Friday, July 22, 2011

Lucid Analysis: Trials in Therapy - Career Change

I’ve been very bad about posting about therapy. I switched therapy to Thursday. I’ll be honest. I really did not want to go in yesterday. I was very worried about it in fact. I was consumed with RAGE. I wanted to crush and destroy everything around me. I can usually contain it but there was no bottling it up yesterday. I worried that my therapist would reject me and my mood swings like is so stigmatized with BPD. Of course, my fears were unwarranted. If anything, she was even calmer and less scattery than ever.
I was frustrated and angry when I went in. All she said was anger is normal and expressing anger in ways that are not impulsive is healthy. Almost as soon as I sat down my frustration bubbled over into tears because I didn’t know what to do, why I felt this way, or what to do about it. She assured me that by just expressing that I was angry and allowing those emotions to surface was good, especially as I was not engaging in unhealthy impulsive displays like thoughts of suicide, cutting, binging or the like. So cheers to me.
The combination of the massive heat wave and the stress from work, I think, are what really set me off. Fortunately, we talked about my plan. I brought up the fact that I was thinking about going to school again. That I was interested in Clinical Psychology and as a secondary study Art Therapy. She was a little dubious at first since this was the first time she was hearing about it, and she wanted to make sure I wasn’t being impulsive. However we talked about my growing interest. I’ve been doing this blog for almost 8  months now and my interest is still consuming. The comments and feedback I get from people are very encouraging in a way that makes me believe what I’m doing has benefit. I feel fulfillment. Which is something I do not feel with engineering. I work. I produce. I do not feel like I am contributing something worthwhile (though obviously the things I design are beneficial and crucial to the projects I work on). Worthwhile in a deeper sense. I find more satisfaction in almost everything else that I do and I want to bring that to all aspects of my life. We talked about my plan. Currently I’m waiting on my transcripts from my previous University. Then I’ll sit down with an academic advisor and figure out which courses transfer, which I need, and go from there. I will begin part time, probably night courses.  One or two classes at a time to start, to see how it fits and if it’s something that does truly grab me. Financially it is well within my means, especially if I do classes at night and keep my current job.  I have no children, no mortgage, no real obligations to anyone else other than myself. And lets face it, worst case scenario, I start stripping again. J/k. Sorta.
Therapist reassures me that I have a positive, healing energy about me. She believes that some people are good at psychology, but it’s those people that have had true need for it in their personal lives that make the best psychologists because they’ve been there. You have to be mindful not to over identify with patients, but since there has been personal experience and need, it brings a greater depth of understanding. I hope she’s right.
I also talked to my parents about this. They’ve known I haven’t been happy with engineering for a long while now. As soon as I mentioned it my mother was like, “Go. Go now. Go talk to an academic advisor. Sign up for classes. You’ll be amazing.” My father was also very supportive even though he grumbled a bit about believing that I should pursue costume design for a local theater. I found that cute but pretty typical of him.
By the time I left therapy I felt worlds better. I’m sure the Klonopin kicking in helped too. Seriously. I hate this Abilify. As far as I can tell it makes me feel sluggish and body exhausted all the time. I’ve never before felt so useless until I started medication. Therapist agrees that it does not seem like any of the medication I have been on has been helping me. She’s had plenty of patients that are on medication that have occasional ups and downs but are basically steady and happy. They might miss the super highs, but the lows are no longer there. This is not the case with me. I am still fluxuating all over the place and I do not have anything resembling a baseline of happy or okay. I’ll be discussing this with Psychiatrist on Thursday. The only things that have ever helped me at all are the situational benzos my last GP had me on (Klonopin and Xanax). I’m actually a little afraid of benzos and their addictive tendencies so I’m very careful about only using them in the most necessary of situations, but they calm me down, help me sleep, and don’t make me feel like I can’t function.

Honestly I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I won’t be quitting my job, but I have a plan for the future and the means to work towards a more fulfilling life.

Choosing a new direction

8 comments:

  1. Yippee! I think that's awesome. I know at first I wasn't that supportive just because I know how impulsive we can be and so I tend to be a worry wort about things but I really am super happy for you that you have found something that makes you feel fulfilled and your plan sound perfect!! I totally agree you're not married you don't have kids so there is NO better time than NOW to concentrate on YOU and just YOU and YOUR happiness. But I am still stealing htat painting though. lool

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  2. Hahaha, I put my plan out there to get different perspectives b/c I know I'm impulsive and I wanted to make sure I was seeing this rationally so I appreciate everything you've said. Don't worry about it at all.

    Haha, I'll have to guard it with my life! I'm glad you like it. I've been very inspired to do another similar piece. I just need to find the time to do it.

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  3. I am glad you can express your anger...if you do not you get depressed! And I really think you would do well in the 'helping' field. If you think you are being compulsive wait a couple of months and see how you feel. Take care.

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  4. I've thought about this for a while now so I don't think it's an impulsive decision. Plus I'm not quitting my life and jumping into something brand new. I'm continuing on my current path, but wading into something different to make sure that it works. I do think my approach is practical and rational.

    And thank you. I think the helping fields would be beneficial for me as well as for anyone else that I could contribute with.

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  5. I sound like the proverbial, broken record, but your talent for reaching people, explaining stuff in a "non-doctorish" sort of way and your ability to push forward with grace through the lows, is apparent. Good on ya, girly.

    Now, if only I could find something else, besides engineering, that I excel at, maybe I could escape this monotony.

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  6. I think this blog is definately evidence of your sustaining interest in psychology! It's awesome, and like you said, you've been doing it for 8 months. It doesn't seem impulsive to me, the way that you're carrying it out anyways. You'll do awesome-congrats!

    I'm super impressed with your anger story---and I'm so serious. That right there is remarkable success , it is! Emotions, particulary anger, aren't always easy to process, even for nons. My friend with Borderline bottles----he can be raging inside and you look at his face and would never know it. It's very difficult, for him and for people who care about him. I just want him to be mad---really mad for once-instead of either punishing me somehow, or doing something unhealthy. What I would do to see his face twist up, vent his frusrations, and just feel it. So much easier said that done.

    And the counseling---it's funny I had a similar experience yesterday! I was convinced I was done, almost cancelled and decided to go anyways. It was the best session yet, I swear. I have no idea where everything came from, but it was productive thinking. Goes to show, don't give up on it right.

    Great write-up, Haven! Emily

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  7. You should be really proud of yourself, you are taking care of yourself by recognising you arent happy and finding something that will make you happier. And you are making the change sensibly and avoiding impulse decisions. That sounds like its a huge thing for you.

    I have been really enjoying your blog & I think that your experience will make you a better psychologist.

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  8. Thanks Emily! Anger is difficult. All I want to do is explode but I can't in certain places because I'm so self aware that I realize the implications of my actions were I to act on them. However not being able to act on them is incredibly frustrating and I tend to take it out on myself instead. Not taking it out on myself is a big thing =)



    @MultipleMe... You're right, it is definitely a huge thing for me. I'm really trying to live my life better. It's not easy, but I'm trying. And thank you, I do so hope you're right.

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Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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