Still thinking about checking out some therapy, but these two books helped me out a lot:
I went from perpetually anxious, angry, and emotionally dead ... to the degree where I couldn't stand leaving my apartment or I'd shuck off relationships, to almost never anxious, cool with things, and fairly level headed with some help from those texts. Most of the work comes from introspection and the sheer will to get better no matter how much work or pain's involved. Not being anxious anymore and feeling emotions is the greatest thing in the world after dealing with it from my teens through 20s.
― Spectrum, Wednesday, 15 February 2012 07:00 (1 year ago) Permalink
Was going to fire my therapist today and she therapied me into making another appt.
― rayuela, Saturday, 25 February 2012 00:06 (1 year ago) Permalink
― mookieproof, Saturday, 25 February 2012 00:08 (1 year ago) Permalink
they're good when they want to be
― beware of greek bearer bonds (darraghmac), Saturday, 25 February 2012 03:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
about 10 weeks in now, it's a fucking incredibly hard thing to do i have to say. for 2/3 weeks i felt it was having this huge improvement and probably invested too much in a bounce that could have been to do with anything, then for the last week just been back to feeling fairly bad, with the added sense of questioning more of my perspectives than ever, and the realisation or worry that you know, maybe you can never really be happy. i think so far therapy has made me accept some things that i didn't before, but in the process made me then think "well if i am wrong about this then who knows what else in me could be totally skewed and messed up"
― I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Thursday, 29 March 2012 20:54 (1 year ago) Permalink
so you feel more like it's snowballing your bad feelings, than helping you build on the good?
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 29 March 2012 20:56 (1 year ago) Permalink
i think overall it's positive, just i am probably going through a big overhaul, and maybe i am worse off than i thought when i went in. not in terms of being more depressed, just maybe more stuff buried, tangled, etc. it's been pretty confusing cos i am basically trying to unpick a physical prob from a mental one.
― I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Thursday, 29 March 2012 20:58 (1 year ago) Permalink
well make sure you're saying these things to your therapist. the only way they know how to really help is if you do a bit of flight-control from time to time, if talking about certain things is sending you off on a bad tangent, let him/her know, and say you want tools to deal with the bad feelings you're having now, rather than talking about things that are already past, you know, be a little proactive.
but your first time through therapy is definitely weird, I can totally relate to having similar feelings myself, and sort of feeling like you've pulled out all the yarn out of the box but it's all still tangled arrrrggggh now what
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 29 March 2012 21:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
^^^ the yarn analogy is spot on
― beanz meanz lulz (snoball), Thursday, 29 March 2012 21:04 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'll drive the yarn analogy into the ground now...
the way I decided to approach it was, okay most of the yarn is going to stay tangled. I'm not using it right now, it's not causing me major problems. I just need to untangle this one ball of yarn that I need to use. As I go, I might find it's tangled with another ball of yarn or two, but I can't worry about all of it. I'm still mostly okay in myself, I'm me, this is who I am. I just need to be able to cope better with these (x) things.
You know? Making it about smaller goals is okay to start out with.
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 29 March 2012 21:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
I only spent a few weeks in therapy, and it was mainly because I was having trouble dealing with conflict. My short timeframe allowed my counsellor to really hone in on that, and try to give me some tools to help me with it and unpack where my fear of conflict came from. In the process I dragged up other bigger things along with it. But just being able to feel like I'd tackled this one thing that fed into so many parts of my life, actually made me feel okay about leaving some bigger things unsolved for now. A narrow focus might seem shortsighted, but if you have a lot to deal with, you can only deal with them one at a time. Don't stress yourself out trying to deal with everything, you know?
okay I 'll stop now, I don't want to sound too preachy
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 29 March 2012 21:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
I definitely had the same experience - a mixture of prioritisation ("OK what do I need to deal with now so that I don't explode, and what can wait for a bit?") and dividing problems up into smaller goals ("How can I make 'not being angry with everyone all the time' into more manageable sub-goals?").
― beanz meanz lulz (snoball), Thursday, 29 March 2012 21:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
The best thing about therapy is when you have sudden, powerful realizations about past events or particular interpersonal relationships which have colored your thinking or behavior. Things that no amount of bouncing things around in your own head would ever uncover. It can sometimes take a while to get to that point, but it's worth the slog.
