Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 424618

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Diversifying my Portfolio (long)

Posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 7:21:39

They say you need a little stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, etc. in your portfolio in case the bottom falls out under your investment of choice.

I've never been great at finances. Liberal arts school and major;) I realize my mental health mistake was investing all I had in therapy.

Sometimes the bottom falls out. It did for me right before Thanksgiving, and I haven't seen a recovery . My wounded side received further wounds from life events. I withdrew and didn't tell him. He couldn't read my mind, so he's under the assumption I am necessarily needing to return to old ways of coping by letting my highly functional but inwardly devastating inner critic run my life right now. He's been very distant. The young parts of me are mute, under the tyranny of the adult, cyncial part, and they feel abandoned. All that healing connection I have had with him seems to be lost for now. I tried to tell him this when he called on an unrelated matter Friday, but he didn't seem to understand. My demeanor wasn't matching my message, and I think it was lost on him.

It's at times like these that I realize when therapy goes wrong for me, it's *really* wrong, and I need other things. So, here's what I am trying to put in place:

1. I discussed all my depression issues with my PCP. She was incredibly kind, looked for physical causes of depression, but invalidated my therapy. She said she was a little "surprised" I've been going for a year. "Don't let him create a pathology that isn't there," she warned. Good intentions. Not fully informed. But at least someone else knows.

2. Mon. I am trying my third pdoc. (The first two were disasters.) This one comes highly recommended, is a close colleague of both my T and my PCP. We shall see . . . I am very medication sensitive and opposed to medication in general unless it's very warranted, so I don't know how much help this will be.

3. Yoga! This is the only one I really have faith in;) I'm really enjoying the combination of calm and inward attention while stretching out a lot of stored tension. It really helps me realize where the pain is stored in my body. But because of time constranints (full-time job, little one at home), it's hard to fit it in the schedule.

4. Reliable books and music: For self-comfort, I have a basket by my bed of readings and music that speak to me and give me hope: poems by Mary Oliver; "Everyday Grace", music by Enya for relaxing and other music for energy and of course, my journal for getting all that inward chaos out on paper where I can make some sense of it or laugh at the absurdity of my jumbled thoughts.

5. Trying to connect spiritually. I am very confused religiously, but we do attend a church that I am not very involved in because I get hung up on some of the policies, beliefs, etc. I've decided to try to get what I can out of it. I'm even toying with the idea of letting the minister know, or at least putting myself on the prayer list anonymously.

It doesn't seem to take the place of when I am on the right track with my T, but it's better than being at a complete loss.

Anything else in your portfolios?

 

Re: Diversifying my Portfolio (long) Aphrodite

Posted by Dinah on December 5, 2004, at 8:58:00

In reply to Diversifying my Portfolio (long), posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 7:21:39

Very little in mine at the moment. But I'm trying. And trying for me means trying to build and maintain other connections.

For example, one of my bosses not known for his caring empathetic nature really came through for me when things were rough. He talked to me for hours, and made sure to emphasize that I was doing the best that I could, and not to blame myself for everything that goes wrong, because he knew I had a tendency to do that. Now he's back to being stern about work, but I suppose I need that, and I'll never forget how he supported me when I needed it.

I wish I could build a stronger bond with my husband right now, but he's under stress himself, and it's really hard for us to connect because of our differing styles of dealing with stress.

I'm still reaching out to friends, but to tell the truth, I have trouble connecting with IRL friends.

I've got the puppies. My husband fusses about them sometimes and I try to tell them how much they helped pull me out of a very black place and how they are just the prescription for me right now. If he keeps fussing about them, I'm going to come out and tell him the stuff I was protecting him from. But they're soft and full of licks. Brushing and petting them is therapy in itself. They curl up next to me as I sleep. I think I love them. :)

I'm still playing with the dolls, although I'll be bankrupt soon at this rate.

