Our Experiences With Therapy

Welcome to "Ear Biscuits", I'm Link And I'm Rhett

This week at our respective tables of adequate and varied lighting We're gonna be talking about Therapy, specifically, a discussion that we started to have Yeah Just on our own, that we were like, "Hey, that would be a good "Ear biscuit"" Yeah, I think I mentioned on this show when I decided to start to go back to therapy some months back and having started to go to therapy for the first time, I now find myself processing a lot about beginning that process And there's lots of interesting questions that popped into my mind, some of which I think I might need to take to therapy, honestly because I don't know if they're the right questions, I think the questions that I'm asking and the way that I am approaching therapy and experiencing it as I start

It reveals more about me than it does about therapy But I kind of wanna talk through that a little bit more because you've been going to therapy for a while, not two years yet, right, maybe? Over two years Over two years So for me, I've done– I'm way ahead of you I should have still You'll never catch up

It's less than 10 sessions that I've done So I'm interested to hear your take on it and also share with you listening about my experience, whether you've ever been to therapy, or you've never been to therapy, if you're thinking about going maybe some of this discussion can be helpful for you or encouraging or and I don't know what it will be But I just feel like, I'd like to talk about it and explore this because there's a lot there Yeah, you're just scratching the surface and I'm just excited for you And this is a lot cheaper

This is a lot cheaper, I'm gonna be honest We're actually making money doing this, in order to pay for therapy The couple of, as they say on some other podcasts, housekeeping issues– Okay, I love housekeeping I do wanna acknowledge the fact that I realized that when I say that we need to do a podcast episode about something I say, or I say "We've got to record", I say, "We've got to record an "Ear Biscuit"

And I use the singular But you always say, "We've got to record an "Ear biscuits"" And I just kind of feel like we need to get to the bottom of that Here's the problem Because Its the hashtag, man

'Cause it's like, I think as you know, I think in terms of hashtags And what is the hashtag for the show? Is it hashtag "Ear Biscuit?" No, it's hashtag "Ear Biscuits" That's also the name of the show So we're gonna record another "Ear Biscuits", episode That doesn't

I don't think I'm stepping on the hashtag by saying an "Ear Biscuit" No, that one episode of "Ear Biscuits" is an "Ear Biscuit" Exactly But what I'm saying is not wrong, An "Ear Biscuits" episode I think I always put Maybe– The word episode but why are you springing this on me? If you're gonna Well

Hit me with this, you should tell me ahead of time because I mean, Well, I'm looking back on the show here I think the solution can be that when I talk about it, I say it's an "Ear Biscuit", and when you talk about it you say it's an "Ear Biscuits", and that way we got both covered You didn't seem to imply that was your goal to just acknowledge that Well then, I've been going to– Oh I've been going to therapy for at least two years so I am able to arrive at equitable solutions very quickly, more quickly than someone who's been in therapy for a couple of months

We also have, like, this is an NPR show You seriously brought that up just so you could say that you've been to therapy more than me? Was that– No The whole point of the "Ear Biscuits", "Ear Biscuit" thing? It wasn't, it just hit me because I thought about it yesterday I think you changed your mind based on what I said No, no, you said, "We got to do an "Ear Biscuits", tomorrow and I was like, "I'm gonna talk to him "About that on an "Ear Biscuit", because that'd be funny

We do have a correction that we need to make Now I have a group of friends that we went to NC State with that we stay in touch with We've been video chatting weekly A number of them, I don't know how many, two probably, listen to "Ear Biscuits" on the regular Greg, I don't know, I think

I don't know if Greg listens I know that Harm listens, okay, And Tim, definitely listens And Lucas doesn't listen And Tim listens because he'll start texting us or now he puts it in the thread He'll just start commenting things to us conversationally

But he's referencing a conversation that we've had on "Ear Biscuits" and he's apparently Yeah, Listening to it at that moment And he's listening the day it comes out most of the time, I think, because it happens pretty, you know, he's listened to the audio version, so, we did a text– which is a tech correction, right? Yeah, He sent us a text last night and it was Horace grant went to Clemson, by the way Oh So in the previous episode– That's on you We're talking about the Last Dance

Which interestingly, we also got into a little bit of a discussion about Jordan because the classic conversation about how Jordan V and modern whatever Do you like how I got into that conversation and then made it about Hip-Hop music and then Harm and I ended up talking about hip hop and you guys couldn't talk about George anymore? As soon as you texted that I read half of it and then just exited from the conversation I had something else going on Okay, which I'll tell you about in a sec or two Lots of things That's creepy

Yes, I was talking about the nature of NBA basketball at the time and how the Bulls were so unusual and that they had these guys like, you know, the best player in the world who didn't even make his Varsity team his sophomore year and then guys, who went to small schools and I said, "Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant" What I meant to say was Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, because Scottie Pippen went to Central Arkansas, and then Dennis Rodman went to two different schools, North Central Texas, and then southeastern Oklahoma State These are not typically your programs that are feeders into the National Basketball Association So, Clemson on the other hand Again, Clemson– The great goggled one came from Clemson

So we've cleared that up But it did remind me You know, because Tim listens I mean, I think it was Harm Oh, we're about to get corrected, again

Somebody brought up in our weekly scheduled video conference that it was it was weird having friends who have a podcast where they talk about themselves, and it, meaning us, because, I don't know if you're following along I'm talking about them talking about us Yeah But he made the point that it's weird to have conversations with us about our personal lives and then listen to an "Ear Biscuit" And realize that we talked about it– No, you say "Ear Biscuits", you keep it plural

An "Ear Biscuits" episode And realizing that we had recorded a show where we talked about the same thing, but then when we talk to them about that aspect of our lives, we didn't tell them that we also made it a public conversation that we had already had That hadn't come out yet But then after we have the conversation with them, they hear it again When it goes out to all of our audience

