Therapy Tuesday

Today’s Happy Note: Walking through the evening air after a very long day.  It had just rained and it totally cleared my head and calmed me down.  The night sky is the most wonderful deep purple in summer and I feel like the stars are shining especially for me.

Workout: Squeezed in a quick 3.5 mile run in the late afternoon.  Also probably walked another 3 miles throughout the day.  Still having trouble waking up early to workout.  *Sigh*, maybe next week.

Therapy Tuesday:

Today was a bit confusing.  Both stressful and soothing — it was a difficult day to begin with because I had a lot to do for both jobs, and getting deep into my inner thoughts and self was a sort of added pressure.  I ended up taking part of the afternoon off work, which helped me get my thoughts straight.

Part of the reason I felt overwhelmed was that our conversation was all over the place.  I just had a lot on my mind and we sort of bounced around.  This is usually okay, but today it just added to the stress snowball!  There was a common theme though: punishing myself/feeling consistently bad about myself and believing that I deserve to feel consistently bad.  This came through in everything we talked about — from my sleep patterns to my relationship with my father.  It’s not a feeling that’s always there, but it is present in so many things I do and it is not soothing nor is it productive.  One thing I am eternally grateful to L for is pointing out moments when I judge myself.  Which is pretty much all the time.  L likes to emphasize that both the frequency and intensity of my feeling bad/sad can and will be lessened.  I believe her and trust her a lot but don’t feel so hopeful/confident myself.  I guess I do believe that I can grow and change and relate better to others, it’s just that feeling bad/sad is what I know.  Learning how to feel good more often (I do sometimes, as L reminded me!) is scary.  I am not sure what this might mean.  It sounds fun, but I’m apprehensive.  I think that, looking at the bigger picture, I have already moved towards feeling good/happy more in the past 9 months with L.  So a part of me is hopeful that I can feel that way more often.

“Bad” Caronae looks like: not fun, too loud, unloveable, gloomy, too shy around others, unattractive.  “Good” Caronae looks like the real me; it’s how I actually feel when I do believe in myself: tall, nice hair, creative, funny, active, loving, kind, fun to be around.

I feel like I am unhappy or “bad” because a part of me deserves this; like that’s how I’m meant to be.  I told L a story about some of my sleep problems lately — nightmares/waking up all night and oversleeping in the morning, then stressing out about it all the rest night — and concluded by saying something along the lines of “and therefore this is bad and I am bad.”  While this seemed like an obvious connection to me, she didn’t buy it.  It was refreshing to hear her say that a  minor disruption or disturbance in my life is okay.  I can manage these things.  They do not mean I am a bad person nor do they have to make a bad day.  I definitely replicate this kind of situation all the time in my everyday life.

L is always telling me to “just sit” or “be” with my feelings but I have had trouble understanding this.  Today I asked her to explain what she meant: she said that by experiencing our feelings and then letting them pass, eventually, we learn that we can deal with them and they will be less intense in the future.  The thing is: I am already a pretty intense “feeler”.  I spend a lot of time feeling things — that’s part of the reason I can’t sleep half the time!  Am I doing something wrong?  Am I not feeling things properly?  Am I somehow secretly turning away from my feelings?  I just feel confused because if (a) feeling things or being with my feelings is truly supposed to make things better and (b) I already do this then (c) what am I supposed to do and (d) why hasn’t it worked before?

L accused me of trying to change the subject at one point when I was talking about my feelings surrounding father’s day.  I find father’s day upsetting and difficult and it always leaves me unsettled.  I have been totally out of it the last few days thinking about it.  What it means to be a father or a daughter.  To relate to our parents.  To forgive past mistakes.  Obviously, it was uncomfortable to talk about these things.  Maybe I was trying to change the subject.  I don’t know.  I guess I’m just not really sure what “sitting with” my feeling in this instance would mean.  I know that I talk about things a lot — I acknowledge what’s going on with me; I am honest with L.  I am just not sure what else I must do…

It’s kind of funny writing this.  I feel like I am judging myself and using a lot of good/bad and right/wrong thinking.  L hates this kind of thing!  She would tell me I’m not doing anything wrong at all and that whatever path is unfolding before me is the one that is supposed to be there.  Maybe I need to have faith in that.  At the same time, I am just so anxious to improve or get better. But I am also beginning to have a major realization — therapy might not be about “improving” or “getting better.” Rather, maybe it’s about just exploring and relating with L.  I think I want to trust myself and not be so obsessed with changing.  Many people like me the way I am, and I know that I will have opportunities to meet new friends and mates in my life.  I think I have some faith, at this moment, that L is helping me learn and grow in new directions.  Certainly I have worked hard to explore and talk and discover.

