I had therapy today- was VERY tempted to cancel, but decided that I can't afford to skip sessions right now and I think it's the first time I went, completely willing to be 100% honest and get as much out of my 50 minute session as possible.
I was scared of being labelled as psychotic or crazy, or brushed off as being dramatic or attention-seeking. I've had a pretty rocky relationship with my therapist and have found it hard to adjust to her way of working, but as I have grown accustomed to her methods, I have found it to be more and more helpful. I tend to forget that in the lead-up to appointments and am always pretty wary of how she'll respond to me.
I basically told her exactly what I wrote last night about what's been going on. She said that she thought that life is definitely worth living, but that my current situation is likely contributing to me feeling otherwise. There is great benefits to talking to someone who has known me for a long time, knows my patterns, my history- she thought that perhaps the intrusive thoughts I am having may be serving a similar purpose to that which anorexia provides. Distraction from the very real obstacles (isolation, lack of structure, loneliness, adapting to living on my own). We talked about how I have had similar experiences in the past and I often brushed it off saying, "if only I lived by myself...", thus avoiding doing much about the situation except looking to an external solution.
We also talked about applying DBT to this and how a lot of things I am doing to "cope" are making things a lot worse for me. She set out some very clear goals to hopefully help me right now. I sensed an urgency when she spoke, and almost felt threatened, but I guess it's a good thing that she feels the same way about this not being allowed to continue spiralling.
The first ones are around food and weight. We don't generally discuss this in my sessions- her theory being that I have spent so much time talking about it in treatment and read so much about it that further discussion is pointless. I pretty much agree so was surprised when she stated, point-blank, that I need to get a grip on this. Now. There is no doubt in my mind that she is right, but I'm not sure exactly what to do about my intake right now- what to change/add. I have no doubt that it's necessary, and I am willing to do *anything* at this point to regain some semblance of sanity, but am struggling to keep my intake consistent as it is, never mind add in more food. I've cut down on caffeine and liquids to help with the constant nausea I've had this week (anxiety/depression I am guessing) but not sure how else to manage this. I'll give it some thought (ideas welcome!)
The other one was about taking hold of my mind. I've learned about this in DBT, and basically it involves staying in the present moment and not getting swallowed up my anxieties or memories. Staying in the "here and now"- we talked about grounding techniques and things I can do before I am transported to some other dimension. We also discussed pushing away thoughts and delaying actions- none of the urges I have need to be acted on *immediately*. It's okay to just BE. Put worrying on tomorrow's "to do" list- take each moment as it comes, focus on what is going on around me...the smell of my pot-pourri, the fluffy carpet under my feet, the warm cup of coffee in my hand.
How do you stay in the present moment when your thoughts are going a hundred miles per hour?
Lara left me a great comment on yesterday's post which I wanted to highlight:
I know from experience that sometimes when you really really struggle like this,
you are actually breaking through to a point of healing and getting better. I
hope that is what this is for you- the storm before the sun rises.
I was thinking about this after therapy and think it's definitely true. Like I said, it was the first time I went into a session ready and willing to take on board WHATEVER advice my therapist had to offer.
Here's to a great weekend!