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Old 11-21-2018, 07:33 AM   #371
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(((Echos))) good work!
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:35 AM   #372
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Originally Posted by Echos Myron redux View Post
We stood up and hugged and I left.
Awww that was a lovey session to read. Thank you for sharing.

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Old 11-21-2018, 10:30 AM   #373
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Was a bit early but T still was ready right away. We went to his room, both were quiet for a while. I said he'd have to write me a new prescription. He answered that he'd already prepared it. Then he asked how my week was. I said it had been quite stressful, especially searching a job. I have applied for too many positions. Now I have to decide which one I'd like, and that's hard. Some of the companies do something a bit more related to physics, but all of them have large offices with a lot of people per room. And one company is a bit less interesting, but I'd only have to share my office with two or three people, which sounds nice. Plus their coffee machine is great.

He asked me which companies I had already visited. I have seen one of the large ones already and will have an introduction to their software in a few days. The small one I already know because my partner works there too. "Is that not a problem? Do they know you're together?" Yes, they know, most of his co-workers have met me during company events. It didn't seem to be a problem, and the interviews went really well too. They asked a few technical questions, I didn't know some of the things they asked about, but when I mentioned I didn't know the language in which their examples were written, they said they think I could easily learn it. Everything sounded quite positive.

We went quiet. I said there had been a newspaper article a few days ago about
Possible trigger:
. I was annoyed by it. T asked why. I said normally these things don't bother me. Reading about it or seeing pictures. But that time it did. Mostly because it was badly written. The article made it seem like it's a problem only 15 year olds have. He answered other people struggle with this too, older ones. He also said that nowadays the media talks more about this topic, probably because there are statistics that document stuff now. I got a bit mad about that, saying that it already existed in the past, so why treat it differently now.

Then I mentioned reading a bit more about mindfulness. But I'm still not really that far into it, I'm trying to take my time. After a bit of silence, he asked me what I was thinking about right now. I said I'm sad. T asked what the mindfulness said about sadness, but I couldn't answer that, I had just started doing this stuff. He said I should just say what I'm feeling physically and mentally. I mentioned that my back hurts and that I'd like to cry. He said I should just go with how I feel right now, try to really feel all the emotions that come up. I started crying. We sat in silence while I cried. After a while, he asked whether it was okay that he didn't say much and I nodded.

A bit later, he asked whether I was holding anything back. I nodded again. He said: "You know you shouldn't do that here." I started crying even more, probably loud enough for the other clients and therapists in the office to hear. T reminded me to concentrate on my breathing whenever that started to be too quick. At some point he asked me what my thoughts were currently. I answered that I have lots of memories from the past coming up. He wanted to know whether we should focus on one of them, but I said they are changing too much and quickly for me being able to make sense of it. I continued crying for a while.

At some point he instructed me to sit more upright, which I did. He told me to focus on my feet touching the floor and my legs touching the chair. Then he asked whether I wanted to look at him. First I only looked at his shoes. I saw him lower his head a bit the way he does it every time when I try to look at him. When I managed to look up, he smiled and nodded. I managed to look at him two more times, I think.

Then, I mentioned being scared that he'd be mad. He asked whether he was. I said no, but whenever I cry people get mad. He mentioned that it's important for me to realize that he's nod mad, to feel that. I replied I'm upset that I can't talk properly. I have all these thoughts and would love to just tell him everything. But somehow it just doesn't work. He said how that's okay and that he's there with me, trying to sit through all my feelings and experiences. That I share stuff sometimes and that we can go as slow as I want to.

I cried a bit more, then he said we'd have to wrap up. I started gathering my stuff while he got up to go copy my prescription. After that, we confirmed our usual appointment on Friday and said good bye.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:36 AM   #374
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by Echos Myron redux View Post
He tried to work out what was on the t shirt I was wearing. I said Toshiro Mifune, my favourite actor.....
This warms my heart. I like the sound of your T. Seems like a tough but good session.
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Old 11-21-2018, 11:36 AM   #375
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by unaluna View Post
(((Echos))) good work!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemoncake View Post
Awww that was a lovey session to read. Thank you for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thalassophile View Post
This warms my heart. I like the sound of your T. Seems like a tough but good session.
Thank you it was a tough session but I felt a lot lighter afterwards. I feel like we did good work. I love him very much.
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:18 PM   #376
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by Echos Myron redux View Post
He tried to work out what was on the t shirt I was wearing. I said Toshiro Mifune, my favourite actor. I said the shirt a character from Seven Samurai and asked if he had seen it. He said he didn't think so but he saw the original I was like "this is the original!" I don't think it's ever been remade so I don't know why he thought I was talking about a remake. I told him how much I love Kurosawa films. And Mifune in particular. Though something in his manner kind of reminds me of my late ex.

