I have always believed that there is no question that cannot be answered. If there is a question than by right there should be an answer. It may not be the answer we want, not the answer we expected, but there is an answer. I suppose this is a naive view brought on by the invention of Google and my ability to simply find anything out that I want when I want.
But I finally ran into a question I can’t answer. Have you ever noticed that questions revolving around your own actions, your own motives, and your own past are some of the hardest questions to answer? You are able to find the answer, sometimes after soul searching for a little while, but no matter the answer it is going to give you a little dose of the shivers. When we are asked and have to acknowledge certain facts about ourselves the feeling that comes is not comfort.
Monks have for years been trained with the almost unanswerable questions. They sit for days and weeks meditating until the answer that makes the most sense is revealed. My favorite one tends to be, “At what point is death?” And of course, there is the famous if a tree fell in a forest…by the way, the answer all depends on your definition of sound.
This week I was asked by my therapist why I am in therapy? Was it because I was bipolar or was there another reason. And two days later after thinking of little else, the truth is I have no idea why I am in therapy. No…idea.
Am I looking for absolution? Justification? Resolution? Each of these questions implies that there is an ending; that there will come a time when I don’t need therapy. So question remains what? from what? for what? Where am I suffering?
I am sitting here even now wondering about the answer to this question. And although I don’t know why it is so important to me to answer this question, I do know that using the answer of ‘I am going to therapy because I am bipolar’ is not the answer. There are times when your teacher, your mother, even your therapist makes it very obvious which answer she does not want to hear. It could be in the way they ask the question or in the case of my mother these evil looks she gives.
What secret is my brain holding that will answer this question? What vague answer will finally be revealed? And what if what is revealed is a mirror image of what I hoped it would be? What if the reason I am seeking therapy is warped when I always thought it had to be good? What if my purposes are not good but rather reveal the truth about my personality? Maybe I am egocentric and I go to therapy so that someone will tell me how good I am. Maybe I am selfish and simply can’t handle not being heard. Maybe I want justification for all the bad I know that I do.
Do I want my brain to tell me that I am worthy and would I believe it? Do I want my brain to tell me that I am searching for a way to better myself, and would I believe that? Do I want my brain to make it seem like I have pure motives rather than a ridiculous need for someone’s notice?
I don’t know. I feel that this answer may be of some import in my life but I haven’t figured out why yet. I haven’t figured out why this question is keeping me up and causing me to fall away deep in my thoughts for an answer. I don’t know why out of all the questions she has asked, and all the answers that have come so easily, I got stuck on this one.
It is possible that like every close relationship I want to prove to this woman that I am a good person and smart enough to answer this question. It is possible I want to impress a woman whose role in my life is becoming more and more significant. I don’t want to feel stupid, and I hoped desperately that this was supposed to be a hard question. The idea that I am sitting on some vague answer that is right in front of me, yet unseen, is a little embarrassing. I don’t want her to know that. I don’t want to struggle in front of her.
Yet I know that I do often. She is not the type of personality that let’s the real clues pass her by; she is going to ask the tough questions because while she already knows the answer she wants to make sure I do as well.
But why therapy? Why do I go? What is the goal? or is it a simple matter that I know I am bipolar therefore I go? We don’t talk about me being bipolar, we don’t touch on the effects and reactions of this disease too much; instead we focus on how I am, how I was effected, how I reacted? So it isn’t because I am bipolar.
I suppose to answer this question I have to come up with all the other questions that can lead me down the right path. But what is the first question? What is the first step down this road that I feel so compelled to travel? And why am I compelled?
Leading questions to help me down the path may include: what goal are you trying to achieve? Why are you in therapy at this time in this place? What changed in your life that you needed some therapy? And why do you return each week?
So I know the question, but still I have no answers. I will continue to sit here and listen to my songs wondering over and over what I am supposed to say. Because the truth is this answer is either buried way deep and therefore will have the impact of a meteor on my life, or there is no answer. No answer to find, no answer to know.