"You can't get over this unless you really want to." Do I not want to? I need to want to, and I'm a self-sabotaging ball of nonsense. Have therapist and group therapy, intake appointment for medication on two days, feeling like I'm maybe just making it all up. Or I'm using my intelligence to pull one over on either my therapist, or myself.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Anxious, or maybe depressed? Or just a bad coper? And a crier. And a magnifier of my problems, like maybe if I can get a better diagnosis and meds it will mean that I am a real fuckup instead of a fake fuckup and then people will really believe that I'm huirting and not making it up. And I'm not hurting as bad as so many people. and I go to my job and I have friends and I'm FINE five or six days in a week, and then that last day, something sets me off and I lose the whole day to crying, or anxious thoughts, or most probably zoning out on the internet all day because I just can't face whatever it is I need to do. And most days I'm on the internet at least half of the hours I'm there, because I can't get my head into or around the endless work I have to do, and even especially the work of figuring out what work I need to be actually doing. (Think dissertation in a science department with absolutely free reign to do whatever science I want, and relatively hands off mentorship, AND an expectation that students from this department will change the field and populate the best research university faculties around the country.) I have a lot of smarts in the toolbox (I guess I can say that since this is anonymous), which means I don't know if the 'fine' that my therapist sees is me being pretty good for your average bear but not performing at my potential, or if I'm overanalyzing myself into unneded therapy and medications.
The diagnosis my therapist has for me (she told me for an insurance document a few sessions ago) is something lame and very minor, which it literally says on the wikipedia page for the diagnosis is a nice thing to have so you can have *something* to put down for clients who don't have another diagnosis. But I worry that maybe I'm fooling her, because I'm smart enough that my anxious self is still going to graduate school and doing experiments and *functioning* and I haven't yet destroyed my relationship with my partner. And then again I think maybe I'm magnifying my problem for some twisted reason, everyone says there's nothing really wrong with me and I'm a good person, but I just feel like I'm creating this deeper and deeper pit for myself that I don't know how to get out of.
I've been in therapy (group therapist for 2 years, therapy for a bit more than 1) and I just don't know. I've seen a few different therapists and like the one I see now, but I think I'm not doing it right. She keeps saying, when I talk about how I interpreted a situation, that we will work on helping me see things differently. And I can rattle off the story about how the parents I grew up with and their issues have shaped me, and why being anxious and sad and self blaming was safer than anger, why that was adaptive for the kid I was. I feel sick of that kind of discussion, honestly. And intellectually I know the CBT reframings, I know how to turn all those messages around and what I should think instead...and I just don't. Or can't. Or don't want to. Or crying and being the fucked up one is to much fun (ha) or something. I read in Metafilter threads to imagine that I was saying these things to a child, to help me be kinder to myself. Or to think about how I don't care how awesome my friends are at every aspect of their lives, just that they are good people. I feel like I hear/read those things, and just feel....tired. Like they just won't work - or I can look at those thoughts from a distance, but they just don't penetrate or change anything.
Today I cried in my advisors office, over a series of failed experiments and a continuing conversation about the fact that my work is "good...but not worthy of you. Not as exciting as it should be." She says I'm one of the smartest students to come through my program, and it just feels like smart is not enough, smart is maybe actively bad because I don't have the intuitive talent to just know how to pick the right problems and find the new theory and dazzle everyone. I really really don't say that to brag, in fact I find it terrifying and it makes me guilty that I haven't done better than I have. And now I feel like I've gone down irreparably in her eyes by crying in front of her. I have two years until I am supposed to graduate and I feel like I'm staring down this road of three uninspired postdoc appointments and then nothing, and then my boyfriend supporting me while I struggle with dead end jobs.
Last week my therapist said something along the lines of how it only works if I want it to. Which makes me feel like I'm choosing to be a mess. Except I'm not really a mess, AskMe is just catching me on my 'bad day', but there have been slightly more bad days these past two months, but that only puts me up to maybe 2 days a week bad, 5 fine, instead of maybe 3 days a month where I feel like this. Do normal people feel like this at this rate and I just suck at managing it? And good days are often days where only 4 out of 9 hours are on the internet avoiding work. And usually more internet at home, instead of hobbies I wish I pursued or keeping up the house.
When I cry, I'm stuck in a weepy place for the rest of the day. I don't know if its physiological, or if I have some weird either phobia of crying which keeps me terrified and upset, or attraction to crying and being upset because it's better than...some alternative. I have a terrible time calming down when I get upset, and I RESIST any and all advice on how to calm down. Everything in threads like these (http://ask.metafilter.com/72267/Big-girls-dont-cry) feels like too much work, and doomed to not work, and anyway I could stop if I wanted to and if those things are all it takes to feel better then I'm clearly just being a drama queen. And I feel very guilty about not...wanting to, not being able to do my CBT (? I think it's CBT? This week I have to wait a few seconds rummaging to get out my wallet at cashiers, to practice getting in people's way just a little bit), and not being able to put things in perspective and feel calmer. It's clear that being upset is filling some kind of psychological need (like it's just easier than doing science, or thinking about my actual problems, or feeling angry of something), and that makes me feel like an unfixable sicko. Except saying that makes me feel (again!) like I'm just overstating my problems a huge amount. I don't know if I"m pulling one over on my therapist or on myself or what.
And the bad day two weeks ago was bad enough to finally request medication, and I have an intake appointment, at which I predict I will both cry like a ridiculous unprofessional mess, and also be a waste of their time, and I'm still worrying whether I'm running away from my problems.
tl:dr I don't know if I'm trying to talk myself into or out of medication for my possibly very minor anxiety issues, and I feel alternately bored with, resistant to, and totally hopeless about whatever steps I'm supposed to take to feel better, and that fact makes me feel like some kind of drama-seeking vulture.