Monday, September 26, 2011

Little Breakthroughs...

Cognitive Behavioral Therapyis based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events.  The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change.

I walked out of therapy today feeling emotionally and physically lighter.  I look forward to therapy each week.  Mostly, though, because it's a place where I can vent without repercussions and Harriet is always on my side, even when she's calling me out on things.

Today was different.  Today I didn't list my myriad of woes and frustrations.  They were sprinkled in there, of course, but she really got me to focus on how we were going to reduce my stress.  My physical signs of stress have really gotten out of control and something needs to change.  Rather than listen to me, my therapist made me try to figure out what is actually causing the stress.

Control.  It all comes down to control. My day to day life is completely complex and busy.  I am working on all cylinders all day.  This I cannot change. Yes, I can get some more help.  But, I have to admit that my workload really isn't going to let up in the near future.

As I listed all my issues with control and stress and examples of how getting help sometimes makes things worse, she just kept on coming back to the same questions.  What's the worse thing that would happen if I didn't meet up to MY expectations about a given situation?  I couldn't come up with a good answer.  So S brings E to get a dress and they have a special bond.  What's the worse thing that could happen?  Nothing.  E still comes home to us.  So someone misses a practice or M gets a bad grade.  What's the worse thing that could happen?  Nothing.  We are still a family.  M is still our child that we love.

I don't think this realization is going to change things over night, but it's a start.  I need to learn to let things go a bit.  At the end of the day K and I have to be content with the decisions we're making for our family and be proud of what we're doing.

Some of you may be saying, "Duh! We've been telling you all along!"  But it's hard to let control go, when something happens in your life that you have no control over.

Today I really realized how hard therapy can be.  My hard times in her office in the past have been re-living aspects of the trauma.  Coming to acceptance that Jeanne and Mike aren't coming back.  I had a breakthrough today.  It was hard to get there, but the feeling on the other side was worth the work.  

1 comment:

  1. How wonderful! I'm so glad you are doing cognitive behavioral therapy! There's nothing like knowing why we do something and working on ways to change that behavior. But, oh boy howdy is it tough.

    I'm smiling knowing you had a breakthrough. Whether WE knew it or not doesn't matter. It's whether or not YOU knew it, and now you do. :o) Super!

    Therapy IS hard. It's very very hard, and you are starting to reap the rewards. Hooray for that. :o)