“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.” Sigmund Freud
“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.” Sigmund Freud
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau
I struggle with this one since so often I have to cancel people out because I’m flaring. I advise them that I have a chronic medical condition which unfortunately knocks me out. But I think it also sends the message to patients that my needs are more important than theirs. People are really great about it, but it bothers me that I cannot offer the consistency and dependability people need when they go to therapy.
For example, I was flaring last week and told people I’d be calling them today, Sunday, to hopefully reschedule tomorrow. Well as it turns out I now have a cold and still need to stay at home. It sounds so…flaky… and the STRESS of the uncertainty only makes me feel worse . One thing about lupus is you need to really baby your body when anything comes on because your immune system cannot defend the body against invading viruses, bacteria, etc.
Therapists are trained to only self disclose for the benefit of the patient. I’m thinking that if they knew exactly what the medical condition is, they would understand why I have to frequently cancel and the uncertainty of when I can reschedule. But I’m not sure if I’m considering telling them for my benefit, so they won’t think badly of me, or theirs, so they won’t feel blown off and therefore feel badly about themselves. And then I’m afraid that if they understand the seriousness of my condition, it might scare them off…
So I’d really appreciate your input on this, especially if you’ve ever been a therapy patient. Would you want to know its lupus? How do you think this would make you feel? How might you respond? Or is that way too much information? Do you think the “chronic medical condition” is enough of an explanation?
Thanks for any help you can offer me here.
Image copyright Jupiter Images 2008
Myself? I’m happy with who I am and what I’ve done in this life. It took me a long time to grow up. Very long. Through one marriage and into the second, where I finally, finally grew my wings. (Thank to the snuggy, supportive nest my Alph made for me.)
I went back to college pregnant with my second child and delivered her between semesters. Twenty five years later that child became my colleague and partner in our psychotherapy practice. Imagine that?!! The joy I feel from this is beyond measure or description. But more than that, I love that we are able to give our services to those who cannot afford it. Kind of like Robin Hood. We get the max from our affluent clients and give it back, time wise, to our less fortunate ones.
I’ve learned to enjoy fun. I never played at all until a few years ago when I looked at some application which asked me to list my hobbies. I didn’t have any. For me, an A type, learning, seminars, learning, work were all I ever wanted to do. (Tightly held secret: we shrinks rarely apply to ourselves the very things we try to teach our clients.) It so bothered me that I thought: what have I always wanted to try? For me? That turned out to be decoupage. Hours and hours of learning how to do it, but playing, enjoying the process, the creativity. Creativity had always been what sustains me, but I’d put it aside in my quest for achievement. Now I’m making jewelry. Another joy in the process. If my efforts produce lovely results, great! If not, I still had fun. I’m also waiting for my new camera to arrive (thank you, Amber, for putting the bug in me!) because I’m longing to express myself by capturing the other love of my life: nature.
If I should die today, my career goals would have been accomplished. I would die knowing that I became the therapist I always wanted to be, who helped a lot of people. The ones whose heartfelt thanks cannot begin to be measured and who I will never, ever forget. The ones who trusted me with their pain and their wounds, who inspired me with their courage, and who taught me so much.
Have I become the woman I wanted to be? Well that, too, was an evolving process. First I wanted to be a homemaker and stay at home mom. When that changed and I wanted to get an education and a career, the trouble started in my first marriage. That’s not what he signed on for. And in all fairness, that’s not what I’d originally agreed to. We were so young. We just couldn’t navigate these choppy waters. We were only 21 when we married for goodness sake! Babies! What did we know about relationships? Giving?Flexibility? Growth and change? Nothing. Nothing at all.
It was a very painful divorce. Volatile, yet so sad. But as Carol Burnett once said, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
My onset of lupus and subsequent stroke have actually been blessings too. Not a life lesson I would have chosen, but they were not exactly electives in the school of my life. I’ve had to learn to rely on others which has been a humbling experience. A giver all my life (parentified child) it has been hard to learn to receive. Also…very nice…and quite beautiful. And, of course, having come so close to death, I’ve learned to appreciate every moment of every day, and to thank God for the gift of my life.
I read somewhere once that we’re bound by our fate only as long as we accept the values that determine it. I never forgot that. In fact, reading that, and getting it, is probably what changed my life. I got rid of my culturally imposed role of what a woman should be, and I learned to define myself. My self. MY self.
