Friday, 1 July 2011

It's official: it's not you, it's me

Had the session with the new therapist yesterday...

and despite my best intentions, and best efforts, I did everything I promised myself I would not do. I avoided eye contact, I didn't sit up straight, and when it came to a direct question about me I shut down completely. I couldn't even think about the question, my mind was yelling 'run away' - it made so much noise in my head I just couldn't think.


I was doing okay for the first bit. I wasn't myself - but I wasn't too bad either. Seriously I'd love to take one of these people out for a cup of coffee and just a chat about the weather one day so I can prove that I'm really not that person in real life. I really can hold a conversation. I really do laugh and smile. I really do sit up straight - I promise!!

So why do I make such a fool of myself in these sessions? Oh if only I had the answer to that question I guess I wouldn’t need the therapy ;)

Ironically the question that did me in was “if there was one thing about your life that you could change, what would it be?” Ironic, because my answer would have been “to be more assertive, to be able to stick up for myself better and without the self-destructive consequences”
But I couldn’t answer her. I could no longer speak.

So it's official, it's not them, it's me. 

But there were definitely some positives about the experience. She was extremely lovely (and she had a beautifully inviting home), and now at least I know it wasn’t any easier there than it was with K. And that in itself is an interesting insight. We also established that I am much more comfortable writing than talking – I do feel under pressure during sessions, like I’m being watched/observed. She also said that I deserve to be more than a vessel for my ED – I deserve to be PJ. Which is definitely a thought to hold on to.

So where does all this leave me? I’m not sure. I think I will need to ask Dr C for advice. But unfortunately Dr C is holidays, and M (dietician) told me last night she will miss our next session too because of holidays. Oh dear (cue unexpected tears in the dietician's office). Absolutely do not begrudge anyone a holiday - but am feeling strangely abandoned...


M said...

Hey PJ - sounds like a tough day. I do think it gets easier with practice, but that doesn't take away the uncomfortableness you feel now. It will be hard with Dr C and M away. Who else can you talk to in the meantime? Your physio? Someone who's come out the other side and recovered?

I think that therapists/counsellors are very used to people feeling uncomfortable and awkward. You don't go and see them if you don't have hard stuff going on! Their job is to help us- they are not sitting in judgement upon us as people. I've sat and cried for most of a session, I've declared thoughts that I've never admitted to anyone else, I've mutely stared at the wall for 15 minutes at a time. They have seen it all I'm sure!

Yet it has now become a really important part of every fortnight - it helps me to get a little bit out of my head, to see where I need to keep challenging my thinking, to help me to recognize the achievements (that I often want to write off) and had helped me to keep going on the recovery path.

Keep at it PJ. Keep writing and processing. Most of all, keep eating.

PJ said...

@M - I think somewhere in the back of my mind I had thought I would be ok with Dr C going on hols because I'd still have M and now she's gone too. Which is fine really. I'll manage - I was just taken by surprise. I don't think it had ever occurred to me before that I was starting to need these sessions to help me. But I was suddenly very frightened of 'what if something goes wrong'. But you are right - there are other people now I could turn to if I really needed it. Which is comforting :)

Anonymous said...

Hugs. I really don't know what to say other than you are doing a great job just by sticking with therapy. I wonder, could therapy take place in the real world? I know that would make it more accessible to someone like me who is still to afraid to even start!

Don't forget, even if some of your support crew are away there are so many other people around you who can and will help if you want or need them to. You can call anytime, we are there for you. Enjoy your holiday and see you next week.
Poppy xo

HikerRD said...

I'm here if you need me--albeit in a very different time zone!
I've seen many a patient who started curled up in a fetal position, with no eye contact. Then I've watched them "uncurl" (no, not unravel) over time as they became more comfortable in being exposed and showing themselves and all the things they felt shame about. Yes, it will happen. Why expose yourself to someone you haven't (yet) come to trust? It makes perfect sense.
It's great that deep down your experience of the therapist was positive, even if the therapy session itself was negative.
Also, given your skill at communicating through writing, consider writing up your thoughts and bringing them to session for her to read, as a way to break the ice. Perhaps that will be easier.

And finally, remember you are just at the start of this journey. Be realistic with your expectations and the time frame, You WILL recover--but at your own pace, when whatever holds you to this ED could be let go of. The challenge is maintaining a safe place while pacing yourself through the process.
I'll be thinking about you this weekend!

Mum on the Run said...

I'm sorry to say, but this experience of yours has made me feel so much better.
I suck at therapy.
It is encouraging to know I am not alone there!
I'm sorry that your session was so uncomfortable though.