Thursday, February 12, 2015
I haven’t been a big fan of Valentine’s Day throughout at least part of my life. I know this is true due in part to my mixed experience of relationships throughout my own life history. I haven’t spent much time in a Hallmark card section in the last several weeks. I don’t usually do this anyway. But I nonetheless do want to find abiding love in my life. I believe I can make my current and future relationships stronger and more enjoyable than what I have experienced in the past.
I am choosing to love myself more than I ever have by electing to participate in an outpatient treatment program. The program is offered by Choices Psychotherapy. The program will require me to give up my mornings four days a week for the next eight weeks. I am excited by what I might be able to accomplish in the coming weeks.
It’s been nearly twenty months since I began going to weekly individual psychotherapy. Looking back it is clear to me that my health was not that good prior to my decision to go to psychotherapy. I can still recall treating the symptoms of my low back pain during my trip to Germany in May, 2013. And yet I wasn’t really addressing the underlying cause of the pain. I was also most likely experiencing at least a mild case of dysthymia during my first winter living in Minnesota. I was probably Vitamin D deficient that entire winter. A deficiency of this vitamin can have significant consequences for mood. And of course my early life history of trauma was still clouding my perception of the world. But I didn’t know that this was true. My past was still clouding my perception of the world.
I left behind the thicket of anger and reactivity quite a while ago. Last summer seems like ancient history now. The summer of 2013 seems positively prehistoric. Now I find myself in The Landscape of Sadness. I want to develop new tools so I can ultimately leave this landscape behind. I am not sure how long this will take. But I am willing to commit to the process of improving the quality of my life.
I find myself more apt to well up with tears of sadness when I remember how I previously took care of myself. My self-care skills were not that great. But then again I didn’t have great models of self-care as embodied by my biological parents. I want to find the middle ground between ignoring my sadness and wallowing in it. I believe what I embark upon next week may help me to do this.