Tag: Counselling

I’ve Left But Not Moved

I’ve Left But Not Moved

Our move is underway, at least the portion of it involving packing. We have a tentative sale on our home and the only real impediment is waiting for the buyers to sell their house in Port Coquitlam. As I understand it that should not be a problem, many homes there are selling for over asking.

Perhaps I should clarify. After my last post my wife came home from work saying that one of her co-workers had expressed significant interest in our house. This girl’s boyfriend’s parents were in fact looking for a house like ours, a newer executive type home in the neighbourhood we are in. She and her future sister-in-law came to see the house that night. The girl called her folks and they were very intrigued. To make a long story short the parents flew in, yes flew, the next day and came to see the house. They really liked it, and emphasis on really. An offer was made and we accepted. Now the waiting, and packing, begins.

So far the stress has been well within limits and whether that is due to fact we haven’t gotten so far into the deal or that my time in Counselling and group sessions is paying off. Only time will show which is correct. I’m sure the meds have an additional benefit as well.

The whole process of moving from the initial decision to do so up to and including the actual move is interesting to me. The dynamics of the individuals involved and the whole process is becoming somewhat of a study for me, and perhaps that is partially why I’m not as stressed. Maybe it helps to take my mind off the fact that it actually us that are involved. Stay tuned.

I’ve Left But Not Moved

I’ve Left But Not Moved

Our move is underway, at least the portion of it involving packing. We have a tentative sale on our home and the only real impediment is waiting for the buyers to sell their house in Port Coquitlam. As I understand it that should not be a problem, many homes there are selling for over asking.

Perhaps I should clarify. After my last post my wife came home from work saying that one of her co-workers had expressed significant interest in our house. This girl’s boyfriend’s parents were in fact looking for a house like ours, a newer executive type home in the neighbourhood we are in. She and her future sister-in-law came to see the house that night. The girl called her folks and they were very intrigued. To make a long story short the parents flew in, yes flew, the next day and came to see the house. They really liked it, and emphasis on really. An offer was made and we accepted. Now the waiting, and packing, begins.

So far the stress has been well within limits and whether that is due to fact we haven’t gotten so far into the deal or that my time in Counselling and group sessions is paying off. Only time will show which is correct. I’m sure the meds have an additional benefit as well.

The whole process of moving from the initial decision to do so up to and including the actual move is interesting to me. The dynamics of the individuals involved and the whole process is becoming somewhat of a study for me, and perhaps that is partially why I’m not as stressed. Maybe it helps to take my mind off the fact that it actually us that are involved. Stay tuned.

I Bumped Into Gloria, I Came Away Healed

I Bumped Into Gloria, I Came Away Healed

I bumped into Gloria today. Well, I didn’t really ‘bump’ into her, but you know what I mean. I saw her, in Safeway.

At first sighting I didn’t recognize her. I was approaching the Starbucks counter to order my grande Americano, and chatting with my daughters friend, when I glanced toward the door and saw this lady that seemed somehow familiar. Now in hindsight I’m almost embarrassed to admit that but it has been about a year, or close to it, and in my defense I think she changed her hair colour, so that may have thrown me off. Funny I didn’t know her right off the bat because my previous relationship with her was a significant chapter in my life.

I started ‘seeing’ her maybe 2 or more years ago now. I am married but we met with my wife’s consent, she’s understanding that way.

Now, before you get the wrong idea I had best explain.

A few years ago I had finally reached the end of my long emotional rope, particularly at work. I felt depressed, unappreciated, and generally unhappy, so I went to my doctor to seek advice. Well, he interviewed me, gave me a questionnaire to fill out at home, then sent me packing to the hospital for a number of tests. Once I had completed the questionaire and the test results had come back to his office we had a second visit. There was nothing conclusive he said, nothing really abnormal or standing out that could cause me to feel that way. He had thought thyroid perhaps, or some vitamin deficiency, but I was normal, or healthy even. He recommended exercise, and perhaps avail myself of the ability to seek counselling, perhaps through my works EFAP (employee and family assistance) program. I did, and it was through that system I met Gloria. She became my counselor/therapist.

Healing
Healing

So to make a long story short we met for some time, and for the life of me I can’t remember exactly how long, but she has helped me in a number of ways. In almost every session I came away with something to think about, and some of them I’m still thinking about. I miss our sessions.

Bumping into her in Safeway I will take as a sign, as a signal that I need to re-connect.

I’m a big believer in fate, in the thought that things happen for a reason, that there are circumstances that are presented to us and if we see them, if we recognize them for what they are, they can lead us down the right road. They can guide us toward making the ‘right’ decisions, perhaps to choosing one avenue over another, and that one/correct way will lead us to the light (and no, I’ve not been smoking crack).

My sign today was seeing Gloria. She makes me remember from whence I came, my path, and the healing I’ve done. I’m close to the end of my journey and I feel so much better. I still have a ways to go but the healing has begun.

