Search

The Art of Running in the Rain

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift." -Prefontaine

Category

Mental Health

A Few Phrases My Therapist Said

I recently read the article “The Most Important Phrase My Therapist Taught Me” and it struck me for a few reasons. I’m happy that I’m seeing more pieces being written that normalize seeing a psychologist. My hope is that one day we will all regularly check in with therapists as often as we do regular practitioners. Additionally the article reminded me of the many phrases my therapist said to me which have helped me so much in the last eight years.

First I want to share with you my therapy journey. It was 2010 and I had just graduated from grad school, I was having a hard time feeling fulfilled, both in my job and in my relationships. I was often paralyzed by important choices and would rely on others to help me make them. When I did make the choices (even with the help from others) I felt very anxious afterwards. I noticed some recurring patterns in both the situations and the people that gave me anxiety and I decided that something needed to be done.

**As a side note, I think all my life I was trying to find a fix for my anxiety, when I was in elementary and middle school it was food, when I was in high school it was disordered eating, when I was in late highschool/early college it was drugs/alcohol, and throughout college it was a mix of exercise/disordered eating. I don’t think all of my outlets were negative, but I think more often then not untreated psychosis (which can be more common than we think) ends up being self-medicated.**

At that point I decided to search for my psychiatrist through my insurance website and I found someone who had experience with anxiety, specifically OCD, which I felt was something I demonstrated. Initially, it was very important that I see him consistently (weekly) for the first six months, there’s research to support the effectiveness of this regularity. I continued to see him regularly for a few years in addition to taking anxiety medicine. We eventually decided to decrease medication (after two years of use) and over the course of the next three years I slowly decreased the amount that I saw my therapist. I no longer see my therapist, but I know he’s just a phone call away, and if I needed help and he was no longer practicing I would look for another therapist.

This leads me to some of the phrases my therapist said that have stuck with me. When I first met my therapist he said:

“Anxiety can be like the static on a radio, I’m not here to take it away, but I’m here to help you turn it down”

I think of this when I’m feeling down that I still have anxiety. Being a person with anxiety is not a bad thing, but we can make it a bad thing in our minds. If it isn’t debilitating us, then sometimes we can ‘just have anxiety’ and that’s okay.

“It’s a disappointment they can handle”

This is something that I remind myself on the daily. I have a really hard time when I think I might let people down, anger someone, or disappoint them. So much of my anxiety has come from thinking ‘I’ve done something wrong.’ This simple phrase he taught me has made me able to make choices in life that feel good for me and line up with morals and not constantly worry about the people I care about being mad at me for it. In addition I started following Nayyirah Waheed on instagram and she has had a few quotes that inspire me, including this one:

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 8.59.12 PM.png

“When you stop seeing a therapist it doesn’t go away, you take all the work you did with you”

I remember feeling anxious about the fact that we were moving to California and that I wouldn’t be able to see MY therapist. We had multiple conversations about it and this was ultimately the phrase that I returned to when I worried about it.

There were so many invaluable conversations my therapist and I had throughout the years and I reflect on them often. The last time I experienced a debilitating anxiety attack was in 2011. I continue to have occasional anxiety, as I probably will for the rest of my life, but I never feel out of control like I once did. I would say that I will never be able to thank my therapist enough for his help, but I’d also have to thank myself because I made the choice to call him, make the appointments, and do the work.

Be well.

 

 

 

Friday Favorites

“It’s Friday night, and the mood is right!  Gonna have some fun, show you how it’s done, TGIF!!!” — that just turned into a Friday flashback, but seriously who else misses Balki, Michelle Tanner, and the Dinosaurs?!?!

Well because it’s Friday I thought I’d share with you some of my most recent favorite things, here goes:

senderone

source

1.) Rock climbing – Dave and I took a break from our gym in Seattle when we were saving for the wedding (plus the vibe at our gym in Seattle changed a bit and we weren’t feeling it), but lately it’s been calling to me.  We got a membership at a gym down here and we are super happy with it, in the last week we’ve been 4 times.  (picture source)

shutterstock_92425015

Source

2.) Kettlebells – the climbing gym has kettlebells!!! The gym at our apartment doesn’t have kettlebells, so I haven’t been able to use them since I was in Seattle.  I did this workout yesterday and I was a sweaty happy mess!! Next up is this one. (picture source)

DSC_0007

3.) Stop, Breathe, & Think App– I’ve always had an underlying love of meditation, especially after taking yoga nidra, a guided meditation class, some 5 years ago.  I haven’t ever committed to continuous practice though, and I realized it’s because I’ve been trying to fly solo and really I benefit from it being guided.  After taking the psychology of happiness course (I promise more recaps on that soon) and seeing all the evidence surrounding the benefits of meditation I’ve had my mind on setting up a regular practice.   That’s where this app comes in, you start by taking a deep breath and “checking” in with how you feel physically and mentally.  After your check in they suggest different meditations to try (from “body scan” to “gratitude”).  They are wonderful, I especially like the “change” meditation.  I even purchased a couple extras, including “sleep.”  It has really helped me to slow my mind down before bed, and the other day Dave was a little upset and he tried the “change” meditation and afterwards he said he felt way better.

DSC_0004

4.) Meditation spot – to go along with #3, I felt like I needed a special place to do my meditations.  I set up these Buddhas and candle and when I start my session I light the candle it definitely sets the mood….for meditation that is ;P

DSC_0009

5.) Old journals – I’ve been going through my journals from young childhood all the way up to my early twenties and it has been such a wonderful blast from the past.  I’m realizing that my blog/instagram/facebook are my new age ‘scrapbook.’  In the journals I’ve seen pictures (which now end up on instagram/blog), narratives about what was going on in my life (now on the blog), and music lyrics (my friends may not like it but I’m always posting lyrics on facebook).  Making scrapbooks was always a cathartic activity though, and I often think about getting back into it, maybe one day.

DSC_0003.JPG

6.) Coloring – I bought this at Fireworks Gallery (love that store) in the Seattle airport for the flight back to LA.  In addition to passing the time on the flight, it’s been such a relaxing thing to do when I’m waiting for appointments or watching Dave surf (it’s been a scootch to cold for me to go in, I know, I’m a weenie).

DSC_0014.JPG

7.) Seeing this little guy when I’m baking/cooking.  For some reason he loves to go between peoples legs when they’re standing, and it’s so adorable.  You would assume it was to catch food, and I’m sure that’s part of it, but he does it in the morning when I’m standing in the closet picking out my clothes too.

Well that’s it for this Friday, have a good weekend!

Be well.

 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: