Jan. 13th, 2017

dorchadas: (Dreams are older)
I'm not sure I've written about it at all here, but I went to therapy for a year, starting last January and ending yesterday, spurred on by the stomach pain I suddenly developed a year and a half ago. I'd thought over the last couple months about why I was still going and didn't have a good answer, so I talked about it with my therapist last night and ended our sessions for now.

I always felt a bit guilty going. Like, am I really in enough distress for this? Is there someone else who could use this time more? I don't know the answer to that. I do know that I found it helpful.

It was mostly a re-calibration of my expectations. I went in with the goal of "stopping my stomach from hurting," and that didn't happen. But I suppose that was like going in with a goal of no longer being anxious, and that's not realistic either. Something I thought of as I walked away that I didn't get a chance to say is that anxiety is like fear. Courage isn't the absence of fear, that's either stupidity or foolhardiness. Courage is acting even though one is afraid. Successfully dealing with anxiety is the same way, and talking about it is what made me realize that. I'm never not going to worry before a social event or consider cancelling half-a-dozen times or assume it's going to be terrible, but as long as I go anyway, then I have succeeded in some way.

And I'm pretty good at that, overall. Other than back when I was a university student, this is probably the most full my schedule has ever been, socially. I keep going to Japanese tutoring even if I'd rather a meteor fall on me when I'm walking to class, and I can see my Japanese improving. I'm in a better place than I was a year ago.

And a lot of my other worries...well, there's nothing my therapist or I can do about the possibility of global thermonuclear war.  photo ashamed2.gif

She mentioned that I should email her to set up another session if I felt that I needed to talk in the future. Hopefully I won't, but it's good to have the option available.

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