I haven’t been able to write here much lately. Somehow I’ve just felt almost paralyzed in some ways. It’s been more difficult to do my chores and errands. Though I have been able to write short bits here and there, writing a more substantial piece has seemed impossible. I’m in the first paragraph of this post. I hope I manage to finish it. If you see it on my blog, I guess I succeeded.
For quite a while, my moods had been quite good. No anxiety, no depression, no level of mania at all. I was feeling stable and even eager to take steps forward. I signed up for an evening adult school class with my husband and auditing a university course at my local university on my own to better fill my weekdays. Both are meant to get me out of the house around people, and build confidence, and the endurance one needs to follow through with additional responsibilities. But then all of a sudden something very sad happened. I was at a therapy appointment with my therapist of four years and after discussing various things, she told me that she would be ending her practice because of serious family issues.
My therapist’s statement was a huge shock to me. I confess to being so shocked that I barely managed to even acknowledge that she has serious issues that deserve well wishes. I’ll be sure to offer them next time. In that session she obviously recommended that I start looking for another therapist. She said that her last appointments will be in two months.
I am so much grieving this upcoming loss. She was a key member of my mental healthcare support system. Over the last four years, I’ve opened up to her more than I have with any previous therapist; really, anyone in some ways, perhaps other than my husband and psychiatrist. She and my long-time psychiatrist have made the greatest difference in my recovery thus far. I admire her greatly for that. I was sure she would be helping me walk the path to getting back to work, which will surely be a stressful path indeed. I was confident that with her I stood a great chance of success. Now, I don’t know how easy it will be. It’s an intimidating prospect to walk it with a figuratively weakened “leg”. Yes, I may have a new therapist, but from my past experience with other therapists, I may not get the right kind of support specific for me. New relationships are generally weak, and some time is spent focusing on caution with them, rather than fully on the task at hand.
This grief is surely the main cause of my mood shifts, not that the upcoming study doesn’t seem stressful, too. It almost always seems that when I’m starting to take steps forward that something manages to either push me down or make the journey harder. In the past, this made me stumble and fall, sliding further back in my progress. I will say I am stronger now, I’ll do my best to fight this obstacle.
I feel like I shouldn’t talk about my grief that much with my current therapist, so as not to make her feel bad. That’s why I want to talk about it with my psychiatrist, who after 12 years, knows me even better than my therapist. But one can’t squeeze into a 20 minute medication check such important topics as this grief, the symptoms I’m experiencing, discussion of a new therapist, and also some stinkin’ form I need him to fill out. Tears were falling from my eyes when I called his office to leave a message asking for a longer appointment. I do hope he can accommodate one.
I don’t often write posts that resemble journal entries, like this one. I don’t intend to make a habit of it. But I don’t think I’m the only person out there that has grieved the loss of a therapist, psychiatrist or other long-term doctor of personal significance. Have you? How did you cope with the transition?
Starting over again with a new therapist, especially, or any type of doctor is a great stress in and of itself. I will ask for some records or some statement from my current therapist and/or psychiatrist that perhaps helps with the transition. But getting to really know me, my fears, weaknesses, and specific needs takes time. If they give me that time or I give them that time. Trust is not something I give easily, I confess.