Wednesday, August 27, 2008

After You're Done With Therapy, what's Next?

A friend has just started down that hard road of therapy. She's wiped out all the time and can't figure out why she doesn't want to do anything besides sit around and ... I informed her that right now therapy IS her life and there isn't much energy left over beyond that for awhile. How long? I can't answer that, but berating yourself for not progressing faster just saps energy better left available for the healing process.

I, on the other hand, have been through both the talking part of recovery and still take medication to manage my screwy brain chemistry. After therapy you begin to build a life. This blog is my example of that process, as it is happening. I stumbled along for awhile and slowly my "today" took shape. 

I have lots of work to do for my church. I am still working on not burning myself out doing the work-a-holic routine. It is so hard  to believe that I don't have to run myself into the ground to PROVE to God that I love Him. But I am getting much better at working at my job a few hours a day. Then I can enjoy other activities at will.

If you have come from a serious abuse history, your work is never totally done. I am now investigating some emotional issues. I have arranged to get into some short term group work for the problem. I was so relieved to finally find a place I can deal with my problems about emotions. Well, I came home and wept. Thanks to being on proper medication for my bi-polar disorder, I cried for maybe ten minutes and not several hours. What working your process gives you is this kind of control and freedom.

There was a time when being sad about a problem would hang my entire life up for days, weeks, or even months. It was just plain awful.

The wonderful part of being emotionally healthy is how life is always moving, changing and expanding. My church work keeps evolving. I now produce CD's of sermons I also put up on the web. So, I had to again dive into learning about how to make labels and packaging for CD's.

When I start something new, it feels like I'm dumb as a stump. Not a true evaluation. I ignore it and push on to produce labels and packaging. When I don't hassle myself for the learning "errors", the process almost becomes fun.

I am learning to apologize when necessary. Recently, I had an exam by a Dr.  She and I were both having a bad day. In my opinion she behaved badly, but for sure I behaved badly also. We basically sniped at one another.

Upon reflection, I felt bad for my part of the encounter. It was clear that my Dr. was having a bad day (before my entrance into her day). For sure I didn't make her day any better. So, I shot off a brief email of apology for my own snooty behavior. To my surprise, I got a very kind response. Probably made her feel better also. 

Another thing that begins to appear in a busy life is marvelous tech toys which solve problems.
I am totally addicted to my new Palm Z22. A little device I originally bought for reading all my eBooks. I have over 1,000 titles put together by a loving friend. The Z22 has a way to set it up so I can use reverse video. I can read anywhere and am no longer tied to my computer, or a stronger-than-normal light source.

I am also discovering other uses for this nifty gadget. I can take hand written notes on it, like I used to try and do with pen and paper. Notes never get crumpled up, or lost now. Oh, how sweet it it!

Finally, I bought a portable exercise machine, a ski-stepper. Actually use it too! Again, no marathon sessions, just a little exercise every few days.

So, for my dear friend just starting on the journey of recovery,  be PATIENT! Yeah, I know, I wasn't patient either, but I wish I had been able to hear that message when I was starting out in recovery.

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