I’m in therapy!

I had my visit to my Lady Doc (I don’t want to say “gyno” anymore, it sounds too much like “porno” and gynecologist just takes way too long to type) on Wednesday and can I just tell you how much I love her? She is very close to my age and so easy to talk to, I thoroughly enjoy my Lady Doc visits. While I was describing all my symptoms to her, she kept nodding her head and saying “yep, I get it, I’m right there with you”. Turns out she is going through a lot of the same things I am right now, so I felt relieved that I didn’t have to try and convince her of what was happening. She says that you treat a hormone problem with a hormone, and thinks the simplest and least expensive option is for me to get back on a birth control pill. My husband had a vasectomy after we had our last child 7 years ago, so I haven’t been on any kind of birth control for awhile now. I took the pill for nearly 15 years before that, so taking the pill is no big deal to me. She said it will take a couple of months for my body to fully get used to the hormones, so I guess we’ll see how things progress over the next 2 months. She seemed pretty confident that this would help even out my moods. I started taking the pill 2 nights ago. She also said that if the pill didn’t seem to work, then we could discuss some other options, but she believes in starting with the simplest things first then going from there, but she thinks this will help my moods and my cycle become more regular (my cycle is all over the place – I never know when I’m going to start anymore).

Yesterday afternoon I went to the counseling center and visited with Janet. She is a counselor (not a doctor) who right away made me feel comfortable.  I had to fill out a paper that asked me to circle the things that I felt led me to get counseling - there were about 30 different feelings/events that were listed and I circled probably ten. I circled things like: weight issues (duh), feelings of inadequacy, stress, depression, and a bunch of others I can’t remember right now.  She then asked a BUNCH of questions about my family and their mental health history, and then asked some questions about my history. She asked if I had ever been severely neglected or abused in any way, and I mentioned that I was left alone a lot when I was younger, but probably not severely neglected. We talked about this some more and she seemed to feel that this was something significant which would explain a lot of what I struggle with now. I also mentioned that this is when the food issues started. (I blogged about some of this here in case you are interested) We talked for a long time about how those feelings of abandonment in childhood can color the relationships I have now and how that can fuel the food issues, which I sort of already knew,  but it was nice to have it validated. While talking about the things that have been stressing me out lately, she finally looked at me and said “you do a lot of things you don’t really want to do, don’t you?” I felt like laughing and saying “my whole LIFE is doing things I don’t want to do!”  We talked about the celebratory-eating I do when I get home from work and she asked why I felt the need to celebrate and I said it was because I was just so happy being off work and she said “because that’s another thing you do that you don’t want to do, right?” Yep. It really is. She suggested that I start doing things that I like more often: getting together with friends, getting my nails done, whatever little things make me happy – that’s what I need to start doing more. Making myself a priority is just as important as making my family a priority, again I already knew this, but sometimes life just seems to get in the way of that and I forget.

I’m going to see her again in 2 weeks and before I go back, she wants me to list 15 things I like about myself (that’s going to be a struggle – I can probably think of 5, but 15? wow), plus I have to make a list of 3-5 goals that I want her to help me accomplish, because when she asked what I wanted to get out of counseling, I honestly didn’t know what to say other than “I just want to feel better”. She said she would help me with that if I couldn’t come up with something, but to try and really pinpoint what I wanted to work on. She also wants me to keep a food journal that will show what my thoughts and feelings are when I get the urge to eat at times when I’m not hungry. I’m feeling a lot of resistance in myself to do this but it’s only because I know this is going to be the hardest part. It’s going to require that I actually THINK before I eat instead of being on autopilot. She did also mention that we might think about an antidepressant to deal with the mood swings, and I told her about getting back on the pill and asked if she thought that would take care of it and she said she really didn’t know. We could watch it and see and then later we might talk about the antidepressant some more.

I felt really relieved after talking to her – like I said above, it was nice to have someone validate the feelings that I’ve always had and help me realize that I’m not actually going crazy, I’ve just got some very real issues that are trying to come to light. I feel really good about what I’ve done this week and I’m hopeful for the progress I can make in counseling. Now I just have to get started on that dang list…anyone wanna help me with that??? ;)

Have a good weekend everyone – I think I’m going to get my nails done this weekend and go to the library, 2 things that I love but do often enough. :)

 

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11 thoughts on “I’m in therapy!