― Calvin Coolranch (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 29 March 2012 22:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
dug through all kinds of family stuff in my sessions, stuff that I'd never really talked about, and most of my conflict stemmed from early Mum issues. Then a month or two after I'd stopped my sessions, I was skyping with my Mum and I just had this moment where I was like, she's just a person. see? just a slightly older-now lady who loves me. and it changed EVERYTHING.
it was kind of great. just seeing who she IS now without seeing who she was.
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 29 March 2012 22:22 (1 year ago) Permalink
Yeah, I was starting to have some similar revelations about my dad (DIFFICULT relationship, there) that I was unfortunately unable to resolve before he died. The lesson being: the sooner you deal with this stuff, the better.
― Calvin Coolranch (Deric W. Haircare), Thursday, 29 March 2012 22:31 (1 year ago) Permalink
― I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Thursday, March 29, 2012 4:54 PM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
Realizing how wrong you were about everything is the first step to making a new life for yourself. It's a little crazy at first, but this is it, man. The moment I realized how skewed and twisted my worldview was, I was able to just throw all it all in the garbage, incinerate it, and move on. It's a pain in the ass, but it's totally worth it, no matter how difficult or strange it is, and how many twisty interconnected webs of shit, infinite loops of bad thinking you gotta break, and painful repressed emotions to relive. I did it all w/o therapy, so not sure what your approach is, but you can totally be happy. There's a life after all the bullshit, human beings are incredibly adaptive creatures... I mean, we survived the ice age.
― Spectrum, Thursday, 29 March 2012 23:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
Good luck to you, Spectrum, that is really brave to realize that! I hope you have a rewarding future.
― โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Honk if You Love Roan Hair, Whoo (Mount Cleaners), Thursday, 29 March 2012 23:37 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks. I had two Joan Crawfords for parents, united in their Crawfordiness, plus a good dose of sadistic bullying, so it was pretty much imperative to face all that shit to live a halfway decent life.
― Spectrum, Friday, 30 March 2012 00:44 (1 year ago) Permalink
otm, semi-been there
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 30 March 2012 01:18 (1 year ago) Permalink
Definitely agree. I've had this a few times already and it feels great. I maybe overstated my despair above, think I just need not to think "I'm cured!" after these revelations.
About two sessions ago I realised that for years I've sort of internalised my physical health probs as part of me and who I am, along with all the experiences they've brought.
I suddenly realised how unfair and wrong this was, to adopt this awful thing as a part of me, something entirely negative, and to let it grow through me mentally, whatever about not being able to get rid of it physically.
As I say this felt so big that I think I got a bit eureka about what's prob still a long road/process.
― I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Friday, 30 March 2012 13:14 (1 year ago) Permalink
probably invested too much in a bounce that could have been to do with anything, then for the last week just been back to feeling fairly bad
this happens to me too, and every time i'm like why did i let myself get fooled!! it's a very disappointing thing.
― rayuela, Friday, 30 March 2012 16:05 (1 year ago) Permalink
Feeling similarly... falling back into old patterns and still realizing how much work there is left to do. It's so easy to make one inch of progress and think everything's great (more like denial, I guess, nobody should want these things to be real about themselves). Just got a nice in-house writing job for a fairly well-known company, so that triggered it I'm pretty sure.
Now that I'll be making better money, I think I'll give a real therapist a shot. The hardest part right now, aside from teaching myself all the crap my parents didn't (how to work, take care of myself, relate to people, not freak out, etc.), is this feeling of resentment and insecurity at people who just seem to glide through life. I feel like such a loser sometimes, but some people are luckier than others that they don't have to do this work. But count yer blessings, etc.
― Spectrum, Monday, 30 April 2012 02:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
You'd be surprised - the people who are gliding through life might have already been where you are now. Don't let those feelings take hold, or intimidate you into thinking you're alone/isolated/etc. A lot of what ppl project publicly is so masked - try to turn it around for yourself so you can move forward, ie you're being brave by giving a therapist a real shot, because so many people don't. And that's not even 'turn that frown upside down' wankery, cos it's true :)
― Peppermint Patty Hearst (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 30 April 2012 03:12 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks, I appreciate that. It's a lot easier to just wish it all away as opposed to doing something about it, especially when our culture looks down on people, especially men, for going to therapy.
