I’m nervous about Therapy this evening. It’s because I haven’t seen her for a couple of weeks, then after tonight I’m not going to see her for another couple of weeks because of Easter. So part of me is like, what’s the point? Also, so much has happened in the last couple of weeks that I have no idea where to start and I know that I won’t have time to cover everything I want to cover so, again, what’s the point?
She cancelled last week, I got an answerphone message from the clinic receptionist four hours before my appointment. I have been through several different reactions to this in the seven days, back and forth and round and round. Part of my nerves is because I’m slightly worried about how I’m going to react when I walk in, sit down, hand over the cash and she says the inevitable.
“I’m so sorry for cancelling last week.”
I can imagine her saying it. And I have imagined myself giving various responses, which are all loosely based around two extremes.
“Don’t worry about it,” I’ll say meekly, with a smile. I’ll then look away and hastily change the subject.
This is all fine and well except that I hate meek me. At least, I hate her later. Later, I will attack myself for being such a wimp and a pushover. Although, of course there’s a chance that my therapist has worked this out by now and that if I give this response she will push me to express how I really feel about the situation. Again, this is all well and good except that since I find it near impossible to decide or express how I ‘really feel’ about anything, I suspect that she will just push me to the alternative extreme.
The alternative extreme could go one of a few ways. I may shift and shuffle in my seat uncomfortably desperately trying to change the subject until the fifty minutes is up, I may cry or laugh and struggle to stop, I may refuse to talk about it or look at her. Or I might have an outburst.
“Isn’t one of the first rules of therapy ‘do not cancel at the last minute’? How come you asked me to pay for the session I cancelled but you can go ahead and cancel whenever you want and not have any consequences? How can I trust you when you’re just going to cancel on me? Is this all a test to see how I would react? What game are you playing here?!?!”
I’ll continue along this rambly line, getting more and more irrational and sweaty, shaky and emotional until I wear myself out. By then I’ll have a funny taste in my mouth and my head will be spinning. I’ll probably be unresponsive and withdrawn for the rest of the session.
I don’t want to have an outburst because if I do then I will be embarrassed and ashamed and I won’t want to talk to her anymore, I won’t want to look at her anymore, I won’t want to be there anymore… And again, I’ll hate myself later. I’ll feel guilty for attacking her, I’ll imagine all the possible terrible things that could have happened to make her cancel the last session, and I’ll feel like an idiot for wasting the session.
Basically, what ever happens tonight I feel like I’m going to feel bad about it afterwards. So, what’s the point?
The point is that I’ll also feel bad if I don’t go. But what about if I just stop going forever, then will I feel bad? Maybe I need a more experienced therapist anyway, maybe this low-cost thing is a waste of time. Of course, in reality I can’t afford to spend any more than I already am.
So the actual point is that whatever I do or don’t do, my brain will find some way to make me feel bad about it. Because right now my brain is not on my side. Depression is driving and my mind is just a sleepy passenger doing whatever it says. I wish I had the strength to take the wheel, to take control but…
I guess I’ll just go to therapy and see what happens.
Some available support (UK):
- Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at email@example.com.
- Mind (0300 123 3393 – 9am-6pm Monday to Friday) firstname.lastname@example.orgMind provides confidential mental health information services. With support and understanding, Mind enables people to make informed choices. The Infoline gives information on types of mental distress, where to get help, drug treatments, alternative therapies and advocacy. Mind has around 140 local Minds providing local mental health services.
- Blurt Increasing awareness and understanding of depression. They offer advice and also have a peer support network, a ‘buddy box’ scheme, a free self-care starter kit and an active Facebook group.
- Anxiety UK (08444 775 774 – 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday) works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy