I can’t force myself

Why does therapy have to be so hard? Why can’t it just be easy to talk about all the stuff that needs talking about? We’d all be a lot healthier that way. But then I suppose we wouldn’t need therapy in the first place…

I’m so tired this evening. I’m tired of trying and I’m tired of always feeling like I’m pushing a boulder up a mountain. Therapy didn’t feel particularly tough while I was there today, but now I’m home I feel totally deflated.

Maybe that’s because I started the week in good spirits – relieved at the return of normality and routine. Now it has dawned on me that nothing has changed. I didn’t like my day-to-day before Christmas, so why I was looking forward to it resuming I just don’t know. Perhaps it’s just because the crappy everyday thing is so much better than the REALLY crappy Christmas thing. It’s always greener on the other side.

During the holidays I spent some time thinking about where I’m at with therapy now. I’ve been working with J for two years, and I wanted to make a note of what I think has changed and where the obstacles still are. Toward the end of last year I was experiencing a lot of stuckness in our sessions, and also feeling very resistant to the process.

Just before Christmas, J asked me why I keep coming to therapy. I couldn’t think of an answer and that bothered me. I am conflicted; on the one hand I don’t want to keep feeling like I do, but on the other, I don’t want to change. I hate how I am and I want something different to be possible – I just can’t believe in it. And I sabotage it.

I am fully aware that when things seem to be improving, I consciously derail myself. I hate it when people recognise that I’ve achieved something. When my wife tells me she thinks I’m doing better, I feel angry. I noticed the same thing when J said yesterday that I am ‘more stable’ at the moment. I hear those comments like they’re insults.

I know all this, yet I continue to do the same things. I know there’s a big part of me that wants to suffer. While that’s there, I can’t help but feel like therapy is futile. I can’t force compassion for myself. I can’t make myself care about my future. I’m not even willing to try. And if I won’t commit to having a future and being healthy, what is the point in spending hours talking about horrible, painful stuff and spending a fortune in the process?

Although I’m aware of all of this, I can see that there must be a tiny part of me that has some hope. It might be small, but it matters when I hope that I might find myself less perplexing, or that one of those important, but infrequent sessions might come along that makes me feel better for talking. And sometimes when I feel connected with J, even when I’m in the blackest of moods, that seems like a reason enough to keep at it.

 

Photo: Alexandra E Rust, Creative Commons.

 

 

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. laugraeva says:

    I’ve just had my first therapy session today (for anxiety) and I too have just got home and felt mentally/physically deflated, so you’re not alone in that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Yep it’s really hard work. Sometimes I think it’s a bit like doing sports – I always feel like if I’m totally shattered I’ve done a good job. Hope you manage to get some R&R. And also that you found something useful in it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. laugraeva says:

        Somewhat! First session so mostly just me telling the story of what happened that triggered everything in the first place… But I’m willing to go back and see what my therapist has to offer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Laura Black says:

        Good luck with it. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah therapy sessions can be so exhausting. Every time I come home from one I feel as if I was just running in a marathon. I get pretty worked up, anxious, and stressful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Yes it can really wipe you out. Hope you manage to do something restful afterwards to let yourself recover.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. HarmonixChiq says:

    You are brave, don’t give up! You are not alone, thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Thank you for the encouragement 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. dbest1ishere says:

    I would agree that you must have a small amount of hope even it it is hidden at times or you would stop going. I understand that, as I feel the same way. I cant see myself getting better and I hate it when people compliment me on ways that I am. I get defensive as if they don’t understand because well they don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      While I’m sad you feel that too, it’s also good to hear that I’m not alone in feeling that way. I think for me it’s all linked to a deep sense of self-loathing that is going to take a lot of effort to shift. That makes it really hard to receive praise or compliments.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. myambivalentexistence says:

    Wow, I had my first session back in three weeks and I feel like I could have written this. *hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Wow that’s a long break. I know how hard it is to manage feeling disconnected and then all the emotional stuff that comes us when we allow ourselves to connect again. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster. Sending hugs back.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know if you can relate at all, but part of why I don’t like hearing those sort of comments about “you’re doing better” is that it feels like there is an unspoken bit that comes after … “so you don’t need my help any more”. It feels like they’re threatening to take something away when I haven’t agreed to it and I’m not ready.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura Black says:

      Yes I can definitely relate to that.

      Like

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