Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 333848

Shown: posts 1 to 18 of 18. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Flight into Health ???

Posted by DaisyM on April 7, 2004, at 19:46:23

I had a great session today. Not in an "aha-- that's what's wrong!" kind of way...but easy, upbeat, and very different from the past few weeks. I knew going in that I didn't want him to "wreck" my good mood -- So I talked a lot at the very beginning about nothing much. He commented on my mood, and then asked if I had been nervous coming in and if I was worried about what to talk about. I admitted to this so we had the "therapy can be for support only for a while" conversation again. We also talked about mood swings and how I dealt with things prior to therapy. (I didn't deal with them, I just worked more.) But I wouldn't let him go deep with anything and he didn't push very much.

At the very end I told him I felt this need to move away from him right now, lessen the bond a little, but I wasn't sure why. He joked about being put out to pasture but wants to keep talking about what might be happening. I told him I was thinking that I was ready to cut back on sessions and given that I had been seeing him almost a year, maybe I was getting ready to be done. He made that face (like "umm, excuse me? Weren't you in here everyday last week?") but only made some soft comment like, "ah, a flight into health."

Driving back, I tried to figure out what all this means. I do feel good. I took on a bunch of new projects at work, my house is clean, there are groceries in the cupboards and the laundry is done. I'm not overwhelmed by flashbacks or intrusive memories. I'm not even currently fighting with my spouse. So cutting back feels right.

I don't really understand what his comment means. And there is a tiny part of me that wonders if I might be testing him...just an inkling of an idea that I might have my psychi-armor back on and I want to see if he'll allow me to keep it on and separate from him or if he will demand authenticity, and work to keep the attachment, even if it is painful. And I truly don't know which thing I'd rather happen.

Is this another phase of therapy I'm hitting? The thought of having spent a whole year in therapy looms large, so is this what is driving some of this? Or maybe I'm just tired of feeling sorry for myself and crummy all the time, so I'm taking control of my life back.

I could use some input.
Daisy

 

Re: Flight into Health ???

Posted by tabitha on April 7, 2004, at 20:38:04

In reply to Flight into Health ???, posted by DaisyM on April 7, 2004, at 19:46:23

I think I made more progress in therapy when my life was relatively calm and stable. It did seem odd, transitioning from taking my week's worth of crisis into the sessions, to just talking about my issues and self-care and small happenings in relationships. I had the fear my therapist would only pay attention to me if I was miserable, but she was equally engaged when I was feeling OK.

So.... I don't know what you want to get out of therapy, but you might talk with your therapist about what kind of work you could do with him now that you're pretty stable. One thing you said, that you felt a need to move away from him, might be fruitful for discussion also. Could it be an intimacy issue coming up?

 

Re: Flight into Health ???

Posted by Fallen4myT on April 7, 2004, at 21:53:35

In reply to Re: Flight into Health ???, posted by tabitha on April 7, 2004, at 20:38:04

Wow your post sounds like you have made a lot of progess but I am concerned why you want to cut back all of a sudden...maybe for some distance maybe to take some baby steps....?? I don't know. I do know he will see you when you need him so maybe 1 less session a month won't hurt...What do you think?
Hugs

 

Re: Flight into Health ??? DaisyM

Posted by fallsfall on April 8, 2004, at 7:40:02

In reply to Flight into Health ???, posted by DaisyM on April 7, 2004, at 19:46:23

Daisy,

I think that the most important thing is that you be honest with him AND honest with yourself.

You have been through an enormous amount of pain. You have done SOOO much work in the last 3 months. I'm not surprised that you are burned out and that you want a rest. You deserve a rest. But you, yourself, know that you are not done. You do have more work to do - BUT you don't have to do it today, or next week. You CAN take a rest period - to regroup and feel good about what you can accomplish at work and with your family, and solidify your relationship with your therapist.

Your therapist WILL allow you a rest (will YOU allow yourself a rest?). Talk to him about backing off for a while - but please don't disconnect from him. I really think you need the connection. Keep the connection and work on more mundane things in your life with him. Let him show you how he can take care of you so that when you DO get back to the hard stuff you *know*, in your bones and soul, that he can and will take care of you. Building a solid relationship, while you rest from the excruciating issues, will be a very productive task.

Ask him to help you rest - ask him to help you stay away from the hard stuff for some period of time that the two of you agree to. Then, when it *is* time to go back to the hard stuff, you will be well prepared. Pace yourself - hmmm. "Pace yourself" is probably a concept that both of us could use in most every corner of our lives... I'll try - will you?

