Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Best Revenge

"Living well is the best revenge."
George Herbert, English metaphysical poet and clergyman, 1593-1633

There's a reason I go to therapy. When I'm stuck in the mire like I am right now, it's wonderful to go somewhere objective, where I can truly speak my mind without offending anyone or facing the possibility of rejection. It's a place where I can get an outside perspective, and often I get advice that I never would have thought of in my current state.

Dr. Karen didn't make me feel bad for being apathetic, sluggish, empty and driven to eat. She validated my feelings, didn't try to compare them to hers or anyone else's, and made it okay, not a failing or weakness or laziness on my part. (Not that you blogging friends don't often do that, too. But I guess it's different when I've got the person sitting in front me and hearing her voice.)

She confirmed my belief that this England trip controversy did send me "over the edge" as far as burnout/depression. Let's face it, it turned into a major battle in my marriage, and while I haven't mentioned it much here in my blog, it also became defining moment in my tenuous relationship with my in-laws. Their interference in this incident, not to mention their unsolicited and highly negative opinions which were shared with my husband and the extended family but not me, really was the crowning moment in my three year's worth of dealings with them.

Dr. Karen eloquently worded that while I won the battle of actually getting to go on the trip, the emotional toll it's taken on me has taken away a lot of the victory. And she advised me to not let them win.

"You know what they say," she said with a smile, "Living well is the best revenge." She encouraged me to not feel ashamed or bad about going on this trip, which is the current atmosphere going on around here as the in-laws will not bring the subject up in front of me and act like it's a big dirty secret. I need to start being openly excited and happy about this upcoming event and make sure they know it.

There was something about this advice from Dr. Karen that really changed my attitude. Instead of feeling like a victim, it inspired me to once again pick up the reins of my life and do something for me. She made me realize I need to make sure to "not let the bastards get me down." (I tried to look up the source of this famous phrase, a lot of people noted Margaret Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale" but I'm sure it's older than that.)

While I'm not miraculously cured, I definitely have more of a bounce in my step today knowing I've got someone in my corner giving me the encouragement I so desperately need right now.


Beula said...

"Joy is out strength."

If you REFUSE to accept the guilt and passive aggression being dished out it can't hurt you. It also confuses the heck out of the dishers. They may then redouble their efforts. If this is ineffective, a paradigm shift happens. You are changed.

I am convinced for US the ability to not get involved in others' reactions is key to our permanent good mental health and weight loss. We are finally free to exist without needing food and fat to protect US.

I am busy surviving but hope by next month to be back to blogging/reading on a regular basis. Take care of yourself.

Lori said...

I can't really add anything to Beula's very concise and sensible post except to agree with her. I'm so happy that you had a good session and she helped you see how you are doing.

I agree, don't let them win. You are a wonderful person and you deserve this trip.

Vickie said...

I stopped by to see what you were up to - and I am so sorry that you are having such a hard time.


I don't mean this to ADD to your trouble - just sharing.

If it bothers you - just ignore it completely.

My GP tried the normal anti-d's on me - and they were (according to psychiatrist) the totally wrong class of anti-dep's for ME.

My therapist suspected this and that is why she got me in to see psychiatrist - because she thought I was "sinking sort of fast".

I didn't see it in myself. I wasn't NEARLY as bad as I was a year ago (in my mind) but I was really worrying the therapist.

She thought the wrong anti-dep's were making me worse - but I didn't show it in the depressed kind of way - it showed up as more eating disorder stuff.

I under-ate.

Now we are in the process of fixing my meds (hopefully) and I have been over eating ALL WEEK.

I have not done this in a very long time.

And - I am going through a lot of the same feelings of "is this all there is? What about me?" that you have mentioned.

I think that this is CHEMICAL for me - whether my chemistry or getting on the right combination of meds - don't know - but I really think it is chemical.

And I don't have ANY stress-ers like what you are dealing with the out-laws, etc. Mine all live far away and I only have to deal for 3 days, every other year.


Lady Rose said...

Great advice. It took me a few decades but as I get older I get better and better at not letting other folks make me feel guilty or get me down.

I'm in your corner too! :)

Health and Happiness

Jenny said...

Your therapist sounds very down to earth and I like and agree with her advice.

You are on your way to taking your power back. You are taking your power back from the people who you feel are making you feel bad.

Kudos to you for your bravery and determination.