Lent, Therapy, and Pain Management (again)

— 1 —

I’m gonna start with a really strange question: what should I be talking about in therapy? Outpatient therapy is all part of the post-suicide package, but I’m not really sure that it’s the best use of mine or the therapist’s time. My issues are that I am in constant pain, and because of the pain I can’t work, and so am in dire financial straits. There’s nothing chatting for forty-five minutes once a week can do to change either of these circumstances. I asked my best friend about it yesterday, and she suggested that I should let the therapist lead the sessions in whatever direction she deemed appropriate. That’s not in my nature, but I’ve never done the therapy thing before. So, for those of you who have done or are involved in therapy – what are the “don’t miss” issues? And for those of you who know me personally, please feel free to rattle of a list of the top ten things I need to address before I stop going to the therapist.

— 2 —

I was worried about my fifteen-year-old son. He’d been spending long periods of time in the bathroom. So I asked him if he was constipated, and offered him stool softeners and laxatives, suggested he drink more water, and made other helpful “mom” suggestions. He rolled his eyes at me, standing there by the bathroom door, and lifted the phone that is apparently surgically attached to his hand. “No, Mom, I was just doing well on my game and didn’t want to stop.” So I reached past the laxatives in the cabinet and pulled out a lysol wipe for his phone. #FirstWorldProblems

— 3 —

I visited my fourth pain management doc this week. Just to start things off on the right foot I made sure to tell him that my medications were being managed by my primary care doctor and I wasn’t interested in changing any of them, nor was I interested in repeating any of the treatments I’d tried and failed elsewhere. I was there to find out of I was a candidate for an implantable spinal stimulator – that’s all I needed from him. Well, I may be or I may not be. He’s going to see me again in a month. Between now and then I will be having another MRI (I’ve lost track of how many I’ve had) but this one will be of sections of my back that have not been scanned before. The pain between my shoulder blades, which my first neurosurgeon told me was “referred pain” and everyone else has ignored, has this guy worried. So we’ll soon see if the rest of my spine is as screwed up as my cervical spine.

— 4 —

For Lent I’ve given up negative self-talk (see, don’t I sound like someone in therapy?) and have been trying to add music to my dat every day. I’d just gotten out of the habit of listening to music, and it’s something I enjoy. Maybe my days alone will be a bit less quiet.

— 5 —

Ice storm early in the week, wind storm and pouring rain mid-week, but our ancient and decrepit eyesore of a garage is still standing. I suspect it’s like cockroaches, and would withstand a nuclear attack.

— 6 —

I tweeted my first #doge this week: “So bed. Very sleepiness. Much comfy. Wow.” I think I like #doge better than haikus 🙂

— 7 —

Every Wednesday two women come to my house around lunchtime. we’d originally envisioned it as a carry-over from group therapy, which we all enjoyed. One woman had a book and workbook called Boundaries that we were going to work through together. It’s quickly become a chance to just get together, chat, eat, laugh, and bounce ideas off each other. Next week we’re going to try something crafty. I’m not sure what it will evolve into, but I know it’s something we all need 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Lent, Therapy, and Pain Management (again)”

  1. Your icon is one I look for and click on at Jen’s. I am sorry to read of your journey, I do think your posts are very important and will help others faced with depression and suicide thoughts. Your honesty is beautiful.
    I don’t have any advice about therapy, hang in it and your Wednesday group sounds good for you all too.
    I will pray to St Joseph to help the financial stresses and your chronic pain.

  2. #1: Given that this is therapy related to your suicide attempt, my answer would be to talk about coping mechanisms for the pain and for any emotional issues related to it. For example, are you angry at your disability insurance company for being incompetent? Are you feeling despondent because nothing is working? I mean, yeah, 45 minutes a week of talking isn’t going to fix the dire financial straits you’re in but maybe talk about how all that makes you feel?

    I’ve been in therapy on and off since college and this is my two cents based on that. I don’t think you’re mentally ill as much as you’re in a craptastic situation and maybe your therapist can help you find ways to deal with that.

    #7: If it’s the “Boundaries” book by Cloud and Townsend, I *HIGHLY* recommend it — it’s indispensable to my life as a pastor’s wife.

    1. Thank you so much! Those are exactly the feelings I’m having! And I think you’re exactly right – talking about those issues with someone completely neutral would be much more helpful than 45 minutes discussing goal-setting!

  3. Really struggling here with my response. Hell no you should NOT stop therapy. You can individualize if you need to, but no. This wasn’t a vacation ruined by rain or a bad hotel. It needs to be worked out and from my own experiences dealing with OCD/anxiety..it don’t happen at the snap of a finger. It’s got to be faced and worked through and healed over….yes…you can use it to help others in the future…but balance it out within yourself first. Now…going to go stress pet my cat….

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