Me + Therapy

Remember this post last year?

So… things seemed to get better for a time, but only a little while. After that post, a friend of mine who works in the mental health field gave me a list of therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists and encouraged me to get some help.

It was a brave thing to do, really. He risked me getting upset with him for thinking I was crazy, for butting in to my personal life. But, I understood that he was concerned. It meant a lot to me.

Even so, I didn’t do anything with The List. We didn’t have very good medical and were in a tight spot financially. Plus, I didn’t really think I needed it.

Fast forward…

I’ve been feeling down again. Down on myself, mostly. Second guessing everything I do and say. I haven’t had suicide thoughts like I did before, but I know they’re creeping below the surface.

My rational side knows that people like… LOVE me. I know that I’m a good person, that I am valued. This other depressed negative side of me will not stop berating myself and it’s getting to be all-consuming.

So, after my insurance took effect on March 1st, I emailed my friend and asked for “The List” again. I talked to my doctor and asked for recommendations from him. I had previously been discussing getting one of those therapy lights for S.A.D., and when I came to ask for therapist recommendations he said, “I would much rather have you sit down and talk with someone than stare at a light.”

I laughed.

So, yesterday, I walked in to my first appointment with my psychologist. She led me into a large office where there were three chairs.

“Please, have a seat,” she said.

“Uh, which one?” I asked.

This is a test! I just KNOW it!

“Whichever one you think you’ll be most comfortable in,” she smiled.

Crap! Which chair… comfy? Leather? Pretty yellow? AH!

“Where do you sit?” I asked.

“I sit in all of them,” she replied. “I try not to sit in the same chair all day long.”

Damnit woman, tell me where to sit!

So, I picked the comfy seat. And thus began my first trip down therapy lane.

The whole appointment was good. She asked about my past, my childhood, my marriage, my job, etc. We dove into why I have a seemingly constant negative dialogue going through my head.

And, at the end, I had my first assignment:

In a notebook, write down the date, followed by the exact negative phrase that I think. I can’t sugar coat it or whitewash it. It needs to be exact and done at the precise moment that I think it.

I left the office at 6:30 and started my journal. By the time I went to bed, this is what I had written down:

You’re a bad mom. You’re chatting with a therapist instead of picking the kids up early from daycare.

She doesn’t really want to talk to you. Why are you calling her anyway? You’re annoying.

Your jacket isn’t tight from the layers you’re wearing. It’s tight because you’re fat.

You didn’t even reply, “Oh fun! Where are you guys going for dinner?” You changed the subject. You need to be a better friend.

Just like I mentioned in my post last year, I am not bringing these things to light because I want praise and attention. I just hate feeling this way and I KNOW that I’m not alone. I KNOW there are others who have these same thoughts. I want to name it and claim it so maybe others will, too.

So, that’s what’s going on. Sorry for being neglectful and then coming back with a heavy post. It is what it is, I s’pose.