Self help coming out my ears…

The first time I saw a therapist was in college. She was a nice lady and I felt so bad for her because all I did was sob through each session, I couldn’t manage to say anything. She suggested Prozac, in fact she might have been qualified enough to prescribe it, it’s been a long time since I saw her. But my Mom worked at the drug store and the pharmacist terrified her with the side effects. It was another decade before I took that medication.

Years later my marriage was rapidly dissolving. My ex haughtily informed me that I was being too hasty and he wanted to try counselling. Except he didn’t want to look and he’d only go if it was free. So I asked my doctor about that and about counselling for myself only to be told that both were expensive and free would be years… probably close to a decade. I left feeling defeated about the counselling for me and relieved I could guilt-free yeet my husband out of the apartment. No way was I putting up with ten more years of his bullshit!

It was again another decade before I found out about free therapy in my neighbourhood and I called immediately. I went on my own then I went jointly with my daughter and then Colin went on his own. Sadly there was a cap on the number of sessions we could take but it was definitely a help. Since then I’ve had another short term therapist who was really kind and friendly. Unfortunately he wanted me to carry a clipboard with me everywhere I went and fill out an 8.5×11 inch chart during every anxiety and panic attack. Because there’s nothing I want to do more when I feel like I’m going to die than fill out a chart! Needless to say my clipboard stays at home. Then I got a therapist, a friendly elderly man who immediately became severely ill and is on indefinite sick leave.

This would have ordinarily left me at loose ends but, thanks to covid (and I’m floored to say that), I’m doing fine. Because of covid there are zoom classes available from every organization and I signed up to every single one I could find. Which means that I joined four 1 1/2 hour long self-help classes this fall. This is on top of the three zoom exercises classes a week I’m already taking. And all the self-help classes had reading and homework.

It definitely wasn’t easy. My memory is awful so I’d forget which instructor said what plus three of the four classes were very similar, two of them even had “self compassion” in the name. I have noticed a difference in how I treat myself though. I treat myself kinder, forgive myself easier. I try to grant myself patience, especially during those times when I’m in a whirlwind of panic, positive I’ve screwed up everything… even though absolutely. nothing. is. going. on.

Would I ever do it again? I’d say no, it was too busy except… I saw the information for the winter groups and quite a few of them sound interesting. I’m going to have to take a closer look and make a few calls on Monday.

so many groups

Thirty days of self love…

A friend of mine is trying a self-help technique and invited me to join her. It’s called “thirty days of self love”. Basically, each day you pick an activity you enjoy and do it for you, mindful of your enjoyment and the task at hand. Each of us is doing this a bit differently. She loves making lists and is listing her individual tasks while I’m more visual and am photographing and scrapbooking mine. I’m only on day three (I think she’s one day ahead of me) and today was buying a scrapbooking kit I love. Once I bought the kit, I opened it and browsed through each and every picture, savouring the colours and textures. Then I used it to scrapbook my 30 days layout. Yesterday was watching Doctor Who. I love David Tennant’s character, he’s so smart and witty. I paid lots of attention to the interplay between characters, including Cassandra’s fast character development, and the imagination behind the set development. My first day, which started late, was simply a bowl of individual sized vegan cookie dough. It was very yummy (I used agave nectar and vegetable oil instead of the maple syrup and coconut oil).

I have a vague idea of what I’ll do tomorrow but that could change at a moment’s notice, meanwhile my friend already has her ideas listed out and ready. If you’re interested in joining us, please feel free to leave a comment describing how you’re planning on expressing your experience. And, above all, enjoy!

30 days of self love

My scrapbooking layout. I’ll post again when the layout is finished!