Check ins help

I have woken up so scared. Really things are going fairly well, but at night, I’m prone to waking up suddenly in a really bad space. It feels like an intense loneliness and feelings of loss – more intense than depression. I will not sleep until those feelings calm down again.

Things are going well really. And today I had a scheduled ‘check-in call’ with Ron, as he’s away this week and there will be no therapy session.

I’ve had mixed results with calls in the past. First of all, I have trouble phoning anyone. There’s a huge barrier there that I have to cross first. I think part of it is I switch easily on the phone, and I’ve had calls where I switch and am embarrassed. This happened on some calls to Ron when I used to call him more frequently. I’d be so scared to call, even though we’d scheduled the call, and then, usually the call was because of some bad stuff I was trying to work through, so I was already unstable. Then I’d be switched, and I did think it was fine, as this was Ron, but in the end the calls felt chaotic and produced more anxiety than they helped with.

Today was different, in that I was not in a triggered unstable place. I had been feeling very anxious, but it was more to do with adult concerns, about this job I’ve been thinking of accepting. So I phoned at the appointed time, and right away told Ron I was anxious, both from the stress of calling him and from this job situation. He was surprised I was anxious about calling him.

Then the conversation proceeded in an adult way. Ron, being a therapist, is super calm of course. I liked staying adult – kind of dropping beneath all the anxiety. I did want to discuss how I’d had trouble coping after the last session, so I did, and asked him what he thought causes this.

He said some stuff that I didn’t really agree with, that didn’t match my understanding of what happens. Something about the lack of connection in my life….But it was OK. I listened calmly, then talked about how I think about what happens – that somehow letting a part speak, even though the topic is not heavy and even if she does not cry, leads to a bunch of that part’s emotions coming up at home, to the extent that I can’t function.

Ron says it feels to him often as if the part is not finished – that there’s a lot more to say, but we have to box it up because the session is over. I agree with that – it’s like we are at the tip of the iceberg in session. Ron suggests I write him my thoughts after sessions, or let parts write, to try and express that more.

After we said goodbye, I felt free of crushing anxiety for the first time that day. I felt ‘connected’ I suppose – held and supported. Even though some of what Ron said I didn’t agree with. I loved having the adult discussion of something that felt important, with Ron taking it seriously and trying to respond as if I was worth thinking about and responding to.

So this kind of call is very helpful. If I could get that helpful connected feeling when I’m in the middle of the parts feelings, that would really help a lot. I’m not sure I could though. It would be so tempting to switch in the phone call, to speak from a panicked and severely hurting part….and I’d find that destabilizing and shaming.

Well, that was the call. In other news, I am taking care of business more than I was. I’m physically feeling better with a lot of my energy returned. I got my teeth cleaned, am going tomorrow to get my eyes checked. I washed all my bedding. I cleaned off my desk! Slow baby steps I suppose.

I accepted the problematic job. It feels good to have work lined up, which I don’t yet have to go and actually do. So that’s off my mind.

I’ve been trying some new little recipes out to expand my cooking repertoire with good results, so I’m eating pretty healthy. Doing the daily walk, though not as far as I go when completely healthy.

Talked to my son at last, and made plans with him to go see a movie.

I was thinking I might try some activities while I’m off, which maybe I could keep up with once I’m working. A big maybe. But I can at least try, while I’m off. There’s a choir I’d like to try singing with, and a yoga class I want to try also.


  1. I’m glad the phone check in helped. I always find them helpful. Doing some activities would be good. Its good to keep a balance. Thats what I’ve learned. XX

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah. I’m having some trouble adding activities when I’m working, as I’m so tired, so it would be good to try some out now in my break, and then keep them going once I’m working. Thanks

      • Add just one or two. I understand about being tired. College tires me out as well

  2. Rachel said:

    So glad the check-in helped. I like when you are off work and stalk my blog 🙂 Your thoughts are always appreciated. Maybe you don’t need to take this new offer after all…. might there be another option in, say a few months when I feel more stable? 🙂

    • Ellen said:

      Phew, glad you are not stalker phobic. 🙂

      Yes, as this is contract to perm, in six months, if it’s not working out, I can leave at the end of the contract. Or even if it is, I can still look for something better if I’m not loving it. So it’s not all bad at all. Plus the salary is fine, really. The downgrade in the position though is not great. Anyhoo. Thanks for commenting.

      • Ellen said:

        Oh – you were joking with your question….he he. Didn’t get it right away. Cheers.

  3. e.Nice said:

    I’m glad the phone call was a good connection. I am impressed with how you are able to articulate what you are feeling and not get stuck when he is off base. This kind of made me laugh: “He was surprised I was anxious about calling him.” Are there people who aren’t scared to reach out to their therapist? Even when they feel really secure about the relationship? And when you’ve had some phone calls that haven’t gone as well, of course you would be anxious. Again, really glad it went well and hope you can continue to have positive experiences with him and feeling supported.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks, me too. I think the ability to speak up to a T comes with practice….I’ve been seeing Ron for a few years now. I’m actually working on being more diplomatic with him, instead of just blurting out – that’s totally wrong! I can make my point without being rude.

      I think a fair amount of people can call their T without being scared. Or maybe not…hmm….that is thought provoking. Maybe everyone is anxious about that. Thanks – it does feel good to be supported. Doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s very nice when it does. Maybe I just can’t feel it all the time. Not sure. Cheers

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