Therapy Friday

cooking-Sarah-Horne-Featured-Artist-Advocate-Art-Childrens-illustrator-up-LMy last session I stayed in one piece. It was more of a soothing type session, since I was already depressed. It helped. Friday already I was feeling more lively, and today I’m as OK as usual again.

We talked about my struggles to do basic chores, and also about my need to ‘get a life’ – do more than the basics of work and chores.

E. It’s just hard. I end up not doing much.

R. What happens? Could the part of you that wants to go out, to do things, talk with the part that wants to stay home?

E. OK. Well, the part that wants to go out is like ‘I want to go out to whatever…’ yoga class, a group or whatever. The other part is like ‘OK, we just woke up, we’re all confused, we haven’t made anything to eat, and we’re really tired. So then the part that wants to go, says ‘OK’.

BTW, these aren’t parts parts. They’re more a way of thinking about things. Or if they’re actual parts, they’re disguised…. it’s just me talking.

R. So the part of you that wants to go out gets dropped. I wonder if that’s the same way your family treated you – you were neglected….

E. I don’t know, maybe. But when I can’t do much, it makes sense to focus what energy I have on survival – meals, laundry, job. Other things get dropped.

R. What if you cooked for two meals, then the second day, you’d have that already.

E. Yeah, I do do that.

I just struggle with meals anyway. Of course I mostly cook more than one portion, so some days I just warm things up. It’s still difficult for me.

I like talking a bit about my daily struggles though – sometimes just talking helps me cope better. I start thinking that yes, I can go out and do a few things.

E. I can’t decide, whether to accept how I’m feeling and just let it be, or fight like crazy and try and do more…

R. You could try pushing the boundaries a bit, then seeing how you feel with that.

In general, Ron is very sympathetic this session. I tell him at the start he looks depressed….he says he doesn’t feel that, but he’s maybe a bit tired. He definitely looks tired today. But he’s still good. He seems to totally accept that yes, I’m depressed, and he takes everything I say seriously. It’s not too trivial to talk about cooking.

Also I mention homeopathy, because I’m wondering if some remedies I’ve been taking triggered off the depression.

E. They’re interesting, the remedies. They combine personality type, reason for the depression, and other things too, such as getting anxious in a hot room….Though I was having trouble actually figuring out what kind of a personality I have. It wasn’t clear. So one remedy I tried – I took it, and tears just started running down my face. Another one, it’s supposed to be for if your depression is caused by events you’ve stuffed your feelings about. That one made me feel really bad.

E. But the first one, it was interesting. It’s supposed to help with shyness. And I noticed, I was taking a walk after taking the remedy, and some people were coming towards me, and usually I’m kind of anxious about people, but this time, I couldn’t care less, they didn’t affect me.

E. But probably, I shouldn’t be messing around with them on my own. I could go to a homeopath – $200 for a session. I don’t know.

I don’t think Ron said much about this, though he asked a question or two. It felt at least like he had an open mind – he didn’t think I was insane to be trying homeopathy. Homeopathy definitely affects me, it’s just, I’m not sure what the effect is that is going to be helpful for me.

R. You said in your email you were wondering if having parts speak was causing your depression.

E. Yeah. Do you think it might be?

R. How do you think that would happen?

E. If they’re carrying a lot of pain.

R. I think that could very well be true.

As we’ve been talking, I’ve been feeling the heaviness of the depression of last week come back.

E. I don’t see why I’m in parts. You’re supposed to have really horrible things happen to you to get parts, and I didn’t, not really. My family was not that bad.

R. In one way, it’s true. But if you look at what your father did, not speaking to you for several years, while you were living in the same house – the level of anger and bad feeling that he must have directed at you every day, in order to do that – it is extreme.

I’m crying a bit.

E. That was when I was older though – you get parts when you’re really young.

R. There was your uncle, the choking you feel.

E. Yeah, there was that.

R. Once the seed for splitting into parts was planted – you might keep doing that.

E. Yeah, I guess. My father is definitely on the crazy side of normal, that’s true.

R. The way he acted was. So, you have a lot to grieve about.

Yes, I can see there’s lots to grieve about. So I’m crying a bit in my session, I feel the heavy sadness that’s been plaguing me. It feels good though to be listened to and sympathized with. I’m somehow not expecting sympathy. With my troubles with the group, I got used to Ron challenging me all the time, and telling me things weren’t the way I saw them. That was truly exhausting. I really like this Ron better – kind, seeing everything from my point of view, even when I don’t see my own point of view very clearly.

Usually when I’m depressed, I get angry at the therapist for being useless. This time though, I didn’t. I didn’t expect Ron to have a solution. But I also felt like I didn’t have to worry about bringing him down – he wanted to know how I really felt. He could handle hearing about it, and he wouldn’t try to talk me out of it, but would stay with me as best he could. I appreciated that.

I hope all are well or on the path to happiness.

Art: Sarah Horne

  1. laura said:

    Hi E,
    I’ve been depressed too, and immobilized. I guess I don’t talk to Howard about it because I don’t see how he could help, or maybe there’s some other reason… but I think he’s encouraging me to get into the nitty gritty details.
    It was interesting the way Ron was drawing a parallel between the way you treat yourself, which immobilizes you, and the way you were treated in your family,,, good observation on your part!

    • Ellen said:

      Sorry you also suffer. I’m surprised you don’t discuss this in therapy. I find when feeling that bad, there are not a lot of other topics I can discuss. I find he helps me by being open and accepting. I feel heard and it helps.

      Yes, I’m sure I treat myself somewhat the way I was treated as a child.


  2. I am very glad to read you could get some “good” feelings from your session. (That was a useless comment, just to say that people care)

    • Ellen said:

      Not at all useless. Thanks Nocturnal.

  3. Ashana M said:

    Glad you’re feeling a bit better

  4. I’m glad you found Ron supportive. I know I often go in with expectations that my therapy session can ‘fix’ how I’m feeling and I end up angry because that’s not how it goes. It’s good that you were able to go in with realistic expectations.

    Thanks for sharing your therapy session. I always wonder what other people’s therapy is like (because I worry I’m doing it “wrong”!).

    • Ellen said:

      I’ve done that many times, wanting to be ‘fixed’.

      Glad you are interested. Thanks BL

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