Pleasure and Pain

Dear Dr. Darcy:

How does one become not broken anymore? How does one find happiness and fulfillment when they are so broken? How does one appreciate all that they have, when it is not what they want?  For the last 3 years, I have done nothing but disappoint myself, my family, my friends. I am not happy. I am reckless, and thus find trouble. I just don't care. I find myself with so much resentment and anger, I just can't get away from it. Pain. Heartache. Betrayal. I hurt. I'm angry.  I'm not where I want to be, and I can't find a way out of it. It's time to get over it, and move forward, but I just can't forgive. It's eating my soul.

ANSWER

Two things motivate human change:  Desire to seek pleasure or desire to avoid pain.  In order for change to occur, the drive to seek pleasure or to avoid pain has to be greater than the resistance to change, and that’s not easy to outweigh.

Humans are notoriously resistant to change.  Whenever a new client comes into my office, the question that I’m trying to answer is whether they are uncomfortable enough to overcompensate for their resistance to change, i.e., whether or not they are motivated enough to change.  It’s interesting because one might think that a more relevant issue in determining a client’s prognosis is assessing how significant their presenting problem is.  Nope.  Doesn’t matter how big the issue is.  If the fuel in my client is strong enough, together we can change anything.  If, however, the fuel is deficient, our work together will not result in anything beyond creating a safe place for my client to vent.

So the answer to your question is quite simple, and, not surprising for a shrink, it involves me asking you a question:  How uncomfortable are you?  Are you uncomfortable enough to get into therapy with a proactive therapist who will facilitate real change?  Are you uncomfortable enough to commit to the process, which will take at least 6 months and likely longer?  Are you willing to do this while you still have friends, family, and a soul?  Or do you need to lose everything before you will get the help you need?  Only you know the answer.

Writer’s Stats: Female, lesbian.