To Therapize or Not to Therapize…That Is the Question
Posted on March 7, 2013
Life sometimes throws a snowball at you and giggles. Fine. Life sometimes throws a snowball with yellow snow at you and giggles even harder. A little annoying, but, really, what are you going to say? Fine. Then life sometimes decides to pelt you with snowballs before sending a giant frickin’ snowman sized snowball hurtling after your ass. That’s typically when you start shouting “Hey! Knock that sushi off or I’m going to tell my husband!” Never annoy my husband. It’s not good for the universe. But even he sometimes can’t fend off the universe when it tries to give you a meltdown. That’s when people very politely and very kindly and very cautiously suggest you look into getting some help.
It used to be that the world thought there was something really, really wrong with you if you were seeking help from someone trained to navigate your mind. It’s become so common, though, that most people don’t even bat an eyelash at it anymore. Either that or the world now has an overabundance of messed up folks. It could be that. I honestly don’t know, not that I don’t have a theory or two on the subject that I have no desire to share. Suffice to say that some people get what they need from it and some people should never stop going. And then there are the ones who should go.
My doctor—back when I still had insurance and could afford to go to the doctor—suggested I look into seeing a therapist because of the current and future stress of helping care for my father. Alzheimer’s sucks and it’s unpredictable, but having defenses against the pressure of being around someone with it combined with an objective sounding board could go a long way to saving whatever sanity I still grasp onto with my ninja-wannabe Kung-Fu Muay Thai patented Death Grip.
Unfortunately, the times they are a changin’. However well or not-so-well I was able to cope with my father and continue to, things have become even more complicated with my father-in-law’s health. Between trips to the hospital, trips to the rehabilitation center (I always feel the need to spell that out in full since saying my FIL is in rehab just doesn’t sound quite right), and now back to the hospital for a few days before switching back to the rehabilitation center (See? It’s habit despite being a beyotch to type out and spell correctly), my time and already restricted mental capacity are even further limited.
Something had to give these past couple of months and writing the next book has been a major casualty. I feel fortunate I’m able to keep up with these blog posts. As for much else, even the Blu-Ray buying and watching has taken a tremendous hit. You have no idea how much that hurt to admit. He-Who-Walks-Behind-the-Blu-Ray-Racks may not be so forgiving.
This brings us up to this week when someone very politely, very nicely suggested that it would be beneficial for me to talk to a therapist, someone outside the situation who could be objective about it. I wholeheartedly agree. It would. I used to talk to my best friend about these things. Unfortunately, that would be the friendship I had a hand in destroying three years ago and remains a wound that hasn’t healed. And no, it’s not a matter of filling the position. Best friends don’t come easily, they don’t come often and they deserve a hell of a lot more than I gave. He was a whole lot easier to talk to when it came to bad situations because he knew exactly how to cut through my BS and get to the point. We were able to do that for each other.
Agreeing that it would be beneficial to talk to a therapist isn’t quite the same as the reality of making it happen. Finding the time to travel to and invest in an appointment means less time either with my father or with my father-in-law. Neither of them are in a place where that can happen. With my dad, it’s because of my mom in that she needs her time away from him. It’s how she keeps her sanity and is able to get the things done she needs to. I’ve already given up most of my writing, so there’s not much more to give there. And sleep time? I think not. I cherish what time I have to sleep when I can actually get my brain to shut down long enough to let me sleep in peace. Plus, let’s remember I’m not working and I have no insurance. And no, these aren’t excuses. This is reasoning.
I did politely inform the hubby that I plan on taking a very long weekend somewhere when things settle down a bit, hopefully in a month or month and a half. I’m going to get away, clear my head, eat, walk around, look in shops, wander around a museum or two and ignore my cell phone. I’ll probably ignore social media for a couple of days, too. That will be the “me” time I need to reset the mental stress alarm. If by chance that doesn’t work, then maybe I’ll have to revisit my options.
Anybody care to spot me a dime? I hear the doctor is in. Just not sure if she still only charges ten cents.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
9 Responses to “To Therapize or Not to Therapize…That Is the Question”
March 7, 2013 at 9:25 am
One great advantage a writer has is the ability to vent through writing things not easy to express in any other way. It takes a little of the pressure off. I certainly don’t envy you the burdens you have to carry, I continue to be impressed by how well you (outwardly, at least) seem to deal with them. But if you think you could benefit from “outside” help, by all means check what might be available.
March 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Writing about it definitely helps because it forces me to look outside the doom and gloom of it all in an effort to find something positive or, at the very least, humorous.
March 7, 2013 at 9:46 am
I believe that as your fathers caretaker, your therepist might fall under your fathers insurance. (Mine did while mom was hospitalized) Just something to think about. You know I am here if you need to rant, vent, scream at, or just spar with.
March 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Interesting. I’d never heard of that, but it may be worth looking up. Will see what mum has to say when I pick him up.
Patricia Logan says:
March 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm
This, coming from the woman who rarely takes time for herself. You need to take time away just to unwind if nothing else. It doesn’t require money to do simple things. Take a bubble bath, put your favorite music on and rock out, call a friend (me) and unload. And remember, this too will not last forever. ((((((Kris))))))
March 7, 2013 at 11:13 pm
I was going to write a response chastising you because I didn’t think I had your number. Oh, Lawdy, I do! lol Completely forgot I had it. I could have been texting you dirty messages for a long time now. heh heh heh
Lloyd Songal says:
March 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm
I hope you travels help to relieve your stress. I know that you have really been through a lot lately and yet you always manage to put a good spin on your circumstances. I don’t always get or see your posts any more as I did daily before. I know you were talking about Fb and how they charge for advertising. I had to type on my email today as is sometimes the case any more. I look for you but figure you are understandably preoccupied with family maters. Please let me know what is going on with you. If you would like you are welcome to email me. I would like to help out if at all possible.
Best regards & hugs,
March 7, 2013 at 11:14 pm
I always appreciate you leaving a comment, Lloyd. Am glad you stay in touch. Am betting your not looking forward to coming back up from Florida, though. Well, except to avoid the sinkholes.
Katy Trick says:
March 8, 2013 at 7:05 am
Therapy, at minimum, will give you a place to lay things all out and see them from a different angle. It may be helpful, or it may just be a waste of time. The one time I went, I didn’t find it all that useful. Then again, I don’t think the therapist I picked was all that good, either. It doesn’t hurt to try. If it can relive some of the stress, it’s worth it. (And you have a shopping cart full of stress you are pushing around, for sure.) Go for it.