I went to see my therapist today.
I told her about the addition to the family (who, for those keeping track, is now using both legs fairly well!) and about some issues with Mom that I haven’t talked about here. (Nothing serious, just dealing with someone who’s very unhappy about where she is in life and is willing to do almost anything to change it. More on that in a future post.) I also talked about what I’ve been covering in The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook, a recommendation that she made to me. I told her about my ideal scenario and we discussed that in earnest and detail.
There were a couple of changes that she wanted me to include in there, which I’ve done – those curious can follow the link above to see the edits. But there was an epiphany of sorts in today’s session.
We were talking about the concept of self-generated anxiety, and I told her that I know that I bring some of this on myself, so I asked her how much of this is stuff my own mind is making up and how much of this is a direct result of the experiences that I’ve had in my life.
She said she believes that 90% of it is self-generated. That’s not to say that I’m making it up, but rather my experiences have led me to create the anxiety that I feel in so many situations – but ultimately it was my own reaction to the experiences that caused the anxiety.
Now, at this point of the story, I feel obligated to tell you a little bit about the layout of her office. As you walk in, there’s a large leather couch to the left of the room, and across from it, on the right, is her chair and a side table that she keeps her calendar and phone on. (The phone is important, since she uses Square to take credit card payments.) Facing her chair from the couch, her desk is over to the right in an alcove almost specially designed for the workspace. On the wall on the far side of the room from the door is a window, there’s another window by her chair, and there’s a third over in front of her desk. The blinds are drawn on all three windows, but they’re thin enough to tell when the sun’s out and when it’s cloudy.
As I asked her this question, the sun was behind some clouds, so it was a little dimmer in the room than usual. But when she gave me her answer, and the truth of it dawned on me, the sun came out from behind the cloud cover and it became notably lighter in the room, as if the light over my head had literally come on.
We had a good laugh about it – I complimented her lighting guy and she referred to the little remote that she keeps in her chair for just such an occasion – and that’s when I told her something that I’m proud of. Unless I’m well and truly irrational, my sense of humor is usually right there on the surface, and it helps keep me sane.
We talked about a few other things in the session – she wants me to turn the goals in my ideal situation into SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) so I’ll be working on that in the coming days in a further blog post. She also wants me to do some checking into Mom’s situation – more on that later too.
It was a good session.