And I was like, "Yeah, I guess I don't have any friends who, "I can't, you know what?" I take that back I was gonna say, "I don't have any friends "Who have a podcast" But I don't really, the personal nature of a podcast I think it makes it a little weird for a friends So sorry, guys

Now we're now talking about talking about you and talking to you on an episode that you don't know exists Yeah When we talk to you soon Should we give you the heads up or just let it slide? No, let us slide I see it as a little surprise Speaking of surprises, the last piece of information that we should cover before we get started talking about Therapy

Yeah So as you know, yesterday we were surfing together, that was fun It was delightful I was staying up and paddling and I was catching waves left and right And I was trying to teach myself how to surf on a regular board and I mean to say I'm hurting today, and I'm also very tired

I did get up one time, as you saw, it wasn't pretty, but I stopped for a little bit I don't really wanna talk about the surfing I'm just committed to getting better 'Cause there's nothing to brag about So you don't wanna talk about it

Right And also, we did see a guy there who said, "Big fan" and I assumed he was not talking about my surfing ability No, he wasn't I'm a little embarrassed that he saw me at all, to be to be honest But– I'm embarrassed that he saw you with me

One of the things that was happening yesterday, it was raining unexpectedly It was not in the forecast It wasn't even on the weather when you looked at the weather It was just raining but it rained where our homes are at and also all the way across Los Angeles And it was raining from where we were surfing

Yeah But one of the things that was happening that is happening in my house as you know, is that we've got ongoing construction on the outdoor area But it's been on hold for many, many weeks during the crisis, the pandemic, but now things are kind of getting somewhat back to normal and the construction crew is out there, social distancing, but working But it's still an open pit, basically, of just dirt And they had to drill a hole in the side of my garage, which you as you know, is below ground to get power to run to something they're doing out there

They drilled a hole in the side of the foundation into the garage And I think that they and I remember seeing the hole and thinking, "Okay, well, we're gonna need to seal that hole" But of course, I forgot about it Apparently they did as well So, Ouch

Yesterday while we were enjoying ourselves and surfing, water, and not so much water but water and mud, were pouring through that hole into my garage And on top of that dresser that I have in there, that's got is basically all my stuff that I can't fit anywhere else in the house Mostly like old electronics and like cables that I don't know where they go and stuff like that But also my old iMac is sitting there and everything was completely covered with mud and somehow the way that it had cascaded into the dresser was the old IKEA dresser It did filled the top drawers and then the next layer and then the next layer

It had basically like put mud in all of it All the drawers? Yes And then it went all over the floor and went and settled in the front of the garage A bit of a mess And so last night, I stayed up late

You cleaned it off? Going through, well, they came in cleaned up the mud They're cleaning up the mud today And they're throwing out that old IKEA furniture 'cause once IKEA furniture gets wet, you can just, I mean, first of all, it's only good for about 24 months to begin with, but if it gets wet– No, you can Its already old Crumple it up like a crouton and you put it on your salad Okay, but, so I had to go through the stuff to tell the contractor like what got ruined

Thankfully, it's not a whole lot of stuff There's some stuff that I just bought some electronic stuff that I just bought that needs to be replaced, but it wasn't like, stuff that I didn't have, like, you know, backed up and there's some old drives in there, but it was stuff that I've got backed up in the cloud, whatever So anyway, that's why I was a little bit late this morning because I was like, it was tough to get moving 'cause I stayed up, just wallowing in my own wetness and madness and sadness That sucks, man You know, Yeah what? How did that make you feel? That's something that therapists will say, right? So how, how did you process this news? What? No, he would just say the first thing, how does that make you feel? And you just leave it? And then I would say something like, "Well, you know, it made me think "About how this is actually a really small thing

" I'm actually really, really blessed materially, you know, and I can do with a little inconvenience and he would be like, read, read, read, read, read Don't intellectualize it, don't rationalize it How does it make you feel? So in other words, my tendency is to try to immediately put the positive spin on it That's my personality And he's like, "well, we can get there "And it isn't what you said is not untrue

"But you should process how it makes you feel" Because what tends to happen is what happened this morning Which is I was actually very angry about it I call the contractor and I'm too nice, I was definitely as upset as I can get at a contractor But still not really that upset, but he feels bad about it

But then like this morning, when I was trying to meditate, I couldn't go down there and meditate down there and do my workout down there And so I was sitting in the living room, meditating And then my family starts coming downstairs and doing their stuff that they do in the kitchen, which I think is just eat And I started getting mad I started getting mad while meditating

And then Barbara wanted to get out of the bedroom and she was whimpering and I was like, "So what are the Barbara out" And I'm sitting there the meditating man, Yelling, Just yelling at my family And it's because I didn't stop and actually process the way that the mud coming through the hole made me feel Oh I held it in and then I released it on the people who I care about most

When is your next Therapy appointment? That's their work Next Monday So you didn't talk about it last night? I did not, no, 'cause I do every two weeks Okay, all right, well, let's get into the therapy stuff in a second But first, we wanna remind you to head on over to mythical

com where we have just a store of stuff that is going quick It's kind of like mud coming in your garage It's like you don't know when it's gonna end And let me tell you, the mud is gonna stop seeping soon Because there's lots of stuff

I'm gonna list these things off, may I? Kind of underselling our merge by saying mud We've got a lot of last chance items that are the opposite of mud And very limited quantity As I'm saying this, some of them are disappearing So if any of this strikes your fancy, you better get over there

"Strike your fancy", is that the right word? Pick your fancy? Strike your fancy Poke your fancy? You know I poke your fancy Mythical merit badges, still got some of those, but not many GMM neon sign joggers, always curious T, one of my favorite T's Son wave long sleeve T

That's a good one says, "Good Mythical Morning", Instagraph T for the ladies Know your worth coin pouch That's running low The bark dance T for the ladies and the video club T, another one of my favorites Get that thing now, get all those now, while they last, mythical

com Limited Very limited For those of you watching you can see that I've now taken to, my mustache has gotten kind of long I need to cut it back but when I'm trying to drink my drink here I'm having to then like use a paper towel to, it's really annoying

