The Therapy Game

Before I get into my actual post – I would like to apologize for my last post.  I took a brief look at it and cringed at my publicized stream of conciseness.  I thought about taking it down, but decided that my shame would stay my shame forever. (Unless I spoke like a pirate at any point…. that is just clear impressive) Also – my features photo today is of the Bar Mitzvah boy (if we recall from my alcohol induced previous post I was heading to Nashville for a Bar Mitzvah, and his Toronto cousins, which I was luckily enough to be included with)

As I had previously mentioned – my mother asked if she could go a therapy session with me and I agreed. The woman pushed me out of her lady parts – least I could do is say “sure come to therapy with me” and it started of okay.  First my mom asked my therapist questions about my medications (My mother things I’m over medicated….I used to take more medications for my migraines) and then she surprised me because she asked if there was private group therapy group I could join/pay for.  Living in Ontario our healthcare is covered by the government, which is why I have been on a waiting list since January for a CBT group and February for a DBT group, but to go for private group therapy would cost my mom about $200 a session, and there are 28 sessions, which is over $5000 dollars. My mind was blown.

My therapist made some suggestions of some private groups, explained that they would be pricy and I just sat there partly in awe over the fact that normally for everything my family waits for the free version (I had migraines for years, didn’t go to the states for an MRI or a doctor, waited 13 months in Ontario) and my parents were offering to shell out that much money – and then the rest of my thoughts…. what if it doesn’t work? what if this is another thing I fail at.

My therapist asked me if there was anything I would like to share or talk about with my mom there, and I explained how I felt that I was constantly letting her and my dad down. they paid for my higher education…for three different degrees, and I can’t even get a job at a grocery store right now.  My mom put money in both our names that was mostly because the banks only insure up to a certain amount but because I had access to it, I spent 88% of it (I’ll give you a hint… it was about $100,000.00) she has since taken away my access to the money.  But I spent part of it on things we needed, to pay for the taxes, mortgage, bills, but the rest I spent on I don’t even know, clothes, shoes, books, crafts, perfume… I have 3 gucci perfumes…  which is crazy.. because I don’t wear perfume… it causes migraines.  When I brought all this up my mom just scoffed and rolled her eyes, which bothered me a lot, and I started to cry.

My therapist asked why I was so upset and I told her its because I told her that I was telling my mom my feelings and my mom was making them invalid, or as if it isn’t right for me to have those feelings.  Of course my mother told me that she is proud of me, and I’m not a failure and even if when I was in high school, she knew that I wouldn’t have a job later in life, she would still pay for my education because while I saw it as a waste of money, my parents see education as an investment, and never a waist.  Even though I just finished getting my third certificate, my mother offered to pay for me to go back to school if there was something else I wanted to do.

My mom spent a lot of the session saying that they were very worried about me (her, my dad, my boyfriends mom) and they just wanted me to get back to normal… which upset me again, because when I was younger I was bright and vivacious and bubbly and happy all the time, I spoke to random people who happened to sit next to me, and I was so optimistic. Now I cry all the time, I get angry (like child stomping their feet angry) for no reason, getting out of bed is one of the hardest thing I do every day, and I hate being around people.  So what if I never get back to what their idea of “normal” is?

I named this blog “Journey back to Normal” but I think in my one therapy session that my mom was at, I learned that I might have to re-define normal, because my normal, or what used to be my normal, clearly isn’t the same as it used to be.

Of course after therapy when I asked my mom what she thought she had amazing things to say about my therapist, and learned that she has to be very careful about what she says around me… not exactly what I wanted to hear, but at least she caught onto something my therapist was saying.

