Power and Getting a Life

I thought I would write a follow-up to my last post after meeting with Dr. G.  He agreed with me about the diagnosis of social anxiety disorder and we discussed how we’ve been working on my recovery all along.  The key has been, and continues to be, developing my confidence to a level where I can go out into the world without the fears (or have lesser ones), of being judged or ridiculed.  It will be a relief to not have the feelings of “Oh my god, what did I do?  I look like an idiot.” “What did I say? No one will ever want to be around me!”  It would mean being free!  Having a life!  Yay!recovery

He pointed out many of the accomplishments I’ve made in the last year:

  • I’m now volunteering and interacting with staff and patients at the hospital where I go twice a week;
  • travelling on public transit;
  • cooking and baking.
  • I’m dealing with my lawyer, my ex, the bureaucracy that is social services and all with much less stress than I had before.
  • I’m finally getting bored with being at home.
  • I’m walking outside more, although still mostly within my comfort zones.

Most of these changes happened in the last 6 months.

Dr. G also talked about my blogging and how amazing it is that I feel very little discomfort writing about my private life for the public to read.  I told him that blogthese were faceless people except for a very few who do know me quite well and I already trust them not to think badly of me for what I reveal.  They can ask me questions and I’m quite comfortable answering. He said it’s one of the best therapies for me.  I think he’s right.

My interactions with my kids still have to change though.  I noticed I was isolating myself from my daughter’s feelings and her life again.  She’s still getting over the breakup with her boyfriend and some days are just still so hard for her. She was hiding and I was retreating somewhere too, not knowing what to do and not knowing that this was what was happening, until the other night when it hit me hard in the gut (especially #1):

  1. How would I feel if she did something to hurt herself or worse?  I know I would easily blame myself and believe I would have every right to do so.  Dr. G disagrees about that as he believes that’s the social anxiety talking. After 5 years of knowing me, he said, he knows I have a tendency to blame myself for all that goes wrong.  But I am her mom.
  2. She needs me to be her mother, not her friend.  A mother who can provide good advice, not be pushy and make sure she has unconditional love always as long as I live.  That’s easy.
  3. I’m not to put all the pressure on myself to be perfect as a parent.  I can always improve though and will make sure I do.  Trying to be 2 parents at once for her isn’t easy.

My son has talked to me a few times now about how worried he is about me, my bipolar and my future.  I’ve tried to explain to him about how I’m taking baby steps to get back to a life that will be more fulfilling, less stressful and, hopefully, one I can be proud of.  It will take time for him to understand and he’s young, rather set in his ways and doesn’t really “believe” in depression or in bipolar treatments.  I know its hard for him to understand that his mom is sick and has to use therapeutic medications probably for the rest of her life.  He might finally realize that it’s not all about taking the drugs and “masking the symptoms”, I’m also getting extraordinary therapy from my doctor.  I assured him Dr. G keeps track of my kidney and liver functions.  This seemed to calm him down the last time he expressed his concern.

This has been a busy week for me with something to do almost everyday.  I’m actually sleepy at 7 pm!  I have to stay awake, though, as Carly has gone out with friends and I have to wait up for her.

Like a good mom.


8 responses to “Power and Getting a Life

  1. Great blog Marie!

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Oh Marie isn’t it wonderful when our therapists validate the hard work we have been doing all along! Sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves.

    I too have the same con is with my daughter that you have with your son. I feel the more I accept this may be a lifetime of healing and moving forward, my d accepts it more too.

    As single parents I believe we rock at being Moms. Imagine trying to parent being sick with Cancer? We are parenting without a spouse and we have to take care of our mental health on top of being both mom and dad.

    I am so proud of you.

    P.s. I am starting to be bored of being home too! Good sign. ❤

    • Oh yes Kim! I know you get it. I should remember the comparison to cancer and try to relate it to my son. I’ve used diabetes treatment for comparison; as an imbalance that needs meds. Thank you always, Kim for reading and your very valuable comments! xoxo

  3. Tony Lewis-Jones

    Hi Mariekb I am a Facebook Friend of your friend KIm, and am following her progress from the UK. I want to say the same to you as I’ve said to Kim in the past. Have you tried any form of complementary treatments for your condition? I know they can be expensive, but I really think you may benefit from trying something like Reiki or Shiatsu, They approach these things from a holistic and non-intrusive standpoint, and do not ‘pigeonhole’ people in the way that conventional therapists do. If you want to get some idea of the kind of treatments on offer, please check out Tanmaya Honervogt’s Complete Reiki Tutor, available on Amazon – it’s a good starting-point.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting Tony. I do rely and practice reiki almost daily for myself. I am at the second level or degree and find it extremely useful for almost all my symptoms but only while I take meds as well. They positively complement each other. I also try to exercise daily although that’s been difficult with our extremely cold winter this year. Come Spring I shall be back at my walking schedule and feeling better because of it.
      I appreciate the feedback and look forward to hearing more from you.

  4. Tony Lewis-Jones

    Excellent, good news, I’m sure this will help enormously 🙂

  5. What wonderful progress you’re making!! I’m so happy that you’re connecting more with others and putting yourself out there. I suffer from anxiety, (I take 2 meds for it) and I’ve been making progress, as well. It feels so good to join up with the land of the living again.
    I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s break up. That’s so hard and finding the right words for advice can be difficult, too, but I’m sure you’re doing great with her! 🙂 I’m really happy for you!

    • Thanks so much Used-to-be-Sprinkles! I am proud of my progress and my realizations I’ve had lately. Still a work in progress though. Thanks for finding me again!

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