Today therapy was difficult for me. Lynn pointed out that I was very uncomfortable just being there.
Yes, I agreed, the sessions are the longest 45 minutes of my life.
She asked if I have always been like that with past therapists.
Yes, I answered. I like to stay in my shell where I do not expose myself. If I don’t share myself I cannot get hurt.
I am reserved, I said.
Lynn followed with the question “What makes you excited? What are you passionate about?”
That hit a core issue with me and I explained that I don’t have anything that excites me. Sure, I have hobbies but I’m not excited about them. Truthfully, if someone says “excite” and “passion” in the same sentence, I just think of sex and having an orgasm but I knew Linda meant more than that.
My mood plummeted when I verbalized that not only do I feel unemotional but I also do not have any dreams or aspirations. If I dream or desire something and don’t achieve it, I will feel like a failure and I avoid that feeling at all costs. I don’t want to go after something and then be disappointed. I steer clear of personal goals because of this. I regret that my life is, in a sense, just going through the motions of work, kids, husband, house and the extras that must be done.
Lynn said depression is a chemical imbalance that can be treated with medication but it is also affected by our psychological state. On the heels of talking about my lack of passion, I felt negatively judged and I believed Lynn was telling me that my thinking was screwed up. I’m sure she was just doing what any good therapist would do but I don’t take criticism well and so that hit me hard. My heart sank and I saw myself as one big failure.
I hoped for a simple cure for this depression. Actually, I wanted to be cured 2 months ago when I weaned off Pristiq that I’d taken for 5 years. That didn’t happen. Now that I’ve accepted my fate of being on Wellbutrin and the occasional Klonopin, I thought I could cruise along in this thing I call my life. Unfortunately, I think Lynn is suggesting I might need to find passion in this life of mine.
Man, I don’t want more shit to work on.
I told Lynn I was relatively happy flying under the radar and not being noticed. I’d like to add that I’m very straight and arrow, almost too well-behaved because I don’t want to get in any trouble. Been there, done that. My goal is no drama so I’ve learned to not react at all. I am what you call a “good listener.” I will never dance on the tables with a lampshade on my head. I got a laugh out of Lynn with that comment but the truth is I thought I was okay in my current life. I like that I don’t overreact or have dramatic outbursts. My life is stable – I’ve got a husband, kids and a job in my community and people trust me.
Lynn pressed me to explain the fear I have of being noticed. My thoughts went back to when I was a teenager. I was dreadfully rebellious and in all kinds of trouble with authority because I would not regulate my behavior or censor what I had to say. It went as far as expulsion from high school. Looking back, that behavior scares the shit out of me. I could never act out in the same manner but the lingering guilt, shame and regret I feel keeps me guarded.
My fear is if I rediscover passion I may also find the anger I had in my adolescence. I was one crazy f—ked up kid. I’m no longer that person and I never want to be there again. I fear she is still lurking underneath. I’m not sure if that is a ludicrous idea or not. Do I really think I could act as “bad” as I did in my teenage years? Probably not, but since I acted on impulse then, I’m afraid of what I’m capable of if I acted spontaneously again. I suspect this fear could explain why I shut down my emotions.
I told Lynn that I read a passage this morning and coincidentally, it is about spontaneity which is along the same vein as being passionate. The book is called Awakening: a Daily Guide to Conscious Living By Shakti Gawain. It has daily meditations for a year and I read January 14 today. The heading said “Loss of spontaneity contributes to addiction.” I won’t go into the whole thing but the basic idea is if we are living our lives without spontaneity than we may use drugs or alcohol to temporarily allow us to use spontaneous energy that we otherwise have stifled. That describes me with my need for alcohol. The alcohol allows me to be more free-flowing with my thoughts, ideas and actions.
Recognizing this fault of mine brings enormous feelings of worthlessness. Why can’t I be normal? Why do I struggle with these issues that hinder my true personality?
I don’t think I know how to be more passionate or spontaneous. It totally goes against my comfort zone. I am worried that I cannot work on this stuff without having to be vulnerable and feel uncomfortably exposed. I am totally being asked to go outside my box.
I have a couple weeks to think about all of this. I see Lynn in 2 weeks. Lastly, I will say that she told me I should think about how I can be more comfortable in therapy. I pointedly asked her if I should take anti-anxiety meds before I come. How stupid and self protective was that??? She must think I’m completely nuts!