I told him I needed to talk about the shame I felt last session. I said sometimes I feel toxic and like he doesn't deserve to have to deal with me. As I said that I teared up. He asked me to explore that, to see what's underneath it. I tried but I just couldn't.

I said there was something I wanted to tell him that I think is linked to/a result of the shame last session, but that I couldn't. I had been googling him and found some pictures of him at conferences and I also found out his middle name from a register he is on. But I couldn't tell him that so I was arguing with myself about it, but only verbalising one half of the argument. So I was like "but the shame coming up in the relationship is important, it exists to be worked through" then sitting there silently while the other part internally said " what if he rejects you? He's reacted badly before.". I told T I was having an internal battle. He said "Yeah you keep interrupting yourself" I told him he was only hearing one half of the argument.

I said I didn't want to ignore or dismiss the part of me that didn't want to tell him. He said "I wonder what its purpose is" I said "to protect me from rejection". T said "that sounds like a laudable purpose"

I said "I've been googling you a lot and I think it's because I feel shame anyway and this perpetuates that cycle." I told him what I had found.

T said his hunch is that the shame is from a very long time ago and so it feels unreachable. His sense is that this is me trying to bring the shame into the here and now. I said "so we actually have something to work with" he said "exactly.".

I asked him for his response to what I told him. He thought for a while and was smiling. He said it makes him think about the dualism of wanting to be seen and not wanting to be seen, and said he is smiling because it reminds him of a conversation he had about that on Monday.

I was quiet and he asked where I had gone. I said I felt like he had gone straight to some other abstract time and place because it was safer than talking about his response to me. That I think it means there's somethung in his response to me that he wants to avoid.

He was quiet. I said "it doesn't matter". He said "it does matter." He said "I have two responses. I quite enjoy the attention of you searching for me online, and also I'm worried that you'll find something I'll wish you hadn't found. He said "and you're right. It was easier for me to talk about something from another time and conversation".

I was quiet. He asked what I was thinking. I said I want to split the atom. There's probably no point. He asked what I wanted to find in the atom. I said whether he didn't want me to find something because of its impact on me, or because of him. He said both, that he is worried about hurting me, and he is also worried about me finding something he might be ashamed of (though he doesn't know what that could be). He said he thinks the shame is happening between us in the room.
Possible trigger:


T tilted his head, smiled with his eyes and said "this must be really hard going for you. How are you doing?" I said "it is hard going".

We looked in each other's eyes for a long time. I said "that felt like the bit of us being roped together climbing a mountain (an ongoing metaphor) where you give me a hand up and hold onto me." He nodded. He said he noticed what hard work it was for me boring the footholes in the rock one-by-one.

We looked at each other for ages again. I asked if I could hold his hand. He gave me his hand. It was cold. I held it for a while and it got warmer. I looked at him and said "you know I love you".

We sat back and sat in silence again. With 5 minutes to go he said he hopes it's okay if he asks about my busy week. So I told him. I told him it's the competent me that he never sees and that I miss that he doesn't see it. I said "I know you're proud of me anyway though". He said "I am". He said he would quite like to see something I had done online but only wanted to look if I sent him the link, which was up to me. He said he wouldn't search for it. I said I appreciate that.

We stood up and hugged and I left.
Hooray! Happy ending!
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:22 PM   #377
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenNoodleSoup View Post
Was a bit early but T still was ready right away. We went to his room, both were quiet for a while. I said he'd have to write me a new prescription. He answered that he'd already prepared it. Then he asked how my week was. I said it had been quite stressful, especially searching a job. I have applied for too many positions. Now I have to decide which one I'd like, and that's hard. Some of the companies do something a bit more related to physics, but all of them have large offices with a lot of people per room. And one company is a bit less interesting, but I'd only have to share my office with two or three people, which sounds nice. Plus their coffee machine is great.

He asked me which companies I had already visited. I have seen one of the large ones already and will have an introduction to their software in a few days. The small one I already know because my partner works there too. "Is that not a problem? Do they know you're together?" Yes, they know, most of his co-workers have met me during company events. It didn't seem to be a problem, and the interviews went really well too. They asked a few technical questions, I didn't know some of the things they asked about, but when I mentioned I didn't know the language in which their examples were written, they said they think I could easily learn it. Everything sounded quite positive.

