Saw my therapist today. To my satisfaction, we actually worked on the stuff we'd planned to work on instead of completely getting sidetracked on my last week's issues. To my disappointment, I didn't quite deal as much as I wish I could have on this last week's issues. Maybe I should plan to spend the first 15 minutes on immediate issues or the last 15 minutes, which is about what I did today. Somehow, I want her feedback on what I've been dealing with during the week, but I also want to make actual progress on bigger, underlying issues.
I think we will be going through The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step-By-Step Program, by Knaus and Ellis. First off, I inwardly rebelled against the idea, because I hate the name of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, even though it used to be my favorite. I dislike the thought I now associate with it; that I have a behavior problem and if I'd just "do what's right," I wouldn't be depressed or anxious anymore. So we came up with the idea of renaming it, so I think I will call it The Cognitive Behavioral Coping Skills Workbook for Depression. Because to me, coping skills make the best of a bad situation that isn't my fault. And if for some strange reason the depression disappears in the face of my excellent "coping skills" that I hope to achieve, then I hope I won't get all mad at myself for not already having these skills earlier (back to the my-depression-is-my-fault issue - I'm afraid if I can get rid of it, then it is my problem that it is here in the first place and for each moment I let it continue to exist). I realize that my aversion to anything possibly indicative of the slightest bit of guilt may actually in itself delay my recovery - yes, I suppose I feel a bit of guilt about that, too, even as I reject it. And here it might be time for the ostrich head-in-the-sand trick; I can't figure it out, so let's quick think about something else.
Speaking of which, maybe the ostrich head-in-the-sand trick would benefit people and we should put it on our list of coping skills instead of on our list of insults.
Currently, I'm more for head-in-bed. I got new sheets, which might have been a sin and a waste of money, but I did, and I really like them. Not to mention the fact that I like to sleep (when I'm not having disturbing dreams or restless sleep).
I did discuss my current deepening of depression with my counselor, but in a very short amount of time, since we were almost out of time. Her responses got me thinking. See, I'd been going over scenarios in my head, including what-if I ended up back in the hospital with my depression. I just thought it was depressed and a bit desperate thinking. But my counselor added the word "catastrophizing" or at least she added the concept. And really, that is some of what I've been doing. Like the last blog post when I was all discouraged because I had trouble eating lunch. Trouble eating lunch along with a couple nights of less than ideal sleep and some depressed thoughts and I was envisioning my medication having failed and a long-term return of worse depression. By long term, I meant a couple months. I don't like to think of more than a couple months of moderate-to-severe depression. Not that I think it will really go away after a couple months, but I just want to block the picture from my mind. Head-in-the-sand ostrich idea used to save me once again.
So at least for a couple hours, I am no longer living under the immagined predetermined depression. I'm still depressed, but maybe not as depressed as if I really was heading back towards the psych unit in the hospital. Which sometimes has this strange push-pull to it, because I long for a quick fix and for setting everything else aside and dealing with the depression with help, while at the same time, I want to protect my pocket book and my job and my normal life and not having to readjust to normal life after leaving the hospital again and I really don't want to be the sort of person a nurse there said existed who would just go in there because it is easier and comfortable and safe when they actually needed to be out dealing with life. So anyway, I think the quick-fix hope is probably a big piece of it, and I realize that hospital psych units don't actually get rid of depression, at least not ordinarily. In my own one time experience, it was maybe helpful, but it was also emotionally exhausting and it did not by any means get rid of the depression. I probably got worse afterwards before I got better.
Anyhow, how's that for a rambling post? I also found that it got harder and harder to think while I was in my counseling session (we were going over my description of an ideal church and on how to overcome some roadblocks). I like to think that means we were making real progress. Because apparently, progress should be difficult or something. I think I'll keep thinking we made progress. It's a happy thought, after all.
And finally, I just looked it up on the internet and found that ostriches don't burry their heads in the sand to hide from danger. They might, however, put their heads on the sand so that they can more or less disappear. Which blends quite nicely with going to bed, don't you think, while we're on the disappearing subject? Only, it's still too early for that for me (not to mention the daunting task of preparing and eating supper that still is to come).
The other thing I keep wanting from a counseling session is some kind of solution or resolution or something. The hour of randomly confronting various issues in the hope that someday my depression and anxiety will improve doesn't fit into a nice, neat, box in my head. I find myself wanting to sum up the counseling session in words and find some sort of solution to the tears that come a little closer to the surface (though they usually don't reach the surface) during counseling sessions. Instead, I get... to go back to my "normal" life. That's depressing. I almost ended on an uplifting note for me, and then I touched on a sadder one. Rats.
Um, tomorrow is Friday? Does that work? Yes and no; then I have the weekend anxieties to work with. Maybe I will actually go in and apply for food stamps tomorrow. I would be proud of myself for doing that if I actually did it. Proud of myself for taking what feels like a humbling step. It takes admitting I'm not totally self-sufficient. Which seems to assume that I should be self-sufficient. But maybe that is an incorrect assumtion. Actually, I think it is incorrect. Now, quick, let me post this before I go back down another emotional hill... (See, I want to sum up my random blog, too.)