Tag Archives: therapist patient relationship

Old patterns revisited

I like to be upfront in my blog and – as much as I wish I could say all this self-compassion and mindfulness is helping – right now – it’s not.

Things suck. I’m getting over a sinus infection and I’ve been experiencing a migraine for 2 days. These are physical and can wreak havoc on my emotional stability.

I fucking hate being unstable. I fight it or fake it until the feeling passes.

My home life is wrought with anger because I feel burdened with the household chores. I have two growing boys and a healthy husband yet if I go out for the evening, the kitchen remains as messy as when I left. I angrily make clear how I feel, “I’m not the only one in this house who knows how to clean a kitchen. So, why am I the only one doing it?” As you can probably imagine this reaction makes everyone clear the room and grow further in distance from my rage.

My family knows when I’m not feeling stable and they joke about my anger and interruptions. “Not funny,” I say. They really don’t understand this is my worst and I need them the most.

There’s a break down in communication because I never learned how to express uncomfortable feelings. Survivors of sexual abuse either take it out on themselves or get angry with the world. It’s seems there’s no normalcy or middle ground.

I can’t fix my emotional self until the physical self is better. I took charge of my health and called my doctor three times in the last week. Once to get on an antibiotic for my sinuses, the second time because the first antibiotic didn’t work and again because my migraine was not responding to a potent medication that I can only take every twenty-four hours. The medication (Imitrex) lasted 15 hours and I called my doctor. She said I was experiencing a cluster migraine and prescribed a tapered steroid.

So, I’m taking antibiotics, steroids and my usual cocktail of Wellbutrin, Celexa and Klonopin. This is positive because I’m healing the infection, knocking out the migraines and treating my depression.

I wish I could feel optimistic. But, the stress of not being on top of my game has made me lose focus on mindfulness and self-compassion. Somewhere along the way I heard the voices telling me, “You’re sleeping too much.” “You need your doctor too much.” “You haven’t put up one Christmas decoration.” My head has been  full of self-defeating thoughts that I can’t run from.

I fall back on my old way of numbing the pain – both emotional and physical. I self-sabotage with a bottle of Pinot Grigio. I know I binge drink. I hate myself more for the lack of self- control.

My appointment with Lynn this week was focused on my emotional health and how I’m striving for mindfulness. I told her I recognized moments where I beat myself up with an inner critic that no one would want as a friend. She asked about my drinking and even after I told her I am drinking as a way to disassociate, she told me I’m making progress with the work of being present with my feelings.

I cannot believe she praised me even though I feel defeated and weak. Lynn told me to keep working on my emotions and allow those feelings to come to the surface.

I wanted to hug and thank her for recognizing my effort. Never have I expressed all of my vulnerability and had someone say, “Good for you.”

Daylily

Changing my thoughts for the better

Here I sit, at a round table within a historic stone library nestled in a small New England town. The library is having a book sale today so I had to climb an old wooden staircase in order to get away from the frenzy of people searching for bargain books. The librarian and I are the only people in this cozy children’s room. I’ve never been to this library; however my son’s soccer club has brought me here. I intended to write report cards but I don’t have the necessary form so I feel unhurried, with time available to focus on my blog.

I saw Lynn at 8:00 am this morning. She fits me into her private practice on Saturday’s. I’ve been descending the stairs to her home office for about a year and I cannot believe that it’s taken me so long to build a trusting relationship with my therapist.

I could go 2 ways with this post:

  1. What the fuck is my problem that it took me so damn long to have confidence in this particular therapy? The post would focus on my blatant and ridiculous flaws.
    Or
  2. Recognize my progress with therapy. Celebrate the giant steps I’ve taken and look forward in this journey of healing my spirit.

The precedent would be to choose #1, based on historical patterns that I can easily list negative thoughts about how fucked-up I am. I will not entertain this old pattern any longer. It is self-sabotaging and not productive.

Oh, what the hell? For old time’s sake I will give short due to these feelings, if nothing else but as a way of distinguishing them from my newfound “mindful awareness.”

Here goes:

  1. The self protective walls I’ve built around myself are impenetrable. I never learned to expose myself to others for fear of being hurt and rejected. If I let someone in, they would see my flaws, my shame and guilt and surely I’d be judged as harshly as I judge myself. These thoughts are so imbedded in my brain that even when I voluntarily seek therapy, and go each week without someone twisting my arm, my fucked-up self does not know how to get the help I need.

