My Fucking Feelings

The client I couldn’t help

Warning: This is not a blog. This is personal writing. For me. Not you. It may or may not have a point. Most likely the latter.

I am tired. My hair is jacked. Didn’t sleep well again. I go through stretches of semi good sleep and shitty sleep. But it’s a lot better than the two years of FML no sleep I went through a few years ago. I was a human exhaust pipe, Edward Norton, before he met Brad Pitt. I’m also a lot less afraid of when the crash will hit. Usually in the afternoon. And if I’m lucky, I’ll actually nap. I always hope for the kind of nap where you wake up not knowing where you are or who you are. Those don’t happen when we’re adults. Our distorted thought don’t allow us to go that deep during the day. We live with mental electric sock fences that prevent us from hopping the achievement wall. Those deep naps are like rare collectibles if experiences were antiques. They remind me of junior high when I used to crash on my mom’s bed after school. Her bedroom came with the perfect breeze and the faint sound of kids playing outside. I felt the safest in that space. I yearn for that feeling again.

But I am able to file taking a nap under Self Care these days, instead of “You’re a lazy piece of shit” or “What are you doing with your life?” — my inner dialogue for most of my twenties and half my thirties.

This morning I took Logan with me to the coffee shop, which had been a part of my morning ritual for twenty years — Driving out to go buy coffee every morning. Back then it wasn’t about the coffee. It was more about getting up and going somewhere. I didn’t feel like I was going anywhere in life. So I got up and went somewhere. But now it’s less about convincing myself I have a life and more about the coffee. I prefer Ethiopian pour over. I also like supporting mom and pop shops. That’s who I am, where I come from. Our various family businesses gave me and my brother an education and designer jeans. Cool pants prevented us from being bullied.

Although I write a lot, I rarely journal. They say it’s good for you. But you gotta be careful. If your journal turns into a self help listicle, it’s no longer free form writing. Now you’re writing for an audience. I forget what it feels like to write for me. Maybe that’s why I’m journaling today. It doesn’t matter if I hit post or not. What matters is that I write for me.

Yesterday I played something back while I was driving. I treated a high end client years ago. She was a twenty one year old heroin addict. I was her therapist and sober coach. I traveled with her to Boston. She ended up relapsing and lied to me the entire time about using. I flew her back to LA and put in her another treatment center. She ran away. Went missing for a few days. I was so scared this was going to turn into an episode of “Cold Case Files.” Thank Jesus we finally found her. She came from a billionaire family and I thought my therapy career was done. I felt responsible and so bad for her mom. I’m not sure why I played back this memory. I think about them once in a while. Every therapist has that one client she feels she failed with. This is mine. I haven’t felt guilty in a long time.

Okay, I’ll be honest. Actually the word is not honest. The word is revelation. I just had one. I am writing a “Journal Entry” instead of a blog because it allows me to hide. If it’s a journal entry, you won’t judge my writing. It’s a free pass. It’s a self help exercise not a piece of writing. It’s actually sneaky as fuck. But not intentional. I didn’t know it until now. I guess the good news is I can spot what’s happening underneath more than ever before. Not just because I’m a therapist. I am more aware of myself and my patterns. With my third book coming out, I’m feeling insecure. I don’t know if I’m any good. I’m doubting myself. I feel like the Will Smith of writers. Hard work over talent. But these days, I don’t want to be the hardest worker in the room. The Rock is someone I look up to and watch. But not want to be. Because with that kind of hard work comes sacrifices. I want to dance with my daughter. I enjoy watering the grass now. I like that I can’t see clearly. The world is a lot less scary slightly out of focus. I want to be able to take naps again.

-John Kim

Author of “I Used To Be A Miserable F*CK” and “Single. on Purpose.” IG: theangrytherapist

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