Stopping therapy?

Tomorrow I have another therapy session. I’ve been going to my therapist since the end of August 2018. Tomorrow I am going to tell him that I am thinking about stopping our sessions. I am nervous about doing so, but I find it important that I express that his manner of therapy isn’t helping me. I feel like my therapist often forgets things I have said before, that makes me question if he listens to me in the first place. I know he probably has many patients, but I still think it is weird. Second, I feel like each time we touch upon a different topic, but never discuss it into depth. I do not see any connection or progress in our conversations. And lastly, most importantly, it is not helping. I probably should have mentionned this earlier, but I know these things take time so I waited. Fact is I feel worse now then when I started. My anxieties have increased, and so did my controlling behaviour and depressive thoughts. I do not know what to do. On one hand I do not want to quit because I am holding on to it, I want help. But if it is not helping….

Another thing that bothers me in the therapy is that we are not doing anything concrete, I do not get any tips, any instructions, he just asks about things and how I feel. This approach is really not helping for me. Is this how all therapists work? What do you guys think? Should I give it another try or am I right in stopping this? I really do not want to resort to medication.

Have a lovely day

E.M. Andrews

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Little escape

Last week I went on a small trip to Portugal. Travelling is the most favourite thing I do, but I wasn’t looking forward this time. I was scared, nervous. What if I get sick? What if I do not feel well? Luckily, as usual, things were way worse in my head than they are in reality. It turned out I had an amazing time. I loved the vitamin D on my skin (seriously I want this winter to be over now). I loved seeing and exploring new things. I walked a lot, slept well, and mostly wasn’t struggling with both physical and mental health. It was amazing.

The flight back was terrible though. I am afraid of flying, and here in Belgium there was a storm going on, so you can already imagine what the landing was like. I never experienced this before during a flight. It felt like the longest 15 minutes of my life…. but hey, I survived!

Now I am back at regular life, normal routine. It is funny but since I got back I have been feeling bad. Physically, my stomach seems to be upset. I am tired, my anxieties are kicking in again. So weird that during my holiday I felt so good and from the moment I got back I am having complaints. Does my mental state affect my physical health this much? Apparently so. I somehow need to get myself on track again. I know I should do some sports but can’t seem to find any motivation whatsoever. Let alone for this thesis that needs to be finished by the end of April.

Any motivation tips? Please?

Kind regards

E.M. Andrews

My difficult relationship with food

I just got back from my therapist. I started going last September, about once or twice a month. Today the topic was food. Food is a basic need. If we do not eat and drink we cannot live. It provides us with energy to get going. But food is so much more than that. It can be comforting, make us feel happy. It is also a social thing. When meeting up with family or friends, there is almost always food or drinks involved. “Foodie” has become a well-known concept.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a difficult relationship with food. I have a list of things I do not eat. I have certain things I can not eat or drink in combination with one another. I have rules in my head about what I can eat before or at certain occasions. In bad days, I have to force myself to eat the bare minimum. I know my relationship with food isn’t healthy. I use food/eating as a form of control. In the moment it gives me satisfaction and control, I have the feeling that everything will be alright. But then there is the voice inside of me saying that what I am doing, what I am thinking, what I am feeling, is not alright. I am undermining my body and soul. The funny thing is that in my search of control, I have actually developed behaviour that I have no control over. It controls me, it controls my life.

I’ve tried hard to fight it, to eat well, to gain weight, but it never lasted. I lost myself in my idea of perfection. I felt bad for not eating well, but I felt even worse when I did. It is like I constantly have to fight myself, fight the demons in myself. I always have to force myself, and it gets me so tired, both physically and emotionally.

I often wondered if I have anorexia. Because the thing is I do not find myself fat, I do not want to be skinny. Quite the opposite, I want to have a normal body, I hate seeing myself in the mirror, it worries me, I do not like what I see. I feel powerless because I do not seem to have the strength to overcome this.

Another aspect that affects me is that people close to me notice. They notice I am not normal when it comes to food. I try avoiding it, cheating by throwing it away when no one sees. I feel ashamed. I feel people judge me. I am afraid people will leave me. So I hide it, and it hurts that I cannot share this with anyone.

I didn’t get to say all of this during therapy. I felt blocked. I didn’t know how to explain how much food affects me, how much it hurts me. I am not always like this. The first time I had this I was about 14. The second time 18. And since last year it has popped up again. I am afraid I will always have this dark cloud hanging above me.

I hope the therapy will help me get better.

Have a lovely day

E.M. Andrews

And so it begins

Once upon a time… Three years ago, in May 2016, I started a blog. A travel blog that soon transformed to the classic “lifestyle and travel blog”, since I realized that a passion which I only got to do a couple of times a year is not quite enough feed to fill a year, let alone a month. I started it off anonymously, and after gaining quite some followers, getting traffic going, I step by step revealed my identity. But it was not the same, I started feeling blocked, limited in the manner in which and what I could write. I obsessively went on reviewing all posts, deleting some, editing others. I was scared someone I know might read it, might get a look into my head. I let numbers get ahead of me, and went along with doing things in a certain way because they would make my blog more attractive, more popular. I even tipped my toe into the social media madness. Then, last year, in a moment of despair, I decided to delete my former blog for once and for all. No goodbye note, just a sudden disappearance. And away was my piece of internet.

I cannot say I totally regret deleting my blog, but sometimes I kinda do. I miss the online engagement with people I never met, I miss the writing. I let my obsession with what others might think of me and my constant strive for perfection get ahead of me. I realize now that writing is something personal, it is something in the moment, it shouldn’t be reviewed if you want to keep it raw and real. It shouldn’t be perfect, it is not like I am attempting to win the noble prize for literature. It is something that I like, and that should be enough.

So here I am once again. Under my pseudonym Elisabeth Mae Andrews I will continue what I once started. My little spot on the internet, where I can openly write about my feelings, my thoughts, my struggles and my passions. Welcome, I hope to get to know you guys along the ride.

For one of my next pieces I would like to do a Q&A, so you can get to know me a bit better. Being anonymous does not mean you can’t know me at all. So tell me in the comments, what it is you like to know about me?

Have a lovely day,

E.M. Andrews