it had to end, this was as good a time as any

I texted my T about 4 weeks ago and told him i wasn’t coming back, ” i quit”. Granted, this occurred during my latest bout of suicidality – i was determined to die by starvation, i’ll get back to this later but at the time, it seemed pretty obvious to me that i didn’t need or want therapy if i was going to be dead.

He did the CYA (liability-conscious) and OK, decent thing to do and asked me why? and are you safe? From past experience, i know one cannot say to a MH professional that they are not safe and expect to be left alone. I don’t like lying either, so i just didn’t respond to his questions. To his credit, his texted the following week and asked me if i wanted to “talk about what is happening with you” the following day, our usual session day for the past 6 years. Again, i chose not to respond. Bye, Bye.

And so, i have stopped therapy after almost 10 years. Finally. And i am fine.

From the beginning, i have been unsure of what i was supposed to be gaining from therapy or even if i was “doing it right” because i never felt any better because of it. I started therapy after i received a MDD dx from a psychiatrist and the notion was reinforced after every hospitalization. I felt like it was expected of me, like seeing the shrink or taking the meds. My appts. were always made for me before i got discharged. My shrinks always asked me if i was seeing a T and sometimes they’d ask who.

Over time, my sense of something not being right or helpful about the whole process grew larger and harder to ignore or brush off as me doing it wrong or maybe not having the “right” therapist or type of therapy. Some of my most intense self harming occurred as a direct result of feeling this disconnect, usually as soon as i got home. I remember thinking – this can’t be right. But, either through laziness or bewilderment or both i kept going to someone. Actually 4 different someones’ in the last 10 years.

In the past, when i’ve mentioned my unhappiness about therapy etc. here, i have been advised to keep looking b/c “it can take a while to find the right T”. But, i don’t have it in me to keep looking because i don’t honestly believe it will make a damned bit of difference. I kept going, in part, because it was easier to just go rather than consider trying someone new or like a rational person would do, explain why i was leaving to my current T. So i just walked away, ghosted him. He probably thinks i’m mental or, more likely, just a dick.

So, it’s been – actually 6 weeks- without the grind of every friday morning pretending i had anything worthwhile to say and dreading the little dance of nontherapy. And i’m saving myself some cash. It always felt like i was just paying someone to sit across from me and pretend to be interested. Fuck that shit.

So yeah, the starvation thing. I did some research on it, like how it feels to die by starvation, how long it should take, what actually causes death etc., but it was a more painful process than i had expected. By the third week my back was killing me, i had bad abdominal pain – not hunger – and i was too weak to properly look after Blue, who still needed daily walks and my attention. When i eventually told my intentions to my sister, she asked me if i was planning to “take her with” me. No dear, i was hoping you would take her in – she said she would. Even with the comfort of knowing Blue would have a great home, i came to the realization that this wasn’t the death i wanted. I want to die peacefully and not in pain. So, i abandoned my starvation and as luck would have it, i have cycled back to hypomania and here i am happy and full of energy.

I’ve been binge watching the old episodes of the X-Files, and one of the characters said he could take the bad times as long as he could remember the good times. I guess that’s how i feel about bipolar cycling right now.

Doc

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still having doubts

Last week when i was poorly, i went to see the nurse practitioner who is my PCP [primary care provider].  She knows my T as they share the office space.  After i apparently failed to explain my reasoning behind quitting my pmeds. she asked me if i was still seeing him.  In a moment of unusual sharing i said “yes, but it seems like all i’m doing is paying him to talk to me.”  She replied, “well, isn’t that the point?”

I don’t know.  Is that the point, the only point?  I’m still not sure what therapy is about or what is supposed to be accomplished.  I have left therapy sessions MANY times, with different therapists, wondering what the hell  i was doing.  Sometimes, i’m convinced that i’m failing at therapy because i’m not getting anything out of it    Other times, i believe it’s all my T’s fault because they suck and i just haven’t found a “good” one.

 

Changing therapists has usually come as a result of a hospitalization and on the advice of my soon-to-be-history treatment team.  “You need someone more trauma focused.”  Well, ok, fine but what is that supposed to look like?  How is that going to be different?

 

I’ve had 4 therapists in the last 9 years and have never felt i understood the concept of therapy with any of them.  I’ve been with my current T for 5 years and he’s a nice fellow and all but usually after asking me how my week was, we spend the time chatting aboutgodknowswhat.  It doesn’t feel therapeutic.  It feels like paying for someone to be my friend who can’t be my friend.  To be fair, i don’t want him pounding me with questions about my childhood with every breath but some experience-based guided questioning would help me.  I don’t know what would help me to discuss.  Isn’t that his role?

