I went to speech therapy today. I went with great joy and I looked forward to an hour focused on my recovery and support. I had not realized how HUNGRY I was for this level of caring, but there I was, almost jubilant for the appointment. But as I sat in the waiting room, fiddling with my blackberry, it dawned on me that I did not remember the NAME of the truly wonderful speech therapist I had finally been coupled with. I felt awful. What was it? Thank goodness for name tags.
As soon as I saw her name, I remembered. How could I have forgotten?
It seemed a lifetime had passed between my last appointment and the present. We talked about short story writing and my progress. She gave me tips, and insight. (A new pattern in my writing: Were my paragraphs always that short?). And she made it clear that I’d reached a point where most patients would be beyond the reaches of needing speech therapy. Okay. I held my breath.
“I think you’re ready to fly,” she said in her kind manner.
“I will give you the choice of making this appointment your last, or making one more appointment.” She said this kindly again, her face in her always pleasant expression.
I was disappointed. Yes, after months of fighting through recovery, and wishing for this day, I found myself not joyous but…DISAPPOINTED. I couldn’t let her go–I had struggled so hard to find the “right” speech therapist, and…I just couldn’t let her go. I felt so buoyed by her presence and guidance. I felt a great loss. I felt…so alone.
Ugh. I chose to have one more session with her.
The news weighed heavily in my mind today. What would I do? In the last few weeks, the structure of my support network has changed: my husband is in grief and I’m supporting him as best I can in the context of a great life change. I’d been isolated in another country, far away from friends–the mornings in Israel were the worst, when I’d sit in my darkened hotel room willing myself through to the late afternoon when my California-based friends would finally be awake and reading email and taking phone calls. Now my speech therapy would be ending. Hell, my support network was COLLAPSING before my eyes.
I was so hungry for support that I had overlooked what a huge accomplishment it was to “graduate” from speech therapy.
That did it. I swallowed my pride, and faced the truth: I needed support. I emailed my old therapist and made an appointment.
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