I learned that personal authenticity is my primary value, and always will be.
So if I should die today, I would die happy with my journey. Happy that I died as ME.
Image from www.globalcollage.com
“Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.” Author unknown.
I’m taking one today. I mean, everyone else gets them. Why shouldn’t I? Even shrinks need mental health days once in a while. I need to relax and not HAVE to get in my car and go anywhere, be anywhere. No pressure…Mmmm…..
So lets see….I think I will dust today since I have an allergy to the stuff and its a real pain to walk around choking all the time….and do more Christmas shopping ONLINE (I don’t do malls anymore)..and finalize my choice of photos from the wedding for my “parent album”…oh…and i guess it would be a good idea to search again for my very expensive, lost wedding rings, I know they’re in this house someplace…and i need to get started on the jewelry I’m making for Christmas gifts….and call my mother which is never, ever less than a one hour conversation (that’s another whole post in itself)…and I have several, repeat SEVERAL baskets of ironing that I’ve been avoiding like the bubonic plague…and for that matter there’s probably at least the same amount of wash to be done…
Ok, so this is not what I’d advise a client to do on a mental health day. I would suggest to a client that she do something fun, relaxing, no chores allowed! But then again, for some people, getting chores done on a day when they would be going to work is good for their mental health because all that stuff is no longer waiting for them…hovering.…stalking them…
I guess I should call this my housework health day.
Tell us the truth. What do YOU do on your mental health days?
An elderly Cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life.
He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me, it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.” One wolf is evil………..he is fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, competition, superiority, and ego.
The other is good……… he is joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”
They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I just read the psychology news brief in my sidebar: Chinese Issue First Definition of Internet Addiction. “Symptoms of addiction included yearning to get back online, mental or physical distress, irritation and difficulty concentrating or sleeping. The definition, based on a study of more than 1,300 problematic computer users, classifies as addicts those who spend at least six hours online a day and have shown at least one symptom in the past three months.”
Who? Me? Do nights count? Well….I’ve never counted how many hours a day I spend online. But its a lot. I blog, read others’ blogs, go online for news, weather, telephone numbers, to shop, bid on my ebay beads, and find out lots of other information or research that interests me. I also email lots of friends, and belong to various professional listservs that I read to stay current in my field. The internet has replaced magazines as a source of leisure reading, and most of the major newspapers are now online.
I definitely get irritated when I can’t get at my computer when I want to, and I sometimes yearn to get back to it when I’m in a boring social situation. I doubt its 6 hours a day, but maybe I’m in denial. Maybe my family will shock me with a group intervention. Though I don’t know where they’d find time since they’re all online too…
What amazes me about this news article is that they were able to tear the people away from their computers and into psychiatric units. Unless…ew…they were taken involuntarily?
What do you think of this definition? And where do you fall according to these guidelines?
C. FreeFoto.com 2008
“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” Buckminster Fuller
He reports that Amity Pierce Buxton, founder of The Straight Spouse Network, estimates that as many as two million straight spouses will, often suddenly, traumatically, and by accident, find themselves discovering that they have a gay or bi spouse. The article also reports that Joe Kort, an Imago therapist specializing in gay issues, has seen couples negotiate arrangements other than splitting. Some agreed upon solutions have been allowing one or both parters to have relationships outside the marriage, allowing the bi/ gay partner to use porn and webcams but not meet sexual partners face to face, or the bi/gay partner agrees not to indulge in outside sexual behaviors or porn.
What a tough and painful situation for everyone involved…particularly where there are children…or the spouses still love each other… What would you do?
Here is a present for you:
Focus solely on the present below, thinking of nothing else but the image of that present…the colors….the shapes…focus for as long as you can…and then, when you’re ready, open the present and see what you find…
In doing this exercise you are already practicing being present…experiencing peace and release from worries about tomorrow.
What did you find when you opened your present?
This quote is dedicated to my son:
Image copyright Jupiter Images 2008
“Live out of your imagination, not your history.” Stephen Covey
I think I do count them frequently on my blog, but today is not one of those days. I’m down with a flare again. I’m in pain which the pain killers dull but do not eradicate. Had to cancel plans with my sister, my son, and my daughter. I was really looking forward to them. I realize I did just count three blessings, but you know what I mean. Please don’t anyone point my blessings out to me by way of comment because I will have to ban you from my blog. I mean, what would
I do with all this anger????? And if anyone asks me what advice do you give your clients, they are also banned from my blog. Is anyone out there having as bad a day as I am?