I have this crazy thought, I should just fix what’s broken. I know exactly what my problem is. I grew up hating myself. I should just let it go. It’s simple, right? Maybe for you and them but it’s not as easy for me.  I’m beyond help.

My thoughts and feelings are deeply entangled in my mental illness and I’ll probably never be cured.

I’m on a roll with this train of thought. It’s so comfortable for me to berate myself. I want to continue. I want to write about how long it took for me to construct my sense of self and how nearly impossible it is to untangle fact from fiction.

STOP! I must learn to see these thoughts for what they are and so, I move onto #2;

  1. (#2 really, but I can’t edit it!)I have fabricated my life with amorphous things called thoughts and feelings but what are they, really? There is no truth to my thoughts of guilt and shame and yet I have allowed them to shape my life. I have conditioned my mind to hold itself separate from others. This has affected the way I connect with others, including the relationship with my therapist.

Truthfully, it is okay that it’s taken a year to let down my guard and share vulnerable feelings.

I will go further and boldly venture to say, I am making progress. I am beginning to see what is before me and not believe my historical interpretations that are riddled with self-judgment and negativity.

The practice of mindfulness is helping me investigate how I look at things and how I view myself.

The book I’m reading teaches me that my thoughts lead to emotions and my pattern of self-blaming thoughts has caused an undeserving feeling of guilt. I must begin to recognize my thoughts don’t represent reality. I will learn to recognize they are only thoughts; that these learned thoughts are arbitrary, nothing more.  Not realistic.

Ultimately, awareness of these thoughts will cause them to lose power. I will no longer be swept into a miserable psychological state of mind.

Realistically speaking, I will also depend on antidepressants to help me on this journey. Every doctor, therapist, psychologist and psychiatrist has told me so. The chemicals in my brain do not properly fire the right neurotransmitters in my synapses. Whatever the fuck doctors mean when they say this shit, I really have no idea except it sounds so technically correct – who can argue?

I hate to end on a bad note but, here’s the million dollar question, Is it the right antidepressant cocktail or my wilfulness to change my thoughts in a way that will transform my emotional health?

Daylily 2012

Talking myself out of therapy…

I will see Lynn again on Saturday and I desperately want to cancel my appointment.  I feel that she doesn’t care about me because I don’t leave our sessions feeling built up and stronger.  I walk out of therapy every week with a deeper sense of self-loathing.  It seems like I’m talking about my problems and she is agreeing that they are indeed issues that I must deal with.  When she asked me, Why do you self-sabotage?  I felt bad that she has to point that out without following up with kindness or reassurance.  Lynn talks about my drinking and tells me not to take the Klonopin if I drink.  It’s as if she cares more about my behaviors than the reasons for my actions.   How come she is so to-the-point and direct?  I’m very hard on myself and I question the therapeutic relationship because I feel like this therapist is hard on me, too.

Am I seeing this clearly or are my thoughts distorted by my mental illness? Is the problem with me? Maybe I’m just mirroring how I feel when I see Lynn.

Or maybe Lynn really hates the sessions, too.  I’ve been to many therapists and this is the first one that doesn’t ask me helpful questions that make me feel understood.  Am I asking too much for her to offer words of reassurance and kindness?  Instead she always ends exactly on time and gets me out of her office like I was on a conveyor belt.

Do I go on Saturday and tell her that our therapeutic relationship is not working?  How does a patient tell a therapist the treatment feels wrong?

If you know the answer, please respond.

♥–Daylily

Transference in therapy

My therapy appointment went okay. Not great. Not horrible.  We touched on a lot of issues that circle around in my head. One subject was the idea of “transference” in a therapeutic relationship. The subject came to me through a used book I bought, The Relationship between Therapist and Client. I’ve heard the word (of course, with all my experience with therapists and self-help books) but I really didn’t know what it meant. Transference. I am interested in this concept because I haven’t developed real trust in Lynn and I question what is wrong with me. It’s been the same with every therapist I’ve ever seen.

“Transference occurs when we project significant people (often parents) onto others, and then expect them to behave in that way.” (changingminds.org). Another definition of transference is “the inappropriate repetition in the present of a relationship that was important in a person’s childhood.” (Wikipedia.org) In psychoanalysis, the therapist gets to experience the patient’s relationship to their parents and use that to point out where a patient’s thoughts are hurting themselves and ultimately try to help them change their patterns.

