Therapy Monday

Today’s Happy Note: Wearing one of my favorite shirts that I haven’t worn in forever because I though it didn’t fit!  It’s white with buttons and orange, red, and purple flowers.

Finals Week Health Challenge (Day1):

1. Oddly enough I did not meet my easiest goal today!  But that was my own choosing; I wanted to make it a rest day since I did a lot of running this weekend.  I might do abs before bed, we shall see.

2. Check!  I’ve had a banana, blackberries, frozen berries, dried fruit (in trail mix), spinach, and carrots.  Not bad for finals week!

3. Check!  I find that when I don’t work out, I am never hungry in the evenings.  It’s strange because I think that my evening snackage habit is tied to emotional/stress patterns, but it also is, on some level, rooted in actual hunger.  I still have not found the precise balance between the amount of food and exercise my body needs, but I’m okay with that.  I’ll get there someday.

4. Check-ish.  I was pretty hard on myself today, but turned it around by being kinder in the evening.  I visited Operation Beautiful and the notes made me feel a lot better!  I read some of them out loud to myself, so I think that counts as positive self-talk.

Therapy Monday:

Today was the strangest day.  I came in with a lot of things on my mind but as soon as I sat down on the couch (which, by the way, is wonderfully comfortable) I did NOT want to talk about anything.  Let me rephrase — I wanted to talk about things, but not important things.  Does that make sense?  I have never ever felt this way in therapy before.  I actually had a little list of things I wanted to mention: stress eating and strategies to avoid it, my plans for the rest of the month, the financial aid process, the date/boy, some of my friendships.  But as soon as I got there I just entered into this ambivalent state.  And then the ambivalence turned to hostility!

First of all, I always arrive on time.  In fact, I relish the consistency so much that I almost always ring the doorbell at exactly 12:10 for my 12:15 appointment.  This gives my therapist several minutes to let the client before me out and to prepare to see me.  Sometimes she takes a few extra mintues and I really don’t mind at all.  But today she took 15 minutes; we didn’t sit down to talk until 12:30.  I do understand that things come up — she had an emergency phone call, or something of the like — but she also knows how very important the routine and pattern of our schedule is to me.  I found this especially disruptive (although I did occupy myself with a very interesting book while I waited — I am going to borrow it next week and then hopefully do a review).  When we started talking I just felt frazzled from the get-go.  Frazzled and anxious.

The first thing I mentioned was that I was happy that, finally, the client before me is the same person every week.  For most of the semester, there was a different person every week and I did not like that.  Granted, this is a silly thing for me not to like, but no matter.  I told her that I was happy it was the same person now and that I enjoyed having this small moment of consistency; it’s a little thing that makes me happy.  I made it clear, though (or at least I thought I had made it clear), that I would not feel destroyed or distraught if it went back to being a different person.  Basically, it was something I mentioned but didn’t want to talk about.  Maybe this was a mistake on my part and I should have started off talking about something I actually wanted to focus on.  But she spent practically the next 15 minutes telling me that having the same client before me offered an illusion of control.  I disagreed, told her it wasn’t that big of a deal, and made it clear that because it wasn’t a big deal I wanted to move on.

After 15 minutes of this she finally seemed to get the point and said that she respected my wishes as to what I wanted to talk about or not.  Even this annoyed me because I felt like what she said still had an air of “well, ultimately I’m right and I think this is a bigger issue that we should talk about, but whatever.”  Annoying.  Very annoying.

After that I honestly didn’t want to mention anything.  I begrudgingly brought up a few things (like the fact that I am very strongly feeling the desire to be a mother right now — not sure why or what that might mean) but never really got into it after that.  I was very reluctant and resistant.  I feel like this is the first time where issues of process have arisen really strongly for me.  I absolutely see my therapist as a motherly figure and this is both a good thing and a bad thing: I feel very comfortable with her and loved by her, but I also feel the full range of emotions.  Sometimes she makes me angry, sometimes happy.  For the most part, things tend toward the positive, but today just felt weird.  Icky.  Different.  I did not want to listen to any psychobabble or hear any interpretations of what things in my life might mean.  Most of the time, I think it’s quite important to look at what’s going on in my life, what has gone on in my life, how I’m feeling, etc.  But I honestly just wanted a hug today.  I don’t think therapists are supposed to give patients hugs.  But that was what I wanted, I think.

I know I have mentioned the idea of comfort before.  Achieving a sense of comfort has been one of the biggest struggles for me in my recovery and growth; I have been able to change my mindset to a more broadly positive one (i.e, I no longer tell myself “you’re fat, you’re undeserving, you’re stupid”) and I have definitely noticed changes in my understanding of myself and my relationships with others, but I just can’t seem to enter a space of comfort, which is what I am most craving right now.

There are some weeks when I feel extraordinarily comforted during therapy, and there are some weeks when that isn’t something I need.  But today I needed it and didn’t feel it, and I think that is where the frustration was coming from.  I like my therapist very, very much and consider myself lucky to have her, even on days like this, I think.  The process isn’t supposed to be perfect — there are bumps in my relationships with friends, family members, etc., and I have to address those.  Maybe addressing this will make me a better friend or sister or daughter or girlfriend or classmate or whatever.