 

Re: Flight into Health ??? DaisyM

Posted by noa on April 8, 2004, at 9:29:29

In reply to Flight into Health ???, posted by DaisyM on April 7, 2004, at 19:46:23

>He made that face (like "umm, excuse me? Weren't you in here everyday last week?")

Daisy, were you in for extra sessions that recently?

What I think "flight into health" might mean is that if you have been dealing with really hard stuff in therapy, the flight into health might be a retreat from the hard stuff to get a break from it.

I hope you can ask him to explain what it means. Also, to discuss if there is a way to back off from the hard stuff somewhat without having to quit therapy.

Sometimes when I'm feeling good, it is kind of hard to think of what to discuss in therapy, but usually I can get some good work done during these times. But a key thing is feeling in control of how much I am opening myself up. When feeling good and functional, it is especially scary to think about opening up the hard stuff and running the risk of ruining the good mood and functional phase.

My therapist and I have done a lot of discussion about how to help me feel in control of those boundaries.

 

Re: Flight into Health ??? DaisyM

Posted by mair on April 8, 2004, at 12:47:41

In reply to Flight into Health ???, posted by DaisyM on April 7, 2004, at 19:46:23

I think the prevailing wisdom is that it's difficult to work on things in any constructive way when a patient is very depressed; that most of the work has to be done when the patient is in reasonably decent shape. I understand this in theory, but my experience has been that for good work to occur - I have to be somewhere in between. Not so depressed that the whole focus of my session is how lousy I feel, but also not so great that I don't feel like being in therapy.

When I'm feeling particularly good, things look so different to me, because the ususal distortions about myself aren't there. In those times I have a hard time identifying with the more depressed me.

I think what it boils down to is that I'm just not sure what to talk about when I'm feeling better. The negative thoughts that interfere with alot of daily functioning aren't there and seem irrelevant. If I stew enough about this, then I get pretty anxious about the fact that I don't have anything to talk about - it's like I don't know how to use therapy in rosier times.

I've thought periodically about taking a leave from therapy when I'm on top of things - I haven't done it for fear that my "slot" will get taken and I won't be able to return when I need to. I think my therapist would argue that those times can be productive; that every session doesn't have to be painful. It's all been pretty academic because I always end up slipping back to the place where therapy starts feeling like more of a necessity.

Does any of this sound like what you're going through?

Mair

 

Re: Flight into Health ???---(minor point...) DaisyM

Posted by 64Bowtie on April 9, 2004, at 5:22:32

In reply to Flight into Health ???, posted by DaisyM on April 7, 2004, at 19:46:23

> ...just an inkling of an idea that I might have my psychi-armor back on and I want to see if he'll allow me to keep it on and separate from him or if he will demand authenticity....
>
>
<<<Our best social-protection is directness. If we get all "agenda-ed" and give out mixed (up) messages, we become social "chum" (food for the sharks). When we are direct, discipline shows through such that what ever we express is forced to the top of the stack.

Rod

 

Re: Flight into Health - update

Posted by DaisyM on April 9, 2004, at 19:34:43

In reply to Re: Flight into Health ???---(minor point...) DaisyM, posted by 64Bowtie on April 9, 2004, at 5:22:32

Thank you all for the suggestions and support. I don't really know what all this means. The past few months have been really hard and the previous two weeks torturous. I saw my therapist 8 times in 14 days. And then something shifted this week and I felt so much calmer and contained. I felt like the grown up part of me had reemerged and I didn't feel so weepy and needy.

I felt a strong need to protect this mood in all of my sessions this week. Part of that protection was moving myself (emotionally) away from my Therapist some...stepping back from needing him so much. He felt this, asked me about it on Monday but we didn't really discuss it until yesterday. I actually told him I didn't want to discuss it but he said he felt we really needed to.

He said he thought I was reacting, probably unconsciously, to several things. One was a session (last Thursday) where I reported feeling pushed by him about always taking care of everyone, including him and I thought he wanted me to change that behavior faster than I was. And then a phone call the next day that didn't go terribly well. He said he could sense that I didn't find him helpful. During this call, I said, and he echoed, that I'm not a little girl anymore. He also said he sensed that he was impatient, not with me, but with his inability to solve the problem. I felt his frustration but of course, interpreted it as I shouldn't have dropped out a new issue during a check in call. But I didn't dwell on the call. There was just this uneasiness and the passing thought of we've usually do better on the phone.