 

My actual post ends here… I’m just going to do a brain dump rant under this picture of me and my new potential boyfriendjoeyarvy

  1. This is me and Arvi, My boyfriends cousins dog whom I love greatly and tried to dognap back to Canada, unfortunately my idea of saying he was my emotional support animal failed, because he’s a little crazy, and I think emotional support dogs are normally calm.
  2.  Boy rant.  Yesterday I woke up very early, went to the hospital for my botox appointment, had a very emotional driven conversation with my mother then came home.  On my way home Mitchell called and we talked not about any of my appointments or his day, but about the fact that he had laundry to do. I said if he put it on the bed, I would do it for him because he was going out. By the time I got home, he had put the stuff in the was and I just needed to partially dry some things, and hang them, and then fully dry the rest. Instead because I had basically spent the day crying, I took a nap. I set an alarm to wake me up in 45 min so I could finish his laundry. It was 7pm.  At 10pm he comes into the spare room where I fell asleep (Mitch doesn’t like the smell of some of the essential oils I find most calming) yelling because his things were still in the dryer and he was going to have nothing to wear and it was all my fault and that I was unreliable. He kept on yelling and saying hurtful things to me and then was like “well aren’t you coming to our room?”
  3. So I went to our room, incredibly hurt because he was using words he knew would hurt me the most, and I got ready for bed.  I helped him finish his laundry, we watched TV and went to bed like nothing happened.  but I still feel the hurt. So today I’m cleaning and grocery shopping and I finally found potted lilies.  Lilies are my favourite flower.  So I bought them, using our joint account card, when he asks I’ll tell him its because he felt so bad for hurting my feelings last night, he bought me my favourite flower.  I’m even making his favourite dinner.  Not because I feel like I have something to apologize for or anything, just because 98% of the time, my first thoughts are of him, and the other 2% of the time, I guess I’m sleeping when I shouldn’t be.

Anyways – that ends that portion of the rant.  If you read all the way though… Gold star.  Normally I would talk it over with my therapist, and I probably will, I just have to wait until next week.  I hope you all had better days yesterday than I did… now I’ll go put away his laundry.

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Airport Errors

I have a few things to say. The first being i may need to pre apologize for parts of this post as my father-in-law got my partner and I access to the club lounge of the airport which had serve yourself everything.

I’m not sure if the picture worked but it should be wine and cookies. Which was my Shabbat dinner. So tonight’s post is going to be a little bit about traveling with illnesses and probably a lot more about what happens when I drink.

Now I have a bone to pick with some of you my loyal readers. I see you. I know who you are ( not really because that wicked be creepy) but in the last week I have made 2 posts asking for advice (1) where I asked how to like other bloggers blogs and (2) the best way to respond to my moth r attending therapy with me next week. I received the usual follows and likes, which are always nice, but what I really wanted was actual advice. And that’s my bone.

The last week has been a pretty difficult week for me anxiety and depression wise. I can’t remember if I previously mentioned that I was in a car accident and insurance wrote of my scraps (the name of my 2006 corolla) but the amount allowed me to purchase Merv, my 2007 Honda Civic. Both similar cars but because I learned how to drive in Scraps, switching to Merv Isis a little difficult. (FYI, Merv is an old lady. Because that’s what she smells like)

Anyways while going through the process of finding Merv I found myself spending more time with other people. And learning their thoughts about me. For example, I quote my therapist too much. I also tend to talk for no purpose other than to talk. (I’m sure you my lovely readers have noticed. And have had no choice but to read because you all love me too much to stop).

So all this news /”advice” happened just before going on a trip with my partner to Nashville to his cousins Bar Mitzvah. So now I’m sending days worrying about how to act around his family (whom I’ve known the last 11 years). To top that off his mother calls mom because she is worried about me and and would like to talk… because that’s not going to pit me into a tailspin of anxiety and self doubt.

So we reach D Day…. or Nashville day. I get up in the morning, take my pills and go about my routine and realize that half my toiletries can’t come because we are flying from Toronto and we can’t bring more than 100ml of liquid per container…. strike one to make me anxious about this trip. I Figure out that problem (travel lived toiletries) and then decide to get gas for Merv. Except the band has decided to randomly freeze all my accounts. I get that sorted out but… strike two and I’m now crazy anxious. Then we get to the airport to find that out 8:55pm has been delayed until 11pm….. but no problem because my awesome father in law got us into the club lounge where I decided to forgo my clonazapam for 2 glasses of wine. (Not the greatest idea) but it made a beautiful picture I sent to my family as a “good Shabbat” picture. about 30 min after this picture I had downed another glass of or two of wine only to find out that the club closes at 9 and from 9-11 we have to wait with the common folk (AKA with the hard chairs instead iffy the soft recliners). So here I sit waiting for my flight to be called. Trying my best to pretend to be sober wherein I have clearly passed that poking and panicking that out flight will be cancelled and we will miss the bar Mitzvah. So here are my airport errors