We went quiet. I said there had been a newspaper article a few days ago about
Possible trigger:
. I was annoyed by it. T asked why. I said normally these things don't bother me. Reading about it or seeing pictures. But that time it did. Mostly because it was badly written. The article made it seem like it's a problem only 15 year olds have. He answered other people struggle with this too, older ones. He also said that nowadays the media talks more about this topic, probably because there are statistics that document stuff now. I got a bit mad about that, saying that it already existed in the past, so why treat it differently now.

Then I mentioned reading a bit more about mindfulness. But I'm still not really that far into it, I'm trying to take my time. After a bit of silence, he asked me what I was thinking about right now. I said I'm sad. T asked what the mindfulness said about sadness, but I couldn't answer that, I had just started doing this stuff. He said I should just say what I'm feeling physically and mentally. I mentioned that my back hurts and that I'd like to cry. He said I should just go with how I feel right now, try to really feel all the emotions that come up. I started crying. We sat in silence while I cried. After a while, he asked whether it was okay that he didn't say much and I nodded.

A bit later, he asked whether I was holding anything back. I nodded again. He said: "You know you shouldn't do that here." I started crying even more, probably loud enough for the other clients and therapists in the office to hear. T reminded me to concentrate on my breathing whenever that started to be too quick. At some point he asked me what my thoughts were currently. I answered that I have lots of memories from the past coming up. He wanted to know whether we should focus on one of them, but I said they are changing too much and quickly for me being able to make sense of it. I continued crying for a while.

At some point he instructed me to sit more upright, which I did. He told me to focus on my feet touching the floor and my legs touching the chair. Then he asked whether I wanted to look at him. First I only looked at his shoes. I saw him lower his head a bit the way he does it every time when I try to look at him. When I managed to look up, he smiled and nodded. I managed to look at him two more times, I think.

Then, I mentioned being scared that he'd be mad. He asked whether he was. I said no, but whenever I cry people get mad. He mentioned that it's important for me to realize that he's nod mad, to feel that. I replied I'm upset that I can't talk properly. I have all these thoughts and would love to just tell him everything. But somehow it just doesn't work. He said how that's okay and that he's there with me, trying to sit through all my feelings and experiences. That I share stuff sometimes and that we can go as slow as I want to.

I cried a bit more, then he said we'd have to wrap up. I started gathering my stuff while he got up to go copy my prescription. After that, we confirmed our usual appointment on Friday and said good bye.
((CNS))
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:56 PM   #378
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

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Possible trigger:
One of the things in my anger letter to my mom that brought all this up was that I love dogs but wouldn't adopt one because I know that I couldn't provide for their needs at this point in my life and it wouldn't be fair to the dog.
She's said she "was never meant to be a mother" more than once. She and I have that in common.
I have no desire to have kids, but even if I did I'd know it would be cruel to create a child knowing that I couldn't be a good mother.
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Old 11-22-2018, 09:23 AM   #379
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Default Re: In Session Today: Part V

Interesting session today. I began by telling R about the public speaking workshop, and could barely look at her whilst doing so. I enjoyed her smile of recognition, though there was an air of ‘It took you that long to notice?’ I found it hard to explain why the exercise had such an impact on me, and how I had been required to fend off by the inner critic. She reminded me that she had spent time in previous sessions of ‘Trying to find you, almost.’
We then talked some more about the critic and R pointed out that the critic seems to come forward when I’m at my most real. She asked whether the experience at the workshop hand made me want to change anything about the space. I reiterated that the most significant element of this is about me feeling of alone with it.
‘Yes…’
‘I think it’s about –that sounds weird, I know… I think it’s about being as physically connected as possible.’ I don’t know why but I was expecting R to be more weirded out by its all. I think we have established how important that is to me as a marker of safety.
I railed against them on a ‘They knew what they were doing’ type rant.
‘You sound definite about that – does that make it more painful?’

‘I accept that I did nothing to bring this on myself, but I didn’t walk away.’


‘I heard you bat the self-blame away then. If you had known then what you know now, would you have walked away?’

