Why? I’m still not sure what to say to my new Psychiatrist.
And the appointment is less than five hours away. Yes, I have made some notes and collected documents. I have my Aetna Insurance card and my drivers license. In the bathroom, I hung a large cloth bag to collect all my current prescription medication, plus the supplements I am taking.
Once again, I have all the relevant facts together.
I can answer about my Prozac; 20 mg until November, then 40 mg until February, and then my Doctor and I agreed on 30 mg, which I am still taking. Just the facts, none of those squishy, touchy-feely emotions.
These feelings and emotions are the questions I am afraid of.
After 43+ years of NOT showing emotion, now I am dedicated to exploring them and showing them to the world. After a heroic effort in the first few months, I feel I am sliding back into my comfort zone, a state of concealed depression. Hiding my feelings is easy.
I shove down my feelings and put on my “I’m darn glad to be here face.”
The bottom line is I can get mountains of things done with this mask on. Feelings just slow me down, they are excess baggage that I must drag around behind me. Being adept and nimble, without my feelings and emotions, I can jump from fire to fire, extinguishing the blaze, restoring order, and then move on to the next hot spot.
Having to stop and feel your pain, sorrow, joy, elation is tedious for me.
Surprisingly, I am not drawn to professional sports (other than golf). Sports commentators are full of facts. “If Joe completes this pass, it will be the 3rd time in the league’s history that a second-string quarterback has thrown a pass after the starting quarterback was sidelined with a leg cramp.” A sportscaster’s banter includes all kinds of fascinating, but generally useless trivia, facts.
So here I am, on the front porch, coffee in hand, trying to decide what to share with my new Psychiatrist.
Earlier this week, I made a list of all the things I wanted my new Psychiatrist to know. READ: Will I Be Ready For My New Psychiatrist?
I printed out a copy of the blog post and my plan is to share it with him. Looking at my list last night, I thought it covered the major points I wanted to address. I am good at making lists. For our trips, I would make lists. Our vacations include lists and I have a separate list when we go camping, plus a list of my personal things, including the books I am taking to read.
If it is related in any way to the facts, then I am all about it.
But when you press the issue and want to know “how that makes me feel?” Then I am out of here. I recognize that my relationship with facts and feelings is not cut and dry. There has been overlap and I have expressed emotions. I have feelings, too. Sometimes I share them. This can be spontaneous and enjoyable. Or it can be a burst of frustration and anger as I unleash whatever I have been tamping down and suppressing for days, weeks, or even longer.
My hospitalization and treatment for major depressive disorder have helped me find tools to combat these explosions.
Even if I am still uncomfortable sharing my feelings, I am not holding on to them and hiding them as I did in the past. This has been an enormous change in my life. On top of that, I am recognizing many unhelpful thinking styles and addressing them, sometimes within seconds of me saying or thinking them. In the past, I could let something fester for weeks. I can be mad or sad about what someone had said but will use an unhelpful thinking style such as catastrophizing to keep me from talking about it.
Some success, but where does that leave me with my new Psychiatrist?
Can I be honest? Is it possible to just answer his questions and relate to him not only the facts, but how I feel? My goal is to live a balanced life, where I am not obsessing about one thing to the detriment of all the other things in my life.
I have high hopes for an honest meeting.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder last year, I am sharing what I learn. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
I very much appreciate your comments.