Author Topic: My own step forward  (Read 2212 times)

Jen

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My own step forward
« on: June 29, 2016, 09:35:42 AM »
I started therapy yesterday. I've tried before, but I've never had a good experience, and I've never actually committed to the process. This time I'm committing-- finances willing. I got a good vibe from the therapist, and I think it will help.

It was interesting... at first, when I was telling her what brought me to this particular point, she zeroed in on my grief as the major issue needing to be addressed. But as I kept talking, she shifted her focus. The grief, she said, is enormous, and of course it will always be there-- but that's not the root of my depression. I agree-- my issues predate widowhood, they probably go back to my parents' divorce when I was 15, which caused the entire foundation of my life to crumble. Honestly, I've never felt safe and steady since then-- except for the brief time I had Jim. He made everything stable. I've been on quicksand ever since he died.

She told me something a wid friend had said previously: that I seem to be trying to "think my way" out of my situation, trying to rationally and intellectually fix something that can never be fixed, and beating myself up because I can't do the impossible. She emphasized that I'm going to have to feel everything I've pushed away in order to process it... frankly, I'm terrified. I already feel too much, and I want it to go away. I'm scared to feel more.

Still, I'm trying to be optimistic. I do think this will be good for me. I've reached a point where I can't help myself any further-- I just can't do it by myself. I can't stay here; the hopelessness and despair are swallowing me, and if something doesn't change, I'll let them. There has to be something beyond this darkness. Has to be.

It's scary as hell and it feels lonely too-- no matter how many people support me, cheer me on, no one else can take the steps for me. The one constant since I lost Jim was that I didn't want to be alone-- not because I can't be by myself; I'm an introvert, I generally prefer my "me" time, but I feel so... untethered. He was my anchor; I knew I could fly as far and as fast as I wanted, because he was always there to catch me. Now I'm in free fall, I've been falling for 2 years, and I don't see an end to it. But maybe there's a little light in the abyss, at least. I hope.
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

Mizpah

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2016, 10:17:55 AM »
Jen, I'm so glad that you're doing this for yourself and that it seems to be a departure from your earlier experiences with therapy!  I hope it continues to be beneficial.  I asked my old therapist once what the point of therapy was and she said, "To identify, understand and change patterns of thought and behavior that make you less happy than you could be."  I come back to that a lot.  It sounds like your therapist is really going to help with that.  And it's so strange - this is the 3rd or 4th post I've read on here this morning that has made me think, "Wow, that's EXACTLY what I dealt with/am dealing with!"  I just started with a new therapist (I had someone in the initial stages of grief but moved and have been a bit adrift - finally I was just feeling too bad about things to continue the way I was and had to find someone).  Her approach is way more practical than I'm used to (I used to see a psychoanalyst, and could've spent decades analyzing things and "thinking my way" around things), and I too have found through talking with her that the problems I'm facing now are not sourced in what I thought they were.  I had to face things I didn't want to face.  So I have no wisdom, but I'm walking a sort of similar path in my thought/mental/emotional life.  Solidarity!  I think it's awesome that you decided to do this, that you could recognize that you had hit the point where you needed to take action, and took it.  Maybe you'll find your new anchor within yourself....  I don't know.  But I'm sending love!
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

TooSoon

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2016, 10:38:08 AM »
Great news, Jen.  Much of your post sounds like something I could have written a while back - eventually, there was nowhere left for me to run and I had to face myself.  It IS scary but it is also liberating.  Sending you all my love and support!  A big big step! 

Jen

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2016, 10:47:13 AM »
((((Hugs)))) I have to admit, this was a giant step for me. I'm nervous about trusting someone enough to talk to them, nervous about feeling things I don't want to feel... I'm my own worst critic; as I told her yesterday, I try to have kindness and compassion for everyone but myself. When I open up I feel vulnerable, exposed, and very, very stupid.  :-[ I'm hoping I can get past that, since it seems pointless to invest in therapy if I won't participate fully.

I like that description, though-- identifying, understanding, and changing patterns of behavior. I recognize a lot of my own dysfunction, but I don't know how to change it. I'm going to have to embrace that "do it afraid" mindset, because whenever I start thinking about what a monumental task it is, I freeze and tear up! I can do this, right? Other people do it, so surely I can too...

*hugs* Thank you for the solidarity. I need it. :)
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

Mizpah

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2016, 11:12:55 AM »
Yes, you can definitely do it!!!  You know you want/need to and you know it will benefit you, and you will find it in you, you will muster it.  "I don't know how to change it."  I keep saying this to my therapist.  We're going to figure it out.  Little by little, inch by inch, moment by moment, reaction by reaction, choice by choice.  <3
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

Bunny

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2016, 12:59:32 PM »
I've been wanting to see a therapist myself- after four years of extreme self-analysis, I could use a little outside help with some remaining issues. But my major problem is finances- along with the fear and anxiety of opening myself up so fully (I've never been to therapy).

