Posts Tagged ‘Therapy’

Undisputed Overlord of All Things Mindful

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

My desktop computer’s having some issues.  Nothing that The Man can’t fix for me, but for the next few days at least I’m thinking it’s probably safer to just not turn it on.  I’m in an odd sort of computer-limbo anyway these days, as since starting to use the laptop, I hardly ever bother with my desktop anymore.  But everything else is still stored on there.  Including Outlook with all my e-mail.  It’s basically a great big e-mail machine right now.  With its own room.  …But it seemed like an important room at the time.  In my defence my husband’s desktop is in there too. The desktop that he doesn’t use much either since he got a laptop from work.  Sigh.

The laptop we own is a few years out of date and was the absolute cheapest possible option at that time, though (it was really just for word processing and playing videos at our wedding.  …Separately, that is.  There was no word processing at our wedding that I know of), so I don’t think I’m likely to be able to sever ties from the E-Mail and Storage Machine anytime soon.  Also, any video games I indulge in must be really, really old.

The downside to trying to make do without Outlook for a while is that I have a billion different e-mail addresses for different things (give or take 999,999,990).  I like different stuff to have a different address.  Makes me feel all organized, or compartmentalized, or something else that’s good and ends in ized.  Stuff from this website, stuff from my real life, stuff that’s sketchy or likely to generate spam… I have a lot more addresses to check regularly than patience to do it one at a time.  I think I have successfully set up things to forward to one address for a while.  Probably took longer to do than it would have to just find out what needs to be done with my computer and fix it, but ah well.  And yes, of course, I created a new e-mail address just for forwarding things to. :)

I saw the new therapist again (who I suppose will soon need a reference that doesn’t involve the word “new.”  She could be the Hugging Therapist, maybe.  She seems fond of hugging me).  I have the issue that receiving positive feedback and the feeling that I’m doing a good job makes me super crazy happy, but any indication (however small) that there’s more that I could be doing makes me feel terrible.  So this was a great session.  A deliriously happy session.   I’m not sure it was for entirely healthy reasons, but I’m happy this week.  In line with my distortedly high expectations for myself, I am also going to do the BEST JOB AT GETTING BETTER EVER.  I’m torn on whether or not this is a problem.

The hyper SAM-e energy continues. I’m starting to really love this stuff. The thoughts about my future continue also, as a result of the increased energy. It’s really hard to tell what I might be capable of if I actually had a normal amount of energy and a stable mood all the time. It’s amazing what a person can adjust to as “normal.”

Some of my biggest worries are that I won’t be able to do a good job, or that people will be dissatisfied, or that I won’t measure up to my competitors anymore.  …But if I look at them objectively, there’s no reason at all to believe that.  I’m good at work stuff.  That’s one of my strengths.  It comes from my insanely high expectations of myself.  Realistically, I imagine that any service I provide will end up being extremely high quality compared to the rest of what’s out there.  Because I’m like that.  And as much as I would ideally like to tone that down a little, the likelihood of my doing a crappy job with this stuff is slim.  If I was taking on a carpentry business or something else I’m not at all trained for, maybe.  …Though even then, I imagine with the amount of preparation it’s in my nature to do, I might even be okay.   I think truly the biggest danger to my success with this is self-doubt and getting in my own way.

Like usual, then.

Sometimes I wonder what I would be capable of if I was a completely confident person. And not just because I’d be the only one on the planet who could claim that.  ….Well, maybe one of a few.  But I bet the other couple are douchebags.

Where do ruffled introverts go when they stay in the hospital?

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

The husband and I are heading up to a friend’s cottage this weekend for most of the coming week.  I like to tentatively lay out to-do lists for the remaining days in situations like these.  I find it reassuring to see that I still have plenty of time to get done what needs to get done before we leave, and know that I’ve got a handle on things.  Ambiguous needs stress me out a little.  Probably because I’m not the type of person who will go into that situation by doing the ambiguous but needful stuff first.  I’m more likely to be doing more entertaining things until the last possible moment.  At any rate, we’re getting close to departure now, which means I’ve entered the stage of revising my to-do lists so as to put as much as possible tomorrow rather than today.  This also is a common feature of this type of time.  My schedules tend to be a little front-loaded on the more enjoyable activities. =)