You have to dub I thought I told you about that guy You have to dub your face That he was like the owner of the Texas, whatever the football team, the Titans, whatever they are and he had a mustache that went completely over both lips Both lips Wow

Covered over both lips and then just connected basically again with his goatee that looked like another mustache Yeah Like it was like two dollops of hair Mouthed the wall I don't understand that man

Yeah, I don't understand I don't understand how that happens If you're watching this, you also see that I'm wearing the T-shirt from the "Thoughtful Guy" music video I still have this T-shirt I work out in it, sometimes It's Oh

Very sentimental You worked out this morning? I'm thinking about doing a little activity after this Of course no This is the first time I've put on a shirt that has buttons in probably a month Let's get into Therapy, shall we? You know, I can't remember how I described the situation that led to me deciding to go to therapy but it was a long time coming

And I'm distracted by the leaf blower What? Yeah, Christy is trying to get me go therapy for our entire marriage, she seems to be saying Well listen, you can give me a hard time right now 'cause there's a leaf blower right outside here and maybe they weren't Here, you are the leaf blower I can't remember exactly how I characterized my decision go to therapy

But yeah, I knew I wanted to go It was just kind of like, its the little things keep you from doing it Besides, well, you know, 'cause in the back of your mind, it's like this is quite an undertaking I'm gonna go to a professional and talk about myself And this is something that I believed in

I was never opposed to, everyone around me that I care about has a positive experience with going to therapy I mean, in the discussions that we've had in this venue, and otherwise, I've been very encouraged about your experience and your level of growth and like I've experienced the benefits of that There's nothing inside of myself, that was principally opposed to it in any way Matter of fact, I would always say, "I'm looking for a therapist" But it was kind of a lie

It was like, "I intend on looking for a therapist", is what I really should have said And I'm actually having a hard time knowing what put me over the edge Do you remember what I said that I was like, I'm actually gonna do this? It's on record But once I decided, yeah I don't remember I don't I don't recall But I looked through I believe is psychology

com directory and found some people close to me also got recommendations I asked you to ask your therapist for recommendations 'cause they don't wanna go to the same therapist as you That didn't seem like the best idea No You came up dry, but a couple of the friends made some suggestions

One friend made a suggestion and then I didn't like the sound of the therapist's name And I just didn't feel like I could say that name like have a, I don't know, it was a distraction to me I'm not gonna mention what the name is Well I will say that's– It's like a weirdest thing This is a, that right there is sort of an indication of what will follow I think in terms of the way that you approach this right

And I think that that's something that, not that you should have gone with that person But I do think that the way that you think about the things that you embark upon is a particular way that I think everyone will get into what makes it really difficult for me Everyone has like, there's a difficult threshold to cross Well, yeah And it's all based

And I think it was probably just me putting up barriers because maybe deep down, I was intimidated, you know, with the prospect of getting into it You know, I have had this growing sense that like, there's some sort of fear with knowing that I'm just afraid of what I might uncover And I feel like maybe I'm like with my current coping mechanisms in the way that I live my life And whatever it is that I'm not fully exploring or coming to grips with, within myself or my past or both That I, you know, that I was I say I want to get into it, and I believe that it's a good thing, but I'm just, I'm a little afraid of what I'm afraid of, and the unknown of it

And so that even the smallest reason can be reason enough to not go for it Which is why I find it interesting that like, I can't remember right now what the trigger mechanism was, but I think it was just basically, Christy, I think part of it was Christy saying, "Will you keep saying that you're looking for a therapist, "But you're not actually "And you're not really taking any steps "And this can't, I no longer believe you" So, like she's just kind of calling me on it and it was true Well, we would have conversations as well Yeah

Because we were talking about therapy recommending psychologycom, talking about how therapy was and then you would say things like, "I listened, I'm a real proponent of it "I think the people in my life "Have really benefited from it" But after a while, it's like, "Okay, well" And I've picked up enough second hand, I'm probably good

But I should go Well, but so I finally found someone whose name was it, the other person's name wasn't Timmy, but it was just like, if your therapist name is like, Timmy, it's just like it's like, that's just a way, you know, it's like, I'm going to have a session with Timmy You know, it's like, that's just weird You know, it's like– Yes it's like, you gonna go to get trained how to juggle by a clown or something like that Right? Right, yeah

Well, that would be more like, "I'm going to see my therapist honkers" No, I can see Timmy The Clown, I'm sure there's a Timmy The Clown out there that does birthday parties It is, you know, so I didn't wanna be distracted by going to see, and Timmy is not the name, but so, I found somebody else who had a much more official sounding name and you know I read about this guy on his like Information page on psychologycom and then he said you can email him just for like an initial consultation or consultation may not have been word but it's kinda like an interview, both ways It's like, "Let's just meet over the phone

"Let's have a 20 minute conversation and see "If my skills match up with what you're interested "In getting into" So I set up that call and I went down the street My internet was out at this particular time So which meant my phone is very unreliable So then I had to drive down and I'm sitting in the parking lot of the grocery store where my cell phone's signal is very strong so that I can have an a cohesive conversation with this potential therapist

And then the 20 minute conversation I made up my mind that I was gonna lay everything out there in terms of like this, you know, instead of him, it's only 20 minutes So I'm just gonna lay out there everything that I want and everything I'm thinking about in its concise of a way as possible And then also hear his response and see if that's something that resonates in terms you know, so, I talked about some of the fear stuff that I think there's something there my past, I talked about that a little bit I talked about, I gave some statistics on my upbringing and like being from a broken home and like there been some things I gave like the bullet points Yeah, details, background from my past

I talked about how my brain works now, I talked about how, you know, there's a low level of anxiety that's constantly there I put a lot of it out there and I was comfortable and prepared to do that And we had a good conversation And, you know and he responded and said, what his his specialties were, and there was a lot of overlap there and But then he was like, "But you got to call me Timmy