I'm sure others are out there who've survived and are living good lives, probably without me knowing it... this isn't exactly good water cooler talk. But my lord, doing this takes so much inner strength, intelligence, creativity, and utter will power that if the people who are gliding can keep this soft attitude and look of obliviousness, I have no idea how they do it. The people I've met in the career world who are survivors have been utterly miserable people, bitter, nasty, with a horrible mean streak, or prone to totally mistreating people, and I have absolutely no interest in living like that... though I recognize some of those behaviors in myself from time to time. Breaking the cycle, etc.
This feels like tearing down one life and rebuilding a completely new one. Maybe that's my personality more than anything, but I don't see any other way.
― Spectrum, Monday, 30 April 2012 03:34 (1 year ago) Permalink
i started posting on ilx as "al" shortly before November 2001 so every time this thread is revived i do a double take wondering if i started it
― some dude, Monday, 30 April 2012 03:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
xpost ehh, just ignore that big chunk of text I wrote. On further inspection, I think you're right.
― Spectrum, Monday, 30 April 2012 03:49 (1 year ago) Permalink
Man, do I ever know that feeling of looking at others and feeling bitter that they have it so damn easy. It's true most everyone has a story (eg Veg OTM); OTOH some definitely have had it easier than others.
It can be real tough when you're trying to turn things around to see any of the progress you've made. Therapy takes a lot of effort and working through feelings and experiences and shit can take years and years. That you're doing it is courageous. You're planting seeds now that will be harvested in the future. It's hard to be patient, but keep going.
Also to the world that says therapy is for losers (esp men I guess, wtf?), I say, "Fuck that." Thousands and thousands of people do it every year, and it helps make people better. It's a better use of time and money and energy than dozens of inane things society approves of, like shopping.
― Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Monday, 30 April 2012 03:56 (1 year ago) Permalink
I want to say I support you and your feelings are real and ok!
― Dale, dale, dale (Abbbottt), Monday, 30 April 2012 03:57 (1 year ago) Permalink
I'm going back into therapy as soon as I have the money or insurance (whichever comes first) to do so, even though I'm generally in a better place mentally than I've been in almost two years. It's like doing upkeep on a car: you let that shit slide too long and you pay through the nose when you have a breakdown.
― O Aquaman (Deric W. Haircare), Monday, 30 April 2012 04:11 (1 year ago) Permalink
Thanks, Abbottt. It's nice to feel that I'm not alone in this. Right now is the first time I've become aware of why and how I fall back into bad habits and patterns whenever something big or stressful happens, and that's when all progress is completely reversed. It's like becoming aware you're living in the Matrix or you're the Prisoner or something. So that's good at least.
My question is: now what? I'd like to go to therapy but it'll take 3 months for my benefits to kick in, and I don't have much of a support network to rely on. Confronting the honest truth is like a wave of molten lead crashing on top of me and it's hard not to get sucked in and down (or, uhhh, burned alive), especially without any support. Positive side is life is far better than years ago, and my career is starting to kick off after two extreme changes in course, so I'm lucky in that regard.
― Spectrum, Friday, 4 May 2012 22:23 (1 year ago) Permalink
i basically did 12 weeks of this, which was state sponsored, and the dude was v good but at the end was all "make the investment in your happiness" meaning go private and pay 50 quid a week, and i just can't justify that. 200 quid a month, just insane.
i didn't really work everything out, though my 12 weeks helped a lot, and lol now i'm doing an acting class instead which was considerably cheaper. not a deliberate like for like swap but that's how it's panned out.
― ooooiiiioooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaoooooh un - bi - leevable! (LocalGarda), Saturday, 5 May 2012 00:33 (1 year ago) Permalink
I just called one of those "stressed? griefy? etc? call us" employee assistance hotlines and the guy tried to talk me into seeing a counselor again –––––––––––––––– and he correctly identified (and helped me realize) that I have developed an extreme distrust of counselors/therapists over the years. Looking back over the years, I can see where it got fucked up with every single one of them. I have this little narrative that therapy helped me out but it's not so simple as that.