I tell Lynn I’ve been thinking about transference. She tells me she doesn’t focus solely on one theory. “A person must live in the present and looking back at the past all the time isn’t always helpful in learning to deal with the present.” I agreed and told her I think I have difficulty opening up in therapy because the relationship with my parents was/is intellectual and pragmatic. We do not talk about feelings. Lynn briefly paused and then responded, “To tell you the truth, I’m not sure what to do when you start talking about a subject that is important and then you stop yourself.”

I didn’t have a reply to her but she’s right, I do that. When I hear myself going on and on about what I perceive as a trivial matter, I will stop and say, “But I don’t want to just ramble on about that.” Basically I feel what I’m talking about is not interesting, not useful to therapy and so I stop. I do this all the time. Now I see it is a problem I have in many relationships. In therapy, I probably stop and change subjects every 3-5 minutes because I’m off track of my main point. I think what I’m saying doesn’t sound smart enough. But maybe therapy should be a place to go off-track and just see where I end up. Life should be that way. Conversation is a two-way street but I tend to be a dead-end. I will listen to others but not share much about myself. I feel I’m not interesting. What I have to say is not worth you standing before me and listening.

The manner which Lynn replied is a therapeutic approach. She pointed out the relationship we have as therapist/client (how I behave with her is a transference of my previous relations) to show me how others may perceive how I interact. She is showing me my distorted ways. The book I’m reading lays this out in chapter one. I guess the technique is a classic approach. (Question to self – what good does it serve for me to analyze therapy?)

Lynn asked if I have been drinking and I admitted that indeed, I have. (Not before therapy, I drink in the evenings only).  She pointed out that I will not feel better about my life until I get a hold of that piece. I have to want to feel good and so far, she says, I have not told her I want to quit drinking.

I spoke about feeling unsettled. I’m down about my marriage, my life and my inability to make changes. I understand it’s up to me to change, to stop drinking, and I have not done it. I’ve failed.

I mentioned to Lynn that I am scheduled to see my doctor for an annual visit on Tuesday and I didn’t lose 30 lbs and lower my blood pressure, which was the promise I’d made with my doctor. I did lose 20 lbs but it was supposed to be 30 lbs and a return to the doctor in 3 months. I’ve let it go for a year and now the time has come to face my failure.

My annual doctor’s visit, one year ago, caused me to seek out a therapist to help me with my emotional need to drink, which in turn I hoped would help with my blood pressure. I didn’t do what I was supposed to on that end of things either. My therapy sessions haven’t got me anywhere. I started my blog at the beginning of this time and I really thought I would have found the answers by now. https://mydepressionchronicles.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/calling-a-new-therapist-for-an-old-problem/

Lynn asked why I self-sabotage my progress by drinking on the weekends. My honest reply was, “What exactly will I be feeling good about if I stay sober?” There is no incentive. I don’t see the benefits except I will feel better but for what? It’s still the same life – wife, mother, daughter, sister – where none of the relationships feel satisfying enough to want to be in them feeling great. I honestly feel like I would prefer to enjoy a few hours of reprieve from it all with a bottle of cold white wine.

Not a great way to come to the end of therapy. I observed Lynn to look older and more distraught than I’ve ever seen her before. (I read into it that I’m totally screwed up – there’s that transference  — I was really remembering how my parents would have viewed me with disdain if I divulged all that I did to Lynn).

Lynn encouraged me to go to my doctor feeling positive that I did lose weight. She tried to tell me not to beat myself up but I can’t help it. I’m the only one to blame for my failures. ♥Daylily


Therapy was unproductive

What my therapist is thinking… (ptsdforum.org)

I’m back from vacation and it was wonderful. I forgot my worries and enjoyed lying around on the beach reading a good book on my Kindle. I recommend it for those who like to read autobiographies about mental illness. I got it at Amazon for 99 cents . Check it out https://mentalhealthwritersguild.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/eye-locks-and-other-fearsome-things-learning-to-love-as-a-bipolar-aspie/

I returned from my trip Monday and saw my therapist on Tuesday (yesterday). My ability to forget my issues from only a week ago (can you say dissociation?) had me re-reading my blog entries since the last time I saw Lynn so that I could discuss what was bothering me. The stupid thing is I rambled on, repeating what I wrote without any affect because the emotions had passed. I shouldn’t have reminded myself of how I felt before vacation, instead I should have gone to Lynn with how I am now. It was an unproductive session because I wouldn’t shut up.  I walked out of her office saying, “That wasn’t very useful because all I did was talk.” I saw her do her little eye roll as if to say, “Now you say that as you are walking out the door.” Lynn’s parting words were, “Sometimes it’s good to have someone to bounce your thoughts off.” That is true if you are a person who thinks what they say is worthwhile but since I have a feeling of worthlessness, a sense of stupidity prevails.  My life is not that interesting to go on and on for 45 minutes. I can only remember 3 times Lynn cut in and made comments. I should have stopped talking and done more listening. I felt like I was on automatic pilot and couldn’t stop, as if I had to catch her up on the last 3 weeks. We meet again in a month and I will try not to waste the 45 minutes talking about the past.