I had a big ol' yard sale last weekend and met a fellow widowed person, who later brought his widowed wife to meet me- it was so lovely talking with them! They were very encouraging about how I was doing and told me about a place in our city that offers free grief counseling, both individual and group. though I didn't make much money at the yard sale (especially considering the time/effort/emotional trauma preparing for it), that information alone was priceless.

Now I just need to make that call...thanks for the inspiration by starting this thread, Jen. Hopefully it will give me the strength to be as brave as you.

It is a fearful thing to love what Death can touch.

TofinoMan

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2016, 02:15:12 PM »
Congratulations on making this step Jen.
I'm proud of you.
Blessings
I have a daughter named Boo, a dog called Stick, and a truck named Zane Grey. My neighbors think I am nuts when they hear me yell Boo and Stick get in Zane.
Best part is neighbors leave the crazy guy alone.....

Trying

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2016, 02:28:38 PM »
I'm so happy to read this Jen and to hear you found someone who you think is a good fit.  Being ready to invest yourself fully is the first big step.  My experience with therapy is that it gets harder before it gets easier and for me also it was realizing that I came into my marriage and then into widowhood with certain issues that rose to the surface in my grief.  I took a break from therapy but really need to get back to it, I needed some time to work with where she helped me get to, now I'm ready to work on the next level.
You will forever be my always.

SoVerySad

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2016, 02:51:56 PM »
I'm so happy to read this, dear friend! Yes, you can do this. We'll support each other through it. I really believe it is helping me, although it doesn't feel better yet. It can feel tough, but I try to keep in mind, this process is hopefully leading me to a better, more fulfilling life.

Tight hugs to you!!!
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.

Jen

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2016, 04:40:44 PM »
(((((((HUGS)))))))) Thank you all. I don't feel brave, I feel small and scared-- what if I go through all this, I do the work, but there's nothing on the other side? What if okay is the best I can hope for?

I know-- what ifs are useless. What if some wonderful insight changes my life for the better?

I'm not good at the Norman Vincent Peale stuff-- never could do much with positive thinking. But any movement has got to be better than sitting here, stuck and miserable. Hopefully we'll be able to look back, a few months (years?) down the road and think, Hey, we did that, and we're better off. Yay us. :)
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

TofinoMan

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2016, 12:17:49 AM »
(((((((HUGS)))))))) Thank you all. I don't feel brave, I feel small and scared-- what if I go through all this, I do the work, but there's nothing on the other side? What if okay is the best I can hope for?

I know-- what ifs are useless. What if some wonderful insight changes my life for the better?

I'm not good at the Norman Vincent Peale stuff-- never could do much with positive thinking. But any movement has got to be better than sitting here, stuck and miserable. Hopefully we'll be able to look back, a few months (years?) down the road and think, Hey, we did that, and we're better off. Yay us. :)


But to try even if you do fail....is better than to not try at all.
But I hope you have faith (won't say positive thinking ) that it can help at least somewhat.
Blessings Jen.
I have a daughter named Boo, a dog called Stick, and a truck named Zane Grey. My neighbors think I am nuts when they hear me yell Boo and Stick get in Zane.
Best part is neighbors leave the crazy guy alone.....

Virgo

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2016, 02:00:35 PM »
Congratulations on taking the first step Jen. I hope the therapy is helpful.
Jen

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss

Needytoo

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2016, 06:52:56 AM »
Good for you Jen. 

I am back into therapy and at first I so against going back and dealing with the past, I thought the point was to "stay in the present".  I found once you are able to open up and talk about those issues it was amazing truly amazing how much lighter you feel afterwards.  Good luck to you.

Jen

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2016, 10:56:39 AM »
Thank you all so much for the encouragement. I've been to two sessions now, and I'm... cautiously optimistic. My therapist is pretty astute, and recognized that train wreck that is my life happened long before my husband died. She acknowledged that grief is, of course, an integral part of what's going on now, but it isn't the root cause. It's hard work-- I felt like an exposed nerve all day yesterday after I left her office-- but I feel better today. I'm going back once more before I head out on vacation-- which maybe doesn't sound particularly significant, but in addition to the bago, I'm going to be seeing my dad (and guess where my issues started?).

I think I'll be okay. I think I've found the problem-- now it's a matter of figuring out what to do with it. I want to be able to look ahead 2 years, 5 years, and see something other than a terrifying blank-- I want to find some hope of a meaningful future. I think that's reasonable... isn't it?
I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other. ~Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

"Dying is easy. Living is hard. ~George Washington, Hamilton

Lisa

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Re: My own step forward
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2016, 06:51:36 PM »
Reasonable and attainable. Warm thoughts your way.
"All the waves must reach the shore before the water calms"-Ray ♡