I am still keeping all the charts imposed on me by the Terribly Tenacious Therapist, although last week I did tear one up because of cat attack. It’s a long story, but basically I was clearing out a file, which is one of my therapy tasks, and doing it on the floor which is the only sensible way. However the cat, who is paper-obsessed and who has already killed my printer, took this as an invitation to a fight, with the result that I burst into tears and swore I would make the next therapy appointment the last one. I also had to explain to the psych this week that I really wasn’t self-harming, those long scratches on my arm really were of feline origin.
Anyway I calmed down and started a new chart the next day and didn’t tell the therapist I was leaving. I think she is actually highlighting some useful things, I just wish it wasn’t all such hard work. I can do the ‘expose all the past trauma again’ thing standing on my head – been there, done that so many times – but I have to say I feel like drawing a line at so much homework (most of which does in fact involve drawing lines on paper).
So… yesterday lunchtime was lunch with the potential spiritual director. Only it turns out she is moving to Scotland so I suspect this is not going to work… Last night was the beginning of an assessment with the Cognitive Behaviour Therapist (hard work but I am encouraged). Today lunchtime (instead of lunch) was a second meeting with the body therapist whom I will not be seeing again because she’s not really seeing clients any more. But it was worth seeing her because she had some really helpful things to say. After that I took myself out to lunch as I felt I deserved it.
Looks like I will be starting therapy soon with the CBT lady. We share the (mixed) experience of having a Jewish mother. Only in her case I suspect she has a Jewish father too. I think she is going to be good.
Have now finished reading the book for which I’m providing a cover quote, and am very impressed. Not to mention that I found some comments in it by one of our very own Wibloggers. It has also given me an ace idea for promoting my own depression book, and maybe helping some more people too. I have so many brilliant ideas at the moment that I will have to be very strict with myself about not taking on too much at once. Including an idea for another blog, but as I struggle to keep up with this one, I think I’ll be giving that a miss.
Nothing much to report other than ongoing Christmas preparations, and the fact that yesterday I wrote a sermon in an hour, and had an unexpected Indian head massage in the evening (owing to son not wanting to go to the Asperger’s youth club party in the evening, which meant I could go to the carers’ relaxation evening instead).
Today I saw the therapist again – I really am feeling some benefit from CBT, and am hoping she’ll let me have the extra six sessions after I’ve completed the initial ten (today was number eight). I don’t quite know how she’s done it, as she seems extremely vague and makes only the most hesitant suggestions, but I have begun to believe I have some control over my moods, and that a life with less ambitious goals could actually be better than a life in which I have such aspirations that I constantly set myself up for failure.
I then went to Tesco and did my good deed of the day by ‘looking after’ a lad with high functioning autism whom I know, and who had lost track of his mother. I don’t think he really needed all that much looking after but the staff were clearly worried by him sitting crosslegged on the floor and staring at the toothpastes for a long time. I was able to say I knew him, and to look out for his mother, and eventually they found each other again. It felt good to be somewhat instrumental in this little drama.
Tomorrow night I’ll be singing carols in aid of Christian Aid at a local tube station, and then going to meet a Shipmate I haven’t seen for years, who is over from the US for Christmas. I may spend the morning baking mince pies for the carol singers to have with their mulled wine (which I also need to make). Domestic goddesshood here I come.
Dang it. I just realized last night that I was supposed to be at a therapy session yesterday morning. I’ve been in a total muddle about dates this week, having got up early on Tuesday for an appointment which was actually on Wednesday, and now thinking my therapy appointment wasn’t till next week. ‘My days fly faster than a weaver’s shuttle’, as the Good Book has it.
Now I don’t seem to have the therapist’s number so I will have to ring the hospital and explain. If only she would give me a regular weekly appointment at the same time, instead of just fixing each new appointment at the end of the last one. Is this just because I am getting her on the NHS?
Instead of feeling competent and on top of things as I was on Wednesday, I’m now feeling stupid, inefficient and harassed. Bum.
