Maybe I am making progress?
Thursday was one of those double-duty Art Therapy followed by Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner day. Some days this works..Some days, I feel like I am shooting myself in the foot by doing it. I live 45 minutes outside of the City and both practitioners are in the thick of the City, one right downtown and the other is on the other side of downtown right against the lake. It is just easier for me to double up appointment day than have to make an extra trip downtown. (It has always been this way….Therapist #1 was even more down-town than the Art Therapist, and Therapist #2 was in South City, but still in the thick of busy-ness and 45 mins away.)
Thursday, though the Art Therapy session was challenging, it worked to have my appointments back-to-back. It meant I got to ease out of therapy mode, didn’t have to shove all the feeling stuff away, I could let it sort of wind-down on its own…It was good.
But…back to the idea of making progress….I was discussing my mood exacerbations with my PNP and she pointed out that being depressed begets negative thoughts. And negative thoughts beget more negative thoughts and that perhaps my negative thinking pattern is what causes my exacerbations. You know what my knee-jerk reaction to that statement was? That is my fault that I am having mood exacerbations. And I almost said it to her…but I didn’t because I knew she would be unhappy and say that it wasn’t really my fault. So, I stewed on it a little bit.
And……brace yourself….I think maybe, I let it go…I know she wasn’t saying it’s my fault. And I understand what she was saying about negativity feeding the fire…And I am not going to beat myself up about it. Nope….I am not. I think that might be some progress.
I know that I twist what people say to me…that my experience of their words is skewed….I have done it a handful of times already with the Art Therapist. And he has rightly corrected me about it when I have brought it up. And clearly, I needed the reassurance because I am reading things into his words that he did not mean….But just maybe, now I am starting to see it myself.
The rest of my PNP appointment was uneventful. We talked about my meds, my supplements, my blood pressure (which is steadily high now) and general other mood stuff. And we always talk about how therapy is going…and I always say it is good but hard.
I just realized that this week makes it 5 years that I have been seeing my PNP. That’s sort of discouraging….5 years, multiple meds (Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Abilify and now the Fetzima and Lamictal and Deplin) and I am still depressed, so discouraging!
Maybe I’ll just focus on the progress.
My Six Month Review
It has been six months since I started seeing the Art Therapist….It took me from mid-February to mid-June to stop having anxiety attacks in my car after every appointment…Not huge anxiety attacks…but enough to be distressing. Sometime in June, I felt like my relationship with the AT finally “clicked.” I had started to wonder if it would ever happen…But I am a stubborn, stubborn person and I persisted because I really like the AT and have since the first time I met him. There is something about his manner that is very comforting to me…Plus he is sharp as a tack and keeps me on my toes.
Since it has been six months, I asked for a “six month review” and we did it on Thursday…and I was kind of disappointed. He did a very linear review….pulling out my intake papers, reading the goals I set the first day of therapy and then asking me where I thought my progress with those goals was. Boring. I kind of wanted a discussion and feedback from him. Of course, I didn’t speak up and say his review wasn’t what I was looking for….Although when he told me we were going to start by reviewing my goals, I did heave a mighty sigh (Not that I meant to sigh so big, but it was big enough that the AT responded to it…though he misread it). I suppose that would have been my opportunity to speak up. Maybe in a couple of weeks, I will try again. Or maybe it just doesn’t matter…I don’t know.
A Good Weekend?!
And lastly, I want to say that if I make it through today with no problems, I will have managed to have had a good weekend. I thought yesterday was going to be hard…but I worked out my feelings by drawing and writing and obsessively cleaning. 😉 After the past couple of weekends, it is nice to have a weekend where I am not sliding backwards into the blackness.