Lynn’s office clock irks me! It sits on the table between us and is set 5 minutes fast. I’m sure this is due to the patients who get so involved in their stories and lose track of time. But, that’s not me. I always end on the ¾ hour because Lynn told me her sessions run 45 minutes. In the time it takes to set up the next appointment and discuss my meds, her clock says 10 minutes before the hour. I leave, get in my car and my clock says 15 minutes before the hour. This is inconsequential but for some reason the purposefulness of Lynn cheating me of 5 minutes bugs me. It shouldn’t because I’m the one who watches the clock and walks out at that time. Lynn wouldn’t stop me if I kept talking for 5 minutes longer. What is the big deal? What the hell is my issue? Just let it go. I can’t and one session when I’m feeling frustrated I will tell her I know that she sets her clock to be 5 minutes ahead of the actual time. I can see her face now, turning her head, rolling her eyes and giving me a look like, “Why do you speak up about these small things?” My answer is, being straight forward and blunt keeps distance between me and others. It’s a safety thing.

I work in a school and things are getting busy because I must have all the paperwork in order before the school doors open. I have a management/supervisory role and it’s time for me to be on top of my game.

I’ve mentioned my issue with drinking as a way to reduce anxiety and this summer I have not successfully stopped that behavior. Okay, what I’m saying is I’m still drinking way too much white wine. Delving into my past and the issues with my narcissist mother has only escalated my drinking. So, I look forward to getting back into work-mode and curbing my drinking to only on weekends. If I had one goal for myself it would be to stop drinking for 6 months. I really think I would sleep better and my mood would improve. Right now the medications I take are working but they would certainly be more effective without the alcohol.

GULP – I hate writing down goals because when I don’t obtain them I feel like such a failure. But, I won’t take it back. My goal is there, in black, white and bold. Quit drinking for 6 months. I’ve done it previously for my children during pregnancy and breastfeeding and now I must do it for myself. Daylily

Path of self-destruction

My post before last described how my therapist reacted when I told her I mixed wine with Klonopin. She had a perfectly appropriate reaction of not reacting. Dead-pan face. No emotion that would lead me to feel disapproval from her. That’s the measure of a good therapist, right? Isn’t that what we are paying for? No matter what we say or how poorly we behave, we have the therapist’s non-judgmental reaction. We can walk into the therapist’s office riddled with self-blame and guilt and walk out purged of self-condemnation. Instead of a car wash it’s a “character wash.” I sauntered in to Lynn’s office with self-loathing dirt all over the interior and exterior of my body and I emerged with a clean body and soul.

Okay, I’m being sarcastic. It just seems like an odd treatment protocol for Lynn to not call out my deficiencies when they are put before her. Especially when—a few months back–the said patient (me) initially walked into the said therapist’s office (her) with said problem (emotional avoidance through wine).

AHHH, therapists are clever, though. Lynn used her initial lack of expression as a way to get me, the patient, to keep talking. It’s like the boyfriend that puts a lot of effort into foreplay knowing he will ultimately get more than just cuddling. Lynn’s foreplay involved telling me, “you are harder on yourself than anyone so you don’t need me to tell you not to drink with Klonopin.” She also reassured me, “You have made a good life for yourself.” Even going so far as to correct that comment and emphasize, “You have a very good life.”

Oh, do I?

Then why do I drink away my emotions and mix medications that I know I shouldn’t? Can a person with a “very good life” have horrible coping skills that they utilize regularly to manage their good life? Isn’t that an oxymoron? I have a good life but I drink too much, sleep too much and take an SSRI, SNRI, an NDRI and benzodiazepine to regulate the neurotransmitters and other chemicals in my brain such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Call me crazy, but I don’t see how living with an unbalanced brain could really offer me such a good life. Throughout my childhood and adult existence my moods, thoughts and feelings have gone up and down like a fucking horsey on the merry-go-round. It’s caused me to be a social recluse, emotionally numb and an expert at playing the role of what-a-person-with-a-good-life-might-be-like.  I recommend a blog that expertly captures this http://anxietyadventures.wordpress.com/.

