Therapy Tuesday

Today’s Happy Note: Borrowing a new book from L that I think might be soothing for me during a rough week.

Today was a 9-9 day.  Fun.  Wanted to wake up early for a workout but couldn’t sleep last night.  Didn’t work out yesterday either.  Blah.  I did walk about three miles today with a heavy backpack and (part of the time) heavy groceries.  I knew I would be too tired to cook once I got home (or run, even though I wanted to) so I got dinner at WF.  Came home, made protein ice cream, caught up on emails.  Now I’m here.

Other eats included the traditional post-therapy fro yo:

And some pretty rockin’ oats-in-a-jar:

I added about 3/4 frozen berries to the bottom of an almost empty honey AB jar and then poured the hot oats over them!  Topped with a few scoops vanilla Greek yogurt.  This was amazing!   The cold berries and hot oats worked so well together and made a giant cool mess.  Love.

Yogurt fact: My 95 year old grandfather strains his own plain yogurt to make it “Greek.”  He was telling me how he does it today with a pillow case!  I’ll have to try it sometime. 🙂

Caution: The rest of this post is kind of a downer.  If you aren’t in the mood to read something a bit depressing, I’d say skip it.  Don’t worry, I won’t hate you, I just don’t want to bring you down!

Therapy Tuesday

Today was sort of different.  I basically just told L about my whole “not caring” thing — how whenever she suggests something or wants to take a deeper look at something, lately, I just don’t care — I don’t want to think about things.  At all.  Maybe this is a subconscious defense mechanism; looking really deeply at my my life and my self and the scary inner-workings of my world can be quite painful.  But I don’t think that’s the full explanation.  In general, I am a very curious, open being.  I love learning about myself.  But somehow, when I am actually in the moment of therapy, I keep snapping shut– it feels like I couldn’t tell her my most personal, secretive thoughts even if I desperately wanted to.  Why don’t I want to?  It’s frustrating for both of us for me to not let her be useful.  I am pushing her away and I despise myself for that.

She drew a picture of a box (well, more of a window) for me.  It is a special box called the Johari box.  I really liked the idea of the box.  It looks like this:

I am stuck in the “private self” corner.  I can’t get into any of the other areas with L.  I am fine with myself, at least on the surface, but I experience tremendous difficulty thinking about or talking about the other areas: the public self (what both myself and others know about me), the blind self (what others know about me but I don’t know about myself) and the hidden self (what neither myself nor others knows about me).  Those three boxes scare me and I don’t know why.

It is not fun to continue doing something that I feel so terrible at — therapy.  And it’s not even that I’m just bad at it, it’s actively painful.  Frustrating, confusing.  I should not come home week after week feeling tense and stuck.  I can’t tell you how many times in the last few weeks I have thought about quitting therapy.  But there are two things wrong with this: first of all, I am very stubborn and hate quitting anything, and second, I really do feel a small —  but very powerful — connection to L and I do not wish to abandon that — I want to make it grow.  I want to be able to tell her something other than “I feel sad all the time” or “I hate everything about myself” (and sadly, those have been the bulk of my feelings lately).  I want to be able to talk about my day to day life and to figure out strategies to employ in my relationships.  But as soon as she offers me any kind of serious strategy, I revert to the not caring mode.

I talked a lot today about how uncontrollably, inexplicably sad I have felt lately.  Normally, I feel this way a few days a month.  In the last 1-2 months it has been more than half the time.  I am tired of being depressed.  I’ve been depressed for a good seven or eight years now.  Am I such a failure at all things that I can’t even manage my depression?  L asked me how I physically feel this and I became angry at her.  Who cares where I feel it in my body?  Who cares it it feels like a giant bubble of anxiety in my chest and stomach?  I don’t care what it feels like.  In fact I think looking at what it feels like it borderline idiotic.  I asked L to explain why she wanted to know how I was physically feeling my frustration: she said that sometimes we let our brains get so carried away in memories of the past or thoughts about the future or anxiety about the present moment that we forget what the actual feeling is.

That’s nice.  But I don’t care.  I honestly, right now, am feeling the deepest not-caring I have ever felt in my entire life.  It’s almost a hateful not caring — like I don’t care so much that I hate L.  And of course then I hate myself for hating such a kind being.

In a way, I actually enjoy the self-inflicted punishment that comes with constantly feeling everything in my body and my heart and my head.  It makes me write.  It makes me different.  I don’t want to not feel things the way I do.

But what if that’s the source of all my agony?  I think maybe it is, and maybe that’s what L has been getting it for the last 10 months, whether I have realized it or not.  But I don’t want it to be.  And I certainly don’t want to change.  I am feeling a lot of anger toward myself, L, and the process of therapy right now.  Why, dear God, after close to a year, has she not been able to help me?  Why have I not been able to let her help me?  Why haven’t I let her in.  That’s what I want, more than anything, is to let her in.  There haver been moments when I have felt totally connected to her, and those moments have been beautiful and sometimes pivotal.  So why am I resisting so much now?  I feel like there is no other explanation besides the fact that I am a hopeless loser who doesn’t deserve therapy who is destined to be alone forever.

