It used to be that if I ever ran into my therapist at a café, at the airport, in a restaurant, or walking down the street, I would have to walk out, catch a different plane, leave my meal or cross the street and get hit by a bus. She once said to me that I would have moved on when I could pass her in public, either wave or not wave, and my care factor would not be there.

So how do I avoid either the impending feeling of doom and chaos or the sheer guilty pleasure and excitement of seeing my therapist outside of therapy for free? I have had a mixed reaction on the handful of occasions I have seen her or her car out in the wide, wide world.

For me the answer is dethroning and descaling her down from the lofty position of “all knowing, all seeing, all wise” knighthood status I have bestowed upon her. She is not all knowing (I and others have taught her much over the years), she does not see everything (in her words, she has emotional and cognitive tunnel vision when in public) and sometimes she can be as stupid and unwise as the rest of us (such as the time she spilled a glass of water on her laptop). But she has been a beautiful guiding soul for my pain and suffering and that is what truly counts.

My care factor needs to come down a notch or three. I need to be able to not care about letting her know my every thought and feeling, I need for her not to be in my head controlling every move I make. I am my own therapist now and I have the strength, guts and resilience to make my own decisions without feeling the need to have this therapeutic stamp of approval attached to it.

So when I read on her blog something that I don’t agree with, and there are many times this has happened, I let it go and focus on what I think is right for me. In other words, I can care but without the 30+ care factor attached to it. I can no longer ring, email, fax, phone someone who cares because for me the recovery from obsession is when I no longer “care.”

What’s that on the floor over there? Oh, it’s my care factor.