Sometimes meditating a bit helps me at times like this.  It helps me remember that, as L points out during the bad times, things aren’t always bad.

I feel like if I weren’t “bad” or “deserving punishment” someone would love me, romantically speaking.  It’s frustrating to feel like no one wants to be with you and that you’re no fun.  It seems useful to understand the origins of my feelings; why I feel a certain way at a certain time.   But I feel frustrated about the lack of romantic love in my life all the time. Outside of a date once or twice a year, it really is all the time.  I am not sure if this is something that will simply pass in a year or two (or a month or two).  I truly don’t know.  I do know that I don’t like it.  That I want to love and be loved.  And, going back to something I said earlier, I think I just want to have faith in my ability to grow, and the possibility of good things happening.

It is nice to hear L tell me that things will be better.  This is encouraging.  I feel frustrated that my bad/sad self seems tied to so many relationship problems (family, friends, romance).  But I am beginning to believe in me.  That’s a start.

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 23:23:51

    This sounds lame…but…I seriously think you could benefit from like a match.com situation. I mean if you just want to date people, explore, get out and have fun and not necessarily meet your soulmate tomorrow 🙂 try it girl! I went on there 10 yrs ago and had tons of fun. Creepers, yes but weed thru them. Sorry for the unsolicited advice. Whatever you do, I know it will work out b/c you’re amazing!

    Reply

  2. Sarah
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 00:06:34

    As Averie says – Match.com! I never ever thought I’d go on a date until I joined that site and gave it a go. Although it made me realise I wasn’t ready for a relationship yet, it was great fun to meet new people and boost my confidence.

    Also, your thoughts on therapy made me think of a conclusion I’ve come to recently, that therapy isn’t necessarily always about fixing something, it’s more about personal exploration and development….being aware of what characteristics you have and appreciating them, getting the most from them.

    Feelings are funny things, and I know many of us hide them away, especially if we consider them bad/shameful feelings to have. But having them doesn’t make us bad people, just complex.

    Aw I just want to hug you after that – sounds like a tough session.

    xxx

    Reply

  3. Sonia
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 09:34:37

    YES- you have to believe in yourself and feel like you know who you are to be the best you can be- in my opinion 🙂
    It is so hard to let feelings “sit” for me too…It aggravates me and makes me anxious and I take it out on people around me. I can never just let things slide, and that has made for several rocky relationships in my past- but it’s who I am and I’m not really one to sit back back let stuff go when it really bothers me.
    It sounds like you’re making such great progress! Even sticking with therapy and not giving up on that is progress! I have been in therapy in the past but would always quit after 2-3 sessions. Kudos to you!

    Reply

  4. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 12:22:53

    I really like Averie’s Match.com idea, actually! I was talking to one of the bridesmaids about it this weekend, and she just created a profile but doesn’t know if she’ll actually go on dates because she’s scared of the creeper factor. She said it’s really reassuring to know that everyone is looking for something though- there’s none of that beating around the bush hard to read thing going on!

    The therapy revelation is an important one. I saw a therapist for several years before realizing that it’s not going to turn me into a 100% positive, happy, carefree person. What it CAN help with is making you more at ease with the person that you ARE. Don’t make apologies for being you!!

    Hope you’re having a great hump day!!

    Reply

  5. Ali @ Redhead Reports
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 14:15:15

    I love what you said at the end – beginning to believe in yourself is a great start! Best of luck, girl.

    Reply

  6. shesarunner
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 15:30:13

    “I feel like I am unhappy or “bad” because a part of me deserves this; like that’s how I’m meant to be.”

    I whole heartedly relate to this. And to almost everything in this post. But that sentence really struck a chord with me. Lately I’ve been thinking about why I’ve spent my whole life with depression and struggling with serious eating disorders and being a generally anxious and incredibly sad person. Bad things happen to people all the time, but not everyone spends their whole life underneath a dark cloud. I feel like I don’t even know what it means to be happy or normal, I don’t know what it feels like and I don’t know if I would recognize it if I ever had it. But above all, at my core I do not believe I deserve to be happy. And that holds me back….because no matter how hard I work towards happiness, if I don’t feel worthy of it I won’t get there.

    The fact that you are talking about this with your therapist (and with the blog world) and that you are starting to believe in yourself is definitely a start…a very good start..and I hope you continue to see that “bad Caronae” doesn’t really exist…that is not who you are. You are so much more, and you deserve so much better. And I believe that when you truly know that, all the issues (relationships, etc) will work themselves out.

    Reply

    • caronae
      Jun 23, 2010 @ 15:42:31

      Thank you. 🙂 It is exciting to begin to feel like a good person, like there is no fundamental badness to me. And you’re right, I think that when I consciously understand this, good things will happen!

      Reply

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