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.