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.
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.