Another Walk In Session 

I love my therapeutic group. I do. 

However, sometimes, the things we discuss can be so triggering. I absorb emotions from others easily and do whenever someone is distressed, I start feeling distressed as well. 

That was what happened in today’s session. 

I was feeling fine, teetering on the line between good and fine. Towards the end of the session, one of the members was so distressed and anxious that I started to feel what she was feeling too. 

Then Kyle ended the session with a really sad thought about how this year will be the first year he’ll be spending Thanksgiving without his ex-girlfriend of 7 and a half years. For once in 3 weeks, I was hit by my own sadness and memories of my ex. I hadn’t thought about him, the divorce, or how he is for about 3 weeks and I had been starting to feel proud of the fact that I am doing okay without him. 

For the last 5 minutes of the session, I started to think of my own situation and how lonely I would be during Thanksgiving. 

“My friend invited me to her home for Thanksgiving,” Kyle said. 

“I know how you feel. It sucks. I’m sad for you. I’m also sad for myself because I know exactly how you feel. Maybe you’ll have a good time with your friend,” I said, trying to put a more positive spin on the situation. Inside, I was feeling sad and vulnerable. 

When group ended, I hung around at the lobby of CAPS, thinking and evaluating my feelings. I asked myself if I needed a walk-in. 

After 5 minutes, I decided that I did because of how I was starting to get more distressed. YT came to greet me. She happened to be S’ supervisee. 

When I sat down in front of her, I said, “I’m baaack!” in a sing song voice because I had seen her a few weeks ago when I had cut myself and was suicidal. She had made me write a safety plan that we both signed for accountability’s sake. 

Then I launched into a rant of increasing intensity about how tired I was, and how overwhelmed I was. I told her of my trigger during group and the trigger that I got subsequently. 

Just before my meeting with YT, I had received a message from a friend that reads: “Apple has been trying to call you to come in for an interview. Your voicemail isn’t working. Please call them back!” I nearly had a panic attack. 

Self-criticism of my skills and intelligence intensified – I had already started having thoughts that I’m not cut out for computer science again earlier this afternoon. The triggers didn’t help matters. 

I told YT how I also feel like I thought that I was getting better but then I had nearly gone into a panic attack. I hadn’t thought about suicide in a more serious manner until now. The thought of driving my car into a traffic light or into the river was very appealing to me. 

I am exhausted. I want things to end. I want to quit life itself. I told YT all that. When she asked if I could take a break, I told her that I feel like I can’t. Besides, what does it mean anyway? It doesn’t sound like a concrete step I could take. It just all seem so arbitrary.) 

We talked about 50 minutes while I cried freely. I think I had badly needed that because the tears were cathartic. I started to feel better as I listened to her. She told me of the progress that she sees in me. Of how despite having the gut reaction of wanting to get a knife and cutting myself, that I sought help instead. She also told me that my interpretation of recovery is too linear – that recovery is characterized by a series of highs, lows, dips, and peaks. That what is happening to me today is normal and should be expected. She also said that I had bottled up 30 years’ worth of pain, emotions, and rage that hadn’t ever been processed. 

I started to feel calmer. 

“You said you have 4 days off right?” She asked. 

I nodded. Fall break begins tomorrow and I’d taken all 4 days off. 

“Would you like to write down a plan for those 4 days? Sometimes being able to visualize things really helps you refocus,” YT said. I really liked her very concrete methods of visualization. They really help me. 

When she suggested I write the safety plan the last time, I didn’t think it would be effective. However, it turns out that it was actually very effective because the safety plan has kept me from doing anything rash. 

So she pulled out a pad of paper, and handed me her pen. She instructed me on how I should write the plan. Then as she prompted me, I started to write down all the things I want to do for the next 4 days. 

As I wrote down more and more things, I started to feel calmer. I also started to smile because I started to feel like I have something to look forward to. 

I think she could tell that I was feeling better but she still checked in on my suicidal thoughts. I told her that I am not thinking of them anymore. That I am not going to do anything because I still have things to look forward to and things I want to do. 

Then as I gathered myself, physically, and emotionally, she made a comment about my large backpack and how heavy my load is. We then had a few moments of small chat before I thanked her profusely for her help. 

I’m so thankful for CAPS. Without it, I wouldn’t be as far along with my progress as I am now. Without it, I might have done something drastic and passed on my pain to everyone else around me through suicide. 