I can’t believe you read this far.
What a weekend! Major issues with my sister that grew into a full blown cat fight in the middle of a restaurant, with both our husbands ducking for cover. I kid you not. She even flung a napkin or something that ended up at another table, much to the delight of those patrons…it had to do with all kinds of chick stuff the grist of which fuels the book and film industry not to mention Lifetime Channel… Anyway I write this as a fairly anonymous confession…we therapists preach non-reactivity but even we lose it sometimes!!!!
Ok, so I had to sneak in a quasi post (a little withdrawal here ) offering you a link to a great article in today’s NY Times about people who struggle with infertility treatments and finally make the choice to stop this invasion of their lives and souls. I hope it helps someone.
I just read an article on abc news that is worth looking at. They talk about a Consumer Reports analysis of the huge differences in prices for the same rx drugs in different states and even in different pharmacies within your state. Overall they found Costco to be the least expensive, and Rite Aid to be the most expensive. They also recommend independent pharmacies, which I was pleased to see since my sister owns one! Also, if you can’t afford your meds, or are strapped, most pharmaceutical companies have programs to help. All you have to do is call and ask if you qualify. Anyway, I hope this helps someone.
That question came up as one of my search inquiries today, and I thought was a good one. There is the issue of violation of boundaries vs. a partner’s right to know. Obviously one who searches cells and emails etc. already doesn’t trust the partner, but there are also other ways of handling it. That being said, spoken like true therapist, I must admit that as a human being, if I thought my Alph was (were????) straying I don’t know if I’d be able to take the high road and process in a healthy manner.
This is one of my highest rated posts, with many searches for it every day, yet no comments are left. Are people finding it to be a disappointment, or or you getting something out of it? Soooooo curious. Thanks.
Are you addicted? Here is a link to a self assessment.
It does give one pause for thought….
“Sometimes you don’t realize how miserable you were until you’re not anymore.” Dorothea Benton Frank from her novel Shem Creek.
Ok, ok, I know there is no proof yet, no evidence, but I read Carol Jessup’s book “Escape” and I believed it. The horrors she describes of beatings and sexual abuse of children, of women and children basically being slaves to the men due to God supposedly speaking thru their leader, were believable and sickening. Women and children removed from a man with no power or clout in the community, being “re-assigned” to a different man, who would then become the new husband and father. Pubescent girls being married and forced into sex with men old enough to be their grandfathers…The favorite wife abusing the other wives, and the children of those wives, with full authority of the husband. And the only way to attain power and status in the family and the community was for a girl/woman to force herself to entice the man who revolted her into sharing her bed as often as possible….thus rising in the ranks to the favored, alpha female position…
So this is their culture, this is all they know, and here is the controversy…how can you take children from their mothers (we don’t have to worry about attachment in the musical chairs daddy game) in a situation like this?
How can you NOT?
Can you think way far back..to your earliest memory? Is it a happy one, a sad one? Who was there and what was happening? In what way did this memory imprint your brain, and affect the course of your life?
Whatever memory comes up for you was most certainly a defining moment…
Hurray for the French! They’ve proposed a bill banning those awful websites like ana and mia that teach women how to be successfully anorexic or bulimic. Proponents of the bill say it would curb the awful prevalence of these psychiatric disorders. Opponents say it would have no impact. I say it would.
Cultural values spawn bigots, racists, sexists, and homophobics. It makes sense that the cultural worship of female emaciation as the norm spawns desperation in some women to live up to the sick standard of the fashion industry. And unfortunately the female culture itself. Imagine if we had a movement, and websites, which substituted the words “slow suicide” as a means of attaining physical beauty?
The culture of the internet is not to be underestimated. After all, what are you doing right now?
Just an update….a colleague told me she’d had great success with hypnotherapy and medical conditions, including lupus. I waited 2 months for her to get back from a vacation. She’s a BIG cahuna in the hypnosis field. And she proceeds to give me a different kind of therapy altogether. Completely different intervention. When I, a colleague, questioned her on this, she interpreted it as resistance! Now I can understand why the general public often has such negativity toward therapists. Bottom line, if you agree to a certain kind of therapy with your therapist, you’re supposed to get it, people! Thus my exit from that path and new forage into the world of accupressure….