It should be a good week.  I’m never 100% certain with this particular grouping of people.  They were good friends of my husband’s before we met, and have gradually become better friends of mine, but we’re not quite all the way there yet.  Sometimes I feel liked, and included, and have a lot of fun.  Sometimes I feel a little left out.  They all share some common interests and activities that I share, and some that I can’t really relate to or participate in (online games, etc. that I don’t play).  So it generally depends on what the current topics of discussion are.  It probably doesn’t help that when I was first getting to know them I inadvertently rubbed one of them the wrong way by reminding him of somebody he didn’t like.  And I get totally awkward when I pick up that somebody’s not liking me.  Awk-ward.  I’m not the type of person who can just let that roll off them yet.

But we’re okay now.  …Probably.  I think.

Saw the new therapist again the other day.  She seems quite good.  In addition to the daily walking, and other activities, and goal-setting, and journaling, and independence-building, this week she’s assigned me the task of going into as many different stores or other establishments as I can and asking as many obvious questions as I can, building up to the stupidest questions I can think of.  I’m not a big fan of appearing incompetent, or of asking other people for help, so the combination is probably a good one.  …Even if it does mean that yesterday I had to ask the Starbucks people what I should order if I want a steamed milk (turns out it’s “steamed milk”).  Actually, I believe what I wanted was a tall, no-whip, hazelnut crème, one pump.  But who am I to tell her that.

I think I’m going to have some fun with this while we’re away.  Too much blatant stupidity is rough in a smallish area where people know who I am, but out in the middle of cottage country…  Heh heh heh.  “So…Do you know who drains the lake in the winter?”  The trick is that I’ll have to make them realistic enough that they think that I’m serious.  I know that there’s at least a grocery store.  Suggestions for grocery-themed dumb questions welcome.

Also, do any of you know where they keep the internet when I’m not using it?

He’s also a little bit roguish, but in a completely responsible way, I swear.

Friday, July 9th, 2010

It’s our anniversary on Monday, so we’re celebrating this weekend.  Second year of marriage, ninth year together.  I end up saying that a lot, because I don’t want to let those extra seven years go.  He is bright, and clever, and determined, and witty, and charming, and spontaneous, and devoted, and stubborn, and rebellious, and ingenious, and honest, and passionate, and perceptive, and introspective, and adaptable, and trustworthy, and generous, and bold, and just the right amount of both cheeky and geeky for me.

And I’m kind of smitten with him.

Tonight I surprised him with a nice dinner, because he’s got a bunch of work to finish still later on this evening but I wanted us to be able to carve out a little couple time together (normally he does the cooking except for on major holidays, which suits me just fine, but every now and then I do make something.  You know.  So I don’t forget how the stove works).  I realized partway into the preparation that the theme of the meal was pears and thyme.  …Pairs.  And Time.  How appropriate.  Sort of.  …Okay, it’s a stretch, but it’s closer to romantic than asparagus and salt.

Plans for tomorrow revolve around cotton, in honour of the traditional gift for a second anniversary.  Also around fresh baguette and cheeses.  I’m sure I read that on the list somewhere.  Second anniversary – cotton, bread and cheeses.  Next year is leather, bread and cheeses.  Could get interesting.

To summarize other news, Dr. Douchecanoe was still a douchecanoe while my husband was there, but much much less so.  And I managed to get out of the appointment without an armful of new medications.  Unfortunately I still have to keep seeing him, because the new therapist isn’t a doctor.  On the plus side, the new therapist does seem good.  She took some time at the first session to inquire about my diet, supplements, exercise, and other things that I find reassuring.  She seems well informed (no new information, but at least I wasn’t telling her things she didn’t know. …See Dr. Douchecanoe above).  She seems willing to explore various options for treatment.  And when I mentioned my history with antidepressants, she gave me kind of a horrified/sympathetic look and comment rather than ignoring what I said (*cough* Dr Douchecanoe *cough*).  I will admit that it was kind of relieving to have someone other than me, who seems vaguely competent, taking some responsibility for my treatment.  It’s been stressful feeling like I need to carry it all on my own shoulders.

I think I’m going to continue seeing free therapist too, though.  Can’t hurt, right?

And plus, if I add one or two more health professionals, I can form a baseball team.

