13 Dec 2017
I had therapy today. I’m tired now, but I still want to write down my thoughts.
This past week hasn’t been good. I know I should stick to my determination to focus on no steps backwards, but it’s been so bad that I feel like I’m back to square one. I’ve not been wanting to walk, and some days I just don’t want to get up. My kids are with my parents-in-law and yet I have to drag myself out even though it’s meant to be a good time with my wife. Just as significantly, I found myself disconnected from my comics, and everything around me. I was having ice cream with my wife, and my mind was racing round and round in circles around nothing in particular, but preventing me from simply enjoying that moment in time, much as I tried to center and ground myself in my breathing, in my environment.
It didn’t help that I had a major crying episode on Sunday, for no good reason other than that I was too tired and I just couldn’t stop crying. That really takes the heart out of a person, to cry until the eyes hurt and not even know why.
I was feeling really low and a bit panicky. I don’t want to head back into that dark place, if I can help it, and I thought I saw myself heading there. My sense of worthlessness was increasingly strong, and I was starting to feel that dread hopelessness weighing upon my shoulders. So I was glad to have therapy today.
She made me try something new today. She got me to do something experiential. She had me sit on one side as my critic, talking to my self, while the other sofa, when I occupied it, would be my self. This way, she got me to bring out my inner critic, and my inner fear.
With her help, I exposed a part of me that I fear understanding. She got me to describe it, and I see it as a huge black bruise, covering my whole self, centered in the chest. It makes me feel heavy, and it restricts my breathing. I struggled to understand it and accept it, but every time I approached it, I felt so tired and afraid that I wanted to give up.
But the more she got me to play my own critic and fear, the more I felt angry. If anything, I am not a person to shy away from knowing my own mistakes so that I can learn, and change. I got angry and defiant, and she picked up on it, and encouraged me to talk to the critic in me. I challenged him. I challenged his view that I would be afraid to uncover that darkness. I was defiant, rebelling against his control over me, and with my therapist’s help, my inner critic agreed to sit aside and watch.
So long as I don’t give up. These were the words I said to my self, and my therapist nodded. As long as I fight through, as long as I dare to face up to however dark that bruise is, to figure out what’s really wrong with my psyche, my inner critic will shut up and sit down. My therapist explained that she noticed that I was criticising myself a lot, and that was why I was feeling so terrible and run down. I’d been constantly running myself down in my head, feeling unaccomplished, worthless, and even considering temping just to earn some money.
Her advice was to let her work with me for a few more weeks before I consider going back to work. Looking at me today, I agree – I probably would create more trouble than I’d be worth at any job right now.
I asked her about my disconnect with everything and everyone around me. She told me that as long as I’m still trying to find myself, there’s no way I would be able to connect to others. I think she’s right, as this past week I’ve been thinking about my upcoming therapy, on top of being tired and critical of myself.
Three more things I must record to remind myself, that she emphasized. One – that I must remember that even though I feel so miserable, this is normal in depression since I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m not back to square one, and I may even feel worse in the coming weeks as I face my inner demons. I’m not confident in saying I’m not afraid, but I want to, and I pray for strength to. But with her reminder, it helps me not to despair, but to simply keep on climbing, keep on moving, keep on keeping on. If someone were to ask me, why don’t I trust in God, I’d ask the person to really understand what I’m facing. The deepest darkest part of me that I’ve always tried to hide, tried to gloss over. Details of which I won’t be sharing in this blog.
So I do trust in God. I just don’t trust myself. But at least I know it’s ok to not be ok. I don’t have to despair because this isn’t a hundred steps back, but rather, one small tiny little step forward, rather than a big step.
The second thing that she emphasized, was to remember that I’m not doing this alone. That the whole point of therapy was to have her work with me to do this. If my thoughts turn suicidal again, I need not worry – I’m not alone. I don’t know why, but it helps. It helps me to remember that I don’t even have to worry about how I’m feeling. We’ll work it out. Eventually.
And that’s the last thing she reminded me to do. To be patient. To wait. To let it take its course. Already she’s booked me a time outside of her regular schedule to work through this, and I’m so thankful for that. I mustn’t rush it, I mustn’t expect too much of myself. My inner critic has been silenced for a while and I’m thankful for that. So I must keep reminding myself of these things so that I don’t despair, or try too much too hard too fast.
I managed to exercise still, and to spend some time with Heart and Soul. They’re amazing for laughs.
Now I can go and rest – I’ll re-read this again tomorrow, and see how I feel about it.