Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things I'm Learning in Therapy

“You don’t drink enough water, do you?” she asked.

“Oh no, definitely not,” I replied.

“I can tell by your dry lips.  Also your teeth.”

“My teeth?”

“You have lines on your teeth.

“I have lines on my teeth?”

These are the things I’m learning in therapy.  

I’m in therapy because apparently I have issues that can actually be fixed just by… talking a lot.

I’m also learning to handle my anxiety and my depression, which apparently are polar opposites that exacerbate one another.  I’m not even kidding.  I don’t know how I even get up and walk around during the day, what with the anxiety and the depression.

On the way home from my session, I accidentally cut off a car which did not, I might add, have its headlights on even though it was snowing.  The driver beeped and made some inappropriate hand signals.  I moved lanes to let him pass.  He moved lanes, too.  I got off on Buffalo Road.  He did too.  I got into the right lane; so did he.  I decided to pull into a public place and run for help while dialing 911.  I’m not even kidding.  The anxiety had piqued and I was totally flipping out.  TOTALLY FLIPPING OUT.

I pulled into the Home Depot.  He pulled into the Home Depot.  I pulled into a parking space and waited.  I got out my phone.  An elderly man pulled in beside me.  He smiled at me, unaware that I was having a panic attack and was inwardly screaming for help.

The car that had been following pulled up to the front of the Home Depot, and a man of indeterminate age jumped out of the driver's seat.  He reached into his trunk, I was certain, to get a baseball bat or an AK-47. 

He didn’t.

He pulled out a large Home Depot bag and trotted into the store, probably to return some pipes or something. 


My nerves were shot.  I ripped out of the parking lot and drove straight to Tim Hortons, because one needs a donut when one’s anxiety is completely out of control.

I got home about fifteen minutes before the kids' bus and used the time to try out some breathing exercises (also learned in therapy), and then ate a white cream-filled donut.  I have to say, the white cream-filled donut worked better than the breathing exercises.  Caleb walked in the door with an incredulous look on his face.

“Walruses aren’t German, are they?” he asked.


“Are donkeys actually Japanese?”

“Why are you asking me this?”

“Connor said… oh never mind.”

A moment later, my therapist called with a reminder for me to do something, and asked how I was doing.

“I was stalked on the way home.  But then I wasn’t.  I imagined the whole thing,” I said.

She paused for several seconds.

“Do we need to schedule another session this week?”

Ay, it’s been a very weird day.


Elizabeth said...

Good for you ... therapy is hard work! I went on medication for anxiety just before Christmas ... I feel so much better for the first time in many years.
Im thinking of you :-)

Kim said...

I also find a good filled donut works way better than breathing exercises. A few years ago my doctor made a tape (okay, maybe it was more than just a few years ago) to help me relax. "Relax your neck. Feel all the tension releasing from your muscles." Blah, blah, blah. Her voice made me want to punch people, so I cracked open a bag of Oreos. That worked much better. Therapy snacks have no calories because they are for medical purposes. It's true... I might need more therapy.

Annie said...

Aw hang in there Holly! I would have totally convinced myself that the car/guy was following me too and would have been super freaked out. Glad you were able to calm down with a donut :)

The Other Side of Gray

Anonymous said...

I love you. That's all.

Eileen said...

I love you. That's all.

Eileen said...

My comment published twice, once under Anonymous. One of us is a stalker, I'm sure of it.

Holly said...

Kim- I've learned that therapists are very into relaxation tapes.

Eileen- you're plumping up my comments section very nicely :)