 

Re: Diversifying my Portfolio (long) Aphrodite

Posted by fallsfall on December 5, 2004, at 10:07:15

In reply to Diversifying my Portfolio (long), posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 7:21:39

You are very wise. Diversification can save the day.


>I tried to tell him this when he called on an unrelated matter Friday, but he didn't seem to understand. My demeanor wasn't matching my message, and I think it was lost on him.

*** Keep trying to explain it to him. Even if it takes a long time, and even if you are tearing your hair out because he *still* doesn't seem to get it. The nature and depth of your reaction to this particular situation make me think that whatever happened triggered a very important issue for you. If you can follow this issue, keep trying to understand what happened, it will get clearer.

*** It may be like an experience I had recently. We fought in a particular pattern for at least 6 months. It was excruciating. We would understand it a little better each time, have one or two sessions out of the warzone, and then end back in there again for weeks. Each time, we understood a little more about the pattern (though our understanding often wasn't communal - I would understand one thing, he might understand something else, and even though we both tried to share our insights it was often like we were speaking different languages). Finally, I wrote down what the pattern was that I was seeing, complete with examples - and read the writing to him (he hates it when I read). We ended up on the same page (finally!). The pattern has threatened to come up again, but we recognize it, and have been able to find other ways to get to the issues. I still don't know if I changed, if he changed or if we both did. I do know that it was the most important work that we have done (and the hardest).
>
> It's at times like these that I realize when therapy goes wrong for me, it's *really* wrong, and I need other things. So, here's what I am trying to put in place:

*** Excellent.
>
> 1. I discussed all my depression issues with my PCP. She was incredibly kind, looked for physical causes of depression, but invalidated my therapy. She said she was a little "surprised" I've been going for a year. "Don't let him create a pathology that isn't there," she warned. Good intentions. Not fully informed. But at least someone else knows.

*** This sounds familiar. Mine says "Don't take yourself so seriously" and "It always helps me to wear a Mickey Mouse tie". He doesn't quite get it, but he *does* get that it is a real (and big) problem for me.
>
> 2. Mon. I am trying my third pdoc. (The first two were disasters.) This one comes highly recommended, is a close colleague of both my T and my PCP. We shall see . . . I am very medication sensitive and opposed to medication in general unless it's very warranted, so I don't know how much help this will be.
>

*** Perhaps you can discuss PRN (take only when you need it) medication as well as the standard anti-depressant stuff. You might feel more positive about taking something when you know you need it *now*, than taking something all the time. Think of it like aspirin for a headache, or an ace bandage for a sprained ankle.

*** If you have strep, you take an antibiotic, right? Because it is "very warranted". For some of us anti-depressants are very warranted.

> 3. Yoga! This is the only one I really have faith in;) I'm really enjoying the combination of calm and inward attention while stretching out a lot of stored tension. It really helps me realize where the pain is stored in my body. But because of time constranints (full-time job, little one at home), it's hard to fit it in the schedule.

*** This is what really made me want to answer your post. I started doing yoga a couple of months ago, and I am amazed at how much difference it makes. I rented a couple of tapes from my video store to see what kind of variety was out there. I ended up purchasing "Dixie Carter's Unworkout II" (out of print - available through Amazon). I like her attitude, and it has 2 20 minute segments (one morning, one evening). I can almost always find 20 minutes in morning (and have figured out which 4 minutes to fast forward through when I am rushed). I have to use the tape, or I would do the 20 minute sequence in 7 1/2 minutes. In a sense, just carving out the time to do the tape is therapeutic. The morning routine has helped relieve the tension in my neck and shoulders (which was a HUGE issue for me). It was hard to get it into my routine, but it is to the point now where if I am feeling lousy when I get up, I make more of an effort to do the yoga - because it really does help.

*** A friend also lent me "AM Yoga", which has short segments and seemed pretty good.
>
> It doesn't seem to take the place of when I am on the right track with my T, but it's better than being at a complete loss.

