Category Archives: therapy

Therapists should NOT be allowed to get sick!

At the psychotherapist

I want to be like this guy, but both of my therapists are sick. Damn!

Last week, I got a call from my therapist’s office. He has a medical emergency and will be out for at least a few weeks.

That sucks, but at least I still have my group therapy. Or so I thought. I just got a call from my group therapist. He’s sick. No group therapy this week.

I wish my therapists a quick and speedy recovery from whatever it is they’ve got. But damn if I don’t feel like I’m on a trapeze, and I’ve just lost a good portion of my net.

I hereby proclaim that therapists should not be allowed to get sick. If they do, there should be some kind of magic pill that whips them back to health just like that. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Can I keep calm if my anxiety doctor’s on vacation?

Today, at the start of my anxiety therapy group, the doctor who leads us started with an announcement: he’ll be on vacation for the next two weeks.

The good news is that, even though all of us have anxiety severe enough to land us in a doctor-led group, our fearless leader is not assigning another doctor to us while he’s out. In other words, he thinks we’ll be just fine for a few weeks without him.

The bad news is, that’s not how we think. When you have an anxiety disorder, any kind of change can create more anxiety. Our doctor knows that, which is probably why he opened with that announcement instead of saving it until the end. He knew this was something that needed “processing.”

I already miss the guy. He’s a tough therapist who pushes us to do the things that scare us the most. Needless to say, I haven’t always been thrilled when I left his sessions. But I can see the progress that I’ve made, and I don’t like the thought of not reporting to him until next month.

It kind of reminds me of that old movie What About Bob?, where Bill Murray plays patient who finds where his doctor is vacationing — and joins him there. Now, I’m not planning on stalking my doctor. I’m afraid he wouldn’t like that, and that’s probably a “good” fear.

And besides, an intrepid member of our group has already come up with a solution: what if we just get together on our own for the next few weeks and check in with each other anyway? Our doctor supports this idea, and I think it’s a good one.

That suggestion tells me two things: first, we are committed to our recovery, so much so that we don’t want to take a “break” from it. This other thing is (channeling Sally Field here), we like each other. We really like each other. Even though all of us have different roots and levels of anxiety, we all have issues with social interaction. So it can only be good that we still want to interact with one another, even without a doctor.

I’ve committed to joining my temporarily doctor-less group. I’m sure we’ll listen to each other and give some pretty good advice. Or maybe we’ll watch What About Bob? That would be fun. We’d be reminded that, as bad as we think we are, we could sure be a lot worse.

Something I’m not proud of

Last night, I did something I never did before.

I cut myself. Deliberately. It was not a major cut. I only drew a little blood. But my heart is racing just as I’m telling you this. That tells me that I need to be honest about it.

I’m not going to say how I did it. I try to think about who may be reading this blog, and what might be triggering. I do not want to trigger anyone. But I’ll say this. I faced a lot of triggers of my own yesterday. And at the end of the day, I looked at myself in the mirror, didn’t like what I saw, and then…I did it.

Honestly, I was surprised at how GOOD it felt. Yes. Good. In fact, to be completely honest, it felt euphoric. It was as if I saw some of my own pain being released. I can only describe it as an out-of-body experience. For a brief moment, I wasn’t myself.

And then…something pulled me back. Reality, I guess. All I know is, I went from being euphoric to being ashamed of myself, pretty damn quick. I talked to my therapist about it this morning. Needless to say, he wasn’t thrilled. But he did tell me that there are a lot of reasons why people cut themselves, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to end their lives. A lot of it, he said, has to do with that feeling of euphoria that I felt. Of wanting a release. Or of just wanting to do anything to feel good.

But he sure doesn’t want me to make this a habit, and I don’t want it to become one, either. There are better ways to feel good, like more exercise and support groups. I incorporate both of those, but I have to try to do them even more.

This is where you come in. If you are so inclined, please share your coping skills for turning bad habits into good habits. I really do want to hear your suggestions. Thank you in advance.


It’s one of those days

I just came in from a short walk in the snow. The flakes flew in my face. I thought they were attacking me. I couldn’t stand them. When I got back home, I started crying.

It scares me when I have this kind of day. Is this a major thing or a minor thing? I don’t know. People are calling me, wanting answers. What’s going on, they want to know. How can I tell them when I don’t know myself?

I have a call into my therapist. He’ll call me back. He’s good about that. But I’m a little scared that he’ll think I should be in the hospital. If that’s the case, it will be the third time this year.

I hate days like today. I just fucking hate them!!!!

Which Americans suffer most from depression?

Saw this on CBS today. Nearly 1 out of every 10 Americans have depression, but only one third seek help. That’s got to change!

Making my bed — so that I WON’T lie in it

I’ve never really liked making my bed. I’ve done it when I’ve been in relationships, mainly because my partner expected it. But as a single man, I’ve always thought “Why? No one’s going to see it, and I’ll just have to un-make it latter.”

But in a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) session I attended a few months ago, the instructor said that making my bed was one of the most effective “mind tricks” I could use at the start of the day. I can see his point. If I don’t make my bed, it’s just too damn easy to crawl in to it. And it’s also too damn easy to look at the disheveled tangle of sheets and equate that to my view of my life, my world, and myself. That’s not exactly a recipe for a good day.

So now, I try to make my bed every morning. I say “try” because there are still days when I don’t. But when I look at photomy made bed, and my furry pals resting on it, I see some order. I see something that looks, as my mother used to say, “a little more presentable.”

Often, that makes my outlook at little more presentable, too.

Hang in there this Thanskgiving

You know you’re in a depression/anxiety support group when, at the end, someone shouts:

“Hey, everyone, HANG IN THERE this Thanksgiving.”

Here’s someone who knows that dealing with all the friends and family can be, putting it diplomatically, a little trying. The doctor who leads our group said, “Wow. That’s actually a very accurate thing to say to a lot of people before Thanksgiving.”

We all agreed to hang in there. And we left knowing that we’ll all probably have a lot to say at our next session after Thanksgiving.

So, to my friends out there in the blogosphere — HANG IN THERE this Thanksgiving!

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