Monday, 27 August 2012


having posted yesterday on the pros and cons of medication (my point of view), I thought today I would write about the pros and cons of therapy, but given the therapies I have taken part in are so focused on what has happened to me in the past, I don't think it would be helpful or interesting to read.
Instead I could reel off the things I have done today, another muggy, yukky day in Plymouth, but a list of housework, and clearing up after the rabbit is also not a helpful or interesting read! I think some days are just ho hum days and there is nothing to be said at all.
Except this interesting paragraph I found in a book review, and one which if taken at face value is both helpful and interesting;

     "You can't start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one -
      Move on
      To re-tell is to re-live and that's not always helpful
      Write stuff down. It de-clutters your mind".

I think these points relate clearly to my experience of therapy. In some cases of relating past experiences, the trauma of having to 're-live' these brings me into a crisis, see previous post on assessment with Women's Aid. It is too much for the poor old brain to do again, and it takes a very experienced psychologist or psychiatrist to be able to do this safely so that everything is closed down and put away at the end of a session.
I also think that regurgitating/re-living/re-telling what has happened,the past, and the re-living of it, prevents not only being able to healthily move forward, it prevent healing of past wounds, it is like scratching the top of a scab, preventing the wound from healing.... what has happened has happened, can't change that, but can look forward and make healthy plans for the future.
Writing stuff down, well helloooooooo, here I am, writing it down....! yes, in the past I have written a few books, and stuck them under the bed. Publishers have been interested, but I have never had the confidence to go forward and get them published, but the blog is different. It is dynamic, changing, changing with the comments from readers, changing with the weather some days! 
My therapy finishes tomorrow. I have been going to Compassionate Mind Therapy for twelve weeks. It is based on the book by Paul Gilbert of the same name, you can pick it up from Amazon for about a fiver for a used version. This therapy is being used to give me the skills to deal with the trauma and pain the next type of therapy is likely to bring...hmmm.... and strangely enough that makes me not want to do the "next type of therapy"!
After all, to re-tell is to re-live, it nearly killed me the first time round, sure as hell don't want to do it again.


Arwedd said...

You'll no doubt have seen or heard about the different street before.....

Stage 1:
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.

Stage 2:
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in this same place. But it isn't my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.

Stage 3:
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I fall's a habit...but my eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.

Stage 4:
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

Stage 5:
I walk down a different street.

Sometimes we have to go to the same place several times before we can move on to a different street.

Like you said, it "nearly" killed you, but it didn't. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? So you can do this and maybe this time you'll get out a lot quicker. Try not to be afraid, we're all routing for you.

Arwedd xx

susan said...

You are so right about not going over the past, that is my part of my problem and my sensible self tells me to stop thinking and re-thinking and live in the now, to get on and deal with today, 'cos tomorrow is screaming towards me at a 100mph. People I know have died far too young and maybe I should be glad of the crappy days for they have none.

I have been thinking about writing and not quite managing it, the most private time is at night , ie now and I am always too tired or bloody blogger (or my mistyping on a teeny weeny keyboard larf) manages to lose a huge amount even though I save all the time!!

I hope that you find the therapy that works for you, you deserve peace and justice so that you can find calm, happy days.
Love to you
Susan x
PS My BF and I used to say "we could use some 'boring' right now", when life was stressy.

Gordon said...

Thanks for this post. You probably don't realise how much you are enriching the lives of your readers with your blog.

I wasn't aware of compassionate mind therapy, but am about to dive into the subject after following up your reference to Gilbert's book.

What I did find from my own (somewhat self-guided) journey into Vipassana mediation was that I got nowhere in terms of dealing with what came up in my mind until I hit on the principle of "be kind to yourself". No amount of commitment to compassion toward others had the same effect on my attitude to both myself and others as adopting the starting point of being kind to myself - no harsh judgements, no pre-judging, recognition of myself as just a human being doing my best. I suspect the effect of this was that, having felt the benefits of this approach to my own "failings", I was much more able to automatically apply it to others.

Now, thanks to you I'm going to see what a professional suggests.

Regarding the medication - yes, medication is prescribed for a purpose, but in my experience the accumulated prescription of medications over time can result in side-effects from some of the combinations. I think you are wise to keep taking your meds, but also to be alert to undesirable effects and to question where these are coming from.

Stay strong.

Isabelle Nuts said...

Arwedd, that is an interesting analogy, I haven't heard it before, but I will google it! It does illustrate exactly what I do!
Susan,it is difficult to live in the ever present now, and it takes a lot of practice. I have been trying for months and still find myself with flashbacks, and with intrusive thoughts which over ride the nowness. But if we practice when we are well, then it becomes easier to do when we are not. Blogging for me has become part of my therapy and writing it all down makes more sense of it, and also releases a lot of the angst... not sure that I can keep on doing it forever, but for now it works!There is a quote which I really like, "Sometimes, if not most of the time, you find out who are by figuring who and what you're not"
Gordon, the problem with compassion is that we are all pretty good at being compassionate to others, but we are pretty awful at accepting others being compassionate to us, and at being compassionate to ourselves. By practising the exercises in the book, I have found ways to make myself feel better, but these exercises have to be practised a lot to make sense and to work when the overwhelming cloud of doom descends or the dragons come. The book is good but could be re-written in about fifteen pages! Maybe one day my post could be a precis of it!
Much love and thank you all for your never ending support x