Another Day of Therapy

I wasn’t scheduled to see my therapist until September, but she had a last-minute cancellation so I was able to get in. I was in a fairly decent mood going into it and I feel like that makes me less anxious about it.

I tend to quit things that are hard or that I don’t see progress from. I’ve been to therapy before – in 2017 and 2018. But I didn’t stick with either of those for longer than a few sessions. I’m an introverted introvert – I hate talking to people, I don’t like leaving my house, and I really hate to be judged. However, I think I’ve found a therapist that I feel comfortable with, and I actually want to go to each session. I get disappointed when I have to wait a month for my next appointment. I take that as a good sign.

This is only my fourth session with her, and I don’t know how much progress I’ve made, if any. But I know that I need to stick with it and see where it goes from here. I’m taking 18 credits this fall so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to talk about!

Photography Club

Today’s session was spent recapping the last two weeks, and informing her that I joined some local groups. The first one is a photography club. I am not confident in my photography skills (though I hear great things from people). I would like to be more confident, get some critiques on my work, and work on my skills as a photographer. There are monthly photo themes where we can submit our work for critique at the next meeting, and also several events throughout the community that I could help photograph.

One upside to this club is that it forces me to get out into the community, attend events, and photograph things I wouldn’t otherwise photograph (I mostly take photos of my kids and Cat). Of course, being an introvert, that is also a huge downside, because I would rather stay in my house than go out. But I’ve already paid my yearly dues and my first meeting is in two weeks!

Writer’s Group

The other group I joined just last night is a local writer’s group. I haven’t been able to write fiction since I took a creative writing college course in the Fall of 2017. I got some really harsh feedback from the instructor and since then, I can’t sit down and write like I used to. I loved writing, and wrote only for myself. To hear the things that were said about me and my writing just shook me and I can’t seem to get over that.

My therapist is hopeful that this local writing group can help me through that, give me some inspiration to actually write, and also get me out of the house (I prefer writing on the couch while binge-watching Supernatural for the hundredth time). The first meeting I am (hopefully) able to attend is next weekend. The only issue I may have is finding childcare since the meeting is three hours long. I don’t have family nearby to help out anymore, so I’m not sure what I’ll do. I know I can’t bring them along – that’s too long for three kids to sit nicely!

Unless there is another cancellation, this will be my last therapy session until the middle of September. I really am a little sad about that. Tomorrow, however, is another acupuncture session, so we’ll see how that goes.

Therapy Session 1

I went back to therapy recently, and in the first session, I told her that I want to stop using my phone as a coping mechanism for anxiety. We didn’t work out what I would do instead – that will come later – but I’ve been doing some research on my own since then.

I reach for my phone often. Like, all the time. I carry it with me in my pocket or in my bra (yes, I know that’s bad) when I don’t have pockets. A few weeks ago, I left my phone in the car while Hannah and I went into Walmart before school. It was an accident but I felt panicky and sweaty and nervous. I didn’t like not having my phone. I told Hannah my excuse – I needed to know what time it was so I could get her to school on time – but really, it felt like I was losing my mind.

I feel like maybe I am getting a little better sometimes, like when I’m at the park with the kids (it’s too sunny out to see the screen anyway) or watching a movie with my Significant Other (aka B). But I find that I am thinking about my phone during those times. It’s not like I’m getting a ton of messages or there’s so much to do on there. I don’t even have the Facebook app or Instagram app anymore. It’s just such a habit now that I need to have my phone, even if there’s nothing to do. It’s the first thing I reach for when I open my eyes at night, no matter what time. And I get annoyed with myself when my eyes are too blurry to see the screen.

There are some positives. It’s the only camera I have right now to take photos of my kids. I read a lot on my phone – I have hundreds of free and purchased Kindle books. I also keep track of my assignments on my phone.

My homework from that first session was to write down the times of day when I’m feeling anxious and restless, and try to figure out why – to just stop and feel the feelings. She said it won’t feel good, and it will be hard, but it’s a good first step.