*** There are times when I need "therapy for my therapy". When therapy itself is so distressing that I need support to stick with it and push through the issues. Keep talking to a friend or two. Does anyone know most of the details of what is going on in your therapy? Sometimes, just telling my friend and knowing that I wasn't the only person who knew - knowing that someone else could understand why a comment of his had set me off because she had been following the story all along - was really helpful.

*** Try to see this phase as a part of the process. That working through this will be valuable in the long run.

*** Eat lots of ice cream. Give yourself a break. Let things slide when you feel overwhelmed (I know it is a hard time of year for that). Know that doing something that you *like* to do is healing and, therefore, productive.

*** Post often.
>
> Anything else in your portfolios?

 

My potfolio

Posted by Miss Honeychurch on December 5, 2004, at 10:32:08

In reply to Diversifying my Portfolio (long), posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 7:21:39

Great thread!

1. Psychotherapy
Once a week for the past year and now down to twice a month. So far so good.

2. Massage
90 minute massage once a month. A massive expense but worth every penny for me. I truly believe this helps with stress nad my natural proclivity for anxiety

3. Dance
9 hours of dance a week. SCottish COuntry dancing and flamenco and Mexican folklorico. Exercise helps clear my mind and body.

 

Re: Diversifying my Portfolio (long) Aphrodite

Posted by daisym on December 5, 2004, at 15:13:38

In reply to Diversifying my Portfolio (long), posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 7:21:39

>>>Sometimes the bottom falls out. It did for me right before Thanksgiving, and I haven't seen a recovery. My wounded side received further wounds from life events. I withdrew and didn't tell him. He couldn't read my mind, so he's under the assumption I am necessarily needing to return to old ways of coping by letting my highly functional but inwardly devastating inner critic run my life right now. He's been very distant. The young parts of me are mute, under the tyranny of the adult, cyncial part, and they feel abandoned. All that healing connection I have had with him seems to be lost for now. I tried to tell him this when he called on an unrelated matter Friday, but he didn't seem to understand. My demeanor wasn't matching my message, and I think it was lost on him.

<<<I think I wrote this passage up above! But you said it yourself, he can't read your mind -- so you HAVE to try to keep telling him. It is easy for us to give just enough information to throw them off track. They think the rupture has healed, or is healing and we wonder why they aren't trying harder to re-engage us. Feeling abandoned is the worst feeling, at least for me, because I go to the place where I tell myself that it was inevitable and it is my own fault for letting my guard down. And I'm usually very embarrassed about how childish I feel. So Pride takes over and I make myself "look" OK. And then I feel sort of outraged that my therapist doesn't always see through me. (OK, most of the time he does.)

I promised myself that I would try to be as honest as possible in therapy. This promise has served me well several times, even if it takes me a while to remember it. Because making myself be honest makes me tell him the stuff that I'm simultaneously trying to hide. "I'm upset but trying not to be." Last week I told him I was terrified that he would get sick of me because I was acting like a Nutcase, bouncing between extremes of dependency. He laughed and said, "Yeah, God forbid I have any nutcases in therapy." When you are at a fairly calm place, try to make this promise to yourself. It is the thing that moves me past pride.

>>>Reliable books and music: For self-comfort, I have a basket by my bed of readings and music that speak to me and give me hope: poems by Mary Oliver; "Everyday Grace", music by Enya for relaxing and other music for energy and of course, my journal for getting all that inward chaos out on paper where I can make some sense of it or laugh at the absurdity of my jumbled thoughts.

<<<These are my primary coping mechanisms, except for working. But recently I figured out that I needed to not limit myself to soothing choices but to also reach for some upbeat or humorous things. My teens have discovered Journey so we had that on a lot during Thanksgiving. I forgot how it makes me dance around the kitchen and sing out loud. I dug out my Dire Straits album (gasp - vinyl!) and Greg Kihn too. Same with books. I picked up George Carlen's new book and I'm enjoying it. I'm actually NOT researching psychotherapy at the moment, and I think that is good. (I'm sure I'll start up again.)

