I went to see a therapist this week.
I'm not entirely sure why, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I started taking anti-depressants a couple months ago when it felt like I'd been sick forever and there was no end in sight. (Gee, sounds kinda the same as now!) They definitely helped with my feeling blue and being irritable and weepy.
But I felt like I needed someone to talk to, and I hate to burden my friends with endless "poor-me" sagas about my health. They're all busy, most of them are moms and some of those moms recently had second babies. And while they're all very supportive and sympathetic, they just don't have time to come over and hold my hand every day or even every week.
So I think I just wanted to pay someone to be my friend and listen while I talked about how hard all of this is and how scary I find the latest developments.
I wasn't looking for someone to "fix" me. But that's what this woman wanted to do, with all kinds of "alternative" healthcare solutions. I know these things work for some people, but I think you have to believe in them for them to help. And I am way too cynical to believe that the reason my elbows hurt is because I need to change directions in my life. Huh? What about people with Rheumatoid Arthritis? Is the miracle cure to all joint pain really in a bunch of affirmations?
She asked me about my coping strategies, and I mentioned this blog as one of them. I think I've written about my life ever since I got a diary for my ninth birthday. (Still have it, but have no memory of who gave it to me.) This therapist couldn't understand why I'd want to write about my thoughts and feelings in a public forum rather than a private journal.
While there are definitely things that I'm not going to put out there where a future employer (or my mother!!) might read them, it does help me to feel like I'm communicating to the world at large even if only a handful of friends and family are reading me. Or even no one at all. It's simply healing to me emotionally to let it (almost) all hang out, in a place where others could read it and perhaps identify with me, to know that I'm not alone in this experience.
And that, I think, is the worst part of being sick like this, the feelings of isolation and being all alone. Don't get me wrong, I know there are many people out there dealing with similar or even much worse illnesses. But when you don't have a diagnosis, you can't even join a support group, online or IRL.
Anyway, I think I found a new therapist to try, and this time I made sure we talked on the telephone for a little while before I made the appointment so I could be sure we had an understanding about what I was looking for and what she could offer. We'll see how it goes.
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