Today we started OT with a round of progressive muscle relaxation. After that, we had coffee and sweets and discussed what we will do next.
We didn’t do anything creative today, but nobody wanted to leave. We are a wonderful group, we just connect to each other.
It looks like the relaxation group can start in three or four weeks, so everything goes according to plan.
Aside from the demon self-hatred, the demon called perfectionism bothers me the most.
An example is the picture above, I finished it today in OT-group. Most of the group members like it, I only see many little flaws and hate it.
The picture will go to another participant of the group, I wouldn’t have taken it home, I would have thrown it away immedeately.
I have been working on my perfectionism issues for quite a long time, but this demon is really hard to beat.
Well, I may not be the greatest silk painting artist, but I am fascinated by circles. We will see how it looks when it is finished. It is a pillow, 40×40 cm.
What I noticed recently: In our OT group are three people that suffered from cancer at a relatively young age. We are talking about brain tumor, cancer of the small intestine and my melanoma.
It is understandable that suffering from cancer is something difficult to cope with. But we all agree on the fact that there is very little support for middle-aged cancer survivors. Depression or anxiety that may follow cancer can be treated, of course. But this is where it stops.
Things may get very difficult where work is concerned. The employment center scratches its head and offers Job Application Training. I had to go through this myself and now what I am talking about. Those who can’t go on with their work like before, but are too “fit” to file for disability, are affected worst.
But this is just more point in which I want our society to be more compassionate and understanding. Everyone can become an cancer patient one day.
This is what I am currently working on in our group OT-sessions. The outlines of the flowers where already printed on the canvas, but it is a lot of fine work and takes a lot of concentration. It also takes longer than I thought.
My single OT sessions will come to an end in the next weeks. So it’s a good thing that our therapist had some training last week, and wants to start relaxation group therapy. Her goal is to provide her clients with exercises they can use in their everyday life.
That’s exactly my problem. During my therapies I was taught lots of good exercises, but most of them couldn’t be done in public in stressful situations. So this could really help me. We will see if enough clients want to come, so a group can be formed.
Anyway, it is a good thing when something new comes my way.
After getting this GDPR thing out of the way, I can finally blog again 😉
More than thirty sessions of OT are behind me, single and in group. The single sessions are limited to forty, after that the therapy can only be continued after a special evaluation by the health insurance. Group therapy can continue for a longer time.
Where OT helps me:
- It brings structure in my life. I take this appointments seriously, just don’t feeling like it is no reason to cancel. I only cancelled once, when I couldn’t wear my hearing aid.
- Now and then it’s a good thing to meet people for other reasons that doing the groceries. And my therapist is great, she made me realize so many things – OT compliments my DBT wonderfully. And I met very nice people in group.
- It’s nice to craft something. I may never be ready with my chores, but in OT I create something. Even if I don’t like it in the end.
Where OT can’t help me:
- It didn’t make my depression better in the long term. But it makes me feel better at least for a few hours.
- I can’t take the elan from the sessions into my everyday life. It tires me out too much.
This list is of course just my personal opinion. But the positive effects can’t be denied. But I take what I can get.
While I am accompanied by many demons when I am outside, there is only one of them with me when I am inside. But this is the worst one: Self-hatred.
He is very persistent, and he knows how he can torture me the best. He follows me around all day long, and often at night as well.
Today in therapy we tried visualisation. I was told to imagine the demon in my head and to talk to him. I realized that there are things I like I like about this demon as well. He is absolutely reliable, he doesn’t change his rules. But I also think he judges me to harshly. My life wasn’t always like this, and I was able to keep up with the “normal world” for nearly four decades, despite my psychological and physical issues.
I was told to push the demon away from me, and at the end of the session he wasn’t black anymore, rather grey.
That doesn’t change the fact that I still suffer from this demon. But maybe I have a say in some things!
One of the most important things I learned in therapy is being honest. To myself, and to others.
To make life easier for others and for me I often used white lies. When somebody said things like “What about doing xxx sometimes”, my answer would be “yes “.
Sometimes I would get away with it, sometimes not. And then things would become ugly. „You said, you would go with us?!“ Disappointment and a bad atmosphere would follow those discussions. Not to forget the bad feeling I had from the first discussion until this moment.
Honesty does not prevent me from diappointment or a bad mood, but the atmosphere stays clear. But honesty shows I am taking the other – and myself – seriously.
This week was an example how I have changed, and I was a little bit proud how I handled things. On Christmas the In-Laws suggested we have a good time together instead of buying presents. I pointed out immedeately that I don’t plan so far ahead in my present condition, and that there is the possibility I can’t join them. When things got real this week I made it clear from the beginning I won’t go.
My MIL is a little pissed at me, she likes family time. I can live with this.
My husband understands my reasons, but he is sad I don’t go with them. That’s awful. But I am the only one responsible for my mental health. And if I am stressed and overstrained, no one is happy.