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On Hiring A New Therapist

2 Sep

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Change has always been a hard thing for me. When one season comes to an end, and another sweeps in to take its place, I usually need a good few weeks to adjust and settle in. Take this weekend, for example. I loved celebrating the end of August with our anniversary date night and the two days spent soaking up the end of summer at the pool with friends. But until we ease into our new school routine I’ll be fidgety and uncomfortable with the newness of it all.

Speaking of change, I had to break up with my therapist of five years because she stopped accepting my insurance and there was no way I’d be able to pay the regular office visit amount out of pocket. I’m sad about not seeing her again, and feel terrible about not having the chance to say goodbye at our last visit. But I guess that’s just the way life goes sometimes.

Tomorrow I’ll meet a new therapist who I’ll share details of my life with. It feels like the first day of school when everything is new and I’m excited and nervous at the same time for all the learning I know I’ll do while I’m there. I’m sure I won’t be able to cover my entire mental health history in our first visit. But in the event we do continue on after tomorrow, I have a few expectations for our sessions.

I hope she helps me figure my complicated self out.

I hope she challenges me to see things from a different perspective.

I hope she teaches me how to be more forgiving of myself.

I hope she realizes that just because for the past three years I’ve been a “high-functioning” bipolar 1 patient, doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with my symptoms on a regular basis.

I hope that we’ll hit it off and have a long-lasting patient-therapist relationship.

I know this is a tall order and I have high expectations for how this will work out. The truth is, we may not have chemistry and I may have to try several therapists before I find one who meets my needs. I’m prepared to do that if I need to. I’m prepared to work through change.

I believe I didn’t invest enough effort with my last therapist. I didn’t go to the appointments with something in mind to work on. It was more like going to monthly appointments where I sat and blabbed about myself and what I had been doing since I had last seen her. It didn’t do me much good. I didn’t grow the way I believe therapy should help a person grow.

This time I want things to be different. I’m ready to work this time.

The sun is setting on one season and will rise with the next. Bring it on. I’m ready.

Life and the sweetest moments in photos

10 Oct

My husband and I just got back from a five-day trip to sunny California to see one of my childhood friends get married. My mom and dad agreed to stay with the kids so we could have a nice, relaxing trip. A chance to recharge our batteries, so to speak.

It was so incredible. Being able to do what we wanted and not have to worry about the kids was so nice. It took me back to our first five years of marriage. Plus, we got to hang out with my best friends at the same time as a bonus. The weather was amazing – bright sunshine and perfectly warm days followed by crisp evenings with a slight nip in the air.

I thought about the kids, don’t get me wrong. My parents texted pictures of the kids so we wouldn’t miss them too much. But the moment I saw my mom’s number pop up on my phone as we were sitting out by the pool having cocktails before dinner the second night, I knew something was wrong. They had to bring her in to Urgent Care because when my mom was lifting her out of the bathtub, the little princess felt she needed to exert her authority by sitting down as my mom was pulling her up by her hands. My immediate thought was that her shoulder popped out of the socket. But the doctor determined it was her elbow and after reviewing the x-rays, the little lady turned out to be just fine.

Her mom on the other hand, was a little shook up. But I knew she was in good hands with her Grandma and Poppy. After finding out everything was fine and her arm was doing much better the next day, I was able to relax for the remainder of the trip and enjoy the time with my friends and hubby. We did sightseeing in Los Angeles (saw Rodeo Drive!), went out to eat at some trendy restaurants, and witnessed our friends tie the knot on a gorgeous ranch property overlooking Malibu beach. Dinner and dancing followed and we took tons of photos, so as to capture the perfection of the day in frames that we could cherish forever.

On the flight home I started to feel melancholy. I love the times I have with my friends, but I get so choked up when I sit down and think about how little time I actually get to spend with them each year. We all have families and careers and other responsibilities that seem to fill up our calendars so that when we do all eventually get together, we usually start planning our next get-together. One of my friends coined it our own special “bucket list” of things we want to do together. On the list so far is a camping trip, a sailing trip, and the wedding of the last of the six of us to get married.

Then I get home late Sunday night and the next morning I start feeling anxious and teary. I couldn’t put my finger on it as to why, other than I had read an excerpt from a book of a woman who had lost her husband in the 9/11 attacks and it made me so scared and sad. I’ve always been afraid of death, afraid of whether I’ve done enough in my life before I die. It didn’t help that my mom joked that she doesn’t think she’ll be around for her granddaughter’s wedding (she’d be in her 80’s).

I’m even more scared of losing someone I love, than I am of actually dying myself. The only people who I’ve lost who I was close to were my dad’s two college friends and I didn’t have day-to-day contact with them, just lots of memories from growing up. I worry about what will happen to me when my Grandma passes, or if I ever lost a close friend. I don’t know if I could handle the hurt.

For now I am thankful to have an appointment with my therapist tonight. I’m going to discuss this all with her to see what she thinks. I’m sure she’ll have some ideas for me on how to cope. In the meantime, I’m looking back over all the pictures we took this past weekend and am smiling at the memories with friends whom I love dearly.

Secret Mommy-hood Confession Saturday

21 Apr

I’m pretty sure my sucky methods of potty training are going to force my son into therapy.

Back when we decided he was “ready” to be potty-trained, we took the week during Thanksgiving vacation to stay home, put him in underpants and take him to the potty on 30-minute increments after coaxing him to drink lots of water and eat more fruits and veggies. I thought for sure it was going to be months and months of cleaning up poppy underpants and washing tons of urine-soaked pants. I was pleasantly surprised. There were stickers and celebrations every time he pooped on the potty. I even pulled out a wrapped gift leftover from Christmas the first time he dropped a deuce in his little boy potty.

In one week he went from ten accidents a day to going consistently on the potty day after day.

I rejoiced! I felt free! We could go on outings during the day and I only had to worry about changing one diaper instead of two!

{I may have bragged a teeny bit on Facebook.}

Wow. How things can change in a few months. He did so well from December to the beginning of April. Today? He refuses to poo on the potty. And I can tell when he’s holding it in – he gets this “deer in the headlights” look on his face and I just know. His belly gets so distended after not having taken a dump for five days that we end up having to give him Miralax or a glycerin suppository to help him get it out. I push water daily and he is good at eating fruits and vegetables, even though he’s become a bit of a picky eater lately.

I tell him to go use the potty when I notice him holding it in. He refuses. I carry him kicking and screaming to the potty. I demand he does his business on the potty and to not come out until he does. I yell. It makes me so sad after I do, but I can’t take it back.

{Loud crying screams go on for 10 minutes behind the closed bathroom door.}

I have reverted back to Pull-ups because I am so sick of cleaning poopy underpants. I am so sick of potty training drama, I can’t stand it.

So yeah, that’s my Secret Mommy-hood Confession for today. Sorry for so many mentions of poop.

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