Our Time Here is Done

Our Time Here is Done

20120719-093542.jpgOur time here is almost done.  We will be on the road shortly to continue our adventure in the US.  That is currently the plan anyway.

We’ve been staying at our daughter and son in laws for the last 2 days and nights, to catch up on laundry and of course see the family (read that grandson).  I lamented the fact in my last post that we had to spend a chunk of cash on the trailer to get a wheel alignment done but that is done now and I think we are good to go.  Let’s see what the road holds for us.

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Honestly, I don't think I'm Honest

Honestly, I don't think I'm Honest

I had an epiphany last night, and I don’t know why I never thought of it in these terms before but I am not honest.  I don’t mean I’m untruthful, as in someone who lies.  I don’t cheat and I’m not dishonest in that sense of the word, in fact I think if you polled any number of my friends and acquaintances they would tell you I’m a “stand up” kinda guy.  Maybe even one of the “truest” and most honest people they know.  Where my honesty falls down is (at minimum) here, on this page and perhaps in the interpersonal baring of my soul.  Certainly I don’t think I’m honest with myself.

I am still reading a book called “The Right to Write”, and found in the current chapter is the spark that lit this fire.  The author talks about how here, in the written word, is where we should be most honest, the most real.  And in doing so we will be honest and truthful with ourselves, asking and answering those tough questions, in search of the truth.  If not here then where else?  Of course we should also be real to our friends and family, but perhaps not quite as real, not as blunt, or perhaps less aggressive in our cutting to the chase.  Don’t challenge your mother-in-law as to why she’s such a crappy driver, that may be a bit too honest.  Here though, in a blog or journal, we should be able to ask those questions.  And in the asking we would hope to find the answer.

So now my honesty is in question.  I am not completely open here, I don’t tell the whole story, I think I deceive myself in areas of my life where I should not.  I tell myself things will be ok when I don’t really believe they will.  And to be clear here I’m not referring to depression, in that area and some others I continue to try and be optimistic, it’s more about who I am inside.

To be fair to myself I do believe I’ve made some headway over the last number of months, and my path through depression and counselling has taught me some things about who I am.  In order for me to grow completely, to heal fully and really be the best I can be I must acknowledge those deficiencies, recognize where I’m deceitful to myself and work my way back towards honesty, to myself and to my future.  I’m hoping I have the strength, the intestinal fortitude, because Honestly…..I’m scared.

Is that all there is?

Is that all there is?

This afternoon I will have another visit with Gloria, my counsellor.  I don’t really know what we’ll talk about, it always seems to be a dynamic event.  Sometimes I feel good going in and other days, well, not as good.

I wish I knew how I was supposed to feel emotionally, I mean I know I’m supposed to feel good, normal, or not bad, at least most of the time.  I also know everyone has ups and downs, good days and bad, but without the scale of where the uppermost “up” is I can only tell you where I’ve been. Sometimes that doesn’t seem very far “up”.  I do have days where I feel good, pretty good in fact, is that all there is?

After our session I’ll pick up Dad and we’ll go for dinner.  I’m thinking perhaps Chinese food, it was good the last time we had it and he enjoyed it, but he may not even remember.  I know that sounds kind of callous, but it’s also true.  He forgets more and more now and I’m surprised sometimes that he even remembers my name.  Certainly he’s forgotten when my birthday is, and maybe that’s normal all things considered, he never was a good one for dates.

It reminds me of a time when we went to a family reunion about 25 years ago.  At that time my Dad’s Mom, my grandmother, was suffering from dementia and after we arrived he went into the house to see her.  He came out a short time later and told us she didn’t know his name, she thought that he was her brother.  The similarity in looks was significant for sure but still his heart must’ve been broken.  I know mine would have been.

Today's a Good Day

Today's a Good Day

I feel pretty good today, better than yesterday for sure. For whatever reason when I awoke yesterday morning I felt angry again. It was sort of an underlying anger, not a “punch the wall” anger, but a strong enough emotion that it was noticable that early in my day.  It’s hard to say why I felt that way, although I had forgotten to take my meds the night before but I wouldn’t think one day would set me back the way it did.  I promptly took my pill after I got up.

Underlying anger was one of the symptoms that led me to look for help.  At that time, about early Apr.2011, I went to my Doctor concerned over certain aspects of my life, sleep habits, mood, etc., he concurred with my suggestion of counseling, and he also sent me for some tests.  From there to here is a bit of a jump but essentially I was diagnosed with a mild depression, treatable with medication.  Mirtazapine was the drug of choice, 30mg the dosage.

So, back to today, I felt ‘normal” again this morning, a much improved state of mind.  With what happened yesterday morning and a general feeling my improvement has stopped I wonder if an increase in dosage is warranted.  I have a Dr. appointment next week and I can discuss with him.

Good Morning, as in "a good morning"

Good Morning, as in "a good morning"

Woke up feeling better this morning, always have some morning grog but it turned around after a bit and now all is good. I wasn’t feeling horrible yesterday but like my wife said it was like my knickers were too tight, I was just feeling edgy. I think a lot of it was the stress of yesterday and my dealing with Dads affairs, and associated delays and complications. I often wonder what my capacity is for stress, do I handle it well? ie does stress affect me more or less than others?

I notice the sun shining today, a cool breeze is evident now, at 8:30 am, and the potential is in the air for inclement weather. I’m not desiring to become a meteorologist only commenting on observations as G suggested I do.

I’m sitting in the waiting area, the hall, of the Radiology department waiting to go in for my CT scan. It was ordered for me in hopes of coming to conclusions about what’s going on with my lower back and thigh/groin pain. I notice the other patients both old and young, and looking out the window across the alley, over the garbage bins, I see through the opposite window the lab techs hard at work testing whatever they test. I don’t know that my observation skills are particularly astute, and thinking about it these observations are not likely what G had in mind. What would probably be more appropriate would be my commenting on things in my life that I’m more aware of now than I would have been prior to my course of treatments, post meds and counseling.  Time to go in for my scan.

Ciao

Update and Some History

Update and Some History

So I missed yesterday, as far as blogging goes, and according to the blog gods that’s not a good thing.  If you hope to keep people following your blog you need to keep it current.  At this time I don’t think there’s anyone reading so it probably isn’t as important, however good habits I need to build and this would be one of them.  If you start something, then finish.

I said in one of earlier blogs “The Challenges I Face” that I’d give a bit of a background so here goes.  I really began noticing that I felt crappy last year.  I went on a fishing trip with friends and on the drive, which took a couple days, I started to ponder, and dwell.  Now dwelling is not necessarily a good thing.  Likely I was in a bad place emotionally, perhaps (likely) one the symptoms of the depression.  I began to think of suicide, now don’t get freaky on me here, I thought about it in the way you might think of purchasing a new boat or a house, something that you wonder what it’d be like.  I had no interest in doing myself in, just wondered how someone could get to such a place that suicide seemed like an appropriate response.  Now this is probably where I differ from many, or maybe not.

The illness of depression, if you will, has many faces.  That much I know from the limited reading I’ve done to date.  Some will likely say “I know exactly why someone would want to end their life”, others will be more like me, where you are dissatisfied with many things in your life and you can’t put your finger on why.

I remember many years ago talking to my friend Dave, I don’t recall the specifics of the conversation but somehow it related to happiness.  I clearly recall saying “I’m just not happy”, now why would that stay in my memory for so long, when I can’t even remember to take out the garbage every week?

My point I guess is that I believe I’ve been in this state for quite some time, it didn’t seem particularly unusual though so no reason to search out a cause.  Chalk it up to “just life”.  I thought my circumstances were normal, just a typical male life in a married with children lifestyle.  Certainly you could say that is normal or typical, who could argue, but as I’ve later come to realize it was more than that.

So that continued for some time, that was probably back in the 80’s, and my mood or disposition vacillated along the way.  It was only last year that it seemed to peak and I thought about seeking out a second opinion, which I did earlier this year (2011).  My first step was to mention it to my wife M, and it wasn’t necessary to go into details, that would only muddy the waters.  I also wasn’t sure how to say that I had reached such a state that I had thought about divorce.  I don’t think about it now, except again in the same context as I’d mentioned suicide earlier, what brings a person to that point?  She was supportive, having gone through the program herself years earlier I think she must have realized that it wasn’t like a death knell, I wasn’t going to freak out and slice her up, but it was more like a call for help I was putting out there.  I made an appointment with my Doctor, my new Dr. to be exact, as my old doctor had retired.  I thought I needed to confirm that there wasn’t something obvious wrong, a body chemistry issue or something like that.

My first visit was quite uneventful I must say.  We talked, he asked my a bunch of questions regarding sleep habits, eating, drinking, drugs, emotional state, and then concurred with my diagnosis that I may be suffering from a mild case of depression. He also agreed, as I suggested to him in the appointment, that I should seek out some type of counselling and we would revisit the matter in a couple weeks.  As part of his diagnosis he had a battery of tests run to ensure there was nothing significant in my chemistry that might cause or contribute to these symptoms.  Apparently your throid can cause an imbalance in your system that can throw you out of whack.  Like my medical terminology?? I should mention my earlier doctor had suspected mild depression about 3 or 4 years earlier, that’s another story.

(to be cont)

G

G

I’m meeting with G in a few minutes, I’ll have to book some more appointments.
I’m wondering if these can or will continue for much longer, how will I know when I am to be done?

I do think I’ve made progress, for me to articulate the ways would be the challenging part. As I say in my journal (paper) I feel more “even”, less manic. Every time I use that word, manic, I cringe inside. It’s not the best word but at the same time it is.

I certainly still have improvements to make, my procrastination is one, indecision another. Neither is probably within the realm of the “depression” spectrum and likely shouldn’t be approached with G.

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