 

Certainly, i could find another therapist and try again.  After 5 years, it feels a bit like a relationship that hasn’t grown or deepened.  But how do i judge something that seems vague and arbitrary.  Does therapy have goals, something measurable to help me judge success or failure, a list i can check off?  I need guidance and once again i feel lost and adrift, afraid to stay and afraid to go.

Doc

 

 

Grandiosity

Who, me? Surely not.

I have read and pondered the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder many times and have never found that grandiosity describes me.

Today, my therapist made a comment that he was surprised i had an awareness or understanding that the upcoming weekend showers have anything to do with the tropical system currently in the southern U.S. Really?? Then from somewhere came the words…”I am all knowing. I have skills of which you have no idea.” His reply – ” Well i haven’t seen evidence of that these past few years.” To which i told him to fuck himself.

I was only half joking. He seemed to take it well. [Ha ha, have a nice week, etc.]

But i’m left wondering where the fuck did this come from? I can’t say i don’t occasionally think and believe i can do most anything i want but i do not express these fleeting fantasies and in time, they fade. So, I was surprised to hear these thoughts spoken aloud. Is it grandiose to feel intelligent and capable? Is it just a symptom?

Doc

I know it’s my problem…

I’ve read a couple of blog entries where folks complain or explain their reactions to a therapist changing something. At times I haven’t understood their ferocity or devastation about the change.

I think now that it is deeply personal and hard to understand when it happens to others. Like a lot of things.

My point: yesterday, my T asked if I could come in early on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Only 15 mins. early. He knew that I already have trouble getting in at 8:30A on normal days/weeks. I am not a morning person. What upset me was how he asked – “if you want to talk, can you come in 15 mins. early? I’m the only social worker working that day and i’d like to get in early, if possible.”

IF I want to talk?

The rest of the day my mood steadily decayed after playing it over and over in my head. I finally came to the realization that I see therapy as a treatment, a process that might help me, a sometimes difficult but necessary evil. But my T obviously does not share my expectations of his work.

It’s confusing and hurtful to see the truth.

So, I decided I would wait until the beginning of the week to 1) see if I shift my head to his side, or 2) if I find something I HAVE to talk about before I text him and just cancel.

I guess I entered into therapy with the wrong ideas, the wrong expectations and clearly that’s my fault, not his. Should I just quit? Doc.

Again

I am feeling depressed again.  Past 2 days.  I had been feeling pretty good, sometimes great, for months now. Meds: Trazodone and hydroxyzine – reportedly for sleep.

This downturn is probably situational in nature.  I wrote about the brother issue yesterday.  Today in therapy I moaned about that, then started telling him how strongly uncomfortable I was this weekend while visiting some relatives of my sister-in-law living nearby.  They were very nice, friendly people.  My problem was – I couldn’t look at their 11 year old daughter sitting happily on her dad’s lap without wondering/worrying if she was being sexually abused by him.

I also told my T that I might think the same of him  if I saw him  with his daughter (even if I didn’t want to).

He said, “Guilty by reason of penis, huh?”

“Pretty much.  It could be anyone.  I find myself looking for signs.”  I don’t want to look at every happy family or father and daughter together and think these things.  It made me feel bad and judgmental and damaged.

I also started a new MDD med – Trintellix -2 weeks ago and now i’m down.  Makes me suspicious. Am still nauseous.

I told him that I had been saddened by the news of a fellow bloggers’ death and that I felt like crying, but couldn’t.  So I used blood for tears.  He asked me if I could find another way to mourn.  Felt stupid.

I am trying to write things down so I don’t forget as I go along.   Doc

 

 

 

Grumble, rinse and repeat

I hate therapy and I hate my therapist right now.  After last Friday’s “session” I was adamant that I WOULD NOT be going back.  Now, 2 days later, I feel the beginnings of doubt.  **Maybe I AM the one at fault here.  Maybe he’s doing a good job and I just don’t get it, can’t see it**.   I’ve been going to see this fellow for about three years now and for about 3 or 4 months feel like he isn’t trying or is bored or frustrated with me.  I told him before and on Friday that I feel much worse after our meetings.  I think he said “really?”   Not why or explain yourself.

