My Coping Method Failed and Depression IncreasedBy
It was a big decision to tell my therapist what was going on in my mind. I could tell him what was going on in my life but what was going on inside my head was a different matter.
I lived inside my head for years. I constantly wondered what to say. I constantly wondered what you (or they) wanted me to say, what would make them mad, what would make them like me and accept me. What would keep me safe? Those are a lot of questions going around in my mind that I needed to think about BEFORE I answered anyone. I got quick at it though. This was one of my coping methods.
This was my survival mode. This coping method went so deep that I realized even as an adult, I was always wondering what everyone else was thinking. Always trying to guess what they wanted me to say, who they wanted me to be, what they wanted me to do. I wondered this so long and so deep that I didn’t know what I thought anymore. And worse than that, I didn’t care what I thought most of the time. I don’t think I even thought about what I personally thought; I was too focused on everyone else, believing that understanding and complying with others, would keep me safe. It was one of the ways that I coped, one of the ways that I survived.
I was always afraid that everyone was disapproving of me. I didn’t want to meet with any disapproval. Oh I used to say all the time “I don’t care if “they” like me or not”. But it wasn’t true. I was just saying one more thing that I had heard from someone else. I was lost in a world that was not mine. It was exhausting.
Eventually I fell apart and just could not seem to climb out of the serious depression I kept going back into every time I tried to stop taking the anti-depressant medications. I felt like I was being pulled under water; deep, murky, heavy, mucky, dirty cold and yet comfortable water. Looking back antidepressants really only represented a band-aid and I had come to the point that I needed the cure or I was going to just stay under that water and drown; once and for all.
I went to a therapist again because I was afraid for my life. Not because of others this time, but because I was really aware that I was losing the fight. I was losing my lifelong fight to just be okay and belong somewhere.
So taking into consideration everything that I said above, why would talking to a therapist be any different then talking to someone else? All my approval issues and fear of being hurt came with me to therapy. My “what do you need me to be” mode didn’t go away just because I was paying someone to talk to me. I still worried about what he would think, what he would want me to do and how would I stay safe? I didn’t trust because long ago I had learned to keep my guard up. I’d had a few inappropriate therapists cross my path too. All of this came into the therapy room with me although I didn’t know that. I was operating the exact same way that I always did. Survival and safety, coping and extreme self control came first. I had been groomed that way my whole life.
I was afraid of what he would think of me. I was afraid that I would be in danger if I told him what I had been through and what I was really like, because I was convinced for most of my entire life, that I was the problem. I even told him in that first session that the problem was me. I told him that I had a fantastic life but I just wasn’t happy and I was ungrateful. Something, I told him, is really wrong with me.
I had to break through this wall that stood between me and my recovery before I began to change and the first step was realizing that I although I believed that I all thought about was me, the truth was that I never thought about me.
Stay tuned this post will be continued…… HERE
Exposing Truth ~ One snapshot at a time;