Tag Archives: therapy

Even the Grinch Has Issues

The holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year” for a lot of people, but what about the post-holiday season when all the hype has died down? While many settle back into normal routines, there are a few people that find this time of year to be even more difficult.

Why?

They're demanding figgy pudding. They won't go until they get some. What do I do- Call the cops- I'm calling the cops.

After weeks of being in the spotlight, they’re suddenly erased from the minds of the public for another 11 long months. Needless to say, a round of therapy is in order.

Patient Name: Little Drummer Boy

Session Notes: Possible abandonment issues coupled with concern over money has manifested itself into OCD, as LDB sat on the couch “pa rum pum pum pum-ing” on the table with a pencil throughout the entire session.

Talked of his willingness to follow three “wise” men without parental guidance. Expressed concern over lack of money and having no gifts to bring and asked to put his name on the card of the wise man who brought gold because he “had no idea what Frankincense or Myrrh are.”

Interested in starting a boy band like One Direction and naming it North Star. We’re working through this one.


Patient Name: Rudolph

Session Notes: Self-esteem issues evident by eagerness to guide the sleigh of seasonal employer (who was initially freaked out by his “abnormal” nose) after being told he would never join the flying reindeer team (a team that teased him mercilessly and refused to let him join in any reindeer games.)

This, combined with the fact his own father forced him to cover his nose in black dirt, has also led to a slight alcohol dependence evidenced by a bright red nose in clear weather and a strong smell of Jack Daniels.

Suggested finding a new crowd to hang out with — Blitzen and Vixen are no help—and perhaps seeking employment with Hermey to open a thriving dental practice on the Island of Misfit Toys.


Patient Name: Frosty the Snowman

Session Notes: A bit bipolar, no pun intended. Wavers between overconfidence—“I’ll be back again some day!” with a tendency to hit on married women, “I can do the job while I’m in town!”— and anxiety over the threat of global warming, not to mention the fact that he basically lets children dress him in produce and trash.

Feels people forget about him once it gets warm, which is a valid concern, and tends to overcompensate with streaks of merry mania. Suggested moving to a permanently colder climate and finding a job as an ice cream truck driver. Given his appeal to children, it seems like a natural fit.


Patient Name: Grinch

Session Notes: Physician-ordered session after patient’s heart “grew three sizes” and raised cardiac concerns. Also had a brief charge of theft by police. Seems anxiety has been plaguing patient since whole town has taken to ostracizing him for bad behavior.

Cited a song created about him in which various parts are likened to “a greasy black peel, a three decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich,” that his heart’s “a dead tomato splotched” and that he has “garlic in his soul.”

To be honest, I tuned him out after “garlic in your soul,” as that sounds delicious. And living on top of a mountain away from the town with only his dog? Seems like a good plan to me. I don’t really see much of an issue.

And now I’m hungry.

I think that my work here is done.

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Under the Weather

If you’re tired of me complaining about the weather, I can promise this post isn’t just about that. Instead I’m going to use it as a fancy metaphor for depression in an artsy attempt to complain about the weather.

The fact is this winter has been brutal already. We have about 18 inches of snow right now, are already around 80 inches this year and they’re predicting another storm this weekend. We had four days in January with no snow and haven’t been above freezing in weeks. And it’s only February.

Needless to say, FTW.

Aside from the actual cold, I struggle with a commute that gets complicated and dangerous, keeping my driveway and car clean when there’s nowhere else to throw the snow, worrying about the impact of the weather on my house, the increased bills, etc.

And more than ever before, the weather has upped my depression. Well, I’m blaming it on the weather, but in reality that could be a coincidence seeing as it’s been just as relentless for years.

But much like the weight of this winter, lately it’s crushing me down.

The OCD, the exercise, the hopelessness—it’s come to a point where I wonder when I’ll break, either physically or mentally, and yet I keep  testing those limits. I keep waiting for some event so significant in my mind that I’ll feel compelled to change, that the cloak of depression and obsession will fade and voila! The metaphorical sun will melt the snow and everything will become sun-shiny great!

But of course, that’s just magical thinking.

So instead I fight myself from both sides—the terrifyingly powerful disorder that wants me to cling to it and the part that wants to live a life without it. Finding a balance between the two might seem like having the best of both worlds —Yay! I’m a semi-functioning person balancing disorders and depression, well done!— but we know that’s not the case.

