Tag Archives: patience

found some comfort

So, TM doesn’t hate me.

She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.

I didn’t piss her off by calling for support the other day.

She returned my call and even said I could call her back to talk.

She was patient and kind and reassuring when I did. It was during her lunch, but she didn’t rush me.

She reminded me that there’s only a few days left anyway. Either I will be all set for the move or I won’t be, but it won’t be the end of the world.

She’s all for me going out with my friend tonight for one last trivia night. Her enthusiasm over that made it much easier to tell my friend I’ll be there.

She didn’t say much of anything particularly inspiring or profound, but she managed to say what I needed to hear: that she know’s I’m struggling with this; it’s ok that I’m struggling with it; and it will all be ok soon (for whatever reason, it sinks in when she says it, but it feels merely obligatory when L says it…).


Dr. C does not hate me either.

She doesn’t think I’m a worthless, annoying, frustrating piece of shit.

She scheduled an appointment with me for after the move despite me being so needy before even officially returning to her.

She has seen me at my worst, and is still willing to take me back as a client.


I get to hang out with M&B tonight.

M & I have known each other forever, and she still likes me.

B likes me by default I think… at least, he puts up with me.

I’m really gonna miss them when I go, but tonight we will kick ass on trivia.

Some friends will be there forever; M is one. I’m really lucky to call her a friend ❤


L will be here in less than 4 days!

I will physically see my wife again for the first time in 7 months!!!! 😀

I don’t know who will be happier: me, the kids, or L… I think maybe the kids, b/c there’s 4 of them, and they have not see her at all since she left last May. They get super-excited when someone returns from getting the mail, and that takes less than a minute. I’m sure they will not know how to contain themselves when L arrives.




asking to slow things down & therapy coupons!

I was able to leave TL a message earlier today asking her if we could slow down a bit. I was able to express that I am really triggered and overwhelmed between sessions, and that it is making me question returning each week… :gulp!:

I am in the process of trying to come up with a new list of things to talk about for this week’s session. Closer to session time, I will leave her another message asking if she could help remind me to address the list (I forgot to ask her in the above message, and I don’t want to go over-board with the message thing just yet. I’m sure I will get there eventually, but for now I am exercising self-control)…

On another note, an online friend and I have agreed to exchange “therapy coupons”. They are aimed at helping make sessions go a bit easier, or at helping us address difficult things. I had sent mine out last week, and this week I got the ones my friend sent. I LOVE them!!!!

wpid-20140915_171445.jpgShe made me: 1) An Ounce of Patience (lol, for when I will be trying TL’s last nerve!), 2) One moment of Inspiration (therapeutic or otherwise), 3) Courage for Two (that 20 seconds of insane courage to start on something difficult to address), 4) A Daring Intervention (accepting an unusual or uncomfortable intervention that TL may suggest, within reason), & 5) One Free Trespass (to help when talking about difficult, shameful, scary, embarrassing, hurtful, or otherwise “inaccessible” topics).

wpid-wp-1410839089008.jpegThese are the ones I made her: 1) A Moment of Inspiration, 2) A Daring Intervention, 3) An Ounce of Patience, 4) Courage for Two.

Most of them are meant to be re-used multiple times (some have restrictions around use, but the user can modify that if they choose… though my friend disagrees on that point. I just don’t want to have to throw the ones I was given out because they are way too cool to be disposable). I’m definitely taking the ones I got in to show TL on Saturday.

What is your fantasy, idealized treatment?

If you could design your own “treatment center”, with no regard to limits on finances or what seems “impossible”, what would find most helpful to you?

I am not sure how this topic came up this morning, but I ended up having a long discussion with my mom about what my ideal treatment would look like. It does not exist at this time, but it is based on my experiences both professionally and personally. A lot of it sounds impossible with today’s treatment models and financial limitations, but I think, at least for me, it would be hugely beneficial.

I have found I need a certain level of intensity to safely and effectively get through my issues, so I would want something that is residential, however I would want to keep my freedoms (access to my music, animals, nature, ability to leave if I need a change of scenery even if it means going with someone, access to my positive coping skills, access to my social supports and the community). I would want access to supportive and trained people at all hours of the day and night (because let’s be honest, most crises don’t keep themselves to a schedule, so if one arises, I want to be able to deal with it appropriately in the moment); a holistic treatment team (medical, psych, yoga, animal therapy, arts and expressive therapies, CAM) that takes my input into account and helps me implement my ideas (as appropriate and available); a safe environment where added supervision is available, but personal choice is also a key component; staff that maintains a level of compassion even if I get super annoying and needy; availability for staff to decompress and engage in self-care as needed; down-time for myself to regroup from dealing with something very heavy without the threat of having all the support taken away just because I seem better in the moment; people who are open to challenging me on my trouble points but also understanding of places I may be stuck; flexibility in treatment plans; openness to new ideas and new ways of doing things; limited judgements on how I present and a willingness to look at what may be underlying my symptoms/presentation; freedom from stigma around any particular symptom, behavior, or mood-state; people who listen to and hear what I have to say; people with patience around helping me figure stuff out; people to help me build a vocabulary and a method of expression for things I cannot adequately express; people who are willing to sit with me through challenging times, and gently insist that I get through the triggered symptom to find out what’s “on the other side” of it (not simply implement grounding at the first sign of distress, because I have recently found that there’s important stuff on the other side of a dissociative episode or a flashback); catering my treatment to me as an individual, and respecting me as an individual with certain likes and dislikes; going at treatment with “kid gloves” knowing that sometimes things will get way worse and way more challenging before they get better; having a treatment team that is ok taking over when my judgement goes south, but still open and receptive to what I am trying to communicate… Also an openness to “thinking outside the box” and coming up with new treatment ideas if the current ones do not work. Also I would include a transparency in all treatment methods, with access to everything by the client, and ultimate veto powers by the client.