But, I digress. I was ready to tell you what happened in our therapy session after Lynn stroked my ego by telling me what I needed to hear in order to feel emotionally safe. After foreplay, she talked about the medications and how I feel about each.  First the Wellbutrin, then onto the Celexa and finally, “Let’s talk about the Klonopin.” She had me openly sharing and I said, “I just don’t like being on an anti-anxiety med and now I don’t like it even more since it caused me to fall and get bruised”

Whoa Nelly! Hold your horses!

Lynn bluntly said, “The Klonopin didn’t cause you to fall down–the alcohol did.” I argued that I never felt dizzy enough to fall down on the amount of wine I consume. It’s a lot but not that much. Lynn explained, “The Klonopin is like having 2 extra glasses of wine.” She then scolded me (which I expected earlier in the game but she had to get me ready and willing to hear it). Lynn told me I cannot mix alcohol with Klonopin and if I drink I should not take the Klonopin that night.

Of course, I’m still thinking of her telling me alcohol made me fall down. Are you saying I have a problem? What about the good life I have?

Now I was listening and I feeling vulnerable so she continued with the discussion of my drinking. I always want to add “to cope” as if drinking and coping are all part of my Grand Life Management Plan.

Lynn asks, Do your kids notice you’re drunk? Does your husband get you a glass of wine? Do you get angry when you drink? My answer is “no” to all of her pointed questions. I tell her “my anxiety lowers down to a point where I get the laundry done, the dishes washed, the animals taken care of and I even play games with my 11 year old.”

She lets down her poker face and I see concern and worry in her eyes as she asks, “Have you ever read anything about alcohol abuse?”

Truthfully I have. Once I tried to scare myself straight by printing out hundreds of pages from the. I’ve read books about alcoholism myths, I’ve taken on-line tests and I’ve been active on a website called WFS
and I’ve even gone to a group meeting in my local area.

Lynn had me where she wanted me. Stroking my ego at the start was a form of treatment to get me to fully express myself. I’ve now admitted I feel my drinking is excessive, even if no one else complains.

Therapists are good at manipulating the situation to get a patient to open up and admit their faults, in a manner that doesn’t make the patient feel recrimination. I feel like she set the bait and I was caught, now it was only a matter of reeling me in.

“So, are you saying I should go to AA meetings?”

Lynn answers, “I wouldn’t tell you not to go if you made that decision.” Oh, man, she’s good.  She puts all the control and responsibility on me.

I ask, “How would I go about finding a group that would fit me?” She acts offended as if I’ve just put down the entire population of people who are alcoholics. Given that she sees me as one of them she can’t act like she understands what bias I have toward some AA meetings. She must not judge  or it will transfer to me.

“I don’t feel like I have a lot in common with the guy in the streets who drinks a gallon of vodka a day.”

Lynn tells me, “There are similarities between everyone at AA meetings and you go and just listen and see if anything rings true.” I have nothing to say, except I’m thinking, there’s no way I’m going to the closest big city to an AA meeting. I can only imagine the scene.

Lynn tries to normalize the search for an AA meeting. She tells me she had a family member who needed help and explains the process this person went through. Her suggestions are: Try a few different meetings. Don’t go to an evening one, go to a noon-time meeting. Shop around for a good fit just like you would for anything else.

I shut down at this point and can’t recall the order of things. I know I told her, “I think if I could get a handle on my emotions I wouldn’t drink as much.” My way of saying, I drink because I’m anxious and depressed. It’s my coping mechanism, my Life Management Plan.

Lynn retorted, “You’ve been trying that for a long time and it is not working.” I stare at her thinking, WTF, Are you telling me my problem is not depression or anxiety and that it is my drinking?

HOLY FUCK! That statement was an eye opener and it hurt to my core. I completely stopped talking and she said something about my medications not working to their full effect if I drink more than a glass or two a week and then she switched topics.

She reminded me she’s on vacation next week and she will have someone on-call for her. I was sullen and sad and didn’t react. Around this time, Lynn must have recognized my sense of failure and self-contempt and she reassuringly said, “It’s okay if you don’t call right away and find a meeting in your area.” Then our time was up.

Lynn asked when I wanted to see her again. I shrugged and she gave me 2 available dates and I replied, “I don’t know. I don’t care.” She offered one of the dates, I said, “Fine,” took the appointment card and got up to leave. I didn’t look back, and in my role of what-a-person-with-a-good-life-might-be-like, I said, “Have a great vacation” and left her home office.

