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Checking in with myself regularly

One of the very positive effects after my last trip to SF was that I took advantage of my work's Employee Assistance Program. They referred me to a therapist who has turned out to have been the only one in the last seven years to really help me get to the bottom of my inexplicable decisions. It's primarily anger based, but is also triggered due to anxiety/stress, feeling trapped and/or constantly monitored, and being defensive. Mostly anger, which wasn't really expressed in my family of origin, and thusly I've never known how to deal with it when it happens around me, and I've been mostly clueless when I've been feeling it myself. Hindsight for this major revelation has been profound, seeing most of my self-sabotage and fast-sinking spirals through a lens recognizing that I was usually livid, but either didn't or couldn't recognize it for what it was. So I drank it down, as that had become my go-to method for coping. There are doubtless healthier ways, and I'm actively exploring those. Given the erratic, chaotic and non-empowering environment I'm in thanks to my employer, doubtless I'll have many opportunities in the future to figure out ways to experience these feelings and cope in ways that don't end up with me in a stupor.

This is all very positive— perhaps even overwhelming in how empowered I've felt about this for really the first time. It also means that I'm going to be holding myself to a very high standard of self-honesty. That, in and of itself, is somewhat anxiety-generating, but if I look back at what I've gone through since 2005, being honest with myself could seem like a proverbial walk through the park. Certainly the toll should be less. As I was driving home from my second session with my new therapist, Lily, I came up with the idea to keep a small notebook with me (which I already do) and to check in with myself regularly and get out of my head and really try to figure out what I'm feeling. This is easier to do during my workdays as I have regularly scheduled breaks, but it's becoming easier to do all the time. I've used my head as a 'safe' retreat for years now, and becoming more in tune with what I'm feeling, even if I think I'm feeling neutral or uninvolved or whatever, has been an empowering exercise. I'm very often grateful, and content, and feel safe. There's also a lot of feeling listless and uninspired, depending on the time of day and what I'm doing. But this past Saturday morning, driving home after my workout, I realized I felt triumphant and unstoppable— not something I'd want to experience all the time, but I was grateful to be able to recognize it within myself.

I can pretty much definitively say that my Years of Suck are over. 2014 may be the year of all the feelings. :)

This entry was originally posted at http://thrihyrne.dreamwidth.org/514808.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC)
I'm glad your new therapist is helpful. Hugs to you.
Jan. 10th, 2014 01:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And (((hugs))) right back to you. :)
Jan. 8th, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
Yay! This is great to read. Good luck with doing this work.

Can I rec 750words.com? It might just be that paper & pen suits you better but I've seen that site recced specifically for sitting and writing about your feelings and feeling them for a bit.
Jan. 10th, 2014 01:32 pm (UTC)
I'll go give them a look! I do much prefer literal pen to paper, and this exercise for me is to have a quick one-word summation, but that doesn't mean another route wouldn't also be helpful. :)
Jan. 10th, 2014 12:19 am (UTC)
that all sounds so very positive. what an enormous leap to be able to make. onward and upward, sweetheart. ♥
Jan. 10th, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!! I had my first and all-too-soon bout of rage yesterday, but each time that I cope in a new manner (in this case, yelling and pounding on a table and explaining the injustice to Evan and then going to an intense workout) and make it through, the more empowered I am. ♥
Jan. 10th, 2014 09:04 am (UTC)
Counseling is awesome because it's good to figure out where you're coming from - to make you kinder to yoruself in rehashing those relationships, and also to help you make better ones next time. I love your outlook on this and wish you luck.

Also, I had a bit of a laugh over the name: Lily. Perhaps as a Harry Potter fan you'll get some strength from that connection?
Jan. 10th, 2014 01:39 pm (UTC)
Many thanks! What I particularly have appreciated about Lily is that in either or our first or second session after I'd done the initial 'why I'm here and here's my past' dump of info, she acknowledged in terms of seeing a therapist that 'this wasn't my first rodeo.' I really appreciated that. For whatever reason, whether her insights alone or that I'm in the right place to know what I really need, she's assisting me in concrete ways to cope with a speed I've not had in the past.

I hadn't thought of the HP connection; it was more of the rarity of someone with that name- but now that you've mentioned it, I shan't forget. ;)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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