Thursday, October 02, 2014

My dark truth - Therapy. Lots of therapy

Therapy. Lots of therapy.

It has been a while since I have sat on the uncomfortable couch across from a note taking therapist. No disrespect to the wonderful therapists that I have worked with. It is just the job. Listen, be unemotional, be timely empathetic, ask questions and record every gut wrenching moment. Sounds fun, right?

My first experience with therapy was as a child. I am not sure why I was there - I would have to ask my mom. It obviously was not that traumatic or I would remember, right? Oh wait - maybe it was so traumatic that I have suppressed those memories and am living a life in subconscious fear. shiver.

All joking aside ... What I consider my first real stint with therapy was about 6 years ago. My depression at the time and the stress of my relationships with my family around my fathers alcohol abuse lead me there. It was nearly a full year of sitting on that couch across from the note taking therapist twice a month. I think I may still be paying off those bills. Therapy can definitely for the rich.

It was so effective for me. After all that time and attention on myself I felt strong and refueled.

It has been a year since I have started anti-depressants again. They have helped to an extent but I am still so angry, short tempered and sometimes sad. The turning point was in May on the Caribbean Cruise. I was miserable. The unknown environment, the sheer amount of people and the unpredictable nature of a cruise left me crying in the cabin!! In Hatti! Nothing makes you feel more crazy than wanting to leave a Caribbean dream vacation to head home to the cozy comforts of your bedroom.

As soon as we got home I reached out to my family doctor for resources. This time around I was struggling with spending thousands of dollars on therapy. Yes, thousands.

I have been working the PCN (Primary Care Network) in Edmonton. They are a wonderful resource that is free of charge from my doctors referral. I met with a Psychiatrist to review my current medication treatments and review my history to rule out Bi-polar disorder. The take away from that session was that I suffer from depression and anxiety but am not facing the Bi-polar diagnosis.

This summer I attended a half day Anxiety group class. Yes, a group class. Am I the only one that sees irony in this? Ironically though - it was wonderful! I realized I was not alone! From there I have recently started one on one meetings with a Psychiatrist and am in the middle of a weekly CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) program.

In addition, we also decided to get our daughter J into some therapy of her own. After the struggles we had all summer we wanted her to have a place to talk about her feelings and find strategies to cope. After our first session J asked if we could come back tomorrow. I think she likes the attention and non-judgmental environment. She feels loved and knows we want to help her be the best little J that she can be.

All of this has meant that this week I had three therapy visits! That is a lot of time invested into myself and my family. It is leading me on a personal and emotional journey. There are some hard realizations and some break through moments. It is funny how all of these mental exercises can leave you as tired as a good long physical workout.

I will not sugar coat it. I am tired. My negative subconscious tells me that this is just too much work and that it is not worth it. No one is really truly happy anyway, right? We live in a world with stress and it is what it is. I have even had the worst thought - what am I even living for?

I have been here before. I know that I can make it through.

Last week in CBT I came to a realization. sigh.
I have depression. To avoid dealing with my emotions I busy myself. I work. Everyone always says "do you sleep Krista?", "you are so busy!", "how do you find the time?", "you must be so skinny because you don't sit down!". Really this is just running from my fear of sadness.

The problem with this is that work has become my identity. I do not know who I am so therefor work is who I am. I am constantly busy and working and am in a state of anxiety. I do not know how to relax and enjoy life. I am scared of life.

There are a few other realizations that I have come too. But I am sure I am rambling on long enough. I am telling my negative inner voice that with the therapy I will find solutions to calm my thoughts and learn how to surrender myself to happiness.

For now, my homework is mindfulness. Have you heard of this? You will laugh if you have. Krista and mindfulness do not exactly go together. It is "push-ups" for my brain. Daily breathing exercises to clear my mind of wandering and negative thoughts. Just like meditation. It is extremely difficult for me to sit for two minutes and focus on my breathing while pushing ALL thoughts from my mind. But I am trying. Watch, next will be Yoga and I will be eating crow! lol

The blessing is that because I am so open about all of this I know that I have support everywhere I turn. I have had many people ask me this week if I was okay and if there was any thing they could do. I am okay, just treading water. I am so looking forward to the weekend to be with my family and friends to celebrate A's 4th birthday. I even ordered a birthday cake for him to reduce my to do list so I can relax a bit!! I know, that is crazy for me!

One minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time.

Thank-you for reading today! If you know of someone that is struggling please be patient and understanding. We all have bad days. Some more than others. On my bad days it makes a difference when someone cuts me a little slack and shows me some grace.


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