Monday, April 11, 2005

Who knew therapy assignments could be so fun?

One thing I have done in the times I am doing well is I push myself to do all sorts of things, to make up for lost productivity during my depressed periods. This is a pattern for me, and each and every time I get depressed again. I get overwhelmed, can't do it all, and then feel like a loser for letting people down and not being "competant" enough to accomplish things that I feel someone with my intelligance should have accomplished.

Dr. T had heard of this's called "Psychothymia" (but Im sure its spelled differently.) I am not sure if the word applies to the behavior of taking on alot to make up for lost time, or if the word applies to the result. Either way it is a pattern for me. I do the same thing each time: I expect huge things of myself and not surprisingly become depressed when I can't learn to perform brain surgery overnight. This pattern isn't working for me, so I am prepared to try something different.

I am very concerned about falling into another depression. I am nearly certian it will happen again, but I need to do SOMETHING to keep myself out of a severe one. I am VERY concerned that if I fall into a deep depression I will become suicidal again. I am willing to do the work that it takes now, because when you are depressed, the same amount of work takes 10X the effort.

So Dr. T helped me to prioritize the most pressing things that need to be done. They are tailor my uniform, do my taxes, and research my graduation tour. She helped me see that I have a few weeks with the tour, a few days with the taxes, so priority 1 is the tailor. The funny but not so funny thing about me is in my head I can turn the activity of going to the tailor into a huge production. I visualize a long walk in which I will have to pass panhandlers, letcherous men who wont leave me alone and snotty rich girls who laugh at my clothes. Basically I imagine that every bad thing that has ever happened to me will happen to me when I go to the tailors. Dr. T pointed out it should be as small as stopping at a gas station to fill the tank. I agree, and appreciated the permission to not think so much.

Here is the assignment: Go to the tailors, you're done. As you go you are to think about something else (the beautiful German?) so you don't get all worked up on how huge a trip to the tailors is. Afterwards reward yourself, your done, rent a movie, get a cup of coffee. Don't think about what you have to do the next day, just relax and be proud. I knew from experience that when I am proud of accomplishing things I often am motivated to do more. That is fine, but problem is I will do so much that the next morning I feel overwhelmed, thinking the next day will have to be like that, and don't get out of bed. I agreed with Dr. T that for the sake of seeing what the results are, that it would be a better idea to just stick with the one thing.

So I did it. Wow it felt so great! I not only got the feeling of pride for accomplishing my task but the feeling of having nothing more to do for the day was wonderful! I did have to go to class, but I tried to go into that with the same mindset. I also purchased myself an extravagant reward. I don't plan to do this everytime, but I bought it as a reward for this task as well as rewarding myself for the courage of going to a therapist, knowing I would have to think about painful things, and the courage to try new ways of doing things, even though they frighten me. Here is my awesome reward to myself:

It is so wonderful, even more so than I imagined. Someday I will figure out how to put sound on here so you can hear the soundtrack that shares the neurons with the thoughts I put on this page. Until then here are the lyrics to the song that has me bellydancing in my livingroom (thanks to Deek Deekster and OG for the lyrics idea):

Lyrics to #7 "Get Confused" (words are by David Byrne wow!)

Do I like to have confusion?
Yes I do
Am I, am I in any danger?
Yes I am
Do I like what‘s happening?
Yes I do
And can I deal with it directly?
Yes I can

I take the trouble, I take the time
I get the feeling that I‘m doing what‘s right
I may be reckless, maybe a fool
But I get excited when I get confused

Will I have to start all over?
Yes I will
Had I the right to make those statements?
Yes I had
Shall I meet with opposition?
Did I justify my actions?
Have I forgotten what the question was?
Yes I have

Have I forgotten what the question was?
When I, when I, when I get confused.

mood: excited ;)


SpiderSolitaire said...

That is so great it worked so well for you! That is awesome! Just keep doing that... I'm so glad that Dr. T figured out how to make an impact on you so quickly. That is amazing for both of you. I am so happy she is helping you. And I am glad you are enjoying your reward so much. It was well deserved.

OG said...

*dances for joy with u*
its great to see how good ure doing!
beautiful german sounds like hes got potential, no?