Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Am I in or am I giving therapy?

I had to ask the question in today's title. I mean, I'm paying for a service but there are days I feel I should be getting a paycheck. Let me explain....

It's "therapy day" again! Today is when I go spend an hour with my psychologist, talk about a lot of different subjects (ADD runs the conversation), occasionally answer some questions and/or educate her on something she didn't know about, and then drive home wondering what I was supposed to get out of all of that. Don't get me wrong -- I enjoy my visits there because it's one way I gauge how I'm doing with my anxiety/agoraphobia/panic/depression. If I'm really talkative (i.e. I do ALL the talking), then I'm either having a manic day or perhaps I'm feeling more comfortable because Celeste, my service dog, is asleep in the floor and there's no threat over which I should be panicked. If I'm not so talkative, then I'm back in the depressive mode or I don't want to be out in public or there just aren't enough shiny things in the room to set-off the ADD while Celeste is asleep in the floor, again showing me there's no threat over which I should be panicked.

But if someone were to watch me in my sessions or ask me what was the major point I took away from a session, 9 times out of 10 I'd have to say, "I have no idea!"

Maybe I am getting more than I think I am. But when I look back at some sessions, I really wonder who's counseling whom. When does the "student" become the "teacher?" And, at what point do the voices in my head need another good poke with a Q-Tip to get them to shut-up so I can be helped instead of "helping" by rambling on and on for an hour?

Take today for an example (it's the best one I have because I can remember it more clearly than past events since it just happened). I was asked a very simple question, "Is there anything coming up where you might be called-out to work?" By "called-out to work" she means deployed away from home working a national disaster event with a governmental agency that has a simple acronym that has been twisted and turned into good and bad definitions since August 2005. They call; I pack my stuff; I say my "goodbyes" to friends and family; and then I drive or fly to my destination to begin working for a term of not less than 90 days and all the way up to 50 weeks if it's really bad.

At the moment, there aren't any events occurring or projected that would require me to be deployed, so I told her I'm still "out-of-work" for the moment. Then the "shut-up" filter turned off and I started rambling about how I have an appointment on the 18th with an ophthalmologist, how our auditions for the local community theatre's play had to be rescheduled (and why) for the 23rd, and that this Saturday I'm going to a World War II reenactment of the Battle of the Bulge and that I'd ordered a new collar and lead for Celeste so she'll look more "authentic" in the field. The conversation wound its way through how Celeste has been around loud noises and shouldn't be afraid during the "battle" and that her breed was used by the Allies so she'll be perfect, especially since I'm doing an MP impression. It then veered off onto why I'm seeing an ophthalmologist again for the umpteenth time even though I've had nearly every test available and no one in over 20 years has been able to tell me what the heck is wrong with my vision. Finally we skidded into theatre technology and how I would love to produce a play but don't have the money and currently am wondering how in the world we'll even get the one we're holding auditions for off the ground. Then I explained how sets are built and the willing suspension of disbelief that allows the audience to believe you've actually built a Victorian house onstage when all you have is some styrofoam, lumber, starched muslin, and a lot of paint. That point somehow inexplicably led into me talking about how the Globe Theatre was constructed and plays were staged there and how I'd seen the current reconstruction of the Globe in London during the mid-1990s and that it's hard for men in corsets to project their voices without microphones. She stated that there are probably a lot of "drag queens" who'd look good onstage but I corrected her that most of the actors aren't supposed to look as if they've been "tarted-up" to be female, they're just portraying a female character by wearing the wigs and dresses because men played all the parts way back then.

Next thing I know, it's been an hour and I've talked almost incessantly and noticed that she's jotted down a few notes but I have no idea what they are. And, so, I have another appointment scheduled but it will have to be rescheduled due to the ophthalmologist appointment and someone should be calling me to set that up, thank you very much, and wandering through the waiting room as everyone there tries to guess what breed Celeste is and telling their children to not pet her. By the way, most people guess German Shepherd Dog/Doberman-mix and I let them know that they're close because those breeds came from the Beauceron and then I have to try to keep myself from going into my memorized "lecture" about the lineage of the breed. "Just get out the door" my voices start telling me. "Just get out the door and go home. You have dinner to cook and videogames we'd like to play."

All the way home (which is only about a 10-minute drive), my brain is thinking, "What are we gonna blog about today?" Nothing has happened; at least, nothing worth writing about.

This is with what I deal. Trying to be a "normal" person when you're bat-crap crazy and trying to self-therapy yourself through writing and making sure to use proper English spelling and grammar (see the previous sentence for an example) because you can't stand seeing everyone's "text-speak" and poor writing on Facebook and other places. Is it interesting? I don't know. Is it worth doing? For the moment, yes. It's an outlet where I can put on paper (virtual paper, that is) what's running through my head. It's kind of like letting a toddler or small terrier run around in the backyard. You let it go and go in the hopes it will tire itself out soon so that you can put it down for a nap and get on with the "adult" part of your life that you still haven't figured out yet.

Now, I have to make sure that dinner is still cooking in the slow-cooker and that I can squeeze-in a bit of videogame time. If I don't, I'll never hear the end of it until I finally pass-out from exhaustion tonight.

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