In the last session, I explained to my therapist how I felt more responsible for and in control of my own happiness, and less dependent on others for a sense of identity or fulfilment (things I’d struggled with before). I also told him how I’ve been more vocal about my needs, to give my friends a chance to be involved in my life instead of always putting my feelings aside, and how I’m lucky that they’ve responded so positively to that. I’ve made some major life decisions that I believe will lead to positive changes, I’ve been productive, and I’m happy for right now instead of being deluded by a hopeful sense of what the future may hold1.
When I brought up idea that it may be the medication that’s been helping me so much, he said it’s good but not that good. Otherwise, he’d be popping pills every time he needed some sort of personal epiphany. Instead, it’s there as a way to help me think more clearly in certain circumstances, but it doesn’t do any thinking for me. This came as quite a relief, as I didn’t want to think that I’d be dependent on something for this sense of mental well-being.
My therapist’s initial goal was to teach me how to take better care of myself, due to the fact that I had insufficient coping mechanisms. Now, he believed I could handle that sufficiently, and after saying that I looked “delighted”, we agreed that I didn’t need to continue with our sessions anymore, something he’d never said to me before. I walked in and out of there feeling good. I like the fact that he respects me, cause he’s one of the few people who truly understand me.
On the other hand, I didn’t particularly care for my psychiatrist, an hoary man who didn’t seem to have a sense of empathy, whom I met for the first time a few weeks ago. As a sign that my experience with him was part of Canadian healthcare industry, he had no clue why I was there, when it was a doctor at the same clinic who had to write the referral for me. At the appointment, I was asked to fill out a questionnaire that included things like:
- Are your parents divorced ____, for how long _________, and what age were you ____?
- Father/mother: how much education did he/she have?
- Please circle the type of socioeconomic environment in which you grew up: poor / lower middle class / middle class / upper middle class / wealthy
- Habits: marijuana ____ frequency ____ gms ____
Sometimes he talked over me, as if he wasn’t interested in hearing what I had to say, although it’s hard to blame him for that, seeing as how his role is to monitor my medication instead of dealing with any kind of psychoanalysis. At the end of the appointment, he said I had a lot of options cause I had a lot of interests and intelligence. The only thing is, I don’t think I told him anything that would have given him that impression, so it all came out as flattery.
At least I won’t have to be seeing him for much longer, as I was told that I could stop my dosage, but he recommended that I continue for at least six months after I start feeling better (not after I start taking it), which means I can’t still can’t drink until some time around Christmas. But by then, hopefully I won’t have to.
- One thing I’ve learned is that realism is more valuable than optimism (and a lot more valuable than pessimism) when it comes to psychology. [↩]