Over the weekend I felt less and less emotional. He thinks I shut down my feelings as a response to all of this. That feeling better is a way to distance myself from him. I'm back in the "I don't need you, I'll just take care of my own problems" mode. He is worried that I want to cut back sessions as a way of avoiding him and more specifically, to calm down my fear of overwhelming him, of becoming a burden in some way. We've worked on this fear a lot.

I keep hoping that I have enough of a handle on my intimacy issues to know when I'm throwing up walls, but if he is right, I didn't make the connection this time. Usually I feel awful and upset, and I need to "fix" what ever I've done.

I was really upset after the session last night. I knew I didn't want to talk about all that. I floated about during the discussion a couple of times and we didn't really finish. But today, I'm OK pretty much. Those emotions went right back in their box.

So do I cut back sessions? Keep the sessions, and try to work on my issues about becoming a burden? Eat so many Easter eggs that I explode before Monday, thereby avoiding the whole thing?!

It stinks that even my good mood might be "just" be my unconscious throwing up yet another defense against me allowing the help I need to really feel better.

 

Re: Flight into Health - update

Posted by pegasus on April 9, 2004, at 19:51:19

In reply to Re: Flight into Health - update, posted by DaisyM on April 9, 2004, at 19:34:43

Well, I can see what your T is getting at, but isn't it ok sometimes to just take a break? I mean, you've been really dealing with a lot of emotions lately. And if you are pulling back because of some of your issues, couldn't that be a healthy protective thing? My T explained it to me this way once: if I'm on a bike ride, and I go up a really big hill, that's great and a big accomplishment, and then maybe it's ok to coast for a while and rest. The next big hill will be coming up around the corner, it's not like I'm turning around.

Maybe that doesn't apply to your situation. I'm just a little worried hearing about you being pushed to stay with it, when your natural reaction is to distance. But your T has always sounded wonderful, and so I also tend to trust his judgment. And, of course, he's much closer to your situation than I am.

What do you think? Is this a much needed break, or resistance, or both?

pegasus

 

Re: Flight into Health - update DaisyM

Posted by Dinah on April 9, 2004, at 20:10:41

In reply to Re: Flight into Health - update, posted by DaisyM on April 9, 2004, at 19:34:43

I'm guessing you just need a rest, and your therapist is overreacting a bit. Of course, my therapy has been interminable, but my therapist is quite comfortable with the ebbs and flows that occur naturally.

Unless you turn off all emotions for months and months, I don't think there's any need to be overly concerned. Sometimes our bodies tell us they've had enough, and it's really respectful of us to listen to ourselves.

 

Re: Flight into Health - update

Posted by DaisyM on April 9, 2004, at 22:24:54

In reply to Re: Flight into Health - update, posted by pegasus on April 9, 2004, at 19:51:19

I think it's both. I think my resistance is really high because I figured out that I was using my Therapist as a stand in for my Mother and I've recently been really hurt by her.

I also think my fears about overwhelming him were confirmed somewhat so my need to pull back is a self-protective thing.

I think he is willing to give me a break -- he often talks about using therapy as a support -- he just doesn't want me to use needing a break as a way to hide from my fears of becoming a burden to him. Which means probably not reducing sessions. Especially given how my schedule for the next month looks, and the stress involved.

He might be over reacting. But that would be a first for him in almost a year. Darn if he isn't usually right...

 

Re: Flight into Health - update

Posted by gardenergirl on April 10, 2004, at 10:27:50

In reply to Re: Flight into Health - update, posted by DaisyM on April 9, 2004, at 22:24:54

Daisy,
I do find your T's interpretation of your situation intriguing. Oy, now I'm beginning to question my own recent good mood, and how now it's gone (darn work environment!). Perhaps I was doing something similar as we had just started to touch on deeper stuff.

But I also agree with the others that there is an ebb and flow, and there is a time and a need for breaks at times. Whether this is resistance or just a need to recharge, I don't know. I'm sure you could interpret it in many ways. It seems like it would be okay to recharge for awhile, while still keeping in mind what might have caused the need? Does that make sense?

Take care,
gg

 

Re: Flight into Health gardenergirl

Posted by DaisyM on April 10, 2004, at 15:28:05

In reply to Re: Flight into Health - update, posted by gardenergirl on April 10, 2004, at 10:27:50

GG,

I didn't make you question your own good mood...and I'm really sorry it has eeked away. You are right, darn work environment!

