Therapy Saturday

Work is continuing very very rough for me. It’s effecting my sleep, which is never that good to start with. I’m medicating in order to sleep, which is not the best.

Therapy was on Saturday this week. It was OK. Well….I did think about looking up other therapists again. I don’t know. I really don’t have time available to test them out though.

In one way, I so value Ron. I feel understood to some extent, and that someone cares. That’s worth a lot. On the other hand, he often doesn’t understand, and then I kind of give up the effort of trying to explain. Plus I’d sent him a bunch of emails, and he’d only replied to the first one. Which was kind of OK, but also kind of not. I didn’t raise it with him. I hadn’t asked for replies, anyway. I didn’t bring it up, but it still kind of bothered me, that I’d been so distressed, and he hadn’t responded. Maybe he feels it’s par for the course at this point – I’m always pretty much bummed out.

We talked about work. Of course. I described how there is almost no interaction with anyone built into the job. In large organizations that’s one of the interesting things to me – the way different departments are working on things together, and so there are meetings and things to be worked out. However, here, my manager does any interacting, and I am left to sit at my desk. It’s the same for all the analysts, but the math people are more engaged with what they’re doing, while I’m really not. My tasks will not be that fascinating, as a writer at a bank – the interest comes more from working with others.

Then, I have almost nothing to do, and it’s been three weeks. I’m not allowed to read the paper or surf much – my screen is very visible, and the manager did come by at one point and told me there was a lot to learn here, and I should be reading documents. I cannot understand these documents. They are too poorly written, and they assume a knowledge which i don’t have.

I’ve realized that I can download my kindle books to my phone though. So I’ve been reading my mystery novel, propping my black phone on my black keyboard and kind of hunching over it. Eight hours is a lot of time to fill when you need to be at your desk and look busy. So I was doing that.

Ron says why not quit then. If it’s so bad, and so not what you want?

That sounds so good to me. Just quit. I hate it so much, and I could get rid of it. However. It would be much preferable to tolerate it until I’ve found something else. I’ve been applying, and something might come up, I might get a call. Plus – I don’t yet know the job, really. I can see it’s not great, but might it be tolerable once I actually have little tasks to do? There is such an appeal to full-time for me also. I can see that though I’m not what this boss was hoping for either, she still has no intentions of letting me go. In a contract, you’re at risk of being let go all the time, and it’s exhausting.

Ron just listens, absorbing all this.

That was the first part of the session. I’m in an adult place – I can talk, I’m even somewhat animated. Underneath I can feel the pull of parts. They are deeply unhappy, but also banished much more strongly than usual. Ron asks if anyone wants to speak with him. I say it’s hard – there’s such a wall up, I have to take a leap in order to have them speak.

So I sit, and feel parts emotions. I want to cry, and I feel lost and sad.

I start to ‘draw’ which is basically scribbling. And B starts talking to Ron, about the parts of work she is interested in – our clothes, the elevators, the person who says hi every morning when no one else does.

And then that part actually starts to cry – I guess she carries a lot of sadness. I can’t actually remember very clearly what it was all about.

In the last part of the session, I tell Ron at work, when I was feeling depressed, I started trying to not think about anything. It just seems that when depressed, one bad thought leads to the next, and soon everything seems much much worse. I still think it’s a good plan to try not to think too much when depressed – it doesn’t help.

Ron didn’t really agree with this. He said that part of depression is not having a sense of agency. So if my thoughts lead to any small thing I could do to make it better, they would be helpful, though if they just go in circles, then of course, that’s not helpful.

I just felt he really didn’t get it. I can see this theory from his point of view, as a non-depressed person, and it makes sense. But when depressed, my thoughts are so heavy and clouded, they lead nowhere. They’re like being lost in a dark swamp. I’ve found trying not to think about much more helpful.

There is a book on this – The Mindful Way through Depression, that makes a similar point. Your mind hooks you in in depression, promising it will find a way out, but it really can’t. You’re better off dropping into the feelings and letting the move through you than trying to figure it out with your mind. You actually dig yourself in deeper and deeper by following the mind’s twisty pathways.

