Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A Walk On The Dark Side

Tuesday is psychotherapy day for me at the moment. I always wake with a feeling of trepidation (although most Monday nights just recently I haven't managed much sleep) and an awareness that I am going to be tested. Because I have this thing about always being on time for any appointment, I always arrive early, sometimes very early, and today was one of those days. This morning the bus arrived within a couple of minutes of me getting to the bus stop and it seemed that there were not many people who wanted to get on or off the bus because the journey seemed to fly by.

Arriving early this morning meant that I was able to go to the Outpatients Department to make an appointment to see my consultant psychiatrist (I should have seen him last Thursday but as I was an inpatient and seeing the ward consultant, the appointment was cancelled). Unfortunately I won't be able to see him for a couple of weeks as he is off for two weeks, but I can live with that. After having completed this task, I bought myself a cup of tea and went out into the garden to pass the time before my psychotherapy appointment. I had almost an hour to wait, but it was quite pleasant sitting in the sun and I had my Nintendo DSi in my handbag so I could do a few puzzles to pass the time. And time passed much quicker than I expected because when I looked at my watch I found that I only had a couple of minutes to make it up to the 4th floor. There are two lifts, a large one and a small one and only the small one goes to the 4th floor. Usually I have to wait ages for this lift, but today as luck would have it, it was at the ground floor and the doors opened as soon as I pressed the button. I made it to the 4th floor with about a minute to spare instead of being about 10 minutes early as I am normally.

The work that we are doing in this psychotherapy is related to me directing anger at myself rather than at others. I have, for as long as I can remember, tried to bottle up my anger and avoid lashing out at others either verbally or physically. This has meant that I have ended up hurting myself emotionally and mentally. In these sessions I am encouraged to feel anger towards my therapist and not keep it bottled up. Today it happened in a way that it hasn't before and it was an overwhelming feeling.

For the first time, I found myself physically shaking with anger and only finding release from it by shouting at my therapist and taking it out on the arm of the chair. I was a little shocked by how much pain I felt within my body through the tensed up muscles and the difficulty with breathing. It seems strange to be undertaking therapy where the aim is for me to get angry and express it in a way that means that I am not containing it; it is more usual for people to undergo therapy to help in management of anger to contain that anger so that it does not hurt other people.

During the last part of the session, my therapist asked me how I felt after our sessions. I said that I usually feel very drained, often very emotional, and that it is not unusual for me to need a nap in the afternoon to cope with the feelings. Today, perhaps somewhat strangely, I have not needed a nap. I have actually felt quite calm and relaxed, far more so than I have for a long time. It seems that having pushed me to feel anger in a way that I probably haven't since I was a small child, my therapist has started me on the path to letting my feelings out. It's not easy being angry with someone who is a nice person, but I am finding it easier to express my anger as the weeks progress.

After my therapy session I walked to the shops, had some lunch, bought the knitting needles and polyester filling that I need for the teddy and the doll that I am working on, and some extra wool that I needed for the doll's clothes. I still have to buy some bits and pieces to decorate the doll's clothes, but that means a trip to a shopping centre with a shop with a good craft department; perhaps a job for tomorrow. Having managed to get the very fine needles that I required for the doll, I can now start work on her when I have finished the piece of her clothing that I am working on at the moment. Like teddy, she will be photographed in all her finery once she is completed.

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