Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I'm tired. Not physically (well, ok, pretty tired physically too), but mentally. I'm tired of sifting through all the new realizations and all the new terminology just to keep relabeling myself. Ever feel like one minute you are content and the next you are freaking out over everything? Yeah, that's me.

I spend a lot of time wading through the murky waters of my mind in an attempt to clean house and organize. Finally I have realized that no matter how many "shelves" I build or "boxes" I fill-up, it will all still equate to ME. Nicely stored or strewn about, my "ish" is my "ish". This is the stuff I have toted around since childhood, added to when I saw an issue shiny enough to look enticing, and keep with me at all times. It's not going away just by naming, sorting, and re-organizing.

I see that "owning up" was the first step. I had to stand up and say "yeah, this is my luggage. I tote it around everywhere. So what?" Then, I had to come off the defensive, stop making excuses, and start REALLY owning up to it all. What does that mean? No more blaming (even myself!), no more "tomorrows," and no more "if (____) just happened, I would be fine"s.

That last part is where I want to be. I want to be able to keep owning up to my short comings and stop making excuses. Just because I have Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, along with a long host of other "issues," does not mean I get to skip out on life. I still need a job, an apartment, friends, and responsibility. I am not so severely disabled that I need community or state housing.

So what's my point? It's OKAY to be tired, but it's not okay to stop fighting. Giving up responsibilities and giving into to all the labels just leads to a self-destructive cycle. Taking a minute to stop and think "what do I really need" is sometimes all I need to stop my campaign of self deprecation. Unfortunately, I often notice what I need and how I am going about getting it are not conducive to getting the results I want.

As always, this all boils down to communication. TELLING rather than SHOWING what you need works better. Apparently, not everyone is a mind reader. You may think by whining about a sore throat you are saying "comfort me" but really you may be giving out the signal "I'm overly needy and going to take up all your time and energy." So instead of some cuddling and chicken soup from your mate, you end up coughing alone in bed while she plays XBox.

Stop for a moment today and think about what you really need in that moment. Then see if you are on the right path to getting it. Perhaps you are working harder at it than you need to be.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Interested in the world of social work? Check out the National Association of Social workers here: CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK

Friday, May 6, 2011

If I knew then what I know now, it wouldn't have mattered

Looking back on my ten plus years of therapy, I realize how much time I have wasted bashing myself for not seeing or knowing something sooner. I often hear myself complain to my therapist, "That's so obvious and I knew something was going on. Why did it take me so long to figure this out?" Normally she patiently listens to my self ridicule, waiting for the right time to let me know that everything happens for a reason and we learn when we are ready. Recently, we have begun a much more invasive way of processing, which I had initiated.

After having a near-nuclear meltdown in January, I have become fed-up with pussy-footing around my issues. So after completing an outpatient program I spoke with my therapist about being more direct with each other and calling me out when I was trying to skirt an issue or deflect. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I find myself being questioned about my outlook and having my thought process challenged. It's wonderful to end a session and feel like some really hard work has been done. And once again the thought of "why didn't I know to do this before" plagues me.

The truth is, if I had done this before it would have been futile. I wouldn't have listened; I would have spent a lot of time resenting my therapist and resenting the whole process. I needed to come to this conclusion for myself and ask for help. It's a hard conclusion to come to, but once it happens a whole world opens up.

The realization that all the crap I have gone through is neither good nor bad is a hard one. It's true. Nothing is really good or bad, per se, it just is. IT IS WHAT IT IS. How I used to cringe when I heard that phrase. Now I take it at face value. And the only reason I can do that sincerely is because I have gone through a lot and have taken the time to get lost in all steps of the process: grieving, anger, despair, denial, blaming myself, blaming the world, and giving up. Truthfully, the process of healing from any traumatic life event (be it "little-t" or "big-T" trauma) is a very selfish one. It is one thing to be selfish, it is another to realize you're being selfish. I think the first step of deciding to heal (and it is a decision-based process) is realizing you are being a selfish bitch. Step two is saying "and that's ok. It is what it is."

What happens from here? I'm not sure, but I'll be sure to keep writing about it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I bought an e-reader, yet my library still expands....

The major problem with any new piece of technology is that it does not always translate completely from the older, "lesser," forms of technology. There are innumerable books out there that have been published. A very large portion of these have been made available in electronic form. Except for anything that I want to read.

Try to find Charlotte Kasl, Irvin Yalom, Tara Brach, and many other psychology-based authors in electronic format and you will be surprised. Maybe one or two books will be available, but still the rest must be ordered in the "old fashioned" way: bidding on used copies on Ebay. Okay, so you can still order them new or go to a book store, but who has the money for that? Me and my fellow wanna-be therapists (read: stuck in school forever for that elusive MSW) thrive on these books. I don't just read to help myself, but to have an amazing frame of references and suggestions when my future clients say, "How do I get through this? Am I the only one?" Hopefully I will be able to confidently direct them to some amazing book that will help them through, the way my therapist has given me list after list of books that have helped me through.

I fear that in however many years it takes me to get to that point that the next generation will ignore any suggestion not available on their e-reader, ipad, or phone. How many wonderful stories will be lost while technology forges ahead without ever being able to catch up to what is already out there!