I skipped therapy this week. I just gave 24 hours notice too – I usually try to give a lot more so he can fill the slot, possibly. Selfish.

I wanted a weekend where I was not too sad to function, where I could go out and do things I’d planned, and maybe even speak to someone. I worked from home every day last week and had no meetings, so I barely spoke all week. It just seems too much to be disabled by sadness every single weekend.

Well, that was the plan. I felt sad when I cancelled my session, but I did not really miss going, and I definitely did not miss the aftermath. However, we have a strange winter storm that hit precisely on the weekend. Freezing rain is one of those circumstances where I like to stay nice and dry at home. So, I’ve been on my own anyway. I guess I might as well have been sad and recovering from therapy.

I think therapy is making me worse. It’s been eight years, so it’s not really the kind of worse where you’re opening up new emotions. I don’t think. To tell the truth, I’m not sure what is causing my distress after therapy. The sessions do not seem that intense. I don’t cry. I don’t have conflict with Ron, for the most part.

I’m thinking of going every two weeks. That would keep the attached parts calm, while giving me every second weekend to get things done and go out a bit.

To change the topic a bit, I’ve been on a physical health kick. I got a book from the library about adrenal burn out/thyroid issues. It’s got a whole plan for how to help, focusing on diet, with exercise and stress reduction, and supplements. I bought a fancy(ish) blender which is now taking up a big chunk of my tiny kitchen counter, so I could make the breakfast smoothies this plan recommends. The general idea of the diet is that a lot of fatigue, illness, and weight gain is due to the adrenals or thyroid no longer functioning optimally. The plan attempts to ‘reset’ your hormonal balance. Part of this is having limited carbs in the morning, some carbs at lunch and more carbs at dinner.

The smoothies are interesting. I’m putting in spinach, and trying for the right amount of berries, also a small scoop of white beans, a fat, and protein powder. I am eating way more veg and fruit than usual this way. I’m not feeling quite full all morning from this though. I’m not really doing this to lose weight anyway – I just do not have much energy and am hoping this will help.

I’m also pretty regularly going for a thirty minute walk before noon, which I can do because of working from home at the moment. That gets me out into bright light and also some exercise, but not enough to trigger off my symptoms.

I was thinking, what if my collapsing after exercise is at least in part because of a hormone issue? Apparently if you’re on the far end of being burnt out, any vigorous exercise makes you feel worse. Maybe I have a physical issues as well as the mental one.

My lack of energy rules my life to a large extent. So I’m hoping this helps. At times, I think it is already helping. Just I’m still getting triggered and collapsing quite a bit.

I really like that I’ve started various activities and they are important to me. I go to knitting circle, writing group, choir, church group once a month, ACA group. But I’m needing to miss an awful lot when I go to therapy and then can’t function anymore. I feel sometimes I’m getting more out of the activity groups than I am out of therapy.

Now I feel guilty I’ve said that. Because I do have a close relationship with Ron. I know he’s done his best for me year after year. I just don’t quite think he’s helping me anymore.

That said, I’ve gained a lot. I’m able to be nicer to myself. I can hear various parts and I try to take care of them. I am nicer to people – I didn’t come from a ‘people pleasing’ problem, so for me, it’s good that I can be nicer now, consider how the other person is feeling. I don’t date or have a relationship so I’m not sure if I’ve improved in that area. Possibly.

It’s good to remember I’ve made some gains from this huge investment of time, money and energy.




  1. leb105 said:

    hey, E, glad to see this… I’ve left individual therapy, myself, after 10 years. I didn’t feel I was making progress, and what we seemed to be doing seemed so negative, and repetitive. I think I learned enough in therapy to make progress on my own, and in Group. I’m more conscious of my feelings and can start to learn how to use them to guide me. What if you left therapy now? Are you happy with what you’ve already achieved, and content with the way you are now? Do you have further goals?

    • Ellen said:

      Hi Laura – That’s a big step, leaving therapy after so long. Interesting you’re keeping Group. For me, I do have further goals. I’m still being triggered by quite a few things and would like that to stop, for instance. I have more dissociation than I think is acceptable. I would like more relationships but only have the one friend really. So yeah, I have further goals. Ron doesn’t really work on goals per se though…I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Thanks

  2. Sometimes, when my therapy with whatever therapist i was with at that point ended…retirement, therapist moving, one therapist fired me…when i found my next therapist. I would make lots of progress fast. Right now, I’ve been with my present therapist for 4 years. I’m kind of at a stuck point, and every once in a while, the thought wanders through my head that it might be time for a change.