I waffled for a while, going back and forth ‘If I had walked away, and something terrible had happened, I would not have known.’
I went on to say that the emotional cost would have been less.
‘What strikes me is the length of the deception. It hadn’t really struck me before. You were in the situation for so long, do you think it would have made any difference if you had known sooner?’
I wanted to make a point about how I only knew Chris for a year, and that made very little difference to my grief, but I didn’t.
‘There was a trajectory to both experiences, but with what I was exposed to in January 2011, there was no respect for me.’
‘You hold that [the experience with Chris] in high esteem, not just because you have something to compare it to.’
We talked about the value of that opportunity to release. I waffled some more about the impact of the experience. ‘I feel furious and hurt.’

‘I think that is the first time I have ever heard you name specific emotions.’
‘If by some twisted experiment, they were here now, I cannot imagine being angry with them.’
‘I am curious as to what ‘being angry’ would look like to you.’
‘I can’t imagine shouting.’
‘What can you imagine?’
‘I would want them to know how much this hurts. The impact of it now is that I don’t feel…’
‘You don’t feel…?’
‘I am going to change that and say I don’t feel.’
‘You don’t feel? You have described crying in the past, and I know there’s a lot of shame that comes with that for you. I think you called it a loss of control? But you don’t feel the emotion?’
‘I am so wrapped up in waiting for it to be over that I don’t.’
‘It’s almost like there’s a fear of feeling.’
‘Of how that will be…’
‘And what it will feel like?’
R talked about two things to close that have recently come to her attention: vicarious trauma, and another diagram based exercise – envisaging the mind with a tap, and creating opportunities to let some stuff out now and then.

‘It could be that this space is one opportunity for you to let some stuff out.’
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Old 11-22-2018, 12:01 PM   #380
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T yesterday (day early due to Thanksgiving). I opened the outside waiting room door just as he opened the inner waiting room door--perfectly timed! Went back and sat down.

I thanked him for his email response from the day before (H is facing some layoffs at his job, he hopes he won't be affected, but in case he is, I asked T if he'd be willing to work with me on cost of sessions, and he said he would, giving examples of how he'd worked with clients with a changing financial situation before). T: "Oh, right, I'd forgotten all about that!" (Me: Thinking, "It was a day ago!") Talked briefly about the stress of the unknown and he reiterated what he'd shared in email, saying how he'd consider a client's percentage decrease in income, and then he'd decide on a level with them that would be the new normal fee. He said again how he'd let one client "who was in a really bad situation" see him for just $5 a session for a few months. I said I'd be honest about the situation, and T said he has to just trust people with things like that, how he's unfortunately been burned before. I said how some people just take advantage, and he agreed.

He said he was glad my conference with D's teacher had gone well the day before (I'd mentioned that in email). We discussed that a bit. I said how I think I'm too trained for therapy, because I knew conference was only supposed to be 15 minutes (she kept us over) and I kept saying, "I know we have to stop soon, but..." And that the teacher was probably like "What's her deal?" Me: "I probably got into that habit because ex-T was strict about time." T: "I'd think then you would just have trusted her to keep it." Me: "Hm, good point. Maybe was more for ex-MC then, since he often took us back late, so I wouldn't be sure when end was, and he'd keep us anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour and 15 or more, so by saying 'I know we have to stop soon,' I'd be trying to figure out from his response how much time we had left." T: "Oh OK."

Me: "Yeah, though you're much more consistent. I think part of why I keep a close eye on the time in here and say things like, 'I know we have to stop soon' is I worry you'll be annoyed with me if we end up going over...But I guess that says something about me because I know it's really your responsibility to keep the time. Yet I still worry about annoying you, and..." T (smiling): "I'm just going to sit back and let you do therapy on yourself." Me: "Maybe you could just read a book or something." T: "Just let me know when I need to tune back in!"

I updated him that I'd gotten my mammogram results the day before and they were fine. T: "I'm glad to hear that." Said we hadn't heard about H's biopsy yet and that I still had the pelvic ultrasound next week. Me: "What I hate about these kinds of tests is that you can feel fine, then suddenly it's like you could get the results and your whole life would change, like needing surgery, chemo. And I tend to have that worry when things are going well, where I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like D's doing well, so what's going to go wrong? I hate that I'm like that. I wish I wasn't. But I think it's just how I'm naturally oriented."

T: "You're right in a sense that you're probably not going to completely change who you are." Me: "Yeah, I'm not going to suddenly become glass half-full." T: "You're on the neurotic side of the personality spectrum. You're not going change completely away from that, but you can become the least neurotic version of yourself possible." Me: "OK. So...how do I do that?"

