and what even is a “good” reason to go to therapy????
content warning: mention of excoriation disorder (aka dermatillomania/chronic skin picking)
I was honestly in a terrible mood yesterday and I really needed to pick it back up before the evening (had a friend event to go to) so I just decided to lean into it and vent to get the awful, thorny feelings out - so, um…incoming bugbear. I’m sharing this mainly in case anyone else has the same misgivings and worries, so maybe they’ll feel a little less alone in it.
Tired and frustrated and annoyed with myself - I started the day flustered, but overall alright…but the weather is dreary and gross here. It’s making me feel so, so much worse.
Add in the fact that I have my appointment with my new therapist today after work and I'm feeling pretty nervous and sick to my stomach, which is ridiculous because I've literally gone to therapy before - multiple times, in fact! I thought about trying to get back in touch with my last therapist, but she's licensed in another state, so no dice. Maybe it's for the best. I think I'd feel
totally mortified a little embarrassed to crawl back to her after two years with many of the same problems I last saw her for cropping up again.
I always really hate the first getting-to-know you appointment, though; having to lay out all of the things I shy away from in my own mind in front of someone I don't even really know. Kind of backwards of me to say, when I'm on here pouring my heart out about my anxieties to anyone who stumbles upon them, but there's something about another person looking at me when I say things aloud that makes it so much worse. All of the words get caught in my throat.
Not that it matters. Really - I'm making it sound so complicated when it's not. What it comes down to is that I'm afraid of living. I am abjectly terrified of life - all of it! I'm a butterfly under glass, pinned beneath the weight of my fears.
But that's a bit too big of a starting point for first day of meeting, so I'll try to narrow down some of my more immediate fears.
Generally, I try to make a list before I go in, so that I don't end up six tangents away from what I meant to talk about. But right now, everything I write feels so fucking trivial, it just makes this off-brand version of shame well up inside of me. Why am I wasting someone's time and appointment slots because of my should-be-surmountable fears?
Like, "Oh, hi, thanks so much for taking an hour to talk to me! Let me tell you about how I'm so afraid of emotional vulnerability that I refuse to go on dates or even make new friends; or how I'm terrible at drawing boundaries and so I'm constantly stuck between pouring out too much of myself or withdrawing to try to recharge which must be really confusing to my friends, I must seem pretty hot & cold, and I'm pretty sure I'm a terrible friend; or how I'm so afraid of the way I'm perceived by friends, family, and also total strangers that I feel Fleabag levels of Watched all the time even though I know that no one is actually paying attention to me; or - oh yeah - how I have no idea what I want in life and I don't have a five year plan - I don't even have a six month plan! - and when I try to think ahead, I'm overcome with dread, so the months just roll over me and I lay there and play dead!!!! What do you think, doc? Worth your time?”
Yeah. Maybe I won’t lead with that, but I’m sure they’ve got bigger things to worry about than me making mountains out of molehills.
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My little angst-driven, over-the-top back-to-therapy playlist for today:
• Shameful Company | Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Have I recently developed a propensity to push people away? Am I okay with that?
• Hello World | The Front Bottoms
And it used to go question and then answer, but we were younger and it was easy. And now it goes question and then question, question - answers don't come so easy.
• Hard Times | Paramore
Walking around with my little rain cloud hanging over my head and it ain't coming down.
• Chronically Cautious - Country Version | Josiah & the Bonnevilles
Overloaded serial stressor, I'm sitting nauseous. Panic on a loop in my head, I'm chronically cautious.
• Nothing | Catie Turner
Complain about having no friends, but be the first one to cancel plans. I don't think I asked for your advice. (No, wait actually I did.) But doing the easy thing's too hard, I need it chaotic.
• California | Chappel Roan
Thought I'd be cool in California. I'd make you proud. To think I almost had it going, but I let you down.
• Hypochondriac | Fenne Lilly
We're all sick of waiting for a moment to stop and sleep it off.
I’m embarrassed even posting this, but the whole point of starting a blog was to work on talking through things with myself (& be more open, emotionally).
And, like, what reason is the right one to go to therapy? What answer does my brain even want? My primary care doctor told me last year that the reason I feel like I’m constantly on the verge of getting sick (without it ever happening) is because I’m so anxious all of the time that my body’s just in red-alert and setting off false alarms in response - hence the recurrent hives and the on-and-off sore throat feeling. And I can’t even wear short sleeve shirts because the more anxious I am, the worse my picking gets. So, no cute sleeveless dress for me tonight at my friend’s birthday party, despite it being humid as fuck here.
These have to be good enough reasons, right? Why am I agonizing over this?
I guess if I’m anxious enough about just about going to therapy that I’ve written up a whole post dedicated to my fears surrounding it, that’s probably a pretty good indicator I should go.
Please wish me luck. 🍀
Good luck out there,
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P.S. - Therapy actually went really well - though I did cry way faster than thought I would.