Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Letting Rip

I rarely sleep well on Monday nights because I am usually getting anxious about psychotherapy on a Tuesday morning. Last night was different; I still didn't get much sleep but it was my own fault because I just kept knitting rather than going to bed as I should have done. When the alarm went this morning I didn't want to get out of bed, but I did.

I was feeling very depressed, but I had been expecting that and was prepared for it. No matter how hard you try to not think about significant anniversaries they always creep into your brain insidiously and you just have to learn to cope with it. Today would have been my husband's birthday; he would have been 61. But even though I was feeling low, I wasn't feeling anxious. This was a first for me and I thought that I had the anxiety thing cracked. I was wrong; oh boy, was I wrong.

I got up to the 4th floor, pushed the buzzer, was admitted into the psychological services department, took off my coat and sat down on one of the chairs in the waiting area. And within seconds the anxiety started to build up. By the time my psychologist called me to his room I was suffering gut-wrenching spasms caused by the anxiety.

As I have mentioned before, the aim of this therapy is to stop me turning my anger in on myself; I need to express my anger, when it occurs, so that I no longer suppress it and cause it to fester inside me. As the weeks of therapy have progressed, I have had to learn to stop doing what I have done for most of my life. It isn't easy. Not only because I am having to unlearn the strategies that I have developed to prevent my anger spilling out onto other people, but also because my psychologist is such a nice person.

Today things went better than they have ever done before. It was not long before I was feeling angry; unfortunately I was more angry at myself for getting angry, than I was with my psychologist. Okay, it wasn't exactly what we were after, but it was a start. But things got better and it wasn't long before I was shouting at my therapist, and at one point I was ready to leap out of my chair, cross the office and hit him.

At this point, J decided that things had gone far enough for today, and we finished the session by talking about how I felt, what had been going through my mind as these actions occurred and why it was so important for me to stop the self-destructive practice of internalizing my anger. I told him that I felt really drained, and he replied that this was good because it showed that I had been engaging in the therapy properly and it was finally starting to show results.

I came back home and I could so easily have gone to bed to sleep. But I didn't, I want to sleep tonight, and I had an appointment with my GP this evening so I needed to make sure that I didn't miss that. Tonight I am going to have an early night, and hope that I can sleep the night through. However, saying I will have an early night is easy, actually making sure that it happens is a different thing completely.

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