  1. Ooh, I was glad to read this! Soooo glad your lady doc is the same age so she got what you were talking about.

    And the counselor sounds good too. Except the dang twenty questions (what, can’t you just read my mind and fix this?)

    Here’s something interesting. Originally it seemed you wanted to go to get rid of ‘irrational mood swings.’ But in the first session she seems to have pointed out that there are rational reasons for your moods. So then when she asked what you wanted to accomplish, you didn’t have an exact answer. Anyway, I like her prescription–do some things you want to do.

    And the food/mood journal–can’t you just eat, and then remember to jot down your feelings afterwards?

    Well, anyway, I am so glad that you seem to have two people who are nice working with you who are on your side!

  2. Jill, One of your positive attributes is that you help me learn how to deal with a variety of situations through your experiences. I think you are witty and that you write very well. I look forward to your posts. Take care.

  3. Great stuff, Jill. The food journal thing–just write it all down, good bad & the ugly. Trying to find patterns, right?

    I read once that when you make lists, the truth or core of the list doesn’t come out until you get toward the end. The first parts are top of mind, shallow. The last are thoughts you’ve dug deep for and more meaningful. Not sure how true that is, just something to ponder as you’re making your lists.

    Have you taken antidepressents before? Sorry, can’t remember. Curious if you know already how your brain reacts or if this is virgin territory for you. They can be tricky to figure out what works best and it can take time to get the right drug/dose, and after a while what works can change. If you get to that point, you probably will want to research your options so you know what you don’t want to take (esp the ones that cause weight gain more often than others).

    Glad you are writing!

  4. I’m envious of your relationship with your Lady Doc – mine is so young that when I mentioned peri-menopause symptoms recently, her eyes glazed over and she ignored me. Bah! But I hope the Pill works for you and I’m so appreciative of your sharing this process with us.

  5. 1. You could call your post “Classy Pear” because you have a lot of class. Your language is clean, and you have a way of venting without being disrespectful of others.
    2. Classy without pretense; you keep it real.
    3. And you keep it real funny. You have a great sense of humor and can be silly (and your humor is not at others’ expense… again, classy). I don’t think you have a mean bone in your body. Grumpy, pissed-off bones… maybe, but not mean.
    4. You are a devoted mother and wife who loves her family beyond measure.
    5. You are supportive. I’ve been a grateful recipient of that support, and I’m willing to bet many of us are. You take time out of your busy day to lend an ear/keyboard.
    6. One of your talents is writing.
    7. You are reliable — okay, that’s an educated guess based on you sticking to a job you would rather not have. You are probably on time and trust-worthy to still be able to keep that job.
    8. You are a self-starter.
    9. You are honest.
    10. You have a tender heart.
    11. Your faith is important, and you seek ways to strengthen it.
    12. You are open-minded.
    13. Your pics show how adorable you are…. especially the color run photos! which reminds me…
    14. You’re adventurous.
    15. You have an appealing personality that draws others in.

    And that’s just from a blogging friend! I imagine your family and “reality” friends can add much more to that list.

    (hug)

  6. Do you not want to go to work in general (any job) or is it the specific job you have? Just throwing this out there – My therapist said that as she has worked with people over the years, there is almost always something (somewhat major) that they need to change/remove from their life. I know it applied to me hugely. I was trying (very hard) to make something work that was never going to (actually) work. I didn’t have to get rid of it. But I had to change my expectation and really change how I let it impact me.

    Do you think you had postpartum with last child (and/or) going off the pill if you had been on it for so long? I did with my middle pregnancy and it impacted me for a long time. Went on to have youngest and did not have it with her, but shadow of middle pregnancy was still there (if you know what I mean).

    Our own childhood issues are something I can really relate. It is amazing how they set the wheels in motion. I had a lot of patterns (like you mentioned about your food habit and feeling alone) that had been in place for a long, long time.

    Keep writing about this – very interesting and pertinent for almost all of us.

  7. Yes! I agree that this is awesome! I searched for a therapist a few years ago thinking it might be a great idea but my experience interacting with the community in the area where I used to live was difficult at best (they called me at work and it was announced to all that I had a call from such and such therapy office on the line AND I had a hard time finding someone I could see to just talk things through without a serious mental/emotional disturbance to “treat”. BUT, it sounds like you had a great experience and maybe it would be good for me to try again now that I’ve moved…

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