I did it! Yesterday I finally had the last appointment with my therapist. Rolling Stones’ ‘Rolled Gold’ is still playing in my car, and the track before I went in was ‘Get off of my cloud’ while when I came out it was ‘I’m free’. Seems apposite.
Today when The Grouch and I came back from visiting Child and Adolescent Mental Health, the cat had filed himself in the bottom tray of our son’s schoolwork filing trays. Pictures to follow when I’ve asked The Grouch how to do it (I’m not quite up to speed on images yet).
As I drove towards my psychiatrist appointment this morning*, the Rolling Stones compilation currently playing in my car had reached ‘Mother’s Little Helper’, with its reference to the ‘little yellow pill’ which indeed I do take. As I drove back afterwards, the next track was playing, which just happened to be ‘Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown’. Hmm…
*(orientation report: I missed my junction yet again but managed to repair the route by turning left later, and in the process discovered a much better route and got there half an hour early)
…is harder than finding one, and that’s hard enough. Apparently I am in denial (like de baby Moses). Personally I think it’s the therapist who’s in denial that any type of therapy but hers actually has any possible benefits.
Add to that the masseuse from hell who promised me a relaxing massage and then subjected me to half an hour of agonising pain, and my weekly day off has not been entirely the restorative experience it was meant to be. Maybe the school quiz which The Grouch and I are attending tonight will redress the balance.
Actually, I can only think of two. The one I almost took when I failed to turn up for an appointment last week, and failed to ring her all week to explain, and was sorely tempted just never to turn up again; and the more civilized one which I actually took this morning, which was turning up and giving a month’s notice.
It’s not that she’s been a bad therapist. I’m sure she’s a fine one – for someone else. With me, she had the clear disadvantage that I went to her in a panic after the lovely therapist I’d been seeing for ten years died suddenly; in fact I’d already been seeing her as a spiritual director, and only wanted her to recommend a new therapist, but she said ‘You could see me for therapy instead of direction’ and I clutched at it like a drowning woman at a straw.
The irony is, I’d already left my old therapist before she died. We agreed that what we were doing wasn’t therapy any more, it was just a nice chat once a fortnight; and that I was ready to go it alone. Then, a few months after she died, I started to get depressed again and rushed into the first opportunity that offered. I suppose she could never compete with a woman who’d died and thus become without faults.
Although I feel the relationship never worked because of our respective personalities, I still mainly think the method of therapy didn’t suit me. She worked psychodynamically and I found it a really strange way of approaching things, after my old therapist who was integrative, eclectic and somewhat Jungian (as well as doing art therapy which I really appreciated at first).
The psychiatrist I saw on Tuesday has referred me for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, which has about a 6-8 month waiting list. The therapist I’m leaving is very dubious about the benefits of CBT for me. However, I really do have to make up my own mind about this.
It’s all somewhat scary!
..what a day of quiet, with opportunity to pray, think, write, draw and sit in a ten-acre garden, can do for one’s general state of mind and spirit. I went to my Quiet Day yesterday and had loads of space to just be, to sit on a bench under a yew tree watching the gentle rain, hear Mrs Blackbird shirring her wings, watch a robin bouncing round on his invisible space hopper, and the squirrels scalloping the lawn.. I think I must be a nature mystic.
The raft of problems from filing piles to son’s homework, still remain, but I feel refreshed, restored and ready to start tackling life again. One of the tasks on the list is to apologize to therapist for failing to turn up on Friday (and failing to ring to tell her why). I have a feeling I will be saving the apology till next week’s appointment so I can use it as an intro to a declaration that I want to stop therapy. The relationship with this particular therapist just hasn’t worked, and it doesn’t seem to be doing me much good, even after nearly three years. That’s a lot of time and money!
Apparently, according to my therapist, I am not depressed but stressed. That doesn’t actually make it feel any better. She says I am coping. Hm.