" And you're like, "Okay, gotta talk to somebody else" Well, this guy, and I'm not gonna give his name but he has a first name He has a last name and he also has a middle initial Oh, yeah, everybody In his email closing, so that's what I call him Whenever I refer to him amongst my family, I call him Tim D

Hammons You know, that's not his name I made that up on top of my head if it didn't sound like I'm gonna go Go to Tim again I'm gonna go, Tim is fine, Timmy not good

Yeah So, if my kids are like, "what are you doing?" I say, "Well, I've got a therapy appointment "with Tim D Hammons" You know, 'cause it seems official Yeah, I– So I like to that too, that the guy– I don't, okay

He has a– I have an opinion I have an opinion about referring to him by his full name every time you talk to your family about him, but, Okay, So, maybe I'm starting off on the wrong foot So I felt like we started off on the right foot In this 20 minute conversation, there was a lot of overlap I was very forthright

He was asking questions, I talked about my family situation I talked about what was healthy and what, you know, what I felt like I wanted to explore And we set up the first meeting And man, I get really nervous I don't know what it is about meetings

I mean, when we went surfing yesterday I woke up nervous, but I feel like it's sometimes I misconstrue being nervous or anxious with being excited, which is actually something that he said in an early therapy appointment You know, I was talking about some situation that I wish I wasn't getting nervous in and he was like, "Well, it sounds like excitement" But I do feel like I was excited, but I was nervous to go in there and you know, you sit in the waiting room, and then there's another person out there on their phone So then when he comes out, he like, looks at me and he doesn't say my name He just gives me a nod

Because I guess he's respecting any type of conversation that I might have with somebody else there like if I were to say my name or something like you know, he must respect my boundaries, however strict they may be So he comes out and he gives me a nod and I follow him We haven't even spoken And I was like, "I respect that, but it's still a little, "It puts me on, I'm on edge, right?" And I go in the room, and there's the couch There's an actual couch

Now, it's not a chaise lounge It's not like a thing where it's like, well, You don't lay down? I could lay down on this couch But it's not like a chaise lounge You really can't do anything but lay down, right? So it's like the cartoon therapist Forces it Every movie, yeah

Every movie This is like a reasonably sized sectional But like my brains going a million miles an hour I'm like, should I lay down? Should I take off my shoes? Should I, should, you know, it's like So I sit there, like a normal person on a couch

And we start a conversation He's sitting in like a special, a desk chair that's borderline or recliner, I mean, I guess if your job is sitting and listening, you better have a good chair I think it had a swivel to it These are other things I'm thinking in my first appointment I'm looking at what he's got on the wall

I'm looking at the bookshelf behind him 'cause as he's talking, which isn't often by the way, I can look past him and I can read some of the books that he's been reading and learn something about him How to do therapy for Dummies Yeah, if you see that behind your guy or your girl you didn't do that I don't ask him to pull it off the shelf and let's just read straight from it Okay, so let me get in here

Get in here, 'cause– You said the stage about like your first impression and like what's going through your mind when you walk in So and I'll tell a little bit about my story now, I do wanna just do a slight sidebar Because, you know, interestingly after we kind of shared our last year story, and for those of you who didn't hear that, that was when we kind of talked about our Christian background, growing up, working as missionaries, and then how we both sort of changed the way that we think and feel about all that and no longer consider ourselves Christians Obviously, going public with that, was a little bit of a lightning rod, amongst the people who listen to our podcasts and just the sort of the Christian media world in some ways, right And a lot of people talked about it

Well, one of the things that I saw was a fair amount of criticism about how, you know, of course we get the criticism about how we've gone all LA, but one of the things that comes along with that is, you guys are basically replaced God with therapy, right? And in doing so you've kind of replaced God with yourself, right? Because some people's perspective on therapy is that it's so self absorbed and self focused and people who go to therapy and are constantly trying to figure out what they feel and what they think and process through these things could become self absorbed assholes, which I think is kind of missing the point But one of the things that Jessie and I have talked about is that and as we said in this in the last years is we've benefited in a lot of ways from being a part of a religious community, right Being a part of a spiritual community There's a lot of growth that took place in that community And while we have our issues with a lot of the views and some of the foundational propositions of Christianity at this point, it was really instrumental in us growing into the kind of people that we are, right? Absolutely

But one of the interesting things that I sort of picked up on and this may not be as much the case anymore, it may have been a little bit more like a 90s, early 2000s kind of thing But in both me and Jessie's experience, there was very much a one size-fits-all sort of program It was basically like, if you're a man, this is the kind of man that you should be This is what being a man is about, right? If you're a woman it's a very different program This is what being a woman is, and I, as a 40 year old man had never, ever dealt with a lot of stuff that was going on inside my head and my heart, right

Because I knew how to fall in line and I knew what the program for me as a man was, but, which was based on some things that I no longer agree with But, it just kind of struck me that when I started going to therapy, the level of which I was actually dealing with the specifics of my background, my family of origin and my personality was kind of revolutionary And I'm not saying that that doesn't happen in spiritual communities, and that doesn't happen in the Christian community But it didn't happen in the communities that I was a part of, right It really took taking that next step in going into something where I was gonna deal with myself in my own shit, right

And I think that you having seen me do that, your wife do that, my wife to that, you knew that this wasn't gonna be like going to a men's conference where it might get really personal, and it might get really real, but you're gonna kind of walk away with some marching orders, that everybody dude who's there is gonna walk away with, but you probably are not gonna deal directly with some personal growth or kind of directly addressing some, and not again, this is probably happening in some churches or whatever, but it just didn't happen for us Right But I think that you knew that like, "Oh man, I know what this process is going to entail, "And it's gonna entail getting in touch with my past" And for you, that is very specific It's more of a typical, this person needs to be in therapy kind of past right? You know, your dad left, raised by single mom, okay, Right

