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.
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!