1. Do not drink all the free booze.

2. Do not eat all the free cookies

3 if you see someone selling water – buy it because I’ve been dying for water

4. Arrive early, but not super early

4. Bring your oils. My doTERRA peppermint and lavender and ginger have been the only thing to keep me from vomiting

5. When he choice is booze or pills-take your meds

Anyways maybe more later. Happy long weekend to those who have one.

I need advice…

I know I said that my next post would be about playing music with my mom – but that didn’t happen, instead I went car shopping with my dad (we picked up a nice 2007 Honda Civic)

Anyways I need help.  As I mentioned in  a previous post my mother asked if she could come to therapy with me.  We have a good relationship most of the time, but I can find her to be very judgy negative, even in my worst moments.  I called my therapist and left a voicemail in hopes that she would say no, instead she said “sure, no problem”

So now, next week my mother will be attending a short 30min session with my therapist and I.  Here is where your help comes in… Anyone had a parent attend a therapy session with them as an adult?  I have no idea what to expect,

  • is it a regular appointment and she just listenings
  • is it an appointment where my therapist asks my mom questions
  • will my mom ask my therapist questions
  • will they ask me questions?

WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?  my plan right now is to run away before the session and return after.  So here is where your help comes in.

None of you ever comment –>today you are going to comment, shoot me an email (I think I put my contact info in the “about me” page, if not its journeyback2normal@gmail.com hopefully this ends up on twitter, so send me a DM on twitter, or tweet at me…. because I’m spiralling, and its a long time until Tuesday.

Also – in case you are interested, that featured pictures is from 4 years ago.  I think the last time we took a picture together.   but yeah, comment, tweet, post, email, DM, with what i should be doing about my mom coming to my therapist appointment.

To ER or not to ER….Part 2

First – I have a bone to pick with all of you.  In my last post I mentioned that I can’t figure out how to follow anyone, and did anyone help me? NO! a few people liked my post, my random friend that found my post said I was dumb… BUT NO ONE WILL HELP ME!  And some of you write really amazing posts!! But I don’t get to see all of them, because I can’t follow them!!

Anyways – to the topic at hand – When do we go to the Emergency Room?  In my last (well last last post) I talked about how if I thought my pain would get worse, I would go to the hospital.  I should preface that (well postface?) I am not a doctor and have zero education on this topic.  So if you cut off a finger – you should probably still go to the hospital.  If you get into a car accident you should 100% go to the hospital because even if you feel fine at the time, you might not later.

At the same time – mental health – When do you go to the hospital? As I have mentioned in previous posts I have been suffering with Mental Health issues for the last 4-5 years  and up until last year I would have never thought to go to the Emergency Room. I had a very bad reaction to one of my medication (Wellbutrin) where I was constantly dizzy and couldn’t do anything without falling down. I was like a bad drunk.  It scared me so much that 30 year old Joanna called her parents to take her to the hospital.   I didn’t think it was a mental health problem, just a regular health problem, but the incessant crying and yelling a doctors made everyone think otherwise.  I received some terrible advice from the doctors there which I ignored and left a message for my therapist to call me back.  Since then aside from working through my own issues (rather terribly, thank you) I’ve been doing okay, until a situation at work set me back.  My diagnoses are Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder.  (Its like a disorder party in my brain)

