The Family

Yesterday I had another session, and until then it had been a pretty good day. I was confident going in. I had practiced some coping techniques that we discussed in the previous session, I had been keeping a list of intrusive thoughts, and I thought I was prepared.

We jumped right in, learning some new techniques from the Dialectical Behavior Therapy approach. This is a largely skill-based therapy, teaching you how to be mindful of your thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors. It’s a very logical and structured process, which is a very good fit for me.

I learned about a process of identifying thoughts and emotions and matching them with the facts of the situation. I was intrigued, and listened very attentively. But when I actually had to practice, I shut down. I was worried about what I would say, and I spent so much time trying to phrase everything just right.

Eventually I let it slip that I was embarrassed, because I thought I had blocked my whole family from seeing this page. It turns out, I missed some people, and I forgot that my dad has multiple Facebook accounts until he liked one of my posts. Yikes. I didn’t want my family being here, reading this. Honestly, I think my parents contributed a great deal to these thought patterns that I keep cycling through. But I’ve never told them that, because why the hell would I?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to blame anybody for this. I just think that I could be doing better if the circumstances had been different. I love my dad, but seeing his like on my post kind of freaked me out. I’m really not sure how well he understands. I don’t know what to expect back from him. And I was so ashamed for feeling that way that I couldn’t think about anything else. I just played through situations for like half the session.

Finally, I was prompted to consider the facts. My emotions didn’t line up with the logic. There was no threat present. I have no evidence that anything catastrophic will happen. But most importantly, for every scenario that I envisioned there are infinitely more in which nothing happens.

This session was so uncomfortable for me. It was an unbearable hour that honestly had me questioning if I wanted to continue. Now, a day removed, I know that I have to. I started with a goal and while that’s all but over, I know that I have a lot of growing to do. I can certainly see why many people don’t want to stick it out, though.


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