Therapy sessions would be daily, and for maybe 90+ minutes to be able to tackle the harder stuff, then have the therapist available later in the day as needed to address what comes up. Arts/expressive therapies would be daily, animal therapy daily, visitors allowed daily with housing for family either on-site or nearby as needed, assessments to figure out what is helpful, and what might be helpful, organic treatment plan that evolves with new developments. “Family” therapy available (with whomever is involved in the person’s life), ability to return to treatment as needed, creation of “safe spaces” to help with processing things, personal choice around negative coping skills until the person is in a place to change them, but with the stipulation that they must be reported immediately and checked out as necessary, and taken on an individual basis, with constant monitoring and revaluation. I understand this is a huge liability and highly controversial, but it’s something I feel strongly that an element of personal freedom makes a huge difference in getting over it in the long run. Teaching accountability and responsibility around choices would be a huge component. I know I can walk away from something much easier if I have a choice around it than it I am simply told I cannot have it or cannot engage in it. It’s like the concept of thinking about a yellow school bus when someone tells you not to think about it; you will think about it more, and likely obsess over it. If negative coping can happen in a safe environment with buffers to ensure overall safety, I think it would go a long way to helping a person turn away from those negative coping skills in the long run.

It would also be standard of care to always look at every symptom, no matter how un-related it seems, and not discount any “medical” issues that may arise simply because I am there to work on psych issues.

I would prefer this to be with easy access to secluded nature and the beach, because that just makes me happy, but I guess anywhere with access to nature and water would be good…

It would be incredibly expensive, and incredibly intensive, but I think it would work for me. A girl can dream, right?

So, if you could design your ideal treatment based on what has and has not worked for you in the past, or what you have seen work or not work for others, what would it be?

First art therapy session

So, I did my first a.t. session with De today.  I think I may like it.  There will be stuff to talk about after the piece is done. It made time go by way too fast, and I didn’t feel like I said enough, but I was able to say some things I don’t think I would have said to her if “all eyes were on me” so to speak.  I can say things easier when I think someone is not totally focused on me.  It’s less intense and less scary that way. I will have to tell her that.  Then, even if the room is booked, maybe I can sketch or color or something if there’s stuff I need to talk about but can’t… I also have other creative juices flowing, so I will be working on some of that later today. I think I have an idea for the piece I’m doing there, but think I will need more time for this detailed part, so I may do it at home and bring it with me on Friday. Speaking of Friday, I was able to ask for extra support around everything we talked about as well as the increasing depression… so a measure of creative distraction is good.  I refrained from putting an element into the painting today, but maybe the courage will happen next time.
Speaking of a.t. prompts, there was an fb image that I saw.  It asked what you would look like if you looked into a mirror and saw your character instead of just your physical reflection.  I will have to work on that at some point too…

Took a break from writing this, so apologies if it comes out choppy. After walking the dogs and taking to L, I decided to sit and draw some more. Came up with a better version of what I was trying to do with De today. It’s still not finished, but it’s more of what I wanted. Not sure I want to post it just yet. I think I want to talk to her about it. I am slowly remembering how to draw (or maybe just being more lenient with myself, not really sure). I think I need to pick up drawing again on a more regular basis.

De had asked to see some of my older stuff because I had told her I was decent at drawing way back when. I don’t have any of my work down here with me, so I will have to show her the stuff off the web (I have a lot of it online at an art forum site. I’m not posting a link tho because it’s a little less anonymous than here. Also, I’m not ready to connect a lot of that work with here). I think my art had mostly been therapeutic in value, Just never formal art therapy (at least after I honed my skills). I prefer realistic stuff, so much of it was copying images or drawing objects. I used to be half-decent at portraiture. I totally envy people that can do photorealistic work. I wish I had the eye for it. I just haven’t mastered that skill yet. I can pick up on a lot of small details and transform them to paper, but I still miss a lot. I lack a lot of dimension in my work. I also often lack backgrounds (too involved. I’m usually creatively/technically spent by the time I get to the background stage). I also rarely go back to a drawing after putting my pencil down for the day. There’s a weird need to do it all in one sitting. I used to be able to crank out a portrait in 30 minutes, but there were many flaws. Looking back, I should have not tried to finish everything in one season. Also, I’m still learning to be ok with erasing. I think it changes the paper finish, and makes the new sketch texturally different than the rest. I’m noticing that with today’s drawing…

Anyway. Enough about how I used to be good. I just need to practice. Maybe it will help relieve my symptoms.

Something that came out of this drawing, I picture myself much different than I am. My inner self is skinny/fit and pretty. My true self:not so much.

I’m strangely relaxed tonight. Let’s see, what was different? I spoke honestly to De. I talked to L a bit more in depth. We walked the dogs. I’m drawing and listening to music. I’ve given myself permission to find different ways to release stress. And I asked for extra support from De… guess all that added to some relief. My thoughts are still dark, but I’m not so alone with them.

That’s enough chatter from me. Peace. (Pieces). SJ.