>>>Trying to connect spiritually. I am very confused religiously, but we do attend a church that I am not very involved in because I get hung up on some of the policies, beliefs, etc. I've decided to try to get what I can out of it. I'm even toying with the idea of letting the minister know, or at least putting myself on the prayer list anonymously.

<<<I think this is a great idea. I really believe in the power of prayer. For me, Church has never been about the rules or policies, but it was the one constant in my life. No matter where we moved, the Mass was always the same. I could count on it. Being in Church right now gets hard for me, I get so emotional. My therapist asked me awhile back if I was mad at God for what happened to me. I said no, I believe in free will. But I moved away from that very quickly and we haven't gone back to the discussion. So there is something there. Mostly I sit and talk to God and I just sort of shrug my shoulders and say, "OK, what are you trying to teach me from all of this? I'm obviously a slow learner." I start everyday with the same prayer, "God, please don't let anything bad happen today." *sigh* But praying got me through some really dark nights when I absolutely didn't know what else to do with all the pain.

>>>It doesn't seem to take the place of when I am on the right track with my T, but it's better than being at a complete loss.

<<<This is really true. Therapists aren't meant to take the place of real life supports. But my therapist reminded me that he needs to be put back on the call list because support isn't a case of this or that...but rather it should be this AND that. And it is OK to have several levels of depth in your support system. You probably don't want everyone to know everything you tell your therapist, and you probably don't tell your therapist about the bargain shoes you bought last week. But sharing little joys is important. I think sometimes when therapy is intense and overwhelming, we forget how to have "normal" conversations with people. We don't want to "waste" time on small talk, it feels empty and meaningless. But with drawing into ourselves is isolating and can deepen the depression.

Anything else in your portfolios?

My children. I find I do so much better when I make time for them to share their day with me or when I take them along for ordinary things like grocery shopping. I loved watching them put up the tree and squabble about whose ornaments went where. Some things never change! Do things with your little guy like craft shows, looking at Holiday decorations, etc. His joy will be infectious.

Hang in there! It will get better. Please let me know how you are doing.

 

canine therapy Dinah

Posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 19:06:35

In reply to Re: Diversifying my Portfolio (long) Aphrodite, posted by Dinah on December 5, 2004, at 8:58:00

I absolutely am like you in having trouble connecting to people in real life. I am the "go to" person for those around me, and I don't think any weakness on my part is well-tolerated. That's why I go for the "inward" things.

I also totally understand your love of your puppies! I am a huge animal lover and love dogs most of all even though I only have cats right now. (Since I work a lot, I would hate to leave a dog at home alone.) During a very hard time in my youth, my loyal german shepherd would stand guard until I fell asleep. Then, he would curl up with me when I went to sleep and put his muzzle right over my heart. Intellectually, I know it was because he liked the rhythym of a beating heart, but I always liked to think he knew where I needed protecting the most. I'm tearing up just thinking about him. You keep loving those puppies -- there's nothing better.

 

therapy for my therapy fallsfall

Posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 19:13:33

In reply to Re: Diversifying my Portfolio (long) Aphrodite, posted by fallsfall on December 5, 2004, at 10:07:15

Based on your wise advice, I am eating Breyer's chocolate ice cream. I highly recommend it!

Thank you for your insight. I am especially grateful for your suggestions about the "as-needed" meds. I've done some research, but it doesn't seem like there is a lot of choice in mental health meds, and some of it seems scarily addictive.

I was also contemplating your idea of yoga videos instead of the classes. That would help with my time constraints. I have to admit, though, that some of the allure of the yoga class is doing it with others. I like when the instructor corrects my poses and offers encouragement.

Unfortunately, I don't have social support and no one knows about my therapy except for a husband who says, "better him than me" as far as listening to my emoting. I'm not at a point of sharing -- I've always been much more of a listener and a problem-solver for others. I feel content for the moment in using Babble and other things that are more isolated. Baby steps, you know?

