I’m home from writing group and really wired. I’m both enjoying the activities I’ve set in motion since December, and being stressed out by them in equal measure. In the writing group, it’s hard to know how to critique someone’s piece, and I have trouble remaining as calm as I’d like while doing so. Argh….There is just a lot going on. It’s a social type occasion, at least, we’re interacting with each other, then there are all my feelings and opinions about writing, then there is the fact that something I wrote was read and discussed, which taps into feelings I have about both performing well and also about the subject of my piece, which is always a bit personal. Then I disagree with some of the critiques (not so much about my own piece, but about others), but need to of course give them space and not intrude with my own views until it’s my turn…..The whole situation is complex and difficult. But also stimulating and interesting, and I seem to have made one new and excellent friend there, so that’s exciting.
I want to practice being calm in social situations, so I need to try to develop that in less fraught situations I think. I’ll see.
My choir has two concerts, one past and one upcoming tomorrow, both for charity. Stressful. I haven’t managed to learn the pieces perfectly unfortunately. It’s not totally easy, as I sing a harmony part, and we have to memorize everything. However, it’s maybe a lesson that imperfection is still worthwhile. I sing most of it, act calm, if I don’t remember something I just mouth some words until I remember. I’m proud of myself for persevering.
I don’t know how I’d be doing all this if I were working, but as I’m not, this is very good for me.
I did go back to therapy a week and a half ago. We discussed my problems with Ron’s approach. Then we spoke a bit about a birthday party my brother had and my feelings about that.
I don’t know what to say. By about half way through the session, I no longer felt like I wanted to quit. It’s just difficult to know how to act with feelings so very changeable.
Ron did ask me for my feelings about him….and I did start the session very angry, feeling he wasn’t understanding me or my issues. Maybe because he’s so accepting….I don’t know, before I knew it, I wanted to tell him about my life and the anger had dissipated. I think I did switch to a more vulnerable childish part for the second part of the session.
I think this is the wonderful world of dissociation. Huge feelings appear, and then they recede again, leaving me on the shore wondering where that storm went that seemed so life threatening just minutes ago.
We agreed to meet again in two weeks, because I didn’t want a therapy aftermath to deal with when I had to perform in a concert the next day. So I go back this Thursday again.
I had a massive therapy hangover. I was so depressed I couldn’t function at all for a couple of days after the session. Then I was still depressed for a week, until this weekend basically. It’s very hard to figure out what happens to me to cause this. I know it’s not Ron who causes it. We didn’t talk about trauma. We talked about my brother’s party, which upset me because it involved my family, and I felt my brother felt ashamed of me. But I knew all that. There were no revelations.
The depression must be some kind of emotional flashback. I suppose with dissociation, I didn’t feel things as a child, instead I tucked them away, to emerge later, unprocessed. Somehow, therapy, or my relationship with Ron, is dislodging this pain and it’s just incapacitating me. It’s just a lot of pain.
I emailed Ron about this and he wrote that he wondered if the fact that I was alone with the feelings made them incapacitating. Which maybe is the case. I do wonder sometimes if I had someone to tell and who could be in some way helpful – i.e., accepting and not freaked out, someone who didn’t run and who believed I was a good person throughout. That would likely help me to move through the feelings. But I don’t have that, the same as lots of other people. I do have to get myself into some kind of better space before interacting with people.
He also said the trigger must be complex, because we haven’t been able to figure out what it is. What can I say. I wish he had an answer but I guess he doesn’t.
I do avoid a fair amount in order to manage my emotional responses. So maybe I’d have this reaction more if I did more in my life? I’d have other triggers?
One thing, with the depression came a new ability to sleep. I slept relatively well the whole time I was depressed. And I had no anxiety whatsoever, as opposed to my regular state, where I have a lot of anxiety. But, I couldn’t really function. I missed the choir dress rehearsal, which was almost a week after the session, because I was too depressed to be able to organize myself to get dressed and get there, plus I was concerned I’d start crying instead of singing. However, every day was a bit better than the last, so the next day, I got myself to the concert and it was OK.
Now I feel back to normal, which is a mix of feeling OK, anxiety, sadness…..But I can now do what I set out to do. What a relief. It is a bit frightening to be unable to do what I usually can do. It’s like suddenly being unable to walk, or to see. Suddenly disabled and not able to account for this.
I feel a mix of trepidation and interest about going back to therapy. I don’t want to get triggered like this again. But since I don’t know what it was that triggered me, it’s hard to manage that. If I am going to feel that awful, I want to feel some of it with Ron there so he can help me with it. I don’t feel like quitting. I’d like to discuss what happened to see if we can figure it out.
I believe there is some value in this depression. The fact that I was suddenly able to sleep (which is now worse again), that I had no anxiety – these were positives. I believe the depression is telling me something, but I do not know what this is. Painful childhood – I know, I know. I’d like something more specific.