The last 48 hours have been the most intense, unsettling and surreal I’ve had in quite a while. I’ve gone from feeling confident and excited about the future to the extreme polar opposite. Not only did that future seem completely out of reach, it also seemed ridiculous to even have contemplated it in the first place. You see, over the last week or so, an idea that’s been at the back of my mind for years took root pretty firmly – I want to train to be a therapist. But, there are some significant factors in my way right now, not least of them being money, or more appropriately, lack thereof. Psychotherapy training is prohibitively expensive.
As the excitement of actually making the decision wore off, reality set in. This isn’t going to be something I can do straight away. I might need to wait till next year, or even longer. For most people this would be ok – a long term plan, something to work towards. But me? Nope. It went from being a realistic, exciting, attainable albeit challenging goal, to something that could never happen in a million years.
I didn’t stop there though. Alongside training going out the window, I also decided that everything I’ve been doing the last while – blog, photograpy, patreon, setting up my shop – they were all as ludicrous and pointless as the concept of me being a therapist. So what did I do? Something I haven’t done in quite some time. I deleted everything. Blog. Shop. Facebook. Twitter. Gone. I knew as I was doing it I was being ridiculously impulsive, but I had to do it. I was punishing myself for having such grandiose notions, for thinking I could ever possibly amount to anything.
This morning the wheels fell off entirely. I came home from dropping the kids and cried and cried and cried, something else that hasn’t happened for quite some time. I decided it must be something to do with reducing meds, because nothing else could justify the intensity of what I was feeling. I wasn’t scheduled to speak to speak with Therapist 3.0 today, but as luck would have it, he had a cancellation.
Here’s where things turned around just as dramatically as they had done a couple of days ago. You see, any time this has happened before, I’ve believed it meant I was getting depressed again, and in more recent years, any time I’ve gotten as overwhelmed as I did today, I’ve turned to emergency meds to calm me down. All well and good in the short term, but long term? Had I done that today, the literal flood of emotion that came out of me this morning would have stayed inside. Once we worked through my reaction to realising training may have to wait, a whole world of other stuff that I didn’t even know was bothering me appeared. I questioned everything. Everything 3.0 has been telling me, the whole concept of mental health issues as a result of trapped emotion rather than illness, the logic of what I’ve been doing, the fear of pissing people off with my changing perspective…….and that was just the tip of the iceberg.
I am shattered this evening. I have a headache that I know only sleep will fix. But I also know that what happened today was actually a good thing. That emotion needed to come out. I needed to face up to the limitations of my grand plan, and reassess how or when I’m going to make it happen. I also needed to think on why I have such an urgent need for things to happen NOW. I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of that one, but I was able to acknowledge that throwing plans out the window entirely because they weren’t an instant success may not be the smartest move.
Interestingly, it was this impulsivity and intensity of emotion that were two of the biggest of my bpd flags. Over the years with Therapist 1.0, I would have had similar periods of overwhelming emotion between sessions, but not be able to talk to her, not be able to work them out, and by the time I got to see her again, they were well buried, and stayed buried. I didn’t know I was doing this, it wasn’t conscious. But today brought it home to me in such a big way. Had 3.0 not had that cancellation, we wouldn’t have spoken, and chances are I wouldn’t have told him about the half of it. I would eventually have come out of it and restarted some of my various online bits, but I wouldn’t have felt the emotion that went with it. I would have stayed stuck believing that my plans would amount to nothing, and worse, that I deserved for them to amount to nothing. I would likely have ended up on the road to depression again.
Now, I have a much more balanced perspective. I’m still scared of pissing people off, I’m still scared of going out on a limb with my shop and patreon, but I’m going to do it anyway. I also still want to be a therapist some day, and I will find a way to make it happen. I just need to learn to temper the urgency of it a little.
I think I just condensed an entire depressive episode into 48 hours. Hardcore, scary, extremely intense, but do you know what? Totally worth it. The perspective it’s given me on the power of my thoughts and faulty beliefs on my mood and general outlook is huge, and invaluable. And now that I know how it works? When and if it ever happens again, I’ll know what’s going on. I’ll also know that I can handle it, that it will pass, and that I’m not going backwards. As long as I keep listening to what my brain is trying to tell me, I’ll never go backwards again.