So, there you have it. I am at a cross roads in life. Do I take the path with the sign that says, “Healing this way” or do I continue on the path called “self-destruction”?

Progress in therapy

Therapy went pretty well yesterday. I have reached a comfortable stage in the therapeutic relationship that allows me to let down my guard. I am not fighting the stigma of mental illness that I usually impose upon myself when I initially talk about my depression. So, that’s all good.

Lynn wanted to hear about how the medications are working; we got that out-of-the-way first. Then I looked at her and candidly said, “There is one thing that I’ve never talked about to any therapist in all my years of therapy.” I paused briefly because I like to pique the interest of the therapist. As if, “this is a hidden piece of the puzzle of my life.” Which I thought perhaps it was. But, when I said, “The relationship I had with my father” it didn’t feel like that big of a revelation. I didn’t cry for what our relationship lacked nor for the grief I feel from his death (which was more that 20 years ago).

I told Lynn I never lived up to his expectations. If he were alive today he would still feel disappointed in me. Lynn asked me to tell her about my dad. My dad was in the top 2% of the population that is highly intelligent. Like, off-the-charts smart. I could never live up to that and I have never felt like I achieved enough to make him proud.

The real disclosure is that I can’t remember him holding, hugging and showing me physical comfort and affection. I suspect that is why I feel he was disappointed in me. There are fleeting images of happy times but none of them are because he showed his love with affection in a physical way. But, I’ve got boxes of letters he wrote to me when I was in college and they all show he cared about his daughter. He sent me cheap little valentine cards every February 14, even when I was past the age of young childhood. His love was shown through affectionately written letters and cards and with spoken language of wit and humor that would make me laugh.

But, I missed his physical touch.

I told Lynn, in therapy, that after my dad died, I explored the issue of my father-daughter relationship with my mom. She and my dad divorced when I was 10 years old but my dad remained an integral part of my life until he died when I was in college. Anyway, my mom said he rarely held me and she wondered about that, too. I told her I missed out on feeling close to my dad because of that. My mom asked if he was ever inappropriate with me in a sexual way. WHAT? That question threw me for a loop and I quickly said, “No, why would you ask me that?” (She knew my brother sexually abused me but my dad?) My mom said he was very sexual in their marriage. She didn’t elaborate but I imagine she meant he liked sex frequently. Okay, so he was affectionate to her.

Telling this story to Lynn, I was afraid she would think I repressed some memory and perhaps surmise I was sexually abused by my father. I do not think I was as my memories of what my brother did are vivid and not repressed at all.

Lynn gave me an explanation that satisfied me. She helped answer the  question, Why didn’t my dad touch me.  Lynn explained that some men do not show physical affection in any other way except for sexual. Perhaps my dad did not know how to show me his love in a physical way without feeling sexual so he just didn’t touch me. This makes perfect sense and is enlightening.  Thank God he didn’t show sexual feelings toward me. In some way, I should be glad he put up a boundary between us if touch equaled sex for him.

I must look at the ways he did show me love and not regret what wasn’t there.

“Acceptance of our faults and the faults of others helps us to be patient and to avoid hurtful kinds of criticism or judgment. By accepting faults we become more able to trust and celebrate strengths. Paradoxically, acceptance often leads to growth because it creates a safe space for insight and understanding.”

http://www.wisdomcommons.org/virtues/1-acceptance

Got a plan for therapy tomorrow

I read a thought-provoking blog by a therapist and I believe he is describing my problem with feeling uncomfortable with Lynn.  I am struggling to be the perfect patient who isn’t a burden or who looks and acts all “crazy”.  My shame and guilt are holding me back from sharing parts of me that feel pissed off, shameful, hurt or worthless.  Instead I try to make it seem like the depression is separate from the real me who is completely balanced and normal…We all know that’s a crock of shit.  I am going to consciously go to therapy tomorrow and try to open up about some negative stuff that I don’t let on with other people.  Intellectually, I know it’s okay to share issues that I think are bad for me to think or feel; but, I don’t do it because acting or expressing such things would not be socially acceptable.  But, so what? Therapy is where I should let it all out so I’m going to do it.   I have no idea yet what exactly that’s going to be so stayed tuned. ♥

“If I put aside any masks and let myself show the real me, the healthiest parts as well as the most dysfunctional, the therapist and I can make an honest appraisal and get to work.”

Quote and inspiration from:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-therapy/201104/the-worlds-best-therapy-client