It Was Okay

On Monday I phoned the OT who lead the group last week. I’m going to refer to her here as D from now on. I told her how hard I had been taking the events of last Tuesday’s group. That I’ve been holding onto this feeling of shame. Side note: I don’t really know how to let go of shame, other than to try to bury it. But that’s not helpful either, as it keeps coming back. I told her that I don’t want to go to group on Tuesday, but at the same time, I do. I asked her what I should do. She didn’t tell me what to do, but instead, gave me the tools I needed in that moment to make my own decision. She reminded me of a skill I “learnt” previously. Doing the opposite action to how I’m feeling. So if I don’t feel like coming to group because of the emotions I’m experiencing, then the opposite of that would be to go. Something like that. The moment she said that, it fell into place and I made the decision that I’m going to go in. For some reason, she has a strong influence on me (along with my therapist and the OT I’m working with individually). Their words hold more power than anyone else. I felt better after that call.

Walking up to the clinic last night and going inside, my heart was racing, and I felt nauseous. In our session on Thursday my therapist told me that she’s concerned about how often and how many of my Benzo’s I’ve been taking recently. So after that session, I decided to lay off them for a while. Last night was the first time I had it again, and just one, the lowest dose, just as prescribed (even though that dose barely takes the edge off). I had taken it before I left for group. Walking into the coffee shop (where we usually meet), I didn’t even look at anyone. I couldn’t. I didn’t want to stay, but I had already ordered my coffee. Which, by the way, is my weekly splurge. Who thought cappuccino was something to get excited about? I look forward to that cup of coffee every week… Don’t know what I look forward to the most. That or the group. I know, that’s sad. As I held the warm cup in my hand, and heard D’s voice in my head, I suddenly felt this calm come over me. Like a soft, comforting cloud.

It was then that I felt I could face everyone again. That it was okay. So I joined those outside, and that feeling of calm stayed. None of them seemed to look at me any differently… Like I had assumed they would. Assumption really is the mother of all fuck ups, isn’t it? Thinking that they were all judging me, when I was just projecting my own self judgement onto them. At some point I somehow (I have no idea how it happened), spilled coffee all over me. I’m one of those people who always falls over things, spill things, etc. I’m never without bruises (and never just one). My friends joke that when I get my own place I must child-proof it. Thanks guys. When these things happen when I’m around people (other than my friends), I get so embarrassed, turn bright red, and try to cover it up with a joke or two. But this time, I felt… Nothing. It didn’t bother me at all. I didn’t even care that it had spilled on my phone as well, whereas other times I’m paranoid about anything happening to it. Even a drop of water. Yes, I’m that protective over my phone. With all my stuff actually. Even my books. I could have read them twice, but they still look brand new. I look after my things because I can’t afford to replace any of it, and I only keep things around me that serve a purpose in my life.

One of the clinic psychologists was leading the group last night. I’ve always been somewhat wary of him. But the past two times that he’s run the group, I’ve been slowly warming up to him. But I’ll never talk to him or open up to him outside of the group. It was a small group last night, which was actually nice. The psychologist asked who wanted to check in first. One of the guys shared his week. When the psychologist asked who wanted to go next, I actually raised my hand! What?! I hadn’t gone in with the intention of sharing anything. But now, here I was, ready to do just that. I didn’t hold anything back. I told them about my struggle regarding last week’s group, and the aftermath of it. The shame, embarrassment, and fear, I’ve been feeling since then. I didn’t talk down to the floor this time, but looked at everyone as I spoke.

They were all so supportive, kind and validating. I felt relieved, like I could breathe again.

In the second half, we were going through the Barriers to Interpersonal Effectiveness. One of the guys was explaining how he experiences one of those barriers. I had noticed that he used the word “should” a lot. For example, “this person should support me”. I kept hearing my therapist telling me that she doesn’t like the word “should”. So I somehow managed to find the perfect time to jump in and give my input. I told him (and the others) how my therapist catches me when I say the word “should” (and all those other “have to” words and phrases), and has me rephrase it. Such as “I would like this person to support me”, or “I would prefer to have their support”. So I feel as though I at least contributed a little bit. And I still felt so calm. It’s very rare that I feel proud of myself. I’m way too self-critical. But last night was one of those rare times. I did it! And it was okay!

At first I thought (and said) “it’s probably just the meds that’s making me feel so calm and able to talk about this now”, but the psychologist was quick to point out that I can’t attribute it all to medication. That it was me, and that I did well. Thinking about it, I know it’s not “just the benzo”. Because last week I took three of them before the group, and I was still anxious. So one couldn’t have made such a big difference yesterday. I wasn’t dissociated either. I was fully present. At least that’s how it felt.

I felt relatively good driving home afterward. But at the same time, I had this subtle feeling that all was still not okay on the inside.

I’ll write about that in another post. I’m all out of writing fuel for today.

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17 thoughts on “It Was Okay

  1. I noticed you indicate a lot of things here that are having a positive effect on you. That is where your comfort is, right?
    Sometimes, I literally have to tell myself – outloud and verbally – the things that are good. I’m the kind of person, in recent years, that have become all too familiar with the negative aspects of my life – shoot, my entire blog is about that aspect – and I know that I have to force myself to focus on the good.

    I’m not saying it works for you or that you should do it, but I could relate to a lot of what you said here and it easily became personalized for me.

    You are a wonderful person, Rayne, keep moving in the direction you are going. ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear you. And it’s true, we sometimes have to force ourselves to focus on the good. That’s not always easy though. Sometimes it feels as though there’s no good… We see the world and everything around us as just bad. This is how it works for me, at least. The world, everyone in it, and everything about it, feels good. Great even. Then there are those times, where EVERYTHING just feels terrible. I struggle with integrating the two. Being able to see things as both good and bad. The very definition of black and white thinking. I really struggle with that grey part.

      Thanks Steph. 😉 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad that you went.
    Totally understand saying feelings and then being embarrassed and worried about being judged probably because I was conditioned that way. Sounds to me like your group didn’t think twice about it, probably because they’d felt that at one point too…maybe…I’m rambling…but I’m glad you got the coffee.
    I have a once a week sandwich after therapy that I consider my splurge. Otherwise I don’t go anywhere. Just therapy once a week and then to get my sandwich. You deserve that little splurge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m also glad that I went. It was good for me. It usually is. Aren’t little splurges just amazing? They can really make a difference to our day and mood. 🙂

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  3. This post makes me happy! I feel the same about benzo’s… like it’s not really me, it’s the meds. But I have to remind myself that WITH medication, I am able to practice things that would be too hard… and the more I practice (medicated or not), the better I get and hope that one day, I will be able to do it without meds. I’m so glad you had such a positive experience, that takes a lot of strength and courage ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear that this post made you smile. 🙂 I think this was the first time that a DBT skill has “clicked”. I struggle with a few of them, and feel that I need individual help with them. I’m having a session with my OT today, and I think she’ll be able to help me understand those ones that I struggle with the most, and how to actually implement them. ❤

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  4. Wow you faced your fear head on. So well done, Rayne. It was what I was trying to write about in my post about fear and facing up yesterday and how the urge to run and hide is so counterproductive. You deserve to be so proud of yourself, and I am so glad you have such great support. When we open our shame to others we find phantoms can transform and we recognise our common humanity. Healing shame is big work but you are on the way. Lots of love D xox<3

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