I’ve had a big week. I had my regular therapy session on Tuesday, followed by a consult with a psychiatrist on Thursday morning, and a double session with my therapist and my mother on Thursday afternoon. I was also scheduled to have surgery Friday morning, but one of the machines is broken so that’s been put off until Monday.
I was initially disappointed about the surgery delay, but now think it’s probably a good thing as I completely underestimated how stressful these few days would be. By Thursday morning, I was a complete mess and my anxiety was spiralling out of control. I managed to keep it together enough to get to my psychiatrist appointment. I’m glad I did.
He’s delightful. Warm, funny, sensitive – gentle but firm. The antithesis of Stone Therapist – thank goodness. I was very worried that if I didn’t like this guy, then it could only be because there’s something horribly wrong with me. (Funny, my therapist knew that’s what I would think.)
So, he did the usual history taking thing. At one point he said that it’s unusual for someone like me not to be in a relationship because I’m so attractive (he might have said pretty, I can’t remember). I found that hugely embarrassing because that’s sooooo not how I see myself. I also thought it an odd thing for a shrink to say to a new patient, but I don’t think he meant anything sordid by it.
The main point of me seeing him was to have medication reviewed and as a “back up” to my current therapist. He said he wants to get to know me better so he can do that. He also said he’d like to find a way for him and my therapist to work together with me, which I just think is so fantastic! The thought that I could get something useful from each of them hadn’t occurred to me, but I like the idea. (Well, the part of me that always wants to run to the end likes the idea. More therapy = better faster, right?)
At the end of the session we did a little “activity” – you can even try this at home. He made me cross my arms, thinking about how it felt. Then to cross them the other way, thinking about how it felt – Was it hard? Did I have to think about it? Did I feel ridiculous? Awkward? Uncomfortable? Yes, all of those things. We did it again three more times.
Doing things differently takes time and effort. But with that time and effort comes a level of comfort. Over time, these new ways of doing things might even come to feel “natural”.