Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wow, what a crazy, busy day

I worked steadily throughout the day, especially on my referral duties. After work I had my first appointment with the new therapist, who seems very competent and knowledgeable. I showed him pictures of my apartment, and he immediately isolated things like videotapes without a VCR, etc. He is an expert in cognitive behaviour therapy, which is somewhat helpful for hoarding, more than most things. He did say the prognosis was guarded; hoarding is very difficult to treat, mainly because clients drop out of therapy when things get difficult. I really do want to change my coping strategies and try to get a handle on my hoarding. We also discussed my anxiety issues and driving anxiety, and we'll work on that, too.

You know one way to tell when someone has an anxiety disorder? When they take their medicine to work, realise that the one type of pill that's missing is their anti-anxiety medicine, and then get all anxious because they don't have it. That was me this morning, filling up my pill reminder box. So, driving over to the therapist's, while uneventful, really, left me shaking by the time I got there. I know, it's odd. He's the first counselor who's ever really asked me why I have trouble. The truth is, yes, I'm afraid of getting hurt, but when it comes down to it, the problem is that I can play by the rules, such as when I was struck by the car in a crosswalk while walking with the light, and bad things happen, but other people essentially don't follow the rules of the road fully and this makes me incredibly upset and agitated, especially if I feel threatened by them, like if they merge into my lane across three lanes and then slow down to a crawl right in front of me. Or people who intentionally get into lanes that will go away so that they can then bully their way in amongst the people who had the good sense to just get in the right freaking lane in the first place really get under my skin--that sort of thing. Essentially I get anxious and annoyed at people for not following the (my) rules. YKWIA calms me down when he's in the car; A actually makes it worse, because he has some visual issues, and if a car turns suddenly into the lane next to me, he's practically in my lap. Anyway, the counselor, Larry Coy, agreed that I should work on these issues (and hopefully I explained things without sounding like a total lunatic). He definitely thought I could benefit from CBT. We're going to try to get back together in two weeks, after I get out of work. CBT involves homework, often. My homework this time is to get a book, a workbook, actually, aimed at hoarding. He had an older version. It's called Treatment for Hoarding Disorder: Workbook , 2nd ed., by Gail Steketee. it is almost $35, and not particularly thick--both the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook and the dialectical behaviour manual for borderline personality disorder (I have both of those.) He has the first edition; hopefully the new one is somewhat expanded. He's going to get the therapist manual that goes to my edition, which is almost $50. I gather that he doesn't have any other hoards at the moment because he hasn't updated to the new definition or anything.

Wow. I know it's almost 2 am, but I am falling asleep with my computer up on my legs, lying in bed. I had better go on to bed. I spent three hours after the therapist's appointment cooking soup (curried soybean), a main dish (a Basque dish with peppers, onions, and tomatoes in egg), nd a salad with smoked salmon, berries, oranges, and honey mustard dressing--all from scratch. He couldn't really help because he was still having some issues, so he just directed me and I actually cooked almost everything. But I'm very tired as a result. Good nigth.

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