Okay, yeah, you should be in therapy, right Now for me, somebody who came from a stable home, my parents are still together In my mind, I had never and the fact is that when it comes to like trauma I don't have a lot of trauma everybody's got trauma and some people want to minimize, not trying to minimize my own situation But I don't have this profile that's just like "You need help", right But it was my wife, seeing the way that I was processing all the stuff, all the pressure that we had sort of put on top of us over the years

And the fact that we're trying to lead this company and pursue these dreams, and it's just like, we were under a lot of pressure on a really regular basis– Not to mention the fact that you started to go blind Yeah, and it was coming out sideways, both in the way that I would kind of blow up, but also in the way that I was suffering physically And the most acute symptom being the I don't even know what it's called anymore, but basically, my retina was, I got some fluid behind my eye and it's a stress related condition that can cause temporary blindness, pretty scary So you literally couldn't see out of one eye? Well, it could, it was very blurry, like the center of the field of vision Yeah– For me it was these acute symptoms that kind of sent me over the edge

But I just wanted to cover that because, Yeah You know, that little, that former self is always sitting there on my shoulder kind of telling me the way you sound right now And I know that people may be turned off by and I want to, and not to mention the fact that there's a stigma associated with it, where it's like, you've got to have something specifically acutely wrong You've got to have something in your background that warrants it But you know, you don't have to have any condition to start working out, right

You don't have to have a physical ailment in order to begin working out Well, exercising has been shown to make your life better and longer and all kinds of ways, right And I think that in going to the doctor on a regular basis is a good idea And I think that everyone has something in their personality that has been constructed as a defense mechanism based on their background, and the stuff that they've been through And everybody's been through something

And so I just, you know, I think that anyone is a candidate for it and can benefit from it And I believe that but for the longest time, I didn't believe that because I was never, no one ever said it But, you know, my entire experience of growing up was in the church Well, I wanna limit this to my specific experience and not talk about the church in general my specific Yeah Experience and limited to that was I got the impression by reading between the lines, that as I cultivated my relationship with God, and that, you know, Jesus can meet all of our needs

And he does that, yes, he does that through all types of ways and through interactions with people as included in that, including professionals But I always thought of it We talked about counseling, you might need counseling, you might need couples counseling, you know, you might need some help walking through this And its is very, in a spiritual environment But therapy was something for people who had a diagnosable problem or something that was extremely serious that then you gotta go to another level

And I just thought that like, nothing in my life is bad enough for that, for therapy You know, I can handle everything with counseling and through the cultivation of my spirituality and these other ways But now I'm not presenting an either-or, you can absolutely benefit from both at the same time In the conversations that we've had with our friends, You know, we've seen that just to go back to Tim, not the fake name of my therapist, but our friend who knew that Horace Grant was from Clemson Right

Who's a pastor, now But so moving on from that when I started therapy, I was ready to go in, I was ready to explore things Matter of fact, I started to have ideas of what I wanted to go into And so he would start off with "So how are you doing? "How's your day? "How's your week?" It's where he would start and then I would be like, "Okay, I have an idea of where I wanna go" There's two different things, I have this immediate need of we're planning this big vacation with my extended family like Christy side of the family

We're gonna go to Disney World, but like, I'm feeling a lot of anxiety associated with that And I want to deal with that in a healthy way And I don't wanna be the one to screw that up for my entire extended family 'cause this is a big deal But, and that's like an immediate need But then I got this, the deeper stuff that I know I wanna get into about like my past and how I view myself and how there's so much like my inner critic is so strong, and I feel like I suffer from that

And so in the first two sessions I talked about both of those two things Interestingly enough, we were going through having put out the lost years podcasts, and I chose not to bring any of that up because it was like that's a whole other thing I'm not ready to get into even though it was something that I was very much dealing with at the time You know, so and like he didn't even really have an inkling that was going on because I never brought it up Because in my mind, I had prioritize these other things I wanted to talk about and get into And then, so even once I started to get into those things Half of my mind is trying to figure out how does this work? And how does he work specifically? And how do I work? So it wasn't just having a conversation, but it was analyzing everything to figure out the system, you know? So it'd be like, okay, he'll ask me a general question, and then I dictate what I wanna talk about

And then if I make a statement, if I get to a point where I'm done talking, then he'll ask another clarifying question about it And I'll need to think about it for a second and answer And then when I'm done with that, and just let me finish what I observed as a system and then at that point, I would observe sometimes I would finish talking and he wouldn't ask anything He wouldn't say anything He would just be quiet

And that's when it got a little weird because I'm immediately feeling like, "Okay, I'm done" I put something out there He's quiet, am I supposed to talk now? Or you supposed to talk? It's like that scene in "Star Wars" where he's like, "Are you gonna talk now? "Or am I gonna talk?" You know, and so I brought so much my brain was so hot in going into the situation And I, then that's how it went for the first few It was like two different levels of conversation going on in my own mind

Yeah, so I mean, we talked about this a little bit, but you're an enneagram one You don't have to know what the enneagram is And we haven't done an episode about it yet But you're a perfectionist, right? So, you're driving sort of guiding principle in life is you wanna make sure that you're doing things right for me– The best possible way

Which is a performer So I wanna make sure that I'm doing things not necessarily right, but I wanna be the best at whatever it is, right I wanna perform And those are actually pretty similar, they manifest themselves in pretty similar ways, especially when you encounter anyone else in life, right? And so me and you tend to be super self aware, and we analyze everything And we're thinking about things almost like a filmmaker, you know, stepping back and observing the way things that are happening

And what that's doing is it's, again, this is really just a figurative way of talking about it, but you're kind of getting out of your heart and getting out of your feelings and you're getting into your head and you're moving into this analytical place where there's not a lot of progress, there's not a lot actual work that happens once you step out and you get it especially when it gets so analytical that you're actually thinking only about the process that's happening between you and that person But it's the only natural response for most people Like, for me, the thing that took me forever and I still have a tendency to do this Because I'm a performer, sometimes my therapy appointment will come up and I'm like, "Oh man, I don't have anything for him today" You know, I don't have anything for him today, right? Like, it isn't going to be worth his time to spend time with me today

