Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!
Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.
Earlier this year my Internist and I sat having lengthy a conversation about my anxiety and depression. Both had gone of for years and years, and I have been through so many medications requiring to change them about every two years. He said in his wisdom that I needed to go to someone specialized in mental health and to get counseling.
My heart and my mind immediately went…EEEEERRRRRKKKKK!!! (That would be the sound effect of brakes stopping racing tires on the pavement.) My voice however said, “My husband goes to Dr. X, a psychiatrist and I will see if I can get in to see him.” My doctor had another psychiatrist that he had referred patients to in the past, if I could not get into Dr. X. I will always remember his words, “Choosing your mental health doctor needs to be a personal decision.” I did not quite understand the full impact and emotion behind that until later in my journey.
For the life of me I do not remember if it was that day or a week or several weeks before I made an appointment with Dr. X, nonetheless, I did. I cried on the way to the appointment, realizing that I needed it but still sad that I had to go. Even thought about cancelling, after all I had asthmatic bronchitis and was coughing constantly. I would not be able to talk, yes, that would be my excuse. I knew if I cancelled, though, I would not reschedule.
I had sat in his office a couple of times before with my husband, this time was different. I was the one under the microscope and being mentally interrogated. He started throwing possible diagnosis at me. MS, ADD, Asbergers, PTSD, Major Depression, and Anxiety. Woah, what are you talking about Doc? My mind raced. He sent me for a gallon of lab work, which was good. I needed several of them for my other doctor too. Before I left he said “I want you to make and appointment to meet with this therapist, she does EMDR.” I will never forget his words either, “I really feel she can help you.”
So off I went to call the therapist, she was able to see me that day. You often hear the cliché today is the first day of the rest of your life. Well, that day truly was, and not in a good way.
You can read about that experience here.
That is one call I wish I had never made, truth be known, I wish I could rewind the clock and see another psychiatrist. I think it is a bad idea for spouses to see the same psychiatrist, especially when one or the other is really close with the psychiatrist. My husband has been in with Dr. X for two years now. I am not saying Dr. X is not a good doctor, he has helped my husband, but I think because of the friendship he has with my husband it is hard for him to be objective about me, or at least that is how I feel. Trust is key in a mental health doctor patient relationship, as in any doctor patient relationship.
When I started going to the EMDR therapist Dr. X said he would “hover” over my care and see me every three months. He never changed my mental medications, but wanted to remove me from the medications for my other health problems, or rather wanted my other doctors to remove me from them. When things went so horribly wrong with EMDR, I felt betrayed by the EMDR therapist and Dr. X for recommending her so highly when she clearly was not going by EMDR protocol. My husband still goes to both, so as my internist puts it, mental health is an individual choice. I really think Dr. X is a genuinely nice person, and am so grateful for what he has done to help my husband.
I have now found the right therapist for me. She talks to and with me. When I explain how I am feeling she makes sure she understands she heard what I meant and felt behind my words. I appreciate that. I have an appointment to see a new psychiatrist soon. She is highly recommended by my therapist.
I am learning so much about myself in therapy. Just this week, right before session ended I recognized something pivotal. Anytime anything negative happens in my life, I do not just live that negative event. I relive every negative event. That is why I get so, so upset and so,so down and discouraged feeling like there is nothing good in the world. I guess misery loves company, so does my own misery, it brings its own memories. She mentioned this is a symptom of PTSD and grief.
A light bulb just went on in my head as I typed that. My Mother mentions that I get very very angry lately. I do not realize how intensely angry I get because I am trying so hard not to let my emotions take control of me. I wonder if this too could be part of that same picture. For example last Friday being denied by disability, I knew I was intensely sad, but I do not recall anger. Mother recalls anger. Do all of my suppressed emotions bubble over at once without me realizing it? Over something relatively small in the scheme of things, I knew I would be denied the first time. I became so depressed by the belittling terminology used in the letter.
I am learning that though I feel weak, in the same breath I am very strong. I have dealt with many trials in my life, and continue to do so every day. I am a fighter. Some moments I think that fight is gone, but it is clearly still there. I am a survivor.
I am learning and relearning talents that I would not have if I had been brought to this low point in my life. I once loved to write, and I promised I would write to help people. One day I stopped. I thought I lost the talent.
Blogging is not the same as the poetry that I once wrote, but is writing. I am grateful for the outlet. Also my new joy, I would say my one real joy is photography. I am grateful that I am learning to take pictures and see things differently. Something that is interesting to me, is that things that are normally ugly, can be absolutely gorgeous when taken with macro.
I think that is what I am learning through therapy. Take a closer look at yourself, study yourself, get to know yourself, and love yourself. One day, those things that are you think hideous, will be blessings and beautiful. Other people already see that beauty and hold that love for you close until you are ready to accept it, one day I will be ready.