Tuesday, March 7, 2017

What Happens in Therapy Doesn't Stay in Therapy

Imagine sitting in a room which is comfortable, sitting across from the same person for years. Imagine doing this once or twice a week for 45 minutes for years on end. Imagine sitting in front of this person and looking at her, noticing her, listening to her. Imagine thinking you have a relationship that, for what it is, is normal. Imagine questioning this person's care and attention over and over and over. Imagine believing what you think about this person, how you perceive this person is normal...reality based. Imagine being blown away 23 years after first meeting this person to realize you never actually were sitting across from her and seeing her, really seeing her. Imagine having this realization over the course of several weeks, maybe months and having to process this intense and emotional realization. Imagine feeling this in your head, your heart, your upset stomach and not completely understanding what is happening to you. Imagine talking to this person, in that comfortable room, and explaining these confusing and amazing thoughts and feelings. Imagine recognizing that what was believed before was not quite the reality. Imagine looking to someone for constant reassurance that what is happening is okay and safe. Imagine seeing someone for the first time after only looking at them for 23 years. Imagine feeling a new sense of safety in that comfortable room and a new sense of calm as well as utter fear. Imagine experiencing something that is slightly confusing yet emotionally amazing at the same time. Imagine feeling uneasy and terrified while feeling emotionally amazing. Imagine feeling as if you accomplished something so big, so important and so vital, not only for this relationship but for others in your life.
Imagine this. Imagine this is what can be accomplished in therapy. Imagine doing the work, hard work in order to get to this point, this point of unknown. Imagine seeing someone as real, positives and flaws and all. Imagine the relief.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Progress as a Process

There is a lot going on right now. My depression has finally begun to lift. I completed my Intensive Outpatient Program this week and it felt like the right time even though I am anxious about leaving such a supportive environment. I also went back to work on a very part-time schedule last week, so that is another change. Luckily, I love where I work and who I work with. I had a great time and it felt good to be productive. Additionally, I am at the point of tapering my TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) and will be requesting maintenance treatments from my insurance company. Due to my pattern over the past 3 years, maintenance TMS treatments will be vital to maintaining my health and hopefully stunting the possibility of a reoccurrence of the depression. My pattern over the past few years has been: major depressive episode for several months treated with medication and ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) followed by 6-7 months of being well which was then followed by the depressive cycle again. My current episode is the third within three years. My treaters and I want to break this cycle so I can live a healthier life.

While these are very positive things, it is also scary and overwhelming for me. I have been through a lot over the past several months and I am different. I must recognize that I am in a constant state of change, as most of us are, but with individual therapy, group therapy and just life, I have changed dramatically over the past few years. My ability to tolerate things is quite different and I feel overwhelmed by things that never did so before. I am trying to give myself a break and not be hard on myself in relation to when I feel overwhelmed about folding laundry, running an errand, or even sending an email. This is the hard part for me. I must find a way to give myself a break and allow things to fall into place. I also need to live life and while I know I am getting better I cannot have unrealistic expectations of the depression completely disappearing tomorrow. I need to take it easy on myself when it comes to the timing of my recovery. The next several weeks will be difficult but will also include positive moments which will turn to positive hours which will then turn to positive days, etc. I am open to this trajectory and constantly tell myself that this is a good thing.

Life is hard and life can be messy. My anxiety is sky high these days but I am trying to use my skills when I can. I am also trying to talk more to my husband about my feelings as they are happening. This helps with my connection to him and informs him of exactly what is happening in my head. This is not easy for me but I am trying. My life, right now, is a step forward and then a step back but this is a process and I hope as time goes on things will continue to positively progress.