<back story> I had finally gotten a job, and for the most part I loved it, except they didn’t train their staff, they just excepted us to know what was going on.  I accepted a position as an entry level legal assistant, but was expected to do the work of a Senior Law Clerk.  One day my boss asked me to write a letter, she gave me no precedent, no example, and no training, and just told me to do it.  So I did the best I could knowing I’d never read this type of letter before, let alone been trained.  She ripped it to shreds (not actually) just basically re – wrote in so many different colours and so much of it was crossed out – which is fine, except her office was full of people and there were people in the office where she told me that my work was unacceptable.  And was there a reason my work was so poor.   was I supposed to tell her “sorry you didn’t train me”?  Either way, my problem was the word unacceptable.  I have failed classes, come home underage drunk, gotten in all kinds of trouble and NEVER had the work unacceptable associated with me.  I left her office, went to the bathroom, cried until the end of the week, went home and didn’t leave my bed for well over a week.  I just cried.

Here is a random picture of my in-laws dogs.  We are going away shortly and I guess she has anxiety about being left alone with my brother in law…. so she is trying to come…pepper in a bag

My parents who I have mentioned before are wonderful and found out that CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) in Downtown Toronto has an emergency department.  I was convinced it wasn’t the place for me, a ER at a facility like that is for someone who is going to hurt themselves, or others… not someone who is just sad. But it turns out I was mistaken. The Emergency Department at CAMH was wonderful with not just me, but my mother who came with me, they helped me not figure out my issues, but how best to deal with them in the mean time while I was waiting to see my own psychiatrist (which they made 2 days later, instead of 2 months). Since then I’ve been to the Emergency Department there once again.  Not because I’m going to hurt myself or others, but because I have zero control of my own emotions.

So I guess the answer to the question of when to go to the emergency room or when to stay home (at least in Ontario, Canada) is if you are in pain and hurting, and a regular walk in clinic won’t help. Go. I would have never thought of going to a hospital because I was said… That being said I cannot say enough good things about CAMH and the workers there who made my experience as comfortable as possible in an institutional like setting that reminds me of what prison would look like.

Today will hopefully be another day – as a mother’s day gift I’m spending mothers day with my mom while she plays piano and I play oboe (which I haven’t played in about a year) and possibly car shopping with my dad, as I was in a car accident last week. (I’m fine can’t say the same for the car)

car

Up next:

  1. what it was like playing oboe again after a year
  2. A before situation with therapy with my mom (she asked to come to my next appointment.  I’m crazy and agreed
  3. An after situation, we will see if i’m my mom and I are still talking.

Happy Wednesday!!!

To ER, or not to ER

To Emergency Room… or to Not Emergency room

This is a question that has been plaguing me more and more lately.  When migraine was my main source of discomfort, the Emergency Room was a double edged sword. You would walk in, go through the bright lights, beeping, loud noises, and after several hours of waiting, finally get some medication that may or may not help.

When I had to make that decision regarding my migraines my thinking was “would I rather feel the way I do, or would if I continue feeling this way I will die”  If the answer was “I can handle the excruciating pain if I don’t move and use my migraine toolkit and sit in the dark with lavender Essential Oil going” I would stay home (I should add there would be lots of medication, Celebrex, triptans, gravel, Benadryl, Tylenol, and basically everything else I was told not to take but didn’t care – because it world work) I would still be in pain, my loving partner would keep that area of the house cool and quiet and while I would be lying down in our “sick room” (He’s not a fan of the smell of lavender) when it got close to bed time, he would quietly ask me if i wanted to stay where i was, or come sleep in our room, and get me an ice pack.

Now, if the answer was “if I continue feeling this way I would die” That would be a hospital visit.  Oddly, the days of hospital visits I would appear healthier and look better than the other days (but as we know, looks can be deceiving) I would cab to the hospital (Ive JUST gotten over my fear of Uber) wait in the waiting room, essential be told that I was a druggie and wouldn’t be given any opioids (Thanks doc, I asked for an anti nausient a steroid and an anti-inflammatory) and eventually be given some version of these medications while waiting in a room full of bright lights, loud beeping and basically hell on earth.

What made up my decision for me?  I went to the hospital when I thought it could get worse. When I would be in all that pain, and I would feel “this isn’t the last of it” that is when I would decide to go to the hospital.  I would stay home when I knew that it wouldn’t be getting (much) worse from that point on.