Thanks for the insight. If only a Mickey Mouse wardrobe could cure all these ills . . .

 

dancin' Miss Honeychurch

Posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 19:14:45

In reply to My potfolio, posted by Miss Honeychurch on December 5, 2004, at 10:32:08

Cool! What a neat thing to learn about you! Dancing sounds very liberating!

The massage sounds good too. I haven't treated myself to one for quite some time. Maybe I'll give that as a Christmas gift to myself:)

 

Pride (In the name of love) daisym

Posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 19:25:50

In reply to Re: Diversifying my Portfolio (long) Aphrodite, posted by daisym on December 5, 2004, at 15:13:38

My subject line is also the title of a U2 song in addition to my big vice right now. U2 has been my musical therapy since I was 11. I've had a crush on Bono for over 20 years. At least I am loyal! I had a great image of you and your sons "lovin' touchin' squeezin'" each other dancing to Journey;) And sheesh, I haven't thought about Greg Kihn in years!!!

I think the upbeat stuff is great advice, but I tend to have such a high-energy schmoozing kind of job that I feel like I am always "on". I have a reputation of being funny, and always feel pressured to be the life of the party. I feel like I have a smile plastered on my face 40+ hours a week. My work colleagues say I *am* the hospitality committee as I throw every party, shower, etc. Ironic, isn't it? Jim Carrey calls it the "mask of mirth." So, when I need to soothe, I go for the serious, relaxing things because that is more of my authentic me.

Back to Pride. It's definitely that. I have a conflict of interest in still wanting my T to think I am together, competent, and independent. Sometimes, I feel like he rewards those qualities. So, I've tried to let him in on the pain in a very detached way, but it's like *he* is resisting, and I have WAY too much pride to meltdown "uninvited." I'll eventually crack, but why do I keep going through this charade?

Thanks for your insight. You were right on target, as usual!

 

Portfolio

Posted by gardenergirl on December 5, 2004, at 21:12:50

In reply to Pride (In the name of love) daisym, posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 19:25:50

Hmmm, I like everyone's tools in their portfolio. I just wanted to add some of mine....

Gardening of course. If I can't get out to actually do something, just somehow connecting with the Earth is helpful. Like watering my houseplants, pinching off a piece of rosemary and smelling it...

I also love to look up at the stars when I am out with the dog for her last run. Of course it makes me dizzy to put my head back that far for very long, but I always try to find my favorite constellations. I am always awed by a clear, star-filled sky.

I try to connect with friends and family via email or the phone when I am feeling lonely. Also IMing is good.

And shopping. That's a kind of therapy that I love, but it does get 'spensive. Lately I've been shopping on line, and then I get to the "view my cart" section and close the window. Kind of like window shopping online.

I think the idea of diversifying our self-care portfolio's is very valid. My guess would be that the more we have in there that we use from time to time, the better we are. Flexibility versus rigidity and all.

gg

 

Re: Pride (In the name of love)

Posted by daisym on December 5, 2004, at 22:32:59

In reply to Pride (In the name of love) daisym, posted by Aphrodite on December 5, 2004, at 19:25:50

I don't think it is a charade. I think it is a spiral that we both keep going through because the feelings of attachment feel really good, but we don't think they SHOULD feel good, because it contradicts our organizing principal of independence. And our brains are useless to counteract the feelings. Which is REALLY scary, because as overachievers we can usually think our way to a clear plan of action. And the fact that the feelings are too da*n big to stuff down just intensifies our resolve to stuff them anyway. Like the grinch with that Christmas tree up the chimney!

And then somewhere along the way, we realize how stupid it is to keep stuffing the tree up the chimney and we relax for a few minutes and notice how good we feel when we aren't stuffing. And then we notice that we feel good and "gasp!" we worry about crashing again, so we take back control...and it starts up again.

I can accurately describe it, I just can't get off the merry-go-round yet.

btw, I met Bono. I flew on a plane with U2 about 18 years ago. They were all very nice. :)


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