on our way out for a date night in honor of New Year's Eve and were excited about prioritizing some quality time together, and instead we took on a smelly, unwell puppy and spent the night at the emergency vet, setting up crowd-funding for her medical bills, tending to her wounds, feeding her pills, and making her comfortable. We hardly slept and rang in the New Year as an afterthought.

But what is really important is everything that happened after. Our concerns about the financial burden of taking on her care began to dissipate as we received an outpouring of support from friends and community members. Our anxiety about taking on too much turned into an affirmation of what happens when you follow your heart and your own inner truth about what is "right" or "best", and a reminder of the generosity of humans coming together to help someone (or something) in need. Not only was this an incredible spirit in which to start a New Year, it also reminded me of work I've read which suggests that doing something to help another actually has positive, anti-depressive effects on you! The more you do for others, the more you feel positivity and focus on good, the more you are affirmed by others to be a person of strength and character, and the more you realize you really can have an impact on your own life and how you live it.

So that's my New Year's message to you all - taking time to do good and help another, even though it may seem like an imposition, or something that is not in line with your immediate goals, can really help you feel better. Happy 2018!