My list – written with shaky hands so my handwriting isn’t the best.
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13 thoughts on “Another Walk In Session 

    1. Thank you, PD! It’s been a stressful day today. I’m just glad that I’m able to recognize my stressors and take care of them before they compound. Also, I will see my ex tomorrow so if I hadn’t diffused the stress and anxiety today, I think it would be a very bad day tomorrow.

      Thank you! I’ll try to unwind. I had a co-worker beg me to take her shift on Sunday night. I’ll make do but hopefully I’ll still have enough time to just chill.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It sounds like the session was just what you needed right then. The idea of making a concrete plan with things you can look forward to is a good one.

    I’m relieved that you will have a few days off. You push yourself so hard! No wonder you feel exhausted and overwhelmed (not to mention all the life transitions you are going through!). I hope the break will be a good one.

    Oh, and congratulations on the call back from Apple!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, you’re right! It definitely was a session I needed. When I saw YT, we had maybe two seconds of silence after she said, “So…” and I’d said, “I’m back”. That was before it felt like I had released a dam of pent up emotions all out. It felt good – it’s weird how venting helps so much, huh?

      Yeah, it’s Fall break. To be honest, I’m relieved too! Yeah, definitely – a lot of the transitions, changes, and extra responsibilities are all definitely very hard to deal with. I’m doing my best though – I feel like, maybe I need to give myself a pat on the back for doing as much as I have done this semester despite all the challenges. That hey, though I may be failing Discrete Computational Structures and not doing so great on Calculus, that I’m still learning new things. *shrugs* I guess I’m just too stubborn to give up. I just always *want* to but I really never do.

      I hope the break will be good for me too – my list looks productive. I should post a picture of the list here. Hehe…

      And thanks! My friend, El, and my friend DW (who is a manager at the Apple store that I applied to and who was the one who recommended me to apply) both think that I’ll rock it and get the job. If I *d0*, I’m going to be doing much better financially (fingers crossed!!) and hopefully be able to be less stressed… We’ll see…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you!! Btw, I know you’ve posted a few new posts but I haven’t had the time to catch up on my reading yet. I hope to be able to do that and be able to help pour back into your cup so that you don’t feel exhausted for having to support me all the time. 😉

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      2. I don’t feel exhausted responding to you! I like it. I like seeing how far you’ve come this year, how much you’ve come to understand yourself and been willing to show who you really are to others. Of course there are times it will feel overwhelming and confusing, but you are increasingly skilled at dealing with those times. Actually, you’re quite inspiring!

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      3. Wow! I’m glad to hear that! It means SO much to me coming from you because I look up to you so much! You’re MY inspiration! But you’re right in that I HAVE come a long way and I am getting better at dealing with my stressors. I guess a part of me is finally ready to embrace my recovery – it’s getting stronger against the part that doesn’t want to get better. I mean, I can now walk out of CAPS after sessions with S (even difficult ones) and spend less than 5 minutes hanging around the building to feel the comfort and safety. It’s like now I’m better at just carrying the positive vibes that I’ve received from him with me instead of having to be in the proximity of the building to feel like I’m heard and that I’m stable.

        I think that’s why today was such a jarring event with the near-panic-attack and all because I’ve been feeling pretty okay for the past week.

        I now see more and more how important it is for me to share my story because I’ve learned that some people in the college I go to have found my blog and are reached/helped by what I’ve been sharing. It really makes me so honored and so grateful to know that I’m doing some good. It’s really quite humbling!

        Also, it really means so much to me to read what you’ve said because earlier during the session, Kyle had said something that though I didn’t think was negative at the time, is now kinda eating at me a little. He told me that I’m so long-winded during session and that he often zones out. He said that I don’t try to be concise but rather go into details that he couldn’t care less about or that I like to repeat things. He equated it to conversations with his mother where he said, “She talks a lot. So sometimes I could set my keys down, walk away, and later come back to get my keys and find that she’s still talking”. I’ve always felt like I talk too much during sessions and I’ve always felt afraid that I am taking too much time. So that plays a lot into my insecurity. I am always trying to give everyone feedback though. And I love providing context and details (I mean look at how long my posts here are!) to paint a picture of what I experienced. Somehow, they’re so important to me. So to read that you find me inspiring comforts me.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I don’t think so either but I didn’t want to appear like I was just getting back at him because I’d already mentioned how I can’t follow his stories when he tells them because he just doesn’t make much sense. My friend, El, tells me that I need to not listen to people who are going to be of little consequence to my future. And she said that I’m too nice and have a big heart, so people tend to stomp all over it to get what they need. I don’t know, that’s just who I am though – I feel like I’ll always look out for others first.

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