Sunday, November 21, 2010

Changing therapists?

My therapist suggested i find a therapist closer to home. She's in NYC, and i'm way out in new jersey. my commute is two hours each way and with my new work schedule, it's nearly impossible for us to find time to meet.

This is a hard one. She's great and caring and very smart and kind. She was my counselor in IOP when I gave up drugs and she's worked tirelessly on me and with me to end my drinking.

Kay knows all my history and everything that pains me. Can i start all over with someone new? Like many people, i've had some less than stellar therapists along the way. My psyche is fragile, and it's hard for to me trust and work with a lot of people.

Yet, it's true -- our schedules don't work. As much as I wish it were different, it's not. I've never much lived in reality -- instead wanting what i want, regardless of what is realistic. Through therapy and AA, i'm learning we must make choices, even if we don't love what we're picking from.

i never had much of a family and intensely dislike this time of year, when everyone seems so delighted to be with theirs. of course, holiday meals are difficult and stressful -- not so much with food these days, but the alcohol...

Kay is like the family remember i never had. she's wise and consistent and caring and solid. when in doubt i wonder, what would kay do? i certainly would never ask myself, what would my mother or father or brother have done?

it's a tough time, as things from my past, particularly with my mother, are coming up for me through my AA work and therapy. not fun, but it needs to be done. i'm learning that we have to go thru things to get to the other side. my old habit was burying, burying, burying and then using food and drugs and alcohol to shove it down and ignore it. but it doesn't melt away without work.

i begin to believe i CAN do the work. i'm not giving up. but i can't say i look forward to it.

as i've been a little blue lately, this seems a great time for a gratitude list. here goes;

I'M clean and sober and don't binge, purge or starve. HALLELUJAH.

I'M hanging in with the job and learning to deal with the hurdles and not giving up

DANCING with the stars is on tomorrow, and i'm going to vote my heart out. It's our right and for that i am very grateful

when in doubt, be thankful. may we all have much to be grateful for!


  1. That would be a hard decision. Maybe she can refer you to someone so it wouldn't be like picking someone off of the internet? But if you found someone closer, and if they were good, you would definitely benefit from more frequent visits, right?

    I hate this time of year too, family is way too stressful. And food is too. I think a lot more people are dissatisfied with their families than you might think!

  2. First, I think you've been doing fabulous work in therapy and AA,and I can only imagine how hard it must be to possibly change therapists., especially as you are dealing with issues about your mother. I had to do similar things due to time constraints and schedules. It was hard at first, and some therapists I did not mesh well with. But eventually, I did find someone who I could work with. Can you ask your therapist if she knows of someone closer to you that might be a good fit? And remember this isn't necessarily closing the door. I'm sure she would let you keep in touch with her.

    Great gratitude list. It is kind of amazing when we write out what we do have, how much that can make a difference. Keep your spirits up and do not give up on yourself. You've fought this hard and can continue on.

  3. Would it be possible for you to test the waters with a new therapist without finalizing the break from Kay? A good therapist that you connect with is *such* a huge asset. It does sound like the logistics are difficult, and having someone more easily accessible might be nice, and it is sometimes a big help to have a fresh perspective, but maybe you can talk with her about how to approach it cautiously?

  4. Losing my therapist is one of my biggest fears, so I understand what a hard decision this must be. I agree with the other commentors. See if she can refer you to someone. Your not going to get the therapy you need if your schedules never work out. You are doing so great with food and alcohol! Way to go:) This is a hard time of year so maybe you could ease yourself away from your therapist. Maybe she would do phone sessions or something until you were set up with a new one. I hope everything works out. Sending {{{HUGS}}}

  5. harriet; i think i'm in denial about the therapist thing. finding a good one aint easy. but i know it's right and makes the most sense. i hate loss.

    yeah, i know a lot of people have family stuff. but it just seems like most people enjoy thanksgiving and christmas. makes me feel isolated. still, i do like new years and always have. guess that's good.

    Tiptoe: thank you the encouraging words. have i been doing a good job? i guess so. hard to see when we're in the process.

    i really do have a lot of gratitude. with my past, i can only imagine where i could be now. i have friends and support and a roof over my head and food on the table and my own car. that's really big stuff. oh yes, i am very grateful for bookstores, which offer some of the best therapy in the world!

    cammy; thank you. i'm sure it will be a slow process. and it will be good to give up that crazy commute. a new perspective could be good, but i just appreciate kay's perspective. still, i'm sure there are other good therapists in the world! i really appreciate your support.

    Angela; i've often thought that our therapists might have similiar qualities -- yours sounds great, so i really feel that you can well understand. and that's nice to know.
    i'm sure i'll be able to do phone sessions. and that's comforting. we'll see what happens. thankfully, i have wonderful AA!

  6. That must be so scary- to have to start over with a new therapist. But in the end, I hope the switch will be beneficial. I'm sure that you'll find another therapist who you can work well with. You are so inspirational, strong and you have done so well staying sober and eating well! :) love and hugs.

  7. Yes, that sucks that you have to lose your therapist--I imagine it's hard to find a good one that you connect with.

    I, too, can't stand the holidays. I wish I could hibernate the day before Thanksgiving and wake up the day after Christmas.

    Hang in there! XOXO

  8. Shae: Thank you. i really do hope i find someone with the same abilities as Kay. I am really happy that i have AA as such strong support.

    i, like all of us, am tough on myself. i do have to remember that i've made some really good, positive changes. fyi, it feels really good to have this freedom from substance and eating addictions. for a long time, i didn't know who the hell i was without them. but i'm finding out. and it's good

    VVL; that sounds wonderful. for many, many years i didn't go to holiday meals. i stayed home, took myself to the movies and out for a drink and ate whatever i wanted. it was brilliant. now, i have more commitments. it's okay. still, i find this time of year depressing. i wait for spring.

  9. My therapist is going on leave for 3 weeks. I've been a mess ever since she told me. A COMPLETE AND UTTER MESS. I ended up quitting my job because I couldn't function.

    You will find someone that will be the perfect fit for you. You will be free from this hell... I promise

    ps- this is Lisa from Reach Out Hold Back Where is Safety, I have a new blog now :)


  10. Hi Lisa; i'll come check out your blog. good to hear from you and see that you're back.

    it's so hard when therapists are away. i know i've struggled when mine's not around. hang in there. they come back.

    i'm still in denial. my therapist is busily looking for a new person for me to see. i started to look but threw up my hands.

    i'll get used to it. thanks for your support!

  11. Blerg! No fun to have to leave what's working for an unknown. Maybe I can give you an inch of light by telling you that I had a therapist I LOVED back in Chicago. When we moved to Ohio, I simply had to find a new one of course. (That's a LONG commute, six and a half hours ;) ) Well, my new therapist is waaaay different than my Chicago gal- but she's absolutely terrific. And the fact that she's different has actually kind of given me a jump start and a leap forward... as though she has been able to see things in me and say it in a new way that has helped me even more. Everyone's different, of course. But maybe that's a scenario you can hope for?
    And if I may be so bold, can I add to your gratitude list? You write a blog that helps SO many people! Go back and look through your comments. You're a rock star healer. A brave pioneer who puts herself out there in the name of changing herself and the world. Hm. OK. I guess that's our gratitude list for YOU.
    Love and light to you!