Anyway. I don’t explain all this, because I’m still feeling really emotional. Ron starts going on at length about his theories, which don’t make sense to me, so I ask him to stop, and he does, right away.

So I leave, cordially, saying goodbye and such. It was helpful to bridge the huge divide between myself and parts a bit more. I then had this really rough weekend, staying in bed for much of it. I don’t know if I can survive this job, I really don’t. I wish I didn’t spin out to such an extent. Why can’t I just accept that I need to keep this for a while, a few months, until I find something better? Just chill, and let the time pass.


  1. e.Nice said:

    That sounds so exhausting. It also sounds like you feel trapped, but that could be from the depression as well. Depression is exhausting and it does feel like there aren’t other options which feeds into the cycle. If you could think your way out of depression, you probably wouldn’t be depressed! IMHO this work environment isn’t really healthy for you, no matter what the reason (ie not your fault), so it might be better to cut your losses and get yourself somewhere you can do better and feel better. Thats easier said then done of course, but you don’t need to wait it out if its detrimental. I am glad you are being proactive and looking for other options in the meantime.

    • Ellen said:

      It is exhausting. And it is hard to separate out what is depression and what is the situation….Thanks Nice.

  2. I have generally found doing something grounding or soothing much more helpful than trying to think or form a plan of action. I stay in a place that is kind of run by thoughts and impulses. Basically, I think he’s wrong, but it’s a typical psychodynamic approach.

    • Rachel said:

      I completely agree – when I try to think or work with the thoughts, I end up worse off. Or just stuck. But when I ground and go into my body, the emotion moves more effectively. When I find a way to be present with what is arising, I feel better. (after, not necessarily during).

      • Ellen said:

        Yes, letting the emotion move through, instead of trying to think my way out is the way to go for me too. (definitely not during 🙂 ) Thanks

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, I agree. Grounding, soothing can help sometimes. Plan of action should come afterwards. thanks

  3. Your well being is really important, so on that hand, quitting makes sense. However, as you said, on the other hand, you need financial security. I do agree that the work environment doesn’t sound healthy for you. I read your other post, and it just feels like going into that silent work place everyday is so hard on you. I am really hoping you find something else soon.

    As for Ron, I do think therapists don’t always get it right. Bea doesn’t always understand right away, and I have to “edit” (edit because saying someone is wrong is really hard for me) what she says. And sometimes, it takes a few tries for her to get it. My point is, I think this may happen with any therapist you see, it just depends on how they respond to a correction. Like, is Ron willing to listen and change his perspective in order to understand?

    Depression is one thing I don’t struggle with, but the way you deal with it seems similar to the way I find dealing with my anxiety is best– not following the thoughts– so it makes sense to me. You found something that works for you, and that’s all that matters.

    I hope today is a good day for you. Xx

    • Ellen said:

      Ron is very open to feedback, and he never gets mad. However, he does have certain views which are not going to change. But…if there’s anything I want to try, or anything I don’t like, he’s always open to it. It’s one of the things I really like about him.

      Thanks Alice.

  4. My therapist has me keep going back and reading parts of The Mindful Way Through Depression to help me deal with the PTSD symptoms. It’s a very good book.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, it’s a great book. I read it first years ago, and this is my method for depression (when I can remember). Thanks

  5. Rachel said:

    I have to admit, I chuckled with your description of reading kindle books on your phone – sneaky! Hey, we all do what we have to do. Humor aside, this sound so tough. I’m sorry your work situation is another bomb.

    • Ellen said:

      Sneaky is my middle name! 🙂

      Work has picked up a bit – I have tasks now, so I feel somewhat better. Thanks Rachel

  6. It sounds like you are really unhappy. I hope you find something else soon. You also seem to struggle a lot with whether ron is helpful or not. Maybe its time to really give that some thought as to whether you feel sticking with him is the best thing to do for you in the long term. XXX

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