Last Thursday, I went back to therapy after two months! It was a long time, even my therapist commented on how it seemed like forever ago since we had met. 🙂
Forgive me for not getting this post up sooner. So far this week, I’ve had to be out and about running errands very early. By the time I’ve finished, I was just not in the space fo writing. Soooo of course, I’m sitting here trying to remember what we talked about, so forgive me if I ramble for a bit. 🙂
- The Doctor – Ok, this was the big topic I needed to discuss again. She basically gave me some tips to start trying to ease my anxiety about going to the doctor. (I have been to the doc a few…no…several times in the past few years, fyi.) These tips were kinda similar to what I think someone with a phobia would go through. First, she suggested that I go to the doctor’s office (once I find a new doc) and sit in the parking lot. Do this a few times, so I can get comfortable just going to the location. Next, she said once I’m comfortable going to the location, go inside the office’s lobby (if it’s in a large building where I don’t look too suspicious *lol*) and sit in the lobby and/or walk around. Of course, if it’s a stand-alone or small office, this wouldn’t work out. But I can definitely do the first step and start acclimating myself to going.
The next thing she told me was just to allow the feeling of anxiety to flow–to try not to stop the feeling. When I think about going to the doc, the first thing I try to do is stop being anxious. That just makes it worse! So she said, don’t try to stop it. Just be nervous/anxious, etc, BUT to also remember the following:
— 1. NOTHING BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN!! (Let’s hope!!)
–2. Accept the outcome.
Accepting the outcome refers to my previous post. My biggest fear is dealing with a rise in my blood pressure. I explained how I always have a much higher than normal BP now because of my anxiety. My therapist said that for now, I shouldn’t worry (or try not to) and just accept the outcome (that it’ll be higher). She said, while it may not be where I want it to be, that’s ok because I’ve already been told by docs not to worry. She said that with time and using the tools, I’ll be able to relax again about it.
So, that was one of the biggest issues I wanted to discuss and I feel good about going forward with finding a new doc(s). I mean, as good as I can feel! *lol* I’m nervous, but not AS nervous. 🙂
2. Mindset Reset: I have been really focusing on positivity and happiness since our last visit. But it’s hard to stay in this mindset after years of feeling super anxious about the future. I don’t know what the future holds for me and that has been difficult to deal with in a lot of ways. Obviously, so many things are out of my control. Yes, I have some control, but to a certain extent. In fact, I’ve learned that I’m a bit of a control freak! *lol* I would’ve never called myself that, but after therapy, I see it clearly. (And guess who else is a huge control freak in my life? My MOM!) I know this now and I’m taking steps to release that control. That mindset–the need to control everything–has been such an unexpected cause of my anxiety. When I can’t control things, it makes me anxious. And when things don’t work out the way I planned, it really saddens me. Then I’m sad things didn’t work and I become anxious about the aftermath and the future. It’s such an ugly cycle I’ve put myself through for years.
Another thing I’m working on, isn’t really a mindset shift, per se. It’s mindset adjacent. Consistency. I’m terrible at this and it’s something I really need to work on. I think if I really work on this, it will help my anxiety begin to subside.
On a completely different note….
I’ve struggled so much with trying to do what I feel is best for my life. Not even what’s best, but what I feel I should be doing in life. What I want to do in life (become a full-fledged writer/creative) is not always looked upon favorably. It’s such a shame really, because what would life be like without books (and art, music, dance, etc). No, the pay isn’t always great (if you can get paid AT ALL). But it’s such a necessary part of life, just as the need for lawyers, doctors, engineers, etc. Unfortunately, we view creatives so poorly that many folks put off their dreams/goals for “real” jobs. Then they struggle in those “real” jobs, which in turn can lead to so many emotional and mental issues.
This speaks to an underlying reason of how I got to where I am. Admittedly, I’ve been so worried about truly pursing something that I think I’m pretty good at because of, A) fear of the unknown and B) fear of what others think/fear of not being accepted. #facts
It has been with me for so long, this fear, that it’s literally made me sick mentally and physically by suppressing it.
*sigh* I’ve soul-searched the heck outta my soul for answers, trying to find “legit” things I can do with my life. Therapy has taught me so much, but the main thing I’ve learned is that I have to live for me. End of story.
I’ve gone off track with this post, but that’s all we really discussed in therapy. There were a few other things that we spoke about that, but I’ll save them for another time. Overall, my session was just to share what had been going on and what had come up for me over the past couple of months.
So! Because I felt good, we came to the decision that I can take a break from therapy!! I’m truly happy about this and it feels good that I’ve made enough progress to stop for a while. I probably won’t go back until November or sometime before the end of the year. I’ve gained enough insight and I just need to work on using the tools consistently (there’s that word again). Therefore, this is the last therapy post for the time being. But as I said before, I hope to start blogging regularly again.
Thank you again to all who have reached out to me over this time to share your thoughts about my experience. Some of you have even shared how these posts have made you think about some things going on in your lives. I’m SO happy they’ve helped! And I’ll keep shouting it to the roof top–GO TO THERAPY!!! As I’ve said before, you can go for any reason, big or small. It is SO liberating and awesome to talk to an unbiased person. OH! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I go to an LPC (licensed professional counselor). So if you don’t think you can afford therapy, there are options. I’m fortunate that our insurance covers the majority of my sessions, so I only have a $25 copay. Super cheap and totally not what I thought I’d be paying. So definitely see what your insurance covers and if they don’t cover it, still contact the therapist as they may be willing to work with you.
I am so happy I went. Seriously, it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. And I’m blessed to have found a therapist that I clicked with. I know there are some folks that have had a hard time with that, but just keep searching until you find someone. In fact, that was one the first things my therapist said to me during our first session.
Alright this is long enough! I’ll be back here hopefully sooner rather than later!