Because while everyone has heard how things have to get worse before getting better, what it doesn’t say is that you should make things worse before they magically, somehow get “better.”

So for the first time in years I actually went to a therapist.

It’s early, but so far she “gets” me. She’s a vegan holistic yoga teacher and I want to move into her office, but I think that violates some kind of ethical code. Anyway, much like dealing with winter, therapy is a lot of work. It’s exhausting. It’s expensive. It’s not fun.

But eventually you just reach that point—breakdown again or breakthrough?—and that’s where I am right now. I don’t feel like I’m really “me,” and even more scary, I’m not sure who that “me” is anymore but I owe it to myself to find out.

Now you’re probably wondering a) why I’m sharing this with you and b) when I’ll shut up. Frankly, I wonder that, too. I mean, how do you respond to this as a reader? What good does it do to ramble on about this when I would rather put up something funny?

Part of it is healing for me, getting it out there and telling someone. Part of it is that social stigma (and pride) often prevents many people from discussing these things. However, I do it anyway because maybe reading that I feel this way will help someone to feel less alone — or at least ridiculously sane in comparison.

So to wrap this all up and come back to that meteorological metaphor, I’ll say I have no control over weather, but I have faith that spring will eventually come. The sun will shine, the gray and desolate cold will recede and we’ll start to dig out of this hole.

healing

I’m ready to dig out of this hole.

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Where’s Waldo? Probably in Therapy

Patient Name: Harold, but goes by “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Session notes: Patient has possible abandonment issues due to lack of parental supervision after birth and has taken to “feeding his feelings” instead of working through them.

Requested he keep a food journal and how he felt at the time: 1 apple, 2 pears, 3 plums, 4 strawberries, 5 oranges, piece of chocolate cake, ice cream cone, pickle, slice of Swiss cheese, slice of salami, lollipop, piece of cherry pie, 1 sausage, cupcake, slice of watermelon, 1 green leaf. Said, “I felt hungry. I ate food. I felt better.”

Also made mention of wanting to curl up and hide for a couple of weeks, wishing he could emerge and be accepted for who he was—a colorful, sometimes flightly man with a love for Cher and the theater. Kept asking if I had any snacks.


Patient Name: Goldilocks

Session notes: Court-ordered session as part of breaking and entering charge. When asked about most recent incident, patient’s only comments were “Why do they have separate beds if all they really need is a Sleep Number?” and “Who the heck still eats porridge?”

Obvious entitlement and boundary issues laced with a bit of OCD—she tried out three different chairs in my office before settling into one.


Patient Name: Belle

Session notes: Possible delusional tendencies and troubling urges towards bestiality. Describes some of her best friends as household appliances that spend a majority of their time singing and dancing and refers to her boyfriend as a “beast.”

Came to therapy because of said relationship issues. Apparently conflict because money is tight and none of the dishes or household products actually work, as “a talking candlestick and chipped, chatty tea cup don’t do much more than provide an audience for our arguments about his hair in the sink and the fact that my dad won’t move out.”


Patient Name: Waldo

Session notes: Patient suffers from social anxiety disorder. Makes public appearances, but only discreetly surfaces in large crowds of people and insists on wearing the same clothes each day—thick, black-framed glasses, red and white striped shirt, red and white cap. Mysterious about his career and personal life and is paranoid that people are constantly looking for him.

Claims he wants to work through his urges to isolate so that he can pursue his dream of being a photographer for the local paper because he “feels more comfortable behind the camera.” Wants to attend Comic Con next year.


Patient Name: Snow White

Session notes: So many things with this one. If I am to believe her, a troubled family situation with an evil stepmom, a “witch” in her words, apparently drove her to break into the house of male midgets where she ate their food and fell asleep before waking up to accept a position as their unpaid friend with benefits. Follow this up with a necrophilia-driven boyfriend during a near-death experience and a shotgun wedding, and no wonder this chick needs some help.

Need to work on her co-dependency issues and need for approval from men.

*Note to self: Pitch her storyline for possible reality show. Crime, dwarfs, sex—throw in some cupcakes or a bacon element and it really can’t miss. Maybe “Dwarf Dynasty” or “Bachelorette” meets “Little People” Just working titles, of course.

**Another note to self: Reschedule “Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe” until she can find a babysitter. Remember to discuss contraception. This is getting ridiculous.

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