Back In Therapy Again and Grateful For It

Working on my Cat Calendar quilt

I finally found a therapist.  I gave up on the idea of finding one after getting some help two years ago.  The therapist I was seeing was very helpful but she left abruptly and I didn’t feel comfortable with the woman who took her place.

I’ve been looking, on and off since then. As in many places, most therapists in our area weren’t taking new patients.  So a few months ago, when my anxiety was getting bad again,  I went to my primary care doctor and discussed getting anti-anxiety medication.

She was very helpful. We talked for over forty-five minutes and I came to see that what I was really looking for was someone to tell me that I wasn’t a bad person because of the decisions I was making in regard to my relationship with my birth family.  In our discussion, it became clear to me that I had to look inside of myself, not to someone else, to feel good about the decisions I was making.

My doctor didn’t think I needed medication and I agreed with her.  I didn’t really want to take medication if I didn’t absolutely have to.

It was after that conversation that I started meditating a half-hour a day.  In that half-hour, I find that I am, for the most part, able to get grounded and come back to myself and feel less anxious.

I wanted to write about this when it happened, and I tried, but I  think I was too close to it.  I couldn’t figure out how to do it.

Two weeks ago, when Jon’s therapist told him she knew a therapist, that she highly recommended, who had an opening, I called her immediately.  I was doing okay by myself, but I knew there would be a time when I wished I had a professional to talk to.

Today I had my second session.

The first was two weeks ago and after I left it felt worse than I had in a long time.

Telling my story, going back to my childhood, and reliving certain memories threw me off.  I had dredged up lots of old feelings, the ones I usually try to avoid.  It took me back to a bad time and I got lost in it.  When I got home I had returned emotionally to an old place.  One where I had a hard time feeling good about myself, where I lost confidence and decision-making became difficult.

I found I couldn’t go back to work in my studio after that first visit. My work is so much about being confident enough to make one decision after decision.

So today, when I had my second appointment with my therapist,  I planned my day knowing that I probably wouldn’t be working in my studio after it was over. But I had the morning to do some work on my Cat Calendar quilt and I knew I could probably spend the afternoon fixing the fence in the back pasture.

This therapy session was not as emotional as the first.  We talked about how at certain times, my emotions are at odds with my reasoning.  My therapist said that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help.

I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I know it has to do with being able to change my thinking.

We had a Zoom session which went well (the first one was in person) and when it was over, I felt hopeful and am looking forward to getting started with this new therapy.

I’m grateful and feel fortunate, and lucky, to have found a therapist who I feel so comfortable with.

I’ll write about it when I can and when I can articulate what I’m experiencing and have something meaningful to say.

One thing I didn’t know and might be helpful to anyone reading this who is looking for a therapist is that if you’ve seen a therapist before, even if it was many years ago, most of them will view you as their patient.  So even if they say on their answering machine that they’re not taking new patients, you might not be considered a new patient, but one of their regular patients.

7 thoughts on “Back In Therapy Again and Grateful For It

  1. Well…. I don’t know who you think you are, but I can tell you who I think you are: An incredibly strong yet gentle and sensitive woman whose spirit shines through her art and her reverence for the world around her, and her generosity and courage that enables, maybe even compels, her to share all of that with all of us. And I give thanks for you every day as I pull up your posts and lose myself for just a moment or two in your world, a world you’ve created for yourself through your open arms and full heart.

  2. It takes courage,strength and self-love to be this open and vulnerable,Maria.
    That is a truth.
    I honor you for coming to us and sharing.

  3. Last year, after constant urging from my PCP, I agreed to see a therapist because I felt a change in medication might be helpful. I had to wait a long time for the visit and as you describe, afterwards I felt worse, having had to dredge all the old stuff up again.
    My medication was adjusted and I think it helped but I couldn’t figure out what to make of the new therapist. Then, a week before my second appointment, the poor man died. Four months later I finally got re-assigned but the man I saw made me feel like dirt on his shoe. I admit to being super-sensitive but I am also not stupid. There was no way I was ever going to see that man again! In a few weeks I will be starting with a new (female) PCP too.
    One things is for sure, you have to be comfortable with a person you are expected to trust in that way!
    I’m glad you found a new person you can work with. Your quilt is going to be terrific!

    1. I’m really glad you found a new PCP Carolyn. Your experience is awful and I’m sorry you had to go through that. Wishing you all the best, I hope it works out this time.

    1. Thanks Diana. Just so you know, I do moderate the comments so they don’t show up till I do that. I did see one other comment from you that you wrote you were testing it. I don’t know if you tried to write another.

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