I’ve been depressed lately. I did have a good time at the beach with my friend this past weekend, but still feeling dismayed at how easily I get tired, and my lightheadedness, and my inability to run without my heart beating too fast and the headaches.
J asked me how the beach was and I said it was good. Then I told him that it turns out I do have a medical issue, so there. I said that I was mad at him at first, but now I am just sad. I told him that I didn’t think he believed me when I said I was feeling worse, that he made me doubt myself, and that he thinks I am so neurotic that I make up illness, or imagine it.
He said that was not his intention. That I know my body best. I said that is exactly true, so why was he trying to get me to doubt myself? I asked if it was a therapeutic technique – getting me to change my beliefs. He said that it was not. He said he is not a medical doctor, so the only issue he can work with me on is the mental aspect. He said that it doesn’t have to either mental or physical, it’s not either/or. I told him that he asked me last week if I thought this was a mental issue or a physical one. He didn’t say is it a mental and/or a physical issue, or is it mental or physical or xyz issue? He gave me two choices. And when he asked me I told him that I couldn’t answer the question until I got the results of my blood test.
J explained that, like a parent, he was being a foil to me and how I was thinking. If a child comes home with a failing grade on a test and says he is a complete failure, the parent would tell him that he is not a failure and it is just one test. But if the child comes home and says he failed a test, but it’s no big deal because he can throw out the lowest grade, the parent would say that doesn’t matter, the child should work harder at studying. So that is what he was doing with me.
He asked me if I was looking for validation from him last week, for him to say that I do feel worse and whatever else he would say to validate me. I told him that, no, I was not looking for that. I had seen my doctor the day before and she totally believed me and did tests and made me feel that I wasn’t a crazy obsessive hypochondriac. But I was not looking for him to make me doubt myself either, and when I left the session last week I was truly confused.
Then we talked about the vitamin b12 deficiency, and that I am relieved that it is something that can be treated. We spent quite a bit of time talking about how I feel that I will never get better, and he said I don’t know that for sure. I said that I am trying to be realistic, and he said that we don’t know if that is realistic. I said I don’t want to be optimistic, because what if I really never get better? It is better to have low expectations and be pleasantly surprised than to have high expectations and be disappointed. He said he normally feels that way, but in this case I shouldn’t think that way. I told him that the nurse told me I would feel better right away after the injection, but that didn’t out to be the case.
He said rather than say I will never get better, I should look at it that I am afraid of being sick. We talked about my fear, and I mentioned my father again, and that based on my experience with people in my family, people tend to get sick and never get better.
We talked about work, and how I made a mistake going back to work after just two weeks, and not speaking up to my bosses to tell them I couldn’t do the amount of work that I normally did before the surgery. I said that to talk to them about that would be admitting that I am sick, and I made a commitment to my jobs and I don’t want to break my commitment. J said that if I continue to overwork myself I might get sick enough that I can’t work at all, and then I would really be breaking my commitment. We spent some time talking about how I can’t talk about this to my bosses, and why.
J told me that I looked sullen today. I told him that I have been feeling down and hopeless and without much hope that I will get better. I said it’s been two months already. He said he didn’t want to argue with me, but it has only been five weeks. Really? Yes, he is right, but it seems like the surgery was much longer ago.
I felt like I was whining and complaining in session today. I got through cancer, I survived my surgery, and here I am whining and complaining because I am tired and lightheaded and get headaches and lose my balance and can’t do what I used to do. Should cancer make me feel obligated to be grateful and have an amazing life? I would think many people think so. I feel ungrateful.
After the session I met a good friend for lunch. Her husband recently found out that he has cancer, and he started radiation yesterday, and he has a tough road ahead. My friend said, “Getting old sucks” and I just started crying. She asked me what was wrong and I said that I just feel like I am never going to get better than this, and I hate being sick, and I am overwhelmed with all of the medical stuff I am dealing with. I woke up at 5am today thinking “Which doctor told me to get blood work before I came in – the oncologist? The surgeon? The nephrologist?” I’m always talking to doctor’s offices, and faxing things, and calling again to be sure the faxes arrived, and keeping track of paperwork. My kidney binder is getting bigger and bigger. It is overwhelming and I don’t want to do it, I just don’t want any of this. But of course, it is what it is and I need to accept it, put on my big girl panties and get through it.
I vowed to myself at my next session I won’t whine and complain.
I am trying to get up the courage to email my boss and tell her that I really can’t work as much as I have been, that it is wearing me down, and I’m not getting better. J told me what to say, and my friend told me the same thing. But I can’t do it. I guess I am afraid of what she will think of me, and this is my constant problem, worrying about what other people think, not wanting to disappoint anyone. It is a problem that I haven’t been able to overcome in three years of therapy.
I wanted to stop at the wine shop on my way home and buy a bottle of wine, which I haven’t done since March. When I am depressed I want to drink, and when I drink I get depressed. I forced myself to go home without any wine. But tonight I took one of the 40 Percocet tablets that I was prescribed after the surgery. It is making me feel better. But I know this isn’t a solution. I don’t know what the solution is, I guess there isn’t one.