Mental Health Update #3

It didn't work.

The work I thought I was getting done with Sally was actually hindering my ability to process all the shit that's been going down with my kid and my ex-husband and my own health. We were spending all this time talking about my history and we weren't dealing with the current moment.  And the current moment was that I didn't feel comfortable enough to really talk about what was going on in the current moment.  And that wasn't something we could talk about. Meta-meta-meta...

So, yesterday I called it quits with Sally (made it to 10 sessions out of the 12 I promised) and today I saw Myrna again.  It wasn't amazing or totally revitalizing or anything like that, but it was really relieving to be talking with Myrna - to be talking with someone who talks my language and who understands what I'm going through.  And she confirmed that, yes, I have been going through a lot and that it is very scary, the things I'm going through.

Right now I'm scared about my daughter's well-being, how she's recovering, how she's catching up in school, how she's doing with her tutors, I'm scared about my daughter's future - we just went on a whirlwind five-day college trip to California (Los Angeles, Hollywood) to check out schools.  She's in love with LA and it looks like she wants to head out there.  It's going to be a huge jump and she is not ready for that at the moment.  Hopefully, she'll be ready when it comes (she still has senior year and half a gap year, so...we'll see).  But that's got me wrecked out.  Then I have legal issues I'm dealing with and health issues.  Oh, and my - what do I call her - well, she's been like a very close aunt/mother to me - she's just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer and she has to have emergency surgery next Tuesday.  Oh, yes, and I lost two or three gigs this quarter - so cash flow is a no-go.

I struggle with anxiety disorder and bipolar, mostly. Bi-Polar II.  There are lots of symptoms that go with BP - deep anxiety, depression, mania, anger, dread, focus issues, balance issues, structure issues.  Some days it's very difficult for me to do regular things like shower and get dressed.  Not because I'm depressed, but because I'm scared or anxious.  I have a hard time brushing my teeth and washing my face...I'm not sure why...I get anxious when I do those things.  I get anxious when I go to sleep.  I have to watch some kind of movie (usually Bowfinger these days) or, on a good night, listen to rain sounds to fall asleep.

So, all this to say, four weeks ago I thought I was doing ok.  But what a difference four weeks of not processing can make.  I haven't processed my feelings about my kid, about my cash flow, about the mess I feel my life is in.  I haven't processed really how I felt to lose Myrna.  It's all been backed up.  Nine weeks (since I left Myrna) of unprocessed feelings.  At that time I predicted that I was going to think everything was going fine and then either a) I was going to SLAM into a brick wall or b) I was going to be fine.  

SLAM. Me hitting a brick wall.

Sunday, when my kid left my house to go stay at her father's for two weeks (a new schedule we've arranged which is making me crazy, I mean crazy), I was watching some movies.  After I finished Reservoir Dogs, I turned to my girlfriend and I was like, "I'm not ok."  I wondered if it was the movie, but really the movie barely reached me.  I started shaking and then crying and then I was just screaming under my breath (so as not to bother my housemate), just screaming and screaming and tearing at my skin and I was SO ANGRY.  SO FUCKING ENRAGED.  I had no idea what was going on.

Then it hit me.  I hadn't processed for nine weeks.  I hadn't actually dealt with all my feelings about all the shit in my life for nine weeks. I was backed up and all that was left was this rage.

Turns out the type of therapy a person is in does make a helluva difference.  Psychoanalytic Relational is what I've been in with Myrna for 14 years and the same with Marta before her for four years.  I guess I underestimated how important all that is.

If you're looking for a therapist, I highly recommend you ask what they're approach is and what that approach means about how that therapist deals with you in session.  And if you're in therapy and you don't know what kind of therapy you're in, ask.  It's as important as knowing your blood type.  Which. I don't know. Hm.

Right now I'm feeling very out of sorts and pretty overwhelmed.  I have continued working with my nutritionist to get through this plateau-period I'm in with my weight.  We're trying something new for the next two weeks.  I've agreed to keep my carb count low, move (exercise) at least 30 minutes every day, and only drink two nights between last Tuesday and when I see her in two weeks.  In the midst of my chaotic emotional life, some rules to follow are pretty welcome.

So, I'm going to try and get through the next few hours until the democratic debate, which will hopefully keep me busy until I can go to sleep.

If you have anxiety or any kind of mental disorder, try to remember that you have the capacity to make yourself feel better.  You just have to get clarity about what that is.  For me, it was going back to a safe place.  Back to Myrna.

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