I can never remember what I’ve used as a “features image” before, because I don’t take many.  But here is my nephew “helping mommy” clean the kitchen.

Tomorrow will start two – when we get into the Mental health side of things (lots of fun there)

Happy Monday everyone.  I’m off to declutter as my community is having a garage sale in a few weeks and I bought a table for it because I have entirely way to much stuff that I don’t need.  and someone said that decluttering the house will declutter the mind.

Be well everyone.  Shoot me a comment/message/tweet or whatever other social media if you have questions/comments about my life.  (Unless you’re my mother.  I know all your comments)

What Now?

Last time I wrote, life was pretty sucky.  I couldn’t find or keep a job, I was convinced  I was the worst person in the world – you know, all things that 16 year olds think at one time or another.  Except I am 31.

My last post was all about getting a job, and low and behold I got one.  I was there for two months as a litigation assistant to a very large law firm.  Since teaching, it was actually the longest regular job I’ve had in years.  The world was made of roses and sunshine and my migraines were dissipating… And then came the crippling anxiety and depression.  I’m talking crying in the bathroom, crying at my desk, the whole nine yards.

You see I applied for a job as a legal assistant, fully disclosing that I had ZERO experience civil litigation (Suing because someone owed you money)  all my experience had been family law (divorce, custody, wills, etc) and personal injury,  Now I’m suing because people can’t pay their debts (and who can’t relate to that?)  My manager assured their would be training and that I would pick it up fast.  Her idea of training was to have another staff member run through something super fast, and then when I asked a question be told “I already went over this with you in training”  Now, I’m not trying to brag here, but this positions was basically min. wage and required a high-school education.  I Have two bachelors degrees and a college certificate and I am a quick learner, so I figured maybe it was the trainer.

I decided to go to my manager, all contrite “Hi Y****, I’m so sorry to bother you but if you have time could you go over this letter that i have to send to 45 clients saying that if we don’t get their money we will take their house” (Pretty important letter if you ask me) At first she was helpful and said “try your best and we will fix it up from there” so with no guidance, precedent or template I tried my best, and she ripped it to shreds.  Which is fine, thats how we learn – mistakes, My issue was that with her door open she continued to berate me and tell me my work was unacceptable which got me going.

I have never in my life been called unacceptable.  I’ve come home drunk, stoned, failed a class, got caught skipping a class, and I’ve gotten into trouble for it, but never “unacceptable”

I spent the rest of the day alternating between crying in my desk and crying in my cubical,  When I got home I got into bed and didn’t leave until Monday where my parents dragged me to CAMH (for those of you outside Ontario in the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) where they have an emergency department which is way better than your average hospitals psychiatric wing.  from there I was finally able to see my doctor and make a plan.

Of course plans change.

1, I lost my job.

2. I still have days where its hard to get out of bed

3 my parents still smother me

and then to top it all off I got into a major car accident.  Luckily me, and the other drier were both okay, i can’t sty the same for our cars, he drove at 2018 beemer, and I drive a 2006 corolla… Luckily, if insurance kicks in (I don’t think my car is reparable) not only with my insurance rates to up, but they will probably give me 75 cents to buy a new car.  I have 5 dollars in savings.

 

IMG_4750

I feel like this is my new nightmare come true.  Above is a picture of a dream come true,  its a bad picture from a highschool year book, starting from the left, is my friends adam and Karen.  Then me, then this girl Samantha.  Most people hated highschool.  I found the band nerds.  It was the time of my life

I’m fighting with everyone, or pretending to be okay, and in new habit when I get anxious, instead of self harm, I dig my nails very hard in my hand (see featured image)

Well if you have any questions for me, drop them in the comments section, otherwise I will start sprouting random facts (My older brother slept in my parents room until he was 12) or start answering some of these “journal questions”  I found on pinterest.  And go on my rant on how pinterest people seem to have everything perfect, when most days – I don’t put on pants. (and no that was NOT  a suggestion for a job.