counseling

Recently I have decided that seeing a therapist might really help me to deal with some residual pain and issues that have been lingering from childhood as well as the current unstable state of my emotions. I also hope that it will help give me some perspective and direction on my path to a happier more fulfilling life and a career that I might find interesting.

Finding a therapist is easier said than done in many cases. Oh yes, if you were willing to pick blindly off a list, then it’s cake. But, I was looking for someone who would resonate with my belief system (no christian counseling please – you would be very surprised how many that eliminates), had a time slot that would work for me and of course was on my provider list.

I did find someone, but she only had middle of the day spots, which initially I balked at because I don’t have child care. I then found out that there was no one else that I really liked and I decided I really wanted her, so I called back a few days later to take the one available appointment and it was gone. She was full and no longer accepting patients. Great.

Well, for a couple of weeks, I just let the whole therapist thing go and concentrated on doing what I could myself for my current situation. This has gone pretty well, actually. I feel a lot better. I have been really embracing and feeling my emotions, I think for the first time in many many years. This has allowed me to let some it go and to have the courage to do something that was very difficult but necessary.

I was talking with my friend T and she suggested I see if I could get on a waiting list with this woman that I want to see. So yesterday, I sent an email to see if she had a waiting list and she wrote back that she now has three appointments available. They are still daytime appointments, but we are just going to have to work it out. I am now confirmed to begin therapy next week. Yea!

I also asked her to put me on the waiting list for later appointments as they become available. This way, I can hopefully end up with an evening appointment in the next several months.

I am very excited to begin. She specializes in life journeys and incorporating or releasing residual baggage from the past as well as moving forward on the life path you are meant to follow. I am so looking forward to begin this work.

For me, and I think for many with childhood issues, it is important that I learn to accept what happened, understand that it wasn’t my fault and learn to do what I have to to let it go and stop the patterns that were created by it.

A lesson I learned for this process is not to be afraid to ask for what you need. She has been very supportive and accommodating of my scheduling issues, within her boundaries of course, and I ended up seeing the right person and on a path to it working well for my schedule. Finding a way to make things that matter work and asking for what you need are two very important life lessons.

You may think that sharing something like seeing a therapist is too personal to share on a blog, and yes it is a very personal thing. I am sharing because I want every woman, mother or person for that matter to know that talking with someone in order to grow or heal or whatever your goal is not something shameful at all. On the contrary, talking about your feelings is the healthy way to deal with our problems. Much better than the variety of escapism methods available or taking it out on the people we love.

It is brave to face your demons head on and wise to know when we need more that we can provide ourselves.

As a matter of coincidence, the next tarot reading in my self inventory is all about relationships and how they will work out. How fitting that I am beginning a new relationship that I would love some insight on.

SI2008 – #11 How will this relationship turn out

If your read my post, you have probably figured out that I have having some sort of psychotic break. No no, just kidding. But, I am going through a pretty difficult time. The whole reason I started this blog was to work out why I am feeling so lost and figure out who I am in this new life that I chose.

A couple of weeks ago, a minor incident caused a huge upset in my life. My disappointment and hurt feelings transformed into misdirected and overinflated anger and caused me to stop for a minute and consider what was really going on.

What I said in the post about not letting things build up because years of frustration and pain are really hard to deal with all at once is so true as I feel that much of the intensity of what is happening with me right now comes directly from hiding from myself and my issues for so long. But, there is more than that at work.

Over the last couple of weeks I have done some serious soul searching and have determined a couple of things.

1. It is time for me to find a good therapist. I spent a couple of years when I was younger in therapy to deal with my issues surrounding my parents divorce and also to try and eliminate some pretty self destructive behavior. Although this was crucial to my current success in life, what I learned to do was to set the bad feelings aside and concentrate on the good feelings.

This is sort of the foundation of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is one of the most common forms and although I can not be certain, I assume the type of therapy I received so many years ago. They take the negative behaviors and circumstances and change the way the you look at them and think about them in a more positive way.

“The objectives of CBT typically are to identify irrational or maladaptive thoughts, assumptions and beliefs that are related to debilitating negative emotions and to identify how they are dysfunctional, inaccurate, or simply not helpful. This is done in an effort to reject the distorted cognitions and to replace them with more realistic and self-helping alternatives.” – Wikipedia

This is extremely effective in increasing a person’s ability to function in the real world and lead a productive and positive life and may definitely be enough for many, if not most, people. And, as I said, I owe a lot to this type of therapy, which enabled me to put aside the anger and hurt and move on with my life.

But what I am feeling now is like I put all those feelings and consequently most of the negative feelings I have had throughout the subsequent years into a drawer and closing it, seeking to avoid slipping into those hurt feelings and negative emotions, no matter what they involve. The drawer squeaks open now and then and I shove a couple more things in and then close the drawer again.

Well, now the drawer is so full that it won’t close any more. It is now time for me to figure out how to empty out the drawer and deal with, live with, or get rid of whatever is in there.

I have been working on finding a therapist since the day, but this is definitely easier said than done. Finding someone who resonates with your belief system (no christian counseling please – geez, is everyone pushing their christianity these days – oops angry words), fits in with your schedule and within your network and actually has time to see you is really difficult. Be patient and active, that’s the mantra.

2. I am very much trying to own my emotions and to truly feel them, even if they are not entirely rational. Feelings are real, in any state and they shouldn’t be pushed aside. I am very overwhelmed by the emotional state I am in right now, but am crying when I need to cry and expressing my feelings either out loud or with words so that I can embrace all that is me.

Remaining in control and not starting down a destructive path is very important, but so is feeling all of this in a safe supportive environment. I want to feel whole and happy and motivated and inspired.

3. It is time for me to embrace who I am. I am a little quirky, a little introverted, and a lot of other really great things too. I am who I am and although life is a journey of change and hopefully improvement, I am proud of the person that I am. It takes great strength to come from where I was to where I am and I need to stop trying to be what everyone else expects of me and just be me.

In that vain, I am going to stop pussy footing around on this blog and just say what I have to say. That’s what this was supposed to be about after all, yet I have found myself tempering myself as to appear in a certain manner and by doing that, not really representing myself.

4. It is time to get my shit together and my life somewhat organized and working more smoothly. I am never going to find the time or energy to do whatever great things my future holds for me if I can’t even handle what I have now. Now, I know that more time will naturally come and that I can’t underestimate the demands of two kids 4 and 1, but there are self defeating patterns that I have propagated throughout my daily existence and it is time for those things to change. A little determination is in order and I am tired of feeling hopeless. Get moving.

When it comes right down to it, it is about feeling comfortable in my own skin. That is what I am working toward.