    • Ellen said:

      Sometimes it does seem that we make the most progress right at the start. I’m quite attached to Ron so it would be hard to leave. Hope you find what’s best for you. Thanks for commenting

  3. I went through 3 counselors and now work at doing things without a therapist a phone call away. Some days I do great….other days, I wish I could make an appointment and just talk and talk. No easy answers sometimes. Experimenting with different approaches sometimes leads down unexpected roads. Cheering for you.

  4. DV said:

    Going every two weeks sounds like a good thing to try. I reckon having strong feelings like guilt about negative thoughts or feelings toward any significant attachment figure is par for the course, and it seems to me like Ron is a very important figure in your life even if you’re not making gains from therapy any more. I know I feel like I’m “cheating” on Dr L every time I see someone else about my mental health care and am quite conflicted about criticism of him – it’s okay if I do it, but no-one else is allowed to.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, I kind of hate it also when others criticize Ron, or the version of him that appears here anyway. Meanwhile I express all kinds of frustration with him myself. Nothing is simple. Thanks

  5. I think our paths toward greater emotional health are anything but linear. On the contrary, they are full of fits and starts and wrong turns, times when we are stuck and times when we are trying 25 things at the same time, desperate to move forward.

    I was getting kind of stuck with E there for a while. I had learned a lot from her but was having trouble truly internalizing it all. (This was made more complicated by the giant mess of meds I was taking, for sure.) I might have switched to another therapists, with a lot of pain, except that she suggested I try to find more ways to be in my body and work with my body. This led to my work with C (mind-body therapist, once a month) and it eventually brought me back to yoga. These things have really helped me more knowledge from my head to my heart.

    Of course that’s not everything. There has been a little art work, and some affirmation cards, and working with a nutritionist on some of the same things you talk about, and the therapy retreat and mindful writing class.

    This is a lot of words to say what I might have said more simply: I agree, we need more than just therapy to get better. And sometimes we do get to the end point of what one therapist can give us.

    Maybe some of your sadness is a recognition that you have reached that point with Ron, but you are attached to him, so your spirit aches after therapy because it knows that but can’t stand the idea of letting him go? Just an idea, could be completely wrong. If you suspect there’s some truth in it, maybe you could explore some of the things I did as supplements (body work, yoga, writing class) and see if any of those give you a nudge you can carry into therapy and work on with Ron. Again, just an idea. I may be off base on what Ron can give you.

    I’m glad you are attending to good and exercise. It’s hard, when our energy is low, to do that, but I think it helps. And I wish for you to be well. Love, Q.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks so much for sharing that Q. I am so interested in these other paths you are finding helpful. I really do find a lot of meaning even in knitting group, which has nothing to do with trauma whatsoever. And my writing group, which also has nothing to do with trauma. But it’s all expressions of myself, and learning about other people, in a way I find important and helpful.

      I’m finding I do have more energy with the diet and supplements I’m trying. It’s a lot of work but I feel lighter somehow. I’m amazed at what different herbs can do.

      It’s a good idea to try bringing in some other healing into my main therapy. Ron is pretty open that way so I could do it.

      Love to you Q.

  6. I think therapy may have made me worse. It really didn’t address what was happening to me or elucidate it in any way. I had symptoms (you could call them) while we discussed quite unrelated things. For the most part, I think it taught me more ways to distance myself from my internal experience.

    I frequently wish I could sit down with someone who could actually be of some help to me. I have these odd reactions throughout the day and I sincerely wish there might be someone to bounce ideas off of in trying to sort out why they are happening.

    For you, there is this very intense reaction to therapy, but no real sensible discussion about why this happens or what you might do about it.

    • Ellen said:

      I really understand having ‘symptoms’ while you discuss unrelated things. I’m understanding this as maybe different parts trying to make their presence known, while the more adult part carries on the discussion on a different track. It is hard to pin down, and hard to get anyone to understand who is not tuned into this problem.

      I wish too you could sit down with someone who could help you. Maybe someday that will happen if you want it to.

      I do think I am able to trust a bit more than you are. I do trust Ron quite a bit, even though we have these differences of opinion sometimes.

      Your comment about no sensible discussion prompted me to bring this to therapy and to stick to this topic. Thanks!

  7. Eliza said:

    Sending love and light your way…

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