Anyway, for the past couple of months my depression has gotten worse, I’m barely functioning – by which I mean – I eat and drink daily, I get out of bed regularly to smoke a cig., I bring in the newspaper daily from the driveway (they’re in a pile on the guest bed), and I leave the house once a  week to go to therapy.  Any other ADL*  is not my ADL.  Sleeping, something I once enjoyed,  is a daily problem.  I can’t get to sleep before midnight or later and then I wake up every 30 to 90 mins. until I finally give up and haul my ass out of bed to sit in a  mildly agitated stupor on the steps for a smoke.  I hide from the neighbors and my family.  I don’t turn my phone on some days and then feel unsupported and abandoned when I deign to turn it on and there are no voicemails or missed calls.

I’ve told my T this.  I’ve told him I’m lost. I’ve told him I don’t know what I might do and that I’m afraid of what I’m capable of.  Two weeks ago his parting words were “I hope you feel better”, two days ago – “Have a nice week.”  Am I expecting too much from him?  If he can’t help me, who can?  I don’t know who to ask.

This past week he said something like “Are you ready to _____ (something I missed) the sleeping giant?”   My porous brain leaked out a weak “uh huh” and I waited for him to proceed figuring I’d catch on as he talked.  But he didn’t talk.  He sat there and looked at me expectantly.  I suppose a reasonable person (obviously, not me) would have asked him what he meant by sleeping giant.  But, I didn’t and I’ve spent the last 48 hours trying to figure out what it means.

I’m one of those people that reviews and dissects any conversation I’ve had – I guess for hidden meanings or insights I might have missed at the time.  I also have elaborate conversations with the future. ** If they say this, ‘ll say that**.  And I try to anticipate any twists and diversions that may happen..  Of course, I never get it right, but I do get a sense of pleasure if I get to use one of my carefully constructed responses.

I’m thinking I might have to go back next Friday just to find out WTF he was talking about.  But then again, I may just go to ask him for a referral to another type of therapist (does she have the balls?)  I think I need a more interactive, therapist-directed therapy.  I will sit or pace silently sometimes waiting for him to ask or say something because my mind is empty.

In the meantime, today I decided to start Zoloft again.  This was the last AD I was given when inpatient last spring.  I never could tell if it made any difference or if the ECT was the reason I was deemed better and allowed home.   Frankly, I just need a little break from all of this and would welcome with open arms any hypomania it wants to send my way.  I have so much shit that needs doing, plus I need a little happy.

Doc

*ADL=activity of daily living

Don’t worry

Therapy has been …weird lately. After my declaration of intent (suicide) the previous week, I obviously didn’t succeed and decided to go back again. He never brought up the subject, in fact, I can’t remember what we did talk about. But, I was very anxious and only lasted about 30 mins., sitting in mutual silence for 15 mins., so I left about 25 mins. early. At one point he said “is there anything you want to talk about?”. I honestly considered the question, but my brain could not find a single thought to bring up. I tried, I really did but nothing. Blank. Made me more anxious. As I handed him my Visa card to pay, so I could escape, he said “has Wolf been active?”. I could not say anything. Really? Ask me that as I’m trying to get away?

So, at yesterday’s session, I had decided that my goal was to at least stay the entire time – talking or not. Luckily he didn’t bring up my early departure before or my inability to speak. However, he did ask a few questions about Wolf’s activities of late. I told him that I had cut and had swallowed a few items at Wolf’s insistence. I told him that the last time I cut I let the blood run down to the floor – I was in the bathroom – and that I used the blood to make little wolf paw prints on the floor and that Wolf had liked it. D asked me what I had swallowed and if they had caused me any problems. I told him no. Then Wolf chimed in “Strangle him”. I asked D if he wanted to know what Wolf had just said. “Yes”. “He told me to strangle you”. “Is that because I ask you questions about him?.” I thought about this and told him “I think he just wonders if I could. Don’t worry, I won’t strangle you.” As I said this, I noticed I had crossed my arms tightly in front of me, as if I was trying to resist the urge. I honestly don’t thing I would, but I’ve had a few fantasies picturing me trying.

I’m probably not the first person who has considered/fantasied about killing their therapist. Right? Being questioned about a touchy subject? Just kill the questioner.

Don’t worry, I won’t strangle you.

Later last night, I found some frozen brownies in the freezer. Perfect, chocolate always helps. After the first bite, I noticed my brownie tasted funny, then I remembered (ECT) that I had made a batch of pot brownies back in the winter. Slept pretty well last night. At least I have something to help with today’s crap. Something yummy and packing a punch. Good thing, my lungs need a break. I’m still convinced pot is the only reason I’m still alive. The only time I feel even remotely human is when I’m stoned. It really does relieve some (a lot) of the anxiety and slows/focuses my head somewhat. I hope Maryland will soon join the other states and finally legalize a truly HELPFUL psychiatric drug. Doc.