At the end of every session, Sid closes with, “How has this been helpful?” I understand the idea behind it and all.
At the beginning of every session, “What are you feeling today, Dee? What are you feeling physically? Emotionally? Spiritually?” The predictable cue that starts my sharing, and gets me to open up. So, the closing question is designed to bring me back to the present, and kind of … close back up.
It’s the same principle as what we did in my mommy support group. There was always a topic, generally involving a reading, to open the discussion, and then at the end we closed by going around the circle again with “what’s one takeaway from today, and one act of self care?” Open at the beginning, close at the end.
Not necessarily as dynamic as the other two, but I’m guessing that’s why meetings end with the Serenity Prayer. At least all the 12-step meetings I’ve been to. Ok, occasionally the 3rd step or 7th step prayers instead. Anyway!
So, last Monday, I “graduated” from my psychiatrist. That is to say, she said that my primary care doctor can now handle my meds, and she doesn’t think I need a psychiatrist. Whoa, that’s progress! Scary progress, but progress.
I told Sid it kind of feels like taking the training wheels off. He appreciated the metaphor.
Ok, I also told Ned, who retorted: “Don’t you still have a therapist and a sponsor?” (I’ll come back to that… figuring out the sponsor issue in SLAA has brought a ton of High School-esque drama, [my last post] and I’m so. over. it. I think it may warrant its own post.) So I said, “Ok, if the training wheels had training wheels, those just came off.” 😛
Anyway. Sid and I talked about how I struggle with ending relationships. As an example, when Seth and I stopped seeing Al (couple’s therapist), I really wanted to reach out to him to assure him, “it’s not your fault!” and that I still really liked him, and think he’s a good therapist.
And that’s part of why I’ve been going to so many meetings:
But I really like this meeting! I really like the people there!! And I really like *this* meeting, and the people there!!
MUST GO TO ALL THE MEETINGS!
To be fair, there are a handful of meetings I’ve decided not to regularly attend, for one or another reason. Generally speaking, the people there and the overall atmosphere were not my cup of tea.
And if I stop going to this meeting, or that meeting, people will worry about me, and think I’ve “gone out!” (Meaning gone back out gambling, in this case)
Aye, there’s the rub.
I’m so concerned about what other people think of me… to the point that I will sacrifice myself for the sake of their opinion (or what I perceive as their opinion). Going to too many damned meetings, and not getting enough other shit done… not taking care of myself, so that the friends I’ve made at my meetings won’t worry about me. I’ve been to a lot of meetings. I’ve made a lot of friends in fellowship. If I try to keep up that breakneck pace of recovery, I’ll kill myself (metaphorically), or burn out… which might make me want to withdraw from recovery entirely.
But! But! But! I have so much work left to do! And the more meetings I go to, the faster I’ll recover! Right?!
Everything in moderation.
So I wrote up a schedule. Which meeting, singular!, I go to each day. There were even a few days that I didn’t officially designate a meeting. But that sort of balances out, because the most convenient time for me to meet my GA sponsor is after our GA meeting, and we meet every other week. So, kinda hard to get out of two meetings there. And once a month, the women’s SLAA meeting does a first step share, which I really, really like to go to… problem being that I now chair the noon meeting that day every week. Long story short (too late!) it’s not quite sticking to only one meeting a day, but pretty close, and I’m still keeping the meetings/week < 7.
I think going to as many meetings as I did in such a short time has been immensely helpful for my personal growth, and my recovery. But it kind of had me slacking on overall self-care. “Be prepared to lose anything you put before recovery”… I don’t think that’s meant to imply you should completely ignore everything else in your life. 😛
Wow, I’ve got a lot to say tonight. Probably because, to my point! In a round about way… I haven’t blogged much, because I was busy! I got a LOT of shit done this past week. I don’t know if it’s scaling back on meetings, or grudgingly kicking my last two lingering addictions to the curb (nicotine and caffeine)… or probably some combination of all those things. I was incredibly effing productive this week!
Dishes! Laundry! Cooking! Schoolwork! Say what? That’s right, schoolwork! I finally started one of the two classes I need as a pre-req. My first quiz? 92! (My perfectionist really wants to fight the one question I got wrong…)
Today? I went to THE GYM. For the first time in months! Well, ok, the day I signed up and sat in the hot tub certainly doesn’t count as a workout. 😉
Last Monday, as I was expressing my discomfort with leaving my psychiatrist, I said, “And I know at some point I’m not going to feel like I need to come here every week.” He asked me, “What does that look like?” Not needing to see my therapist every week. Yeah, I’m not ready for that. My knee-jerk response to pretty much any question is: “OMG, I have to come up with the right answer, and I have to give it NOW.” Which has caused problems, as you could imagine. But, what I said, was: “Can I get back to you on that?” Which got a, “nicely done!” Because (of course) he’s well aware of my anxiety / internal pressure to answer questions like that right away.
I still don’t have an answer. I don’t think it’s before my divorce is finalized. Or at minimum, the paperwork is all submitted. And a requirement of my MA program is, well, to get 20 hours of personal therapy. Up to 10 of those hours can be before you’re in the program, but at least 10 have to be during the course of it. Which means I know he’ll see me a minimum of 10x during those 3 years or so. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be in only 10 weeks. (Or 5 weeks! I was just going twice a week!)
Anyway. So last night when he asked me, “how has this been helpful?” I paused for a while, and said, “why does this question seem like it’s getting harder?”
Oh. Fuck. I might be getting close to a point where I can cut back my therapy.
Hold me, I’m scared.