Because I'm not gonna bring it you know, I've got to perform for this guy And that may take the form of very early on and like some of the initial things, it was, "All right I kind of want "To let this guy know that", and again, this wasn't a conscious process, but it was like, "I kind of want to let this guy "know that I'm not crazy, okay "It's like alright, let's get that out of the way "I'm not crazy "You know, I'm a stable person

I'm a stable genius" You know, I kind of understand what's happening here I know what you're trying to do, and I am basically saying, "Hey, I'm gonna be a good partner in this," like, "I'm gonna give you what you need," which is, you just tell me how I'm supposed to go about this And I'll do a good job at it like, you know, show me the steps to perform because as soon as I understand that, I'll lock in and I'll be your best patient ever Again, not a conscious process

that's how I process it I find myself whenever like I'm racking my brain to figure out what it is I wanna talk about before I go in there And I don't feel good I feel horrible until I can answer that question And just to skip ahead a little bit

Like we went from week to week 'cause it was a trial thing And it was, I said, let's do every week and then with the pandemic and the isolation, things went flux and we didn't schedule and then it was like let's just do every other week And then it got to a point where I was like, ironically, I was having the most difficult time, you know as you know, this past week has been extremely difficult This is, you know, when I did the live stream with Britain, I shared some of this there too, because it you know, with what Christy is going through and her level of anxiety, me caring for her, and it's been very difficult for both of us And you know, we've talked about all this but ironically, I made an active decision not to schedule a therapy appointment, because I just felt like, I don't even know the reason it was like, now that I'm really into this thing, and we had talked about it when it wasn't as acute

I had had a meeting or two with him remotely and we had discussed it because I'd made up my mind I wanted to discuss it And then I found myself canceling the appointment, and I haven't gone We haven't met in a couple of weeks, and now there is no standing appointment at all I found it so interesting how when I'm going through the toughest time, I made a decision in spite of myself to not go at all it's like, and– Here's the ironic thing, right The ironic thing is that you're so concerned about doing it wrong, that you know what, you're actually doing it wrong

Yeah, and even when I would go– You know what I'm saying? Yeah 'Cause it's like, again, I think that it's, again it comes from a slightly different place, but the application is often the same and that is, the thing is I have stopped doing And this would be my advice for you Is I've stopped thinking about the appointment before the appointment is happening I stopped thinking about what am I gonna bring tonight? Like, what are my bullet points? This isn't like sixth grade when I was calling my girlfriend and I had to have a list of things to talk about

So I wouldn't run out, right? This is about getting in touch with what I'm feeling And ironically, as well, you know, when you talk about what you're going through, we obviously we've been talking a lot about what you've been going through and going with going through with Christy In my last appointment, and again, I've kind of made this habit of like, "I'm not gonna think about this "I'm not going in with any agenda "Even though it is up to me, right?" He's gonna say, "How you doing?" So he was like, "how you doing?" And I was like "I don't know, I think, "I mean, I'm doing okay" And then I'll just kind of just start talking about things that are going on

And you know, the thing that he's really good at is picking up on super empathetic and to kind of get to things that I don't even know that I'm feeling But basically what our appointment became, our conversation became about was the fact that I was having a lot of anxiety about what was happening with you and Christy Like that, we were talking about it and I'm trying to figure out, what can I do about this, right? Like, what can I say to help you and Christy during this time? Jessie and I are talking about it a lot And it's like I started realizing that I was having all this anxiety about your situation But, if I had just thought about my agenda, I would have never got there

What I would have done is I would have gone in and I would have thought, "Well, the thing that I need to talk about right now "Is this issue that I'm having at work or whatever" But when I go in without an agenda, and I really just try to just start talking about whatever it is that might be happening, even sometimes it's just like, catching up with a friend, right? 'Cause we're friends now So it might just be like, "Oh, we did something cool "We went surfing today, I searched for the dolphin, "whatever it might be", and then that will lead into something else But that's been the most helpful thing for me is getting past the agenda and the planning or the prioritizing

Thinking that you've got to put this ahead of this, I got to deal with this before I get to this Is not organizing a garage, right And that's your tendency is gonna be, I got to approach this the way I would approach washing dishes Well, let me– You know what I'm saying? I appreciate that Let me just respond to that 'cause there's a lot in there

I think, first of all, it's very touching for me to hear that you talked about my situation in your therapy, and I feel like that means a lot to me And I think, you know, I feel like I reaped the benefits of that in terms of the conversations that we've had with, you know, at this point, the light at the end of the tunnel is very bright like, you know, Christy's in a very good place and I'm in a very good place, but when it was at the darkest moments, and we were having those conversations, I couldn't have done without it So I wanna thank you for that And I also wanna thank the other friends like the friends that we talked about at the top of this episode, you know, every week having that touch point where it's like we can just hang out and like we're asking how everybody's doing And that's been extremely helpful

And I've told them that but I just, you know, for those of them that are listening, I wanna thank them specifically now because it was extremely helpful And I am seeing that if I would have just gotten out of my own way, I could have also benefited from having my standing therapy appointment that if I would have made it standing and not just made it a question mark every time So then back to this conversation, I just feel like that's very helpful And it's interesting because in the conversations that I have with him at a certain point, I'm like, "Okay, this is an hour, I'm at the 45 minute mark, and I feel like I've talked about I've gotten my marching orders" And I will find myself saying things like I've said this on a number of sessions, about 45 minutes in, I'll be like, I've got a practical plan that addresses my concern or complaint that I decided to bring up as part of my curriculum, right

