Posted by: ImpendingDawn | November 29, 2011

Therapy Ramblings


Just had to get that out of my system.

So I finally sucked up my pride, faced my fear, and booked myself a session with a NAIT counselor. Strange as the idea of talking to a stranger about my problems seemed, it actually wasn’t that weird. She’s pretty nice and she took all of my confessions with an extremely level head. Obviously she’s a counselor and she’s pretty much paid to be calm and rational, but it just seemed strange. And kind of nice, actually.

She asked me a lot of questions about my support system, coping mechanisms, and tendency towards perfectionism. Due to the fact that I psychoanalyze myself to death, I already anticipated the majority of these and had prepared answers to them. All in all, I think she was impressed that I had figured out ways to manage my problems on my own for so long. Four and a half years of depression isn’t exactly a phase. Unfortunately, I had strategically planned to drop the bomb of my suicidal tendencies when she was least expecting it, and she barely batted an eyelash. I guess it isn’t that much of a bomb to people who don’t know me… Oh well.

However, she – Margaret – asked me something I hadn’t anticipated. At all.

“Do you ever allow yourself to do something you aren’t good at, just for fun?”

What the hell? Who doesn’t!

I sat. I thought. I thought some more.

“…no, I guess I don’t.” I eventually replied. In fact, I fucking hate doing things I’m not good at.

So my homework is to think about that. And to start writing again. And to record my thoughts when I’m feeling angry or irrational. And to not concentrate on avoiding self-harm. And to not beat myself up mentally if I do self-harm. (I got the feeling that she thought self-harm was inevitable. I can feel several new cuts under my sleeves, so apparently she was right.)

I haven’t talked to her about my effed up body image yet. Or the fact that the thought of my cousin – who died recently due to alcohol poisoning at the age of 23 – sends my mind into a panic that I can hardly shake myself out of.

This talking thing is difficult. Up until the last time that I cut (my record being 8 WHOLE MONTHS!) my main method of saving myself from harm was to pretend that the urge to hurt myself didn’t exist. I’d have a fleeting thought and I’d quickly drown it out with music or conversation or reading or exercise. This worked well for me.

But now I’m honestly trying to tackle the underlying problems so I can truly fight back against self-harm. I’m not deluded; I know that because of my addictive personality and the extent that self-harm and depression have affected my life, I will probably never “recover”. And that’s okay. (At least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself.) It’s just difficult to face the problem rather than ignoring it. I’ve spent these 8 months carefully training my brain to selectively observe my surroundings; for example, an exacto knife wasn’t ever something I could potentially use to harm myself, it was merely a tool used to open boxes at work. I carefully ignored the link that my brain automatically makes between exacto knives and self-harm because it was the only way I could get through work without carving my arms up. And it worked, but it’s not healthy to purposely ignore problems. Based on this conclusion, I am trying to carefully open my brain back up again so I can get to the root of my problems. Unfortunately, opening my mind last night resulted in a few new cuts on my arms because I had to use that damn exacto knife at work, but whatever.

I’m making progress. I think. I hope.


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