therapy

My Goals for the Week

medium_5820119430I’m doing okay (:

I went to see my therapist today and even though I’ve had a few not-so-great days, I’ve been able to recover from them fairly quickly so that they haven’t turned into bad weeks. Instead of being triggered by something, getting really upset, and then having EVERYthing get progressively worse from there… I’ve been able to go back to “normal” shortly afterward. This doesn’t mean I’ve been blissfully happy all week but I’ve been pretty stable with only slight ups and down opposed to my usual highs and super low, long lasting lows. It’s nice… I feel more like me (:

All through my 5 months of weekly therapy we’ve focused on mt anxiety, depression, cutting, panic attacks, emotions, and techniques for dealing with all of these. Anytime something came up about any abuse I may have experienced when I was little, my therapist would say something like, “That’s something that we can start to talk about when you’re ready and feel you are at a point when you can handle it”. Which makes complete sense, bringing up something like that and trying to process it when you’re depressed or anxious isn’t going to go well at all! Today, though, she brought the subject up briefly and even asked me how I would feel about exploring other therapy options in relation to that. While I said I didn’t want to get into that right now (because my summer is going to be pretty busy and potentially stressful, and I want to be able to focus primarily on just that when I decide to tlk and think about it) I’m so excited that she thought I was at a point where I could deal with processing something like past sexual abuse…

It means I’ve made progress!!

I really have made a lot  progress. It hasn’t always felt like it over the months, I’ve had some really bad low points, but I’ve worked really hard to understand what’s going on with my mind and what I can do to help it and I’m starting to learn how to even apply some of those things I’ve found. It’s a lot of work! Anyone trying to recover from a  mental illness will understand that. It can be hard too because most people around you can’t see the amount of effort you’re putting into getting better because for the most part the work all takes place in your head!

So I just want to say to anyone who is working towards getting better… good job! I know how hard it is and how mentally (and physically) exhausting and draining it can be. You should be proud of yourself for putting forth that effort to do what’s good for you (:

Anyway, since I have decided I want to focus on just staying where I am at right now, working on using my relaxation techniques, trying to stay on a good sleep schedule, ect, I thought I would share my list on specific things I want to work on over the next couple of weeks…

  • Acceptance. I’m going through a lot right now. I’m doing really good though so don’t let minor setbacks upset you too much… have a bad day? Feel guilty for something you did? Acknowledge it and move on, you have tomorrow to try again (:
  • Sleep. I was doing good for awhile at turning my computer off at 9 and spending a couple hours trying to relax so I could fall asleep before 12 or 1 in the morning. I need to get back into that.
  • Headaches. For awhile I was doing good at noticing when I was starting to feel anxious or down and then using the appropriate coping skills to deal with it. I have had quite a few especially bad headaches over the last couple of weeks though that have made it hard for me to want to DO anything when I notice my mental state dropping. Physical pain makes it hard to deal with mental and emotional pain. So! Work on a few ideas for coping with headaches (not like I haven’t been doing this for years… I’ll keep trying tho).
  • Balance. I have a couple of trips to make over the next few weeks, so I’m going to be busy. Being busy can lead to stress and anxiety and a physical and mental crash afterwards. Try to pay attention to how I’m feeling while I’m away from home and take a break when I need to. Don’t overdo it! (;

So there you have it. Some of the things I am going to try to work on, think about, and keep in my this week. Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what kinds of things you would put on your list for the week! (:
photo credit: LateEnough via photopin cc

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A Trip to the Therapist

medium_9992907753I just got back from my weekly therapy session and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Usually, if I had enough energy, I would write about it in my journal and hope to make some sense of everything we talked about. But, today, I thought I would share my thoughts here instead, in case anyone else can relate. So here are some not-very-well-organized musings of my time at the psychologists.

As I said in my last post the past few weeks have been really tough for me, harder than they have been in a long time. Even so, I don’t always realize how bad things are until I hear myself describing it to my therapist and listen to her responses and questions. That’s where I got a little scared today. Usually I come out of my session with a motivational jump start… enough to keep me going and out of a major mood drop for a few days. This time though, I heard the words “major depressive episode” and “severe depression” several times. My therapist seemed concerned about me this time, making sure I wasn’t going to be by myself and trying to come up with some more intense outside resources that might help to get me feeling better.

She said that when depression gets to the point where it is affecting every part of your life, (sleep, relationships, eating, motivation, work, school ect) that it’s important to decide how long you’re going to wait before taking more drastic measures to lift you out of it. She mentioned other forms of therapy, even daily ones, and medications (which really scare me because of bad past experiences), family therapy, and a few other options that I could consider.

We talked about my cutting and how it has gotten substantially worse over the last couple weeks. She told me that I needed to make sure I was extra careful if I cut while having any suicidal thoughts. Speaking of which… those have been pretty bad lately too. Not to the point of having a plan and trying to get the resources to do it but definitely thoughts that everything and everyone would be better off without me and I wish I had never existed. Honestly, if it didn’t take so much effort and I could do it without hurting the people I love, even more than I am already? I quite possibly would have done it already. Knowing how it would destroy my family and friends, though, has kept me from acting on it so far.

I was told to make sure that if it does gets to the point where I feel unsafe and think I might go through with it to tell someone, my parents, boyfriend, best friend, or to call her. I am not living by myself anymore because of my issues which is good I guess as far as this goes. It keeps me a little safer. She told me that if I ever feel like going through with it that I have options, texting a friend, calling a suicide hotline, or checking myself into a hospital and getting assessed, and to remember that suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems.

At one point in our conversation she mentioned that if I remained in this severe of a depressive phase that a “live-in” option of some sort might be something to think about. She only mentioned this briefly but it has me really freaked out.  What does that even mean? That I get sent somewhere to live with super strict rules that I’d have to obey? I don’t know but it’s unnerving to think that it could get to a point where I would need that.

Overall this session was much more serious than usual and left me with a lot to think about. I am supposed to see how this week goes and if I’m not feeling better and decide I want to, I’ll sign a release form and she is going to contact a medical doctor that specializes in mental illness and I’m going to set up an appointment to go see her and explore ideas as to what I need to do to keep going in life. Because right now I am stuck.

Thank you so much for reading… just knowing that someone is reading and cares about what I have to say has helped me so much in the passed few days. I have a small purpose now and it feels good (:

photo credit: Neighborhood Nini via photopin cc