First Appointment with the New Therapist

November 5, 2011 — Seeing a new therapist today
8am – Awoke very tired but went through the motions of coffee, breakfast, and shower and out the door. Even blow dried and curled my hair so I looked okay. Said good-bye to Son 2, Daddy was in the basement and Son 1 was still sleeping. Son 2 asked “Where are you going?” I answered, “I have a Dr’s appointment.” (He had no idea my stress from the night before and so I said no more – Daddy never noticed, when I returned my husband had never even come upstairs and noticed I was gone).

9am – Found the therapists house. She greeted me at her side door and took me down the stairs to a basement office. I saw a lot of trinkets and collectibles in the entryway, all over the stairway down to the office and then in the therapy office. Dolls, cats, plates, sports memorabilia, etc, you name it. Country clutter. Even the pen I filled out the forms with seemed extravagant. Not your usual Bic or Papermate. I liked the way the pen wrote and the clutter made the space seem comfortable and personal. I settled into the couch with my mind open.

Lynn asked me a lot of questions to get to know my personal history with family, therapy, medications and alcohol and drug use. I answered all questions honestly.

I asked that she be upfront and honest with me about her diagnosis because whatever the insurance companies know about me I want to know… I reiterated (when she asked how much I drank) that I was concerned my drinking would become the main issue and I didn’t want that. She said I’m not going to treat you with one arm behind my back. I asked if she meant me asking her “to not use my drinking as a diagnosis.” And she responded “I think it is a symptom of your depression.”

More to say but bottom line, she is experienced and no-nonsense. I tried to be very truthful with her and I hope that she will help me get well by knowing all my issues.

I was truthful about the extent of my drinking. I mentioned that my husband does not see it as serious. She asked, “But do you?” I nodded. She said, “You think it’s significant enough to go to a support group (WFS) and try to get help.” I agreed that I feel alcohol is affecting my health –high BP and heartburn that’s got me on Prilosec 2 times a day.

Lynn asked if my DR knows how much I drink. I said, “No.” and she said that I need to tell her. Not telling her is like Michael Jackson and all of his Dr’s not knowing what the other ones are doing. (I always find it strange the way therapist used current news to make a point and it’s something that I’ve never cared or considered before). Lynn made the point that if my PCP prescribes med’s she should know all the issues that affect med’s. Linda stared me down and in my head, I thought I know what I’m doing and I’m trying to be responsible with what she prescribes. Instead I shut up and listened. Not my strong suit. She asked “why doesn’t your dr. know?” I was put on the spot and silence ensued. I could have said fear of institutionalization but I didn’t because I wasn’t sure. I wanted to say something about appearing flawed but she cut in as I was staring and listening and thinking. She told me that my dr. needed to know what I’m doing to prescribe the correct medication.

She asked if I ever tried Wellbutrin. How about a name I can’t remember for sleep? I responded negatively to both. She said a lot about Wellbutrin and a little about the other. I left with an RX for Wellbutrin. I am to wean off the Pristiq for 6 days and then begin Wellbutrin.

I’m scared and feeling fearful of trying a new med. My depression is here and in the forefront. She was right, it’s not working. If I recognize that with honestly then I feel sad and depressed. I am tearful and ready to cry for no reason except I know what is to come. I voiced concerns about the holidays coming. She made it sound like I would try out a new med way before. Really? Not in my eye. I’ve got family coming for Thanksgiving.

Lynn wanted to see my baseline depression and asked if I could go a week between meds, abstaining until I see her. I recoiled with fear because my sister-in-law and her family are coming to my house for Thanksgiving. She may have seen my fear or recognized I’ve been on meds for almost 10 years and gave me the RX in case I needed to begin in sooner.

She told me to stop drinking. Alcohol is not helping me. It’s disrupting my sleep. I agreed and told her I was giving her full disclosure because I want to stop drinking. She stared me down again and said, somewhat off-handedly, “You may be ready.”

MMM?? Her reaction didn’t seem totally like she believed I was ready to stop drinking, the self medication, but I was there offering it up as my big problem. But, it’s insidious and has crept into my habit and daily way of treating myself.

I see her skepticism. I am scared. I am crying for no reason except for fear that I am about to jump without a parachute. If nothing else, the alcohol can temporarily numb my pain, anxiety and depression. What will I do when all of that is pulled out from under me?

TRUST? A MED? A THERAPIST? CERTAINLY NOT MY OWN POWER TO BE STRONG BECAUSE MY MIND WILL FAIL ME AND NEGATIVE THOUGHTS WILL INTRUDE INTO MY LIFE AND WILL MAKE MY LIFE UNBEARABLE.

I’M VERY WORRIED BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK IN THE DARK CAVE CALLED DEPRESSION.

I will try to trust this woman I’ve only met once and take the leap of faith that the medical field may have the answer for me that is not as harmful to my body as self-medicating and abusing alcohol.

WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO GO ON NOW THAT I’VE GOTTEN TO THIS PLACE IN MY LIFE?

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