Also, it was brought to my attention again today that I have a very difficult time getting angry.  I just take too much personal responsibility for things, so if something goes wrong, I automatically assume there was something more I could have done to prevent it.  Wrong leg got amputated?  Should have double-checked and confirmed with the doctor one more time before going into surgery.  Tree fell on my car?  Should have foreseen that as a risk and parked somewhere else.   There’s not a lot that I can’t claim an active role in somehow.  Meteors, maybe.  Granted, I did choose to live on Earth, but do you know how cold it is on Neptune this time of year?  Plus, dude, I hear the commute is hell.

In other and completely unrelated news, apparently someone in my area was having a yard sale on “Friday.”  They had a big old salmon-coloured sign on the main road.

Does that mean I need to be there by Wednesday if I want anything good?  Are they trying to throw off the cops?  Bending space-time?  Do they not believe that Friday is real?  I almost got out my cell phone to take a picture, but the light changed too soon so I drove away and missed out.  …Okay, I almost got out my cell phone to take a picture, but the guy behind me gave a polite honk as I sat at the green light spaced out thinking about it, and I drove away and missed out.  Still, classic blog of unnecessary quotation marks moment.

In a similar vein, this is pretty damn funny too.

Catgut, Gut, and Cat

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

I pulled out my guitar today.  It was a good boost to get me off the couch and doing other things.  I seem to be wracked with indecision about what to do lately, and haven’t yet been able to identify why.  Lots of things sound like they would be good in theory, but when it comes down to what to do NOW, I choke a little.  My first instinct is to schedule myself silly to remove the decision, but I imagine that’s one of those “not conducive to a sane existence” things that my therapist would have something to say about.  And I suppose it would be beneficial to get past whatever it is that’s in my way and actually, you know, be able to choose something to do without three days lead up time.

Once upon a time, my psychologist had me trying to get in touch with my gut, attempting to identify what it is I feel like doing in any given moment and go with that.  On a rational level, it seems completely crazy that I wouldn’t know what I want.  I can give you a list of things I’d love to do a week from now, but when I look for those desires on the spot I come up blank and anxious.  Hence my attempt to become the gut whisperer.  So far all we’ve got is gas and the occasional suspicious rumble, but I’ll keep on it.

Anyway, guitar-playing was fun.  For both of us.

Notice the largeness.  And the fluffiness.  And the large fluffiness.

All of your guitars are belonging to us.

It really does sound like a feminine hygiene product. …Or the admission of a twelve-year-old girl

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Instead of going to bed last night, my husband and I got into a conversation about the iPad.  For the life of me I don’t remember how.  Of course, as most conversations do in our household, this eventually degraded into a series of progressively worse puns on the topic.

“Maybe their next microphone will be called the iScream.”

“Maybe next they’ll start diversifying, and launch some sporting goods.  They could have the iBall!”

“And then they could add running shoes, and call them iRan!”

“And breast implants!  ….iRack.”

“And then when they have enough money, they can create their own empire and have an iLand.”

It’s no wonder I have nightmares sometimes.

Things are generally going well at the moment.  Tentatively well, but well none the less.  Of course, as mentioned previously my definition of “well” is a little bit skewed at the moment, but I’ll take what I can get.

No therapy for the past couple of weeks.  I get a little impatient waiting a week in between, so this is enough that I’ve almost forgotten it existed sometimes.  Apparently that rush, rush, rush, strive, strive, strive perfectionism is actually a common symptom of the depression and/or of people who become depressed.  I know because I’m reading yet another book now.  Because I’m a perfectionist.

The last therapy session was interesting.  She had me sitting down across from my critical voice (or an empty chair where it supposedly was sitting), and talk directly to it.  And yes, this probably sounds a little odd, but I’m pretty willing to make a complete and utter fool of myself if it will kick this thing.  I would strap on some chickens and a goth wig every day if I thought it would help.  A little empty-chair-conversation is nothing.

Anyway, I had to recall a recent situation in which it was vocal.  To be honest, I am terrible at this now.  Always have been, really, if I’m being entirely honest.  It’s part of the reason I either kick ass or suck ass at job interviews depending on what they ask me.  Unless I’ve pre-selected things in advance, I have a terrible time trying to come up with examples of situations on the spot.  My mind is totally blank on those things.  This is why I have also deliberately committed to memory an “embarrassing moment,” “most frightening experience,” and a bad joke or two.  In case somebody asks.  Because they tend to from time to time.  Sometimes I feel like I was absent the day that they covered my life experiences.