And what I'll say is, I'll say "That's helpful" So it's like, it's basically me saying, "I got what I came for, I got my money's worth," you know, or however, I'm thinking about, I would say, Yeah That's very helpful But then I would feel like, "Okay, but it's also an assignment "Because now I need to apply this plan "So that next time we talk in a week or two "Whenever the standing appointment is "That I gotta show that I've applied this "Like as if there was a test" I'm realizing that, you know, because at one point we talked about like doing some work where we're talking about the inner critic, and he said, "You know, what a creative exercise you can do "Is you can start to create a character profile "For this voice of an inner critic in your mind

" You know, you might see him as, you run a company, that is your life And your inner critic is the head of security And he might say, his name is Bob and Bob comes up to you, and he's very zealous And he's like, "Well, you know, we've got to put armed guards "At every door of the facility," and then you're like, "Bob, I appreciate the sentiment, "But we're not gonna put armed guards at every door "But what we are gonna do is this

" And you put Bob in his place Because he's just your head of security He's not running your company But he's like you can come up with any way you want And so I was like, "Oh man now, I just got a homework assignment

" And I'm talking to Christy and Lilly about this ever I'm like, and now here it is It's been a week and I'm talking to him in another week I'm halfway there And I haven't, I was gonna journal down my character description of what my inner critic looked like I was like, and I asked Christy and Lily I was like, "Is this what you mean by doing the work?" 'Cause this is like literal homework

And now that I've gone, I'm over halfway there and I haven't done my assignment, I'm like, now I'm all up in arms about that And then we did have a session and I was able to talk about my inner critic but I kind of crammed to do this homework and like, it kind of rubbed me the wrong way Yeah, well, I mean, I haven't had and this may be my therapist insight into me as a performer I haven't really had any specific assignments, he has suggested a couple of things that might be like, you know, I think it would be helpful to write that down Or, you know, but the thing that I've kind of gotten into the habit of is, you know, we kind of go through it, the end, we kind of go through, he's always says, "What stands out for you tonight?" You know, and that's my cue to figure out what the big the big takeaways are

And then I went for a long time having these like, really what I consider to be significant insights, and then I would sort of remember them again, next time And then now if there's a significant insight I do try to like okay, take 10 minutes Yeah And journal about it, just to kind of remember it to kind of put a stake in the ground But yeah, since that assignment you had been back? Yeah, I went back once and he didn't grill me on it

I told him, I did do it And I did benefit from it And like– What did you talk about? Did you talk about the way that you thought about the assignment? No And and the thing that Christy and Lily told me, as I like, told them about how I approach it, they say things like, "He's there for you" You seem to be talking like you're there for him

And– Right Which is kind of what we're saying And they said, "You should talk to him about that" And I was like, "Okay, that's– Well, it's funny, because when– I was like, "Now you've given me an assignment" So my therapist and I have talked about you and you going into therapy, right

I talked to him about everything So and talking with him about your initial reservations that you've explained to me, it got us talking about the way that we talked about, we talked to each other and the way that I perceive it Yeah And I hope the way that I perceive it as a performance, and I told him, I was like, sometimes, you know, for the longest time, I was like, "What do I have for him? Yeah And so that became like, getting to that level of specificity and laying it all out there

And if you push you started realizing is that you just got all these little things that you're hiding not only from your therapist for yourself Yeah, And it's just like you're playing this little game of like, hide the ball And you got to take the cuffs off the balls, man, you got to put your balls on the table But I mean, I'm adjusting how I'm looking at it, because I realized in a number of ways that I'm looking at it wrong and I, you know, I do realize going back to how we perceive therapy, I think the thing that I'm bringing to it is, you know, the only point of reference that I have directly is counseling and accountability groups Now, in in our church youth group, and definitely in college, we would set up these accountability groups where it's like, hey, you have a small group, maybe it's just one other person, that you trust, and that you want to share things that you wanna improve in your life, it could be spiritual in nature, it could be practical in nature

But then you've got someone who will hold you accountable when you get together The main point of the meeting is for them to ask you, 'cause you've given them permission It's kind of like a personal trainer Especially in these times where you're not with the personal trainer, and you're like have you done your exercises this week? Well, it could be that for anything can be like, Yeah, Did you meet this goal or that goal? Or did you not participate in this activity that you promised you weren't gonna do? Kind of thing And most accountability groups between men it would be, "did you look at porn this week?" Right and be very aggressive about that

And the ultimate accountability hack, this is the thing that I never really understood until later and I think a lot of people were operating under this principle, the ultimate accountability hack is just lying I never lie You lie to cover accountability porn? No, no, no, no, I'm saying that, no I didn't lie But I figured out later that some of the people, They were hacking the system They were hacking the system, they were lying

They were hacking more than the system, they were hacking the lumber I've never actually heard that as a euphemism, but I think I– Well I think it's whack the lumber Okay, well– To be specific I feel like and then when you go to counseling, if you have a problem, and you like when I would meet with my pastor, it'll be like, "I'm dealing with this" It was a positive experience

But I think in my mind, there was a negative aspect to it, that I now apply to therapy and that is, I always assumed there was a judgment You know, it's like– It's like going to confession It's like going to confession if you're Catholic, which we never were, but yeah, so it's like, "Hey, I'm sharing this" And then the response that you get from the authority figure is, "Well, this is the proper belief or action, "Or, and this is how you're falling short" "But you know what? "Here's the strength, "And here's the path to get back on the right track

" But there's an implied judgment there, right? That the thing with therapy that I just can't seem to let sink in is that it's a judgment free zone There's been plenty of things that I put out even on that first 20 minute phone call You know, he asked me some pointed questions about how do I deal with stress? And stuff like that And how I deal with the things that I was confessing? I felt like I approached it like a confessional And I just felt like I've confessed more things that like and then would cringe

It's like, yeah, this is expecting there to be some implied unspoken judgment that then led to this is what you do to correct that Yeah But that's not what therapy is Therapy is not– No, but we're looking for our marching orders, I mean But there's also a judgment, I think anticipating– Yeah