Hopefully I’ll have some more serious commentary next week.  Although in a way I guess this is serious commentary.  But it’s nice to actually feel like I’m working through things, most of the time at least.

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maggie @ Fit.Fun.Food
    May 03, 2010 @ 22:29:26

    Thanks for the comment! The year will fly by, believe me! Congratulations on meeting most of your challenges! I know so many people who get so much more UN-healthy around finals time…that’s just what your body Doesn’t need! Have a great, healthy week!

    Reply

  2. Sarah
    May 04, 2010 @ 00:58:15

    I think it’s good you were philosophical about the therapy, and I like reading about your therapy Mondays, especially with my own therapy try-outs coming up, it’s useful to ponder things over. I know what you mean about wanting different things from therapy at different times, cos when I had therapy last year, some sessions I had an overwhelming desire to be challenged and confront difficult issues, whereas others I just wanted a metaphorical or literal hug!

    In a way, I reckon both you and your therapist probably learn just as much, if not more, from the sessions that don’t go quite so smoothly, and like any relationship, the bumps are just as much part of the experience as the smoother parts 😉

    Sarah x

    Reply

  3. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    May 04, 2010 @ 01:34:57

    when i was in my early 20s i had a therapist and there were times when i just so wanted to have a “great session” and it was meh. kinda like running. sometimes no matter what, it doesnt click and then other times you lace up your shoes not hoping for much and a great run manifests. next time girl, it’ll click 🙂

    Reply

  4. clairedille
    May 04, 2010 @ 09:18:35

    Thanks so much for posting on my blog..it gave me the chance to find yours and it happened to be on Therapy Monday! I really enjoyed reading about your therapy experience and completely agree with Averie about the situation. I am also a writer and in college I would go for my runs before coming back to write so that I could map it out or brainstorm while running. I think that therapy maybe should have been included in my weeks as well but I never really concentrated on taking care of myself in college like I feel I deserved now. The challenges are a great way to keep yourself together through finals…hope that you aren’t stressing too much!

    Reply

  5. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    May 04, 2010 @ 11:10:58

    I felt the same way sometimes with my old therapist- like she knew I had issues I didn’t want to talk about, but she thought I should talk about them anyway. It sounds like you and your therapist have a much better relationship than I did with mine though, so hopefully next week will be way better! Have a great day love 🙂

    Reply

  6. Kate
    May 04, 2010 @ 11:53:10

    it REALLY bothers me when people are late. it is almost like they are telling you that their time is more important than yours. i do not enjoy that feeling at all.

    hope you are having a good one!

    Reply

  7. Sonia
    May 04, 2010 @ 13:11:55

    I really enjoy reading about your therapy Mondays.
    I was in therapy a little over a year ago…It was really, really hard for me to find a good therapist- and I too am super picky about waiting times, etc. I would just go to the Student Wellness Center and ended up getting paired with graduate students who were completing their internships..it was a huge mess. One of them was from Russia and didn’t know what PMS meant! I gave up on therapy after never getting any good results- but it sounds like you are really making progress!

    Reply

  8. Joanne
    May 04, 2010 @ 19:25:34

    Most importantly. CONGRATS ON YOUR DATE! I’ve never had the courage to do that. Okay. Well. Right before I flew to SF for my marathon in October, I kissed the guy I liked. (It had disastrous consequences. I don’t advise upon making important decisions right before you are about to run 26.2 miles).

    But seriously. You rock.

    And yay for meeting so many of your goals! Again. You rock.

    I feel like you just can’t always be expected to be in the mood to talk to someone else, especially when their job is to interpret everythign you say. Maybe you just wanted someone to listen, ya know? Either way. Yo comprendo.

    Reply

  9. Christine @ Grub, sweat and cheers
    May 05, 2010 @ 14:46:58

    I too like reading about your therapy Mondays. I think you can probably put it down to one of those days where the smallest thing – like a short delay – can set things off on the wrong foot and it just seems impossible to gain balance after that. I also think it’s perfectly natural for your relationship with your (wonderful) therapist to have all the ebb and flow of other relationships. From everything you have said in the past, and even above, she sounds like a great fit for you so I wouldn’t stress over an off-kilter session too much.

    Btw…when I’m feeling a bit blue or in a pishy mood I look at Op Beautiful notes too – they really lift me up.

    Reply

  10. Trackback: Therapy Thought, Finals Health Week Challenge Day 3 « Run. Write. Therapy. Life.
  11. pen
    May 06, 2010 @ 14:04:10

    This sounds like so many of my sessions with my current (slash just broke-up with) therapist. She just made me contemptuous. I was so stubborn. Sigh. It makes me miss having a therapist that I really like.

    I hope next week is a little easier, or more productive, or more comforting.

    But, either way, I think these kinds of sessions happen to everyone in therapy.

    Reply

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