Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sweet Relief and a Small Ascent

I finally experienced a brief ascent out the depths of depression that have been overwhelming me recently--it came on Thursday for no obvious reason or strike of positive forces. I could perhaps attribute it to having seen the new counselor on Weds. night (I'm calling him PhD2, to distinguish him from the PHD I saw last year for those of you who may have been around for that, and because I don't know how to make the male symbol easily on the computer and because I find it slightly comical, at least today, to think I am accumulating psychologists like some people accumulate spouses.), and I likely had a shift in my hormone cycle, but I have no clear proof of that.

I Like PhD2
I am thinking I like PhD2. He is a soft spoken man and seemingly very kind hearted. He keeps telling me how great it is of me to be willing to talk to him and to have sought him out and he reinforces it when I tell him something "deep" by restating again how great that was and strong that was of me to share it with him.

PhD2 Likes Me
And on Weds. as I left he thanked me as I left and told me he was really enjoying getting to know me. I kind of scoffed and made a face and said thanks. It's not that I don't think of myself as likable. Like my father, I am charming and like to think of myself as a charmer. It's just that I don't think of myself as being particularly likable with PhD2, unless you like someone who cries a lot and uses a lot of tissues to blow her nose.

My Crying Profile
He tells me it's fine to use our sessions to cry. The therapist I had in Boston BBT used to say the same thing. I have to admit, I'm a crier. Not a watch-a-sweet-commercial-on-TV crier or see-someone-I-love-do-something-that-makes-me-proud crier, like my lovely stepdaughter. And not a cry-at-my-own-creative-works-in-pride crier like my stepdaughter and her father (my Hubby). I'm more of a of bawling-sniffling-self-pitying-floundering in indecision and woe crier. I'm a frustration crier. I'm most likely to cry in everyday life if I'm frustrated.

Do you remember how Holly Hunter's character in Broadcast News took a break at least once a day to unplug her phone and sit at her crowded desk in the middle of a busy newsroom and just boo hoo? She'd cry hard and solidly for a few minutes, wave at people who walked by and spoke to her, keep crying, then blow her nose, sigh, hang up the phone, and get back to work. Since I saw that many years ago, I've always thought what a great relief that would bring. Like a hard refreshing southern rain. More reviving than a siesta.

What kind of crier are you?

Our Session Profiles So Far
I've told PhD2 that talking about my feelings isn't a challenge for me. .. it's doing something about those feelings that is the challenge. But so far, he seems to have this approach, which seems quite effective: He lets me do a kind of spew. Then, he says, Let's pause here. And he recaps briefly and takes few moments to talk and focus on the key parts. This helps keep us focused and with a more actionable chunk.

The First Bonding Moment
The funny thing is that on my way to my first appointment with him, I got lost. This is not too surprising given my mapping challenges. After driving back and forth a few times, I pulled over on a side street and called him. You may know that PhDs never answer their phones. They all have some kind of voice mail. . . sessions going on and all. So I didn't expect him to answer. I just thought, he would probably be looking for me and so he might check his messages. So I left a message and decided to just sit tight for a few minutes to give him a chance to call me back before I started driving around more and looking on the other side of the road.

I only had to sit a few minutes before my phone rang. PhD2 hadn't listened to my messages, he just saw my name and number and called me back. He asked me where I was and said, "You're close. How about I just stay on the phone with you and guide you in?" He waited as I made a U-turn. . .his voice leading me to him. . . until he saw my car through his window. As soon as he said those words, I thought you are the PhD for me; it was kind of like Renee Zellweger's character in Jerry Maguire saying, "You had me at hello."


  1. Glad you've connected with PhD2. Since so much of this game's mental, having therapist you trust is a great resource.

    If it makes you feel any better, I cried at the end of Marley & Me.

  2. I'm so pleased to see you've had a small ascent. Keep up the goog work. I'm praying for you daily from this side of the world. (((Hugs)))

  3. I feel like I just saw you naked (in a metaphorical sense). What a raw and honest blog entry. Damn. You've given me a lot to think about in terms of my own past therapy and therapists. I want your PHD2, too.

  4. It's amazing and wonderful how depression just seems to lift, when you least expect it to... especially when things seem to be changing for the better for you!

  5. This new PhD2 sounds great. How good that you've found someone you like.

    I'm a crier too - mostly when it's emotional overload or in response to someone being mean or thoughtless. I have finally decided that I am giving "them" WAY too much power over me when I cry over the way they've behaved towards me.


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