The anonymous phone guy was VERY easy to talk to, mostly because I'll never have to see him again! Or that he has a copy of something dumb like THE COURAGE TO HEAL that makes me judge him. Just, ok, I got problems, bye, let's never do this again!
― ms fotheringham (Crabbits), Thursday, 13 September 2012 01:22 (8 months ago) Permalink
Maybe you are looking for reasons to reject them in the end? The by-far best therapist I ever had used to quote Tony Robbins, so I had to let go of my anti-self-help-book prejudice. Anyway, sounds like you are going through some really hard stuff and I feel for you. Seeing someone sounds like a good idea.
― look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Thursday, 13 September 2012 02:08 (8 months ago) Permalink
I think it breaks down to:- the truly bonkers therapists detailed upthread (eg the one who made me call my dad w/Michael Medved trivia questons mid-session)- got misdiagnosed w/bipolar and was on like extreme (and extremely expensive) medications for years and years and did not start having anything like a normal work life or normal emotional life until AFTER going off meds- they gave me a guy therapist after I got raped and I was too much like 'hmm I must not judge humanity for its many penises' Polyanna to say no, and eventually I would go home imagining him masturbating while thinking about our sessions (I think this is called 'transference' and also 'awful')- I did have a good marriage counselor because she saw through all our bullshit but it did lead to a divorce- didn't really help that my former mom-in-law is a therapist, and insane, and when I got raped she told me it was MY fault because I repressed a memory of my dad molesting me (my dad never molested me (this is why I would get judgey about someone having THE COURAGE TO HEAL))- and now ILX is my therapist, sorry everyone!!
― ms fotheringham (Crabbits), Thursday, 13 September 2012 02:51 (8 months ago) Permalink
ugh. therapy can be kind of dangerous really. It's so crucial when it's good, but it can be so terrible when it's bad.
FWIW both of my mother's parents were therapists and she played therapist with me (to an inappropriate degree) my whole life. So I can relate to mistrusting therapists.
in re the guy therapist, though, (and here I'm going to go playing therapist I guess) -- I think there are times when you can actually benefit from trying to sit with those awful and uncomfortable transferrence feelings about a therapist, and that's supposed to be part of the process and all, although obviously I don't advocate doing it to the point of nauseau and trauma
― look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Thursday, 13 September 2012 03:18 (8 months ago) Permalink
ps I didn't know that's what "The Courage To Heal" was -- yuck
― look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Thursday, 13 September 2012 03:21 (8 months ago) Permalink
yeah seeing a male therapist for that was a MISTAKE
thanks for listening Hurting. Want to say I hope you don't think I was going ham on you on the feministy thread. Sorry for being such a ridiculous and petulant provocateur.
― ms fotheringham (Crabbits), Thursday, 13 September 2012 03:29 (8 months ago) Permalink
nah I didn't figure you were talking about me specifically, I was just trying to provide some context for at least some instances of "the woman seems to be doing all the child-rearing." I mean other times there's just stupid male expectations at play, for sure.
― look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Thursday, 13 September 2012 03:35 (8 months ago) Permalink
One thing I can say is that you're probably right about how you'd feel if you had kids -- that sounds very much like what new moms, including my wife, have told me about the rage they often feel, so if you ever do it, at least you won't have unrealistic expectations.
― look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Thursday, 13 September 2012 03:37 (8 months ago) Permalink
I mean not all the child-rearing but all the child-CHASING. Like I go out with friends – mom, dad, and toddler – dad's playing mandolin and drinking whiskey with the boys, mom's the one following the little making sure she's not falling into the pool. Or doing all those child-time-occupying games. "Can you count how many fallen apples there are on the ground, sweetie?" And when moms needs to use the bathroom or take a break with some wine, it's not dad that's swapped out to watch the kid, it's me. Which, I love their kid and don't mind. But that is the face of liberal hipster parenting I've seen play out at a lot of parties.
― ms fotheringham (Crabbits), Thursday, 13 September 2012 03:40 (8 months ago) Permalink
I must not judge humanity for its many penises
sorry i lol'ed
― real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Thursday, 13 September 2012 13:25 (8 months ago) Permalink