Thursday, April 19, 2007

The 11th hour

It's nearly 2 am and I have my therapy appointment in just about 11 hours. At some point I need to sleep, but at some point I also need to do my homework. I feel like a high schooler waiting until the 11th hour to finish cramming for a final exam.

I've stared at the line on the top of the paper that says "pretend one will work" for a whole week and all I can focus on is that word pretend. That's not a word I typically use because of what I feel the meaning of it is. Had she used the words "fake like one will work" I'd be better equipped to come up with an answer. I can fake, I don't pretend. Most people see them as essentially the same thing but I don't. Pretending is when you try to convince yourself something is one way when in truth it's completely different, so basically you're trying to lie to yourself. Faking is a way to hide reality from others when circumstances dictate that it is better to offer an appearance that is far more acceptable by society's standards but all the while you know what the actual truth is.

Yes, I could easily substitute the words "fake it" myself, but in the context of what she wants to do with the answer I give her, providing a fake response wouldn't work. You can't base a treatment plan on faking it because eventually, if you keep trying to achieve goals that aren't based in what you believe to be reality, you cross over into the realm of lying to yourself. A person can only keep a false persona going for so long before they crack, and for someone with mental illness, cracking means getting your ass locked up in a psych ward if you don't successfully kill yourself first.

Guess I should be focusing my attention on the question of why I'm even in therapy if I don't believe I'm fixable. Over the years many therapists have posed that question to me but the only answer I've ever come up with is that I've been told this is what I'm supposed to be doing because I am mentally ill. If there's an answer beyond that I'm not sure what it is. If there isn't one, I should just give up now before I invest any more time and money on treatment.

Another post that has left me more confused than I was when I sat down and started typing, sheesh.


Blogger Dr. Deb said...

You are sooooo fixable. And you do need to start seeing, feeling and believing that!

{{{{{{{{Sending you hugs}}}}}}}}

6:07 AM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger Stephen Atwood said...

I believe I feel quite the same.

Considering yesterday I went and saw a new shrink for the first time. Days or weeks before (I have no sense of time) I had a perfectly good idea of what I needed in a shrink. I needed someone who would be invested in the situation, etc.

But the minute I sat down on that shrink's sofa, I blocked up. I was blank. I had nothing to say.

And I hated myself for freezing up for no good reason.

Best of luck, Sid.

11:25 AM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger Polar Bear said...

I hope you work hard on those hoomework. Sometimes it won't make any sense, but give it a try. Do something, anything, and if you really don't "get" it, then write your questions down - so you can bring them in to your T and ASK her to clarify. Ask her to give you examples. I do that with V - when I don't understand something about a DBT skill, or homework that she gives me, I'll ask for an example.

Therapy is hard work, and I'm glad you are sticking to it, Sid. I know sometimes you feel torn about whether therapy is helping you at all, but you do keep going back - and to me, that means that you believe someday something may click and you will find better ways of coping with the difficulties you have.

And when it does "click", it won't mean that your life will suddenly all make perfect sense and you will be happy. Because you will still have moments when you slide back and resort to more dysfunctional ways of coping - but hopefully those moment will be less and far in between.

Therapy won't cure us, Sid. It's supposed to teach us ways of dealing with our emotions/difficulties, and for me there is another aspect of therapy which I find helpful, and that is in the support (helpful cheerleading) by my therapist.

I hope you find your peace, Sid. I really do. We have to battle for it most of the time.

Polar B.

10:05 PM, April 19, 2007  

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