So, on Monday I saw my best bud from uni and took great joy in telling him; “Hey, here’s a sentence we’ve been waiting to hear me say for a while- ‘I’m going to therapy tomorrow!’”. And we had a good laugh and, yeah. Very little else was said about it. That’s the way it is though I suppose. That’s what my blog is for, airing out all the stuff that the real world aren’t really sure how to react to.
Yesterday, that something was therapy. Or counselling I suppose. Whatever name you wish to give going to your doctors surgery and chatting to a man you’ve never met for an hour about the things you don’t tell some of your best friends and family. That’s what I did yesterday. My councillors name is Ian, he is bald, he wears blue trousers which a) look like hospital scrubs and b) are about 4cm too short and c) were combined with an oversized grey cardigan. And not in a River Island, ironic granddad cardi type way. I like him.
So in I went. It took a while to get going. I admit I was hoping I would walk in and he would give me the answers I’ve been looking for. Some sort of 5 point plan on “How We Are Going To Fix Your Depression And Make You HAPPY!”. Or something. Of course, it didn’t go like that. For these sessions to work, he needs to know what I’m feeling, why, and what I would like to get out of the sessions. Basically, I want to feel like I have some kind of coping strategy so that when G and I are ready to try for a baby, I’ll be able to cope without anti-depressants. Because, you know… no-one wants a doped up foetus on happy pills. They’ll be trickier when they come out.
There were lots of pauses at the beginning of the hour. I considered telling him I liked his cardigan. But then I knew I would say I have one just like it. And then he might either be offended, or worse, come to some deep and meaningful psychological conclusion about me based on my enthusiasm for cardigans. So after a while, I talked about the other stuff. About this job opportunity (that I STILL haven’t blogged about because I suck) and how its amazing and exciting and perfect but at the same time Terrifying and stressful and I don’t think I’ll a) get the job or b) cope with it if I do. And how at the moment, I only work 2 or 3 days a week and I feel like a failure because I can’t even support my own child without a handout and even though I’m home all day with her there are still so many days where I can’t even manage to get us both dressed or organise proper meals instead of variations an breakfast.
And do you know what? He shocked me and my scepticism Because he actually gave me a few things to think about that made sense. It’s not that I don’t think counselling will work or anything, I just think, well, you can’t fix my circumstances and that’s what’s causing about 85% of my anxiety and the things that I am depressed about. But there you, go. Shows how much I know. Because he actually gave me a couple of analogies that I feel I can take away with me and use.
Ian said that no matter what, at all times, you must remember that you are ‘doing your best’. Bullshit. I say. Surely, if I was ‘doing my best’ we wouldn’t both be in our pyjamas at 3pm, with food all over the floor, no clean dishes left, nothing in the house I could consider nutritious and my toddler happily smearing toothpaste onto the tv screen. We’d be dressed at least. Perhaps even out, socialising, shopping for those nutritious food stuffs my house is usually lacking. Or even in, having spend an hour getting on top of the housework and playing a game with my child, reading to her, colouring or doing crafts rather than letting her watch even more CBeebies. If ‘doing my best’ doesn’t even cover such basics its a pretty sorry effort at ‘best’.
Perhaps. Said Ian. And he picked his Blackberry up off the table. “This” he said indicating his phone “is not hard. Picking this phone up off the table. It’s easy isn’t it?”. Umm… Yes…? (I was confused. Again). “But imagine you had to do that a million times. After a while, that simple task, picking your phone p off the table, would be hard.” Aaah. I see. So, he tells me. It’s not that looking after your daughter and doing all the things required to keep things going is hard when you break it down into a list of what needs doing. But it’s not just today. You’ve done this every day, on your own too, for two and a half years. After a while, it becomes exhausting. After a while you get to what feels like your millionth rep. And you need a break. No one is superhuman. We all need a break sometimes.
So from now on, I will try to remember this on my ‘off days’. No-one can do a million reps.