(A Very Cranky) Therapy Monday

Today’s Happy Note: Pretty much the only bright spot in my day was seeing my friend Asia this evening.  We only chatted for a few minutes but sometimes friends just make everything better.

Outside of that, today was pretty miserable.  The worst part is that there was no reason to feel miserable.  Little tiny things kept building up and making me more and more upset.  At the gym this evening, my hair was really tangled when I got out of the shower, which never happens, and I almost had a panic attack because it was not cooperating with the hair brush.  I literally started tearing up.  Ridiculous, no?  I had to restrain myself from screaming at a few people on the phone at work (in my defense, they were asking stupid questions).  Normally I am fairly patient, but today was more of a please-get-out-of-my-way-stop-bothering-me-and-never-come-back day.  While I pretty much felt cranky from the get-go this morning, therapy did NOT help things, as you will see later.

I have gotten really annoyed lately with blogs that portray the blogger as constantly happy, healthy, smiling, and perfect.  You know those blogs (and bloggers) exist.  After reading about a day of perfect eats and perfect workouts and a perfect family and a perfect trip to the beach or picnic with the boyfriend, sometimes I just want to scream, “really”?  Is that really what happened?  You never felt sad or angry or annoyed or plain old grumpy? Blogs have different “categories”, I suppose, but I think that I have difficulty connecting to any blogger who doesn’t let his or her personalities seep through.  We’re all different and that’s a good thing.  Additionally, I feel like this is especially relevant to health blogs: if we don’t take care of our feelings and our mental health, I think it’s too easy to get caught up in the physical side of things, and this can lead to obsession, burnout, or a sense of unfulfillment.  So, if you were wondering why I talk about my feelings so often, that’s why.

Exercise: I felt really stressed after work and thought about going home, but I knew that a little bit of sweat might, at the very least, relieve some of my anxiety.  I did ten minutes of abs followed by an hour on the elliptical.  I did a sort of fartlek workout, varying the resistance, incline, and speed pretty frequently.  It was nice to switch things up a bit and kept me interested!

Eats: I feel too upset and disoriented to post any pictures of food right now; it just seems sort of irrelevant, plus everything was boring (except I did try April’s protein cake and it was fun!).  I am currently snacking on some kashi oatmeal with brown sugar, maple syrup, and almond butter and it’s a great dessert-y combination.  Mmmmm.

Therapy Monday:

Before I begin ranting, I definitely want to point out that there were some good things about today.  In describing what I’m looking forward to finally having time to do this summer (planting seeds in a window sill potter, baking muffins, etc.) I suddenly realized how anxious and tense the school year makes me.  I hate that feeling that there’s constantly something to do; I feel like a fresh, new person right now.  Even when I do take time to myself during the school year, I often don’t enjoy myself.  If I’m reading blogs, I’m also thinking about how many pages need to be read in the next week; if I’m watching TV, I’m thinking about how I am going to fit everything into the next day.  She helped me see that sometimes it is really, truly okay to just let go and be free from yourself for a little while.  This is one of those things that I “know” but I also don’t really know.  I want to learn how to put it into practice.

The sense of anxiety and tension that I feel during the school year slowly abated over the weekend and then came flooding out during the session today (I only realized this afterwards).  It was like all my sadness and confusion and stress from this semester entered my conscious brain in the space of an hour.  I think this is probably one of the reason’s that (a) I was all over the place today in terms of my thoughts, emotions, and reactions, and (b) I was so terribly sensitive.

I decided that I wanted to talk a little bit about my date and my experiences with men in general.  Somehow this seemingly innocent topic turned into a semi-hysterical sob session in which I felt deeply offended by my therapists perception of the situation. Did that sentence even make any sense?  Probably not but I think it reflects how I felt interacting with my therapist today: like something was just not quite right.  At one point I mentioned something about how I feel so unsuccessful with men, and I was sobbing and really feeling what I was saying pretty intensely.  Then she said, “why don’t you just let yourself feel it?”  I just stared at her in confusion.  What more could she possibly want me to feel?  Maybe there is something missing.  Maybe I do not know how to “feel” properly, but if so, I don’t really know what to think: I have built most of my life — my experiences, relationships, and interests — around the concept of deeply feeling and connecting. I take this very seriously.

So on one level I felt offended. On another level I felt angry.  She just kept saying over and over “we need to look at this” and “we need to figure out how you got here”.  While that may be true, I think it’s kind of counterproductive to just repeat that  over and over again.  Furthermore, I know that that approach is not necessarily an effective framework for me.  I wasn’t totally clear with her about this because, like I said, I was a little bit hysterical.  I just do not want to have to feel like I am mapping out my history and my life, locating the textbook problems and then making corrections.  I don’t think this is actually what she meant, but this was how she came across.

I left the session today in far more pain than I was in when I came in.  This is not okay.  I sent my therapist a long e-mail letter telling her that something about today didn’t quite work for me and that I really do want to find a way that does work.  I feel like I am doing something wrong.  I have had sessions with my therapist that have blown my mind and left me feeling comforted, relieved, joyful, or prepared.  Right now I feel sad, lonely, and confused.  It’s frustrating to feel like this has happened twice in a row now.  I take therapy very seriously.  I think about therapy, my emotions, my inner life A LOT.  Not just in therapy.  This is no walk in the park for me.  It’s more like a climb up a mountain.  But damn it, if it’s going to be a climb up a mountain, I want it to be a rewarding and satisfying one.  Not an arduous, constantly painful one.