I think what you said makes sense, about taking a break but keeping in mind what perhaps precipitated this. It is so strange, like someone flipped a switch and turned off all that was going on. I have such a complicated life maybe the demands on my time have a lot to do with how much I feel. I've been super busy, on purpose, so I have less time to "think." I crashed hard Thursday night, but was right back up again by Friday.

There have been these ebbs and flows before, but not like this, not these extreme swings. I should also confess that it took a really really long time for me to let the other parts of me out in therapy so I'm pretty sure that part of his concern is that the longer I keep them quiet, the harder it will be to ever let them out again.

I'm sure we will discuss all this again on Monday so I'll let you know what he says. He has a way of getting around my defenses so maybe this is just my unconscious being even sneakier. Is that possible? Because it is easier to fight for a good mood than a rotten one.

 

Re: Flight into Health

Posted by Dinah on April 10, 2004, at 20:41:13

In reply to Re: Flight into Health gardenergirl, posted by DaisyM on April 10, 2004, at 15:28:05

> ...so I'm pretty sure that part of his concern is that the longer I keep them quiet, the harder it will be to ever let them out again.

I wouldn't worry too much about that, Daisy. It's hard to keep them down on the farm after they've seen Paris.

 

Re: Flight into Health ??? fallsfall

Posted by antigua on April 10, 2004, at 23:16:49

In reply to Re: Flight into Health ??? DaisyM, posted by fallsfall on April 8, 2004, at 7:40:02

Sorry, I've been out of touch lately (too depressed and dealing w/some new, horrible memories) and haven't responded earlier.

I totally understand "Flight into Health." I think it's our way of protecting ourselves, and it's important. I've been going through something these past two weeks and I think I pushed myself too hard, and almost pushed myself over the edge in my efforts to get "through" this. I put myself in some dangerous, unhealthy situations because I now realize I couldn't handle all that I'd learned. (I'm a slow learner.)

I made it through last week (barely) w/o leaning on anyone for help except my regular weekly T appt, primarily because I don't know how to ask for help when I really need it. I have to be in control and figure everything out for myself. Stupid, I know, but I don't trust anyone, and if I mess up I have no one to blame but myself.

In any case, at my last session I spoke w/my T about this and she was disappointed I hadn't contacted her, but I knew she was going away and I didn't want to bother her (I should have). So she said, more than once, maybe this is all too much for you right now, despite your wish to be well, and maybe we should back off for a while and shore you back up. I liked that, "shore you back up." It fits.

The point of this is that I think "flight to health" is shoring us back up, rejuvenating so that we can find the strength to move forward again when we are ready to. You are in a good place, and maybe you are shutting down your emotions, but as my T says, it's a protective thing and doesn't have to necessarily be viewed as bad.

I've had many "flights to health" and I've learned many life lessons in therapy during those times that have helped me enormously.

So be nice to yourself. You can take a break, but keep going, just maybe not as much???
best,
antigua

 

Ooops..above for DaisyM (nm)

Posted by antigua on April 10, 2004, at 23:24:41

In reply to Re: Flight into Health ??? fallsfall, posted by antigua on April 10, 2004, at 23:16:49

 

Re: Flight into Health ??? antigua

Posted by DaisyM on April 12, 2004, at 20:22:34

In reply to Re: Flight into Health ??? fallsfall, posted by antigua on April 10, 2004, at 23:16:49

Thanks Antigua,

I know you've been where I am...I'm sorry you've been having such a hard time. Please reach out even if just to say "help me!" We are here.

I had a long talk with my Therapist today about last week and what it all might mean. I said maybe we went too deep and he said he thought we needed to but it was OK too that I pulled back. Plus I made a way bigger deal out of last Thursday than he did. That's what I get for stuffing...the inevitable flooding. I was sure he was upset with me and frustrated, he was surprised to hear I thought that. Probably once more just me protecting him from the horrible memories.

I can't believe how often I cycle through this same fear. Have you found that the more you've talked about it, the more you can trust the person you are telling to handle it? I hope so.

Take good care. And post if you need us!
Daisy

 

Thank you DaisyM (nm)

Posted by antigua on April 12, 2004, at 21:13:11

In reply to Re: Flight into Health ??? antigua, posted by DaisyM on April 12, 2004, at 20:22:34


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