I’m not sure how to know when I should reach out for help from my therapist, or when I should just bear it and feel it. When my therapist would hope that I would reach out, and when it would be excessive.
I reached out last week and happened upon a cancelled appointment the next day, which was somewhat an act of God. What caused me to reach out at that point was having been in a state of distraught anxiety for 5 days, obsessively writing out questions and things that were burning my soul to tell him, and not sleeping because of the adrenaline in my body. I called at 3:30 am because I was tired of the ‘burning desire to tell him’; I felt it was burning a hole in my nervous system, and that I was going to self-destruct if I had to bear it for another 5 days until our next appointment.
He reassured me of a lot of things at that ’emergency’ session, and the burning stopped. I felt heard and seen and reassured in a way that I haven’t before by anyone in his position.
So then I attended the scheduled appointment yesterday. Today, I am feeling a lot of fear and teariness. The appointment was another trigger, definitely.
What do I do when I am triggered by an appointment? I know that the triggering is coming from a good and holistic place in my therapist. His approach seems to be to interract with me as if I am a healthy person without codependency or validation trauma, and see where the difficulties arise. I’m not sure if he knew or suspected I would be triggered yesterday, or not.
I just don’t know what to do or where to go with it from here. It is distracting and distressing, as if there is a very important relationship in my life that has gone wrong, and is bothering me a lot. Something in the world isn’t right.
Am I in danger? Well, no I don’t feel like I’m going to off myself or self harm; but I do feel like I might have to cut down on my plans this weekend because I just might not be able to handle the stimuli I had planned what with this internal stimuli going on. And in the big picture, when I cancel on things, it isolates me and gets in the way of my forming bonds with people and my community. I might be driven to the point of the kind of stir-crazy and isolation that feels like a silent panic, and at this particular juncture in my life, I am not sure who I would call; and if I was in that situation, I’m not sure what I would do. I guess maybe phone the crisis line or something.
So am I in danger? Is this the kind of thing to expect of good, deep therapy, or should this intensity not be happening? I can almost always control reckless or self-harm behaviours, but they eat at me, and that is destructive to my family and community life. These things build and give me a sense of hopelessness until I decide that there’s no point in controlling the the impulse to act out or self-destruct.
I can’t help thinking once again that this would be so much clearer if I wasn’t an introvert. If I didn’t have that initial control. If I was extroverted, people would know whether I needed help; I wouldn’t have to go and tell them, in words, which makes everyone think that I actually don’t need help. This is the hell. This thought and feeling in this spot again does trigger the thoughts that my life is hopeless.
My next appointment is not for THREE AND A HALF weeks. What is the healthy response to what I am feeling, and appropriate action?
I’d love to hear your thoughts …. thanks all.