I have recently finished a book called How Psychotherapy Really Works and truly found it helpful in understanding my experience with it the past four years. How unique the patient/therapist relationship really is and how it made an impact even without my realizing. I also wanted to understand better the grief I was struck with when I knew I’d have to say goodbye. The fear of what exactly I’d be without. But I basically came away with it clear that my previous therapist only helped me help myself in the end. May seem obvious to the outsider, but when you’re in a place of desperation, saving myself meant total death and it’s taken a very long time to replace the strength of that idea to my strength to create alternative choices and to be more resilient when things go wrong. I’m still learning, always trying to “figure out” what is not solvable, but at least the search is something. It’s action where otherwise I’d have long given up as nothing it would change.
I look forward to sharing some new art I’ve completed. And a lot of music I haven’t quite gotten arranged yet, but on the way. This photo was taken today when I got home. As little an influence I feel I am to this world, I’m not the only one struggling to belong. I support the efforts of TWLOHA in spreading awareness of mental illness and helping people who seek treatment. We’ve got to help one another somehow and one day I might be able to do more than small donations, but for now I’m sure anything helps. That’s what I hope and will hang onto.
I have notified everyone necessary about my break from the choir for the rest of April if not the rest of our singing season before fall returns. With that extra time I hope to fall in with another doctor. I’ve already got an appointment set, but I don’t yet know if this psychiatrist offers psychotherapy as well. I’m doubting it, which will mean making another appointment with a psychologist somewhere and learning how to manage between the two regarding my medication.
In the background of all this, I still wonder what the hell is the point. But things are okay right now. I’m not hurting myself outright and while my thoughts can become vicious from time to time, I’m in no rush to act. This week will mark 9 months full time on my job. The closer I get to a full year, the more freedom I expect to at least feel, if not set on a new course by then. I may return to school for something else, or I might hit the road somehow and be the starving artist. I wouldn’t last long alone, but it offers a conclusion of my own terms. I am nothing better than the next person, so why not do what makes me feel closer to my honest self? Life as it is right now for the next 20 or 30 years scares me more than turning away at the risk of dying young.
Just some thoughts. In the mean time, there is much music to record.
I had a very good session with my doctor this week. No matter how fragile a thread I’m hanging on, I’m doing so in whatever ways I can. It is not easy having to accept that many difficult things about myself may never change. This acceptance often feels like intolerable terms of a life I’d rather turn in early. But along with the acceptance is patience it will not do for me to go on without. Waiting is all we’re here to do. Until that time is up as all things come to an end.
Nothing lasts forever, and I can find a certain joy to experience simply in that if nothing else. Enough to hang on.
This painting is small and was all for the moment. I felt a sense of betrayal over something that happened and needed very much to see red. Luckily it was paint and not my own blood this time around.
I’ve written out all the thoughts that came up during my two full days of breakdown following the news of my therapist’s retirement. The problem with my job is the time I’m left to ruminate. I can bring myself so easily to tears, and those particular days were brutal. Not 30 minutes passed without weepy eyes and a feeling inside as if something had crawled into a hole and died. Genuine grief I didn’t think I was capable of feeling anymore.
I have some questions for him next week, along with some apologies to make. Since I’ve never terminated with a therapist before like this, I’m sure more tears are in store and hopefully I can express all I need to and fix a way somehow to move forward without him to turn to any longer.
And for a little song…The beginning of a poem I wrote years back, put to a melody to pass the free time some weeks ago.
It was never best that I cover up
But I fear letting you know
And the life after if I ever let it show
That I’ve never been together
Still, your eyes come to see
And I whisper to you ‘Don’t look down.’
Approach no further – walk back out
Just one more moment and I’ll reset
I’ll be all better soon
This song is one I sang with my choir at our fall concert last month. We learned the songwriter wrote this out of her suffering from an ear infection…lol I loved it even more for that. And it fits for times lately in my life. I’m looking down at the lyrics in this video, btw.
I have had to work 5 hours overtime for the past two Saturdays and a third next week before the holidays. Just within the last two days I’ve noticed a marked difference in my overall mood. The negative thoughts are still there, just as they ever were with my personality, but no serious lows or desire to self-harm. The dosage increase I think is having its full effect now and just in time. Hardly two weeks ago I was set on starving myself out for how overextended I’ve felt.
This past Tuesday my mother attended a therapy session with me. I thought it would be a good chance for her to learn more about what I’m trying to manage. For my psychiatrist it may have been the richest chance he’ll ever get at learning my family history and my place among the rest, but for me – as I sat there listening to them go back and forth, could not have been worse. There were moments where I actually felt outside of their presence, like it wasn’t real but more of a dream like vision happening. I wanted to wake myself up from how absurd the whole scene felt.
And then the guilt set in. There I was, my mother’s last born, dragging her through the questioning and seeing me cry and expressing how helpless she felt toward what to do when I was in distress. But when my doctor outright said “Allyson has no anchor…” to keep me living. And mentioning the possibility that “Yes, she may die “by suicide, I was speechless and unexpectedly hurt. The whole thing seemed like he’d just confirmed his lack of faith in me being anything more than this empty, loveless waste of flesh. I felt I failed him, my mother and any regard for my own expectations lost between them. Wondering what the point was in denying my way to the end. My mother knows of the possibility now of what could happen, which until that point I’d tried to protect her from. If it happens, at least it won’t surprise.
I’m okay now, though never sure for how long. My concentration has sharpened, mornings don’t bear down on me as badly and I can safely calm myself down when necessary. So, rather than waiting until a bad day comes along to take advantage of how disturbed this whole episode in therapy left me, I’m going to schedule something sooner and talk to my doctor about this. I walked out feeling like he’s not understood me one moment for the years I’ve been in treatment. I can’t accept that.