T: "Well, one study showed that a gratitude journal can help." Me: "Yeah, I got one of those for Christmas a couple years ago and used it twice." T: "Well, you have to actually use it. Another study had people doing the GLAD method for months, writing one item each day that you're grateful for, that you learned, an accomplishment, and something that caused delight. And that caused a significant change in outlook and mood. Many people continued doing it after the study ended." Me: "Hm...maybe that's something to try again." T said that studies have also found that not complaining or gossiping about people can help, that verbalizing some of those feelings can give more weight to them than just thinking them.

I talked a bit about the stress of the week and how I wasn't looking forward to Thanksgiving, as it's with H's sister and her H, so H's brother-in-law. Me: "Would he also be considered my brother-in-law?" T (a bit incredulously): "Uh, yes, he's your brother-in-law, too!" Me: "They've only been married 5 years, so not that long." T: "*Only* 5 years??? Five years is a long time! Most divorces happen by year 7. 'Only 5 years'...you're funny." Me: "Well, it's been 10 for me, so I guess in comparison..."

We had 20 minutes left. I said I was debating what else to discuss, how part of me wanted to talk about my alcohol use. T: "We could talk about that, or we also had talked about working on some breathing and mindfulness techniques, so could do that, too." I initially opted for breathing/mindfulness, but then ended up talking about alcohol instead. How I kept trying to do better, and I might do better for a bit, but then something stressful would happen, like Monday with H talking about layoffs. Me: "I had more to drink than I should have that night. It's like I'm waiting for the perfect time to cut back, like when there's no stress, but I guess that isn't going to happen, is it? Like there's no perfect time?" T agreed. I said I was being more mindful about it and doing better with some things lately, like, "OK, I'm only having 3 today" or "I'm not having another tonight" and sticking with that, but that if I told someone the quantity I often drank, they'd likely be like "Wow, that's a lot!" T: "I hope you realize I'm not judging you." Me: "I know, I'm just talking about a random outside person."

I said I had gotten into bad habits, like sometimes having a beer before noon. It's like how smoking (cigarettes) was for me. I started out just socially smoking when out with friends, bumming cigarettes from them. Then I went on to buying my own but only smoking with them. Me: "Then it became smoking alone on my balcony or in my car or in the shower." T: "Smoking in the shower?!? That would take some skill!" Me: "Yeah, I guess..." I said I hadn't had a cigarette in like 10 years though am tempted at times. T: "That's really good."

I mentioned Thanksgiving at my in-laws, where they don't allow alcohol (recovering alcoholic in family). I said how a few years ago, we'd stashed some beer in the car just in case, so I could sneak out and have a beer if I felt I needed to (I didn't). T (pretending to be me): "'I just have to go make a phone call at my car really quickly." Me: "Exactly." T (joking): "Then they'd be like, 'Wait, LT, you have *another* phone call to take?'"

T said I could still consider AA, that some of what they teach could also help me deal with anxiety. I said I was kind of uncertain about that, especially as they expect abstinence, other things. But I said I guessed I could have tried a meeting, like it's not like I have to talk or they're going to drug-test me. He agreed. He said if I didn't want meetings, there are also books, but he got sense I did well with communities (see: PC).

Me: "If I'm doing well with therapy and it's helping me, shouldn't drinking not be an issue anymore? Or is it that...I'm still working on healing certain things, like I need to fix things inside of me first to deal with that." T: "Yes--it may be that we're just not there yet." (I appreciated his using "we," as it suggests we're on the journey together.)

T said how, if I wanted to go back to moderation, the best way is probably to go to abstinence for a bit, then gradually work my way back to more social drinking. Me: "Sort of resetting?" T: "Yes, exactly." T said how it could be good to get to a place where I'm drinking for positive reasons, like to be social with friends or because I wanted to try a new beer. Rather than to cope with negative emotions or deal with social anxiety.

T: "But for now it's become a coping mechanism for you. So you need to figure out other coping mechanisms. Otherwise, if you're trying to stop it and don't have any other things to do in place of it, it's going to be really difficult." Me: "Yeah...so maybe we need to work on those." T: "That's why I mentioned the mindfulness and breathing exercises. Or something like going for a walk." Me: "Maybe we can work on those next week."

We were out of time, confirmed/scheduled for next week. Paid, he stood up (he's been standing for this lately--used to stay sitting, which bothered me a bit, but I never said anything because it seemed unimportant) and shook my hand while saying a very warm, genuine, "Have a good Thanksgiving." Me: "You too."
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