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More about Falls' anxiety

Posted by fallsfall on December 7, 2004, at 12:50:48

In reply to All about Falls' anxiety, posted by fallsfall on December 6, 2004, at 7:48:28

I saw my therapist.

I told him about two friends, who I had no patience for this weekend. They each have a problem that they really don't want to face. I usually try to be patient and gentle with them - just trying to put the idea out (again) that they need to face their issues, and I try to understand that they just aren't ready to do that yet, and I try to understand their pain with the ongoing issue. This weekend, I was painfully blunt with both of them. And I said to my therapist "So what is it that *I'm* not willing to face?"

I told him about a dream. I was at summer camp and I needed to pack up to leave. I had so much stuff to pack. Why had I brought boxes and boxes of books to summer camp? I hadn't read them at all. I was so annoyed that I had to pack up all this stuff that I shouldn't have brought with me in the first place. I brought the books "just in case I needed to have something to read" - in case I had to escape from the "summer camp" things and go back to something more comfortable for me.

And I told him about a metaphor for my depression. It is like a sprained ankle. A sprained ankle is not the end of the world, but it is a good idea to have it looked at. And if you keep spraining it, it gets weaker, and easier to re-sprain. And eventually, if you keep spraining it, you will have a permanent limp, or maybe even not be able to walk. And therapy is like the ace bandage - that gives support and gives the ankle a chance to heal. Or is therapy like the pain relievers (that can also mask the pain so you don't take care of the ankle when you should)?

He told me he liked my metaphor, that it was a good one. But that he wanted to set the metaphor aside and talk more concretely. That he wanted me to tell him what I was struggling with. That he wanted me to talk about my depression without using metaphors.

I sat for a minute, silently, and then I looked at him and asked "Would you rather ask a different question?". For the rest of the session (10 minutes? 15 minutes?) I couldn't talk. I couldn't tell him concretely what was worrying me. I couldn't even tell him why I couldn't tell him. The anxiety washed over every thought I had - the thoughts sank to the bottom and were completely covered by the anxiety.

When I think about the session, he did exactly the right thing. I was practically begging him to take a hard line with me - to *make* me face the issue. I had told him that I knew that I had to move through this issue - because it was too painful to stay where I am. Yet when he did call me on it. When he asked me to stop dancing around it - to face it straight on... I couldn't do it.

In a way, I want to be mad at him for not leading me into it more gradually. But I know that if I were mad at him, that it would just be a distraction away from the issue. It is time for me to face this. Why is this so hard to do?




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