Progress is hard

Therapy last night, which is now back to its regular scheduled time of Monday nights, went well.

We spent most of the 2 hours going over different DBT stuff and filling out a goals worksheet for the week. Different things to practice in terms of mindfulness and stuff. It’s a lot to take in and a lot to learn and think about, but I do think it will be helpful.

After that, we talked more about addiction and kind of the brain chemistry behind it. How, in my case, it’s probably genetic. And how, generically, my brain was probably always lacking certain things that it needed to feel okay, and that’s why I initially turned to alcohol to feel better. And then it worked, and it became a requirement for my brain to feel the same way that “normal” people so. Addiction is actually super complicated when you get down to the science behind it, and I’m not even going to try to explain it the way it was explained to me.

I think the hardest part yesterday was the beginning. It was the kind of emotional discomfort that, at the end of the day, had me looking at my arm and saying “what the heck happened? Oh yeah, I had therapy”. When things get uncomfortable or stressful, I guess I tend to dig my nails in or grab my arm really hard. I don’t even know I’m doing it until I see it later and my arm is all kinds of scratched up and red.

Talking about my son is what led that to happen, naturally. My therapist talked to my sons new therapist (who I only met once, last week, without my son). I knew they were going to talk, obviously. I gave both of them permission to, and we had talked about it in therapy. I didn’t know exactly what they would talk about, but I know there’s some extensive history there between my son and I that is relevant, that my therapist could offer insight on.

The only thing I didn’t want her to share was that I struggle with issues with alcohol. For me, anything was fair game, but I was wanted to keep that out of it, because it isn’t relevant to my son or my interaction with him. It isn’t an issue when my kids are around. Simple as that. So I didn’t want it brought up.

My therapist said that even though I’m not drinking around them, it would still be good for her to know. So I eventually agreed that she could tell her if she thought it was relevant.

It did get mentioned (among a million other things), but that was the thing that freaked me out the most. It’s the thing I hate the most about myself, and the thing I judge myself for the most. So I guess I assume that now that she knows that, she’ll judge me or see me in a different light. When really, I’m an extremely engaged and present parent.

My therapist assured me that she clearly told the new therapist that it wasn’t an issue as it relates to my parenting, but just mentioned it as something we’re working on.

I’m glad all the cards are on the table, because I know our relationship desperately needs work. And at the end of the day, I want the best for my son. For all of my kids.

Next Monday I’ll have therapy again with my sons therapist, and then my own therapy that night. So, I guess Therapy Monday is gonna get a whole lot intense with both my son and I having it on the same day. (I’ll be going in with my son, at least for a while.)

Everything that’s happening is good. It’s progress, and I’m happy things are going in the right direction. Yes, things are hard and complicated and stressful and exhausting…but I’m doing something about it.

And just acting on it and trying to make positive change…it feels better than feeling hopeless and lost.

I’m feeling incredibly drained and lifeless today. I’m exhausted, but I’m fighting. I’m trying so hard to be okay. I wish things were instantaneous, but I know that everything takes time.

I’m just….I’m ready for things to be better. I’m ready to feel better.

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