"Well, the Lone Ranger and Tonto
They're ridin' down the line
Fixin’ everybody’s troubles
Everybody’s ’cept mine
Somebody musta told ’em
That I was doin’ fine"Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan's Blues
Everybody likes to be nice and helpful. It's a good feeling to help someone out, or even feel that you've done your best to try. Of course, even if the problems are very similar to your own, solving them - even helping to solve them - is a very different proposition. This week I've been doing a bit of troubleshootin' and shoulderwork myself. I feel good about that. But it's made me realise I'm a hypocrite if I then don't also try and address the same things in myself.
I've been thinking a lot about counselling recently, mainly due to my friend Nina's brilliant new blog on the subject which I have mentioned here before, but also because a number of my friends have told me about their positive experiences of it in the past year or so. Not only have I heard about their positive experiences, I have also seen and felt its beneficial effects in them.
I've had experiences of counselling in the past, but they've all been negative and unhelpful. I'm sure as much of the failures were my fault as they were the fault of the people involved. Nevertheless, failures they were. The most recent of these was in 2002, which as mathematics professors everywhere will be able to tell you is nearly 10 years ago. A person can change a lot in ten years, especially if 10 years ago you were 22 years old and as such thought you knew everything. These days I'm far less dismissive of anything, knowing full well that things have a way of coming back round in circles and if you're too cocky, of biting you on the arse.
My concern is that it will be too difficult to find the right person. I know that the right counsellor or right approach is out there for me somewhere, or rather, that is what I now choose to believe. It's not a friend you want. I want someone outside of that, someone who can ask and be told things that I'd not necessarily be comfortable sharing with people I know. However, I also want them to be someone who I feel I can trust, whom I respect and someone who actually cares.
Like a friend.
I hope this guardian angel exists out there somewhere, because I think I owe it to myself to try and find them in 2012. Even if only to address my impossibly high expectations of people and of things.