As I have said before, I truly adore L: I think she is not just an excellent psychologist, but a wonderful, kind human being (most of the time — we all have our moments).  Not only that, but I think she is the right therapist for me.  So what am I doing wrong?  Will I ever feel close to another human being again or have I lost that ability?  When will going “home” ever mean anything besides returning to an empty apartment, making myself a lonely dinner, and crying myself to sleep?

I actually do have a plan for next week.  At some point today I mentioned how I always write about therapy afterwards.  She asked why I haven’t shown her.  I have always considered it somehow too personal; like my writing about therapy is the one thing I have to claim as my own.  But I kind of want to show her now.  I don’t know what else to do.  I don’t know if this might help things along.  But it can’t hurt to try.  I am basically going to compile every Therapy Monday/Therapy Tuesday rant and paste them into one document and give it to her next week.

Goodnight friends!  See you all tomorrow!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Jul 07, 2010 @ 02:15:23

    Aw hun. I guess in a way part of feeling depressed and low inevitably entails not caring about such things. I remember that prior to last year I felt that way most of my life…I felt low and awful about everything, and yet I wasn’t interested in finding out why or seeking help, part of me believed that this was the best that I could hope for, and that it was all I deserved.

    It sounds to me that part of you does want to dig deeper, and make more meaningful connections, but you’re still maybe not so sure about how to do that yet or what it means, and that’s ok. I think it sounds like a really good idea to compile all your therapy insights together, because you always express yourself so eloquently in them, and perhaps your therapist can see things or patterns in them which you may have missed?

    I don’t know if this is relevant to you or not, but I remember that one my biggest barriers to sharing things, was and in some instances still can be, fear of change. I worry that if I unlock certain parts of myself, I will change in some way, and I might not like it. In fact the opposite is true, last year something clicked for me in therapy that opened me up into the person I always wanted to be. To some extent the lack of therapy and some ED issues since then have hidden parts of that person away again, but the fact is that now I know she exists, as does that better life I always dreamed about, which gives me confidence that I can reach that same point again and beyond.

    Sorry for the endless waffle, just wanted to share my own experiences in the hope of shedding some light on your own…

    Sarah x

    Reply

    • caronae
      Jul 07, 2010 @ 08:39:22

      Your comment is not an “endless waffle.” Very insightful! I think I am afraid to unlock certain parts of myself because what if the new parts are scary or not as good?

      Reply

  2. Elizabeth
    Jul 07, 2010 @ 10:33:36

    I really hope you enjoy the book! I’ve found the Dalai Lama to be incredibly centering and helpful when it comes to times that I felt disarray or stress. Something about the way that Tibetan Buddhism focuses of addressing only less than what you feel you can handle at a time, and working through things (even a single thought!) at you rown pace is incredibly inspiring (even though I’m not very good at that 🙂 ) I’ve found that a lot of TIbetan Buddhist writings and narratives make it possible for me to consider my own life in a reflective but gentle and non-comparative way.

    My absolute favorite book that I’ve ever read in the realm of Buddhism is “Memoirs of a Tibetan Lama” by Lobsang Gyatso http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1559390972/ref=oss_product
    It’s basically the story of his life journey, which is incredible, but simply told, and interesting! and incredibly centering.

    That first picture looks absolutely delicious! The WF hot bar never fails!

    Reply

    • caronae
      Jul 07, 2010 @ 10:38:16

      Thanks for the advice! I am definitely interested in learning more about Buddhism, and I really like the idea of centering myself by just addressing one thought at a time.

      Reply

  3. Kelly
    Jul 07, 2010 @ 18:14:07

    Hi Caronae,

    I stumbled across your blog recently, and it’s been such a privilege to read your thoughts. I, too, began working with an excellent therapist around the same time you did, for some of the same reasons, but had to cut the process regrettably short a month and a half ago when I graduated from college and moved across the country. I can relate to a lot of the struggles you’re having with therapy—especially the “snapping shut” when you wish you could open up, and feeling angry about exploring things that don’t feel useful in the moment—but the fact that you’re so insightful, and so committed to understanding yourself, makes me feel confident that you’ll resolve them. I suspect that the most painful and frustrating parts of therapy end up being the most worthwhile in the long run. I hope your sadness recedes soon!

    Kelly

    Reply

    • caronae
      Jul 07, 2010 @ 20:33:40

      First of all, thanks for stopping by and saying hello! I love to meet new people through blogging, it’s one of my favorite things. 🙂 Secondly, thanks so much for sharing your insights about therapy. I think you are right about being committed to learning about myself meaning a lot! I know that is important. Hopefully things will become clearer and happier for me soon!

      Reply

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