A judgment and then a correction, which the correction is the marching orders There's a competing aspect I think that's very related It's very related to I think it's probably pretty typical, but I think it's it was reinforced by our background, because when you went to talk to someone who was in some sort of spiritual authority over you, that's what you were looking for, you were looking for– Correction What is the authoritative thing that I'm supposed to submit to and do right now? And, with that there's some personalities that just lock onto that like for somebody who is a perfectionist, you lock on to the instructions For someone who is a performer, we lock on to the instructions as well because it fulfills that need

And I think the thing that's been so difficult is you start realizing that so many of your issues kind of relate to that orienting principle in life, the thing the way that you approach everything, right, which is why the enneagram is very helpful because it helps you understand that sort of main driver And then you start realizing that everything that I do, the way that I behave in my relationships, the way that I behave in my job and the things that I'm trying to do long term, they're all being filtered through that And so when you're therapy, because it's inevitable, because it's another relationship, right? It's just another relationship it's another thing that you do Your tendency is always going to be to approach it in exactly the same way I mean, I'm not saying, I've fixed this, the only thing that I've done is it hit me real hard

That, "Oh, you're just applying the same old rat approach "To this as well" You've put the Rhett's spin on this relationship But this the whole idea, this relationship is to break that down And you know, and I think that you're so early in the process right now that you applying that pressure to yourself is actually keeping you from getting into the process and having the appointment, you know, Yeah, I don't think I just, it's like my entire being, just can't believe that he's there to help me explore and gain insight into myself without judgment I haven't gotten there yet

So I don't know if it's probably something to talk about, you know, but again, I'm gonna send an email and say, "Hey, let's get back on track," you know, and then kind of give them some of the background Or maybe I'll talk about that A lot of this stuff I think I'll talk about in the next time I talked to him and then set the groundwork for "Hey, I do wanna make this sustaining appointment "I don't want there to be a question mark, "Week to week where I have to make an active decision "and can just "Bow out of the thing" Yeah

And then just talk about some of these issues with him And like half insights that have gotten, you know, see how he responds to that But, you know, it's 'cause like you said, it is a relationship with a person but it's a professional relationship that then, you know, like I just I need therapy to reorient my expectations, my approach, how I do this thing But again, am I falling back into the trap even as I talk I was like, Okay, Constantly I haven't been doing it right

I'm gonna talk to him about how I do it right Oh, dude, it's the– I'm doing right now One of the reasons that and we should definitely talk about do at least an episode on meditation because I think that the thing that matters mindfulness meditation or just a simple like focusing on the breath meditation does is it reveals sort of the pattern and nature of your thoughts And for me, and I assume this is the case for many people and probably also for you like for me, it's I can't, I'm such a thrill I'm such a performer, that I cannot sit down and meditate without picturing someone watching me meditate

Like, I'm always doing something for an audience, right? And then in the moment that I have an insight, while meditating, I'm thinking about the conversation that I'm going to have in the future with someone to tell them about this insight, so that they will think better of me But then here's the thing, meditation brings these things out in their ugliness and shows them to me, it shows that pattern It's like, you start realizing that, oh, you're getting into that thing again where you can't just be in the present, you're thinking about the past, you're thinking about the future, you're applying these principles And then in every single thing that you do, like, for me, like is this constantly, like, I'm gonna have to be resistant to not talk to my therapist about this "Ear Biscuit" in a way that he's like, "Hey, you know, those conversations "That Lincoln I had about Therapy or whatever," like talking about it in a way that positions me as the as the protagonist, right as the star Like, that's my issue

And so I just have to constantly but at least I'm thinking about it right? At least there's a there's an awareness But for the longest time it was just like, my way of being and I didn't even understand the destructive nature of it Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah So yeah, you're gonna like the way that you think about I'll live through it

The way that you think about it The way that you think about the way that you think about it will be subject to the way that you think about it Okay And you got to think about that man All right, that was funny

I guess it is, maybe– It's also true It's true Okay Again, I don't in conclusion, I have no conclusion for anyone else So, as with earlier "Biscuits", take from it what you want take nothing from it

But I appreciate the conversation And again, it's helpful for me and that's plenty Yes, well, I guess I'll give a wreck now Yeah, so it is your turn to give a wreck Go for it

Thank you to whoever shared this video with me And actually several of you shared this video there was a video by a guy a YouTuber named Beau Miles, who is an Australian university professor and sort of adventurer who has a YouTube channel that he doesn't upload very often, but mostly 'cause the videos that he makes take a lot of effort, they're very artistic vlogs and vlog is probably not the best word But he did a video called "The Human Bean" where he ate his body weight in beans, canned beans, and it took him 40 days Docs his series Yeah, he documents his process in a very, I mean he's a funny guy

He's funny, but he's also very introspective and thoughtful and it was just I got into his YouTube channel and, you know, he took a trip he kayaked from Australia to Tasmania and made like a six part series Just some very special YouTube content that it's not at all really trying to play the game to get clicks It's just like, "This dude's just living a life "Down there in Australia, "And has found a really compelling way to capture it" And it's been you got me to watch it, and it's been a source of inspiration for us Yeah

Creatively, so I agree with that– Beau Miles, and that's Beau spell like B-E-A-U Beautiful, Beau Miles That's a good name for I'm not saying it's beautiful, but that's just how you spell his name Therapists

All right, hashtag "Ear Biscuits" We'll speak at you next week I just lost Rhett because my iPad died I don't know if he's still talking to you But I'm gonna choose to shut down this episode

So at least we have that from one of us Very interested in what Rhett's on right now but I have lost contact with him at the perfect moment Hashtag "Ear Biscuits" We'll talk at you next week Thanks for all the love and support that you've given to me and Christy

And it means a lot To watch more "Ear Biscuits" click on the playlist on the right To watch the previous episode of "Ear Biscuits" click on the playlist to the left And don't forget to click on the circular icon to subscribe if you prefer to listen to this podcast, it's available on all your favorite podcast platforms Thanks for being your mythical best

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