(which isn’t actually surprising, since depression literally EATS YOUR BRAIN where it’s responsible for creating long term memories.  …But I digress.)

So I sort of gave a very vague explanation of the sort of situation that tends to come up often for me.  There is a lot of “you look stressed and/or disappointed and/or irritated and/or bitter, therefore I am unlovable” in my life.  Which yes, makes no sense, but as mentioned I am depressed.  So these things happen sometimes.  Then I had to switch chairs to look at myself from the critical point of view, and let myself have it.  I will admit that there were a couple of awkward moments after the first wave where I ran out of things to say for a while, but overall it wasn’t as hard as I might have thought.

Switch back to being “myself” and tell the voice how I’m feeling.  At which point I described the appropriate emotions and the reasons for them, and then began to go to town on my critical voice.  Because it pisses me off, damn it, and I’ve been stuck with the darn thing long enough to know it.  I also have this habit of getting belatedly angry when I realize that I have been in an extended unfair situation and I haven’t spoken up for myself or demanded better.  Like, really angry.  All the built up anger that was warranted that whole time kind of angry.  Belatedly angry is really the only kind of angry I can do at all yet, but I’m damn good at it.  Anyway, nothing’s been more unfair than the crazy belittling voice in my head, so I gave it what for.

Switch back to the voice, at which point I sat there kind of abashed for a while, and then started to mentally criticize my ability to successfully criticize myself (yes folks, my internal critical voice has its very own critical voice.  I am the never ending Russian nesting dolls of admonishment).

I had a pretty good idea going into this what criticisms I was likely to heap on myself in the beginning.  I knew clearly the emotions that resulted from them too.  What threw me a little was that in that moment, while my critical voice was sitting there chastised, I had the overwhelming awareness that it felt bad because it was only trying to help.

I guess this makes sense in a twisted way.  It’s a defense mechanism.  I’ve been burned now and then, and by keeping right on top of me, or pushing me incessantly, or pointing out what’s going wrong, or making sure I’m aware of potential flaws so that I don’t get myself into challenging situations, I can avoid getting into situations where I might get hurt again.  In fact, I can avoid getting into pretty much any situation.  I had never thought of it that way, though.  I always assumed that voice in my head was somebody else’s, and definitely up to no good.

Now I know that it’s well-intentioned.  It’s just also horribly incompetent.

Which makes it more annoying, but less powerful, I guess.

What’s so funny?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

So the need for coffee in my life has clearly won out over the desire to change medications during the withdrawal process.  Unfortunately the new quarter dose of Luvox is starting to make me sleepy again.  The brain-zapping seems to have mostly petered out for the moment, though, so I can start weaning off again.  I think this time I’m going to crush the pills and do the dissolving-in-juice thing so that I can taper off in extra minuscule amounts.

Not feeling especially inspired to write at the moment.  I’ve been doing better.  My therapist has had me working on tending to and eliminating ANY feeling of sadness/anxiety/upset that comes up.  In trying to cope for so long on my own, I’ve become a master of distraction, and shoving things down, and ignoring them until they fade away a little.  If I don’t actually resolve them, they stick around forever, though.  Just in subtle, insidious ways.  They wear away at my self-image, or provide ammunition for internal voices that I don’t want getting any stronger.  It just always seemed like there were SO many little upsets in the course of each day that I couldn’t possibly be expected to take the time to get myself feeling peachy about them all.  Apparently I could.  And I am.  So I’ll try.

Seriously though, fully identifying and resolving every little tight feeling in my stomach is a bit of a tall order.  Sometimes a disproportionately lengthy process too.  Worth it, though, if it’s actually possible to live without daily feelings of anxiety or worry or sadness that are anything more than brief or transient.

And of course, like everything else that’s tasked to me, I feel compelled to fully master this as quickly as possible, and come back next week an entirely new person able to instantly identify and eliminate any potentially unpleasant emotions.  Because I’m like that.  This is why my therapist laughs at me.