Alright friends.  Tell me some happy things!  I need this mood to go away!  What is making you happy right now?

I’ll start: the fact that I am going to see my beautiful sister this weekend and seeing peony buds in the park!

Goodnight!  Sleep tight!


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    May 10, 2010 @ 22:14:43

    Something happy? Good food makes me happy…(Will this help?)

    A memory came to me as I red that last question:

    One of the best meals I had in my life happened at your home in high school. Three or four platters were set out full of sliced veggies such as celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, zuccini, and many more along with cheeses and deli meats rolled up. As a spread we used fresh avacado. Another tray was full of fresh cut pineapple, strawberries, honey dew melon, cantalope, and others I can’t remember. I remembering wondering to myself, “where is the main dish?” Before I knew it, ‘snacking’ on all those scrumptious healthy goodies filled me up giving me a ‘food baby.’
    Since then I’ve always remembered that vegatables and fruits can and will fill you up, and feel better than simple carbohydrates will on your system.

    Just thought I’d share. Think of this cranky time as a balance to your happy time, I know I’d rather have balance in my life than forced happiness.


    • caronae
      May 11, 2010 @ 07:31:50

      Oh goodness those meals were so typical of my mother! I can’t believe you remember. I’ll have to tell her that people appreciated her healthy food!


  2. Maggie @ Fit.Fun.Food
    May 10, 2010 @ 22:43:40

    I’m sorry you had a rough day! But I really do applaud you for being so honest when so few people are. Right now I’m happy because my bf and I were in a rough spot but now it’s getting way better! And I’m watching Greek!


  3. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    May 10, 2010 @ 23:03:44

    so sorry that you are in a rough patch today…hugs!

    what makes me happy is long walks and talks w/ scott with skylar in her stroller

    and re the therapy thing, i used to go to therapy and sometimes, rehashing and talking doesnt help. it just makes wounds/issues fresh and big and doesnt always help. not saying all therapy is this way, just some days or sessions. maybe just chalk it up to that..hang in honey! xo


  4. Sarah
    May 11, 2010 @ 00:08:10

    Days like these are important. I have a whole blog dedicated to the things that I struggle with, which is also a place to vent and problem solve at the same time. It’s OK to have these feelings, and to talk about them. Sometimes they don’t go away instantly, but it’s better to get them out there, then they become more external and easier to dissect and deal with. No one is happy all the time, I think some people are just afraid to blog about the darker side of life, cos they are worried no one will want to read. I really value your honesty in this blog, and I think you are quite hard on yourself at times. Bad days are learning experiences, and I personally learn more from them than good days.

    What is making me happy right now? The possibility that I might be getting a job soon! My second interview went well, and whilst the job isn’t what I would have picked in an ideal world, it’s can give me financial independence, confidence, chance to meet people, get back into the world, and just give me a sense of purpose and structure to life that I am lacking right now. Just thinking about being employed after so long brings a smile to my face 🙂

    Sarah x


  5. Heather (Where's the Beach)
    May 11, 2010 @ 07:34:22

    I totally know how you feel. I have days like that too. The way I get through is to just find the positives, b/c they do exist. I also try to figure out what has me all in a tiff. Hope you’re feeling better today!


  6. Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers
    May 11, 2010 @ 09:31:08

    Sorry to read about the rough day. But at the same time I am so grateful you are honest about what you are going through. A lot of the food/health blogs out there aren’t real in this sense at all. You never get a feel for the person, just a couple cheery lines and a pretty pic. That’s fine, that’s okay, but there’s no guts or dimension to these blogs.

    Strange how your past 2 sessions have been off-kilter – how both your Mondays started off on the wrong foot and didn’t seem to get back on track.

    You talk of your journey up the mountain and I think even days like yesterday ARE a part of your progress because even when you are in a place of pain you are dealing with it and moving through it – and that is all forward progress.

    Hope today is brighter for you. 🙂


  7. eatspinlive
    May 11, 2010 @ 09:43:59

    As a psychology major, I couldn’t agree more with the idea that sometimes we get too caught up in the physical side of things rather than what really matters 🙂 great post!


  8. Kate
    May 11, 2010 @ 13:46:09

    i am sorry you had a craptastic day. but i totally aplaud the fact that you sent your therapist a letter letting her know your frustration. way to be proactive.

    i am very lucky and have been doing pretty well for awhile. i think lots of itty bitty changes added up and eventually things just kind of shifted. what is making me happy today you ask? I AM GOING GROCERY SHOPPING! after dinner tonight my challenge is over and my fridge is EMPTY! Fresh fruits and veggies here I come 🙂

    take care woman! and seriously, send your last post to oprah 😉


  9. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    May 11, 2010 @ 13:54:03

    I’m sorry to hear your day didn’t go well…I know that even if sometimes there was nothing that went “wrong”, bad feelings have a way of getting the best of us. Both my mom and I have dealt with depression for years, and something I’m just now realizing is that sometimes you just have to stop analyzing your emotions, and feel them for what they are. Sadness is okay, anger is okay, confusion is okay…I like to focus on what can get me OUT of my moods, rather than what got me INTO them. I hope you find a way of discussing things with your therapist that helps you without getting you so upset 🙂

    Something that’s making me happy is the discovery of how delicious asparagus is smothered in hummus! Hope today is going better for you!


  10. Katherine: What About Summer?
    May 11, 2010 @ 16:03:40

    Let it out; I love that you’re honestly putting all your feelings out here. I’m so glad to read it all. I get so stressed/anxious/worried and it is a huge comfort to know I’m not the only one!


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