Is something hidden in your closet? Or do you need help decluttering it?
Everyone keeps things hidden in the back of their closet; I used to, but not anymore. If you were seeing a therapist/psychiatrist, would you tell? Or are you someone who thinks you don’t need one or can work things out on your own?
I am an open person with an open mind, mouth, ears. and eyes. This is how I learn. I’m also an open book and incredibly honest. I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. If you have read my new release Managing MS, you found this out because of many personal stories shared, especially about some taboo subjects.
People learn from other people. My long life of 67 years (42 w/ MS) has given me constant reason to expose some of my private self. By doing so, I can bring awareness and help to others even if it’s in the smallest way.
This week I had my three-month appointment with my psychiatrist. Because of current laws, this is required for me in order to get a prescription for sleeping pills. Initially. I was annoyed that I had to add a regular psychiatrist appointment to my already busy schedule for the sole purpose of pills. But I’ve come to look forward to these appointments for a variety of reasons. She’s an anonymous, unbiased person who listens to me, talks with me, and stands by if I need a lifeline.
I’m a great listener; I’ve been told many times from many people over many years from those who talked with me in confidence. But there are times when Debbie needs a Debbie. I don’t like feeling alone about some things.
In the past, I’ve had short periods of behavioral therapy to work through some major problems life threw at me. Family deaths, an MS dx, disability and job loss to name a few. I learned coping tools from these therapies, through lifelong support groups and other instruction like Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). What these regular appointments do is keep me on track with my own behavior. Sort of like how a regular performance review or staff meeting keeps you on track with your job.
My life lately has been chaotic, overwhelming, and stressful. Knowing that this appointment was coming up this week steered me to hunker down and put my honest thoughts on paper. What’s my status, and what could I do? I wasn’t handling relationships well; I was oversensitive; I was angry that too many things in daily life were so difficult to do… The world is changing so fast, I can’t keep up, and I felt like I was in quicksand. My cluttered closet needed organized.
I felt prepared when the appointment began and shared my situation. No, I wasn’t depressed; I had high anxiety and for me, there is a difference. No, I don’t want anything for my anxiety; it’s my own fault and I can fix that. I had taken my DBT manual off the shelf to review. Yes–“Use more Teflon–Don’t let things stick.” “Let go of toxic people and things.” “Set boundaries and say ‘no’.” “Don’t ‘should’ yourself or others.” “Change what you can and accept what you can’t.”
Yes—accept that I AM older and have an advanced chronic illness. A good friend recently said I was Wonder Woman, but that has backfired on me because I had set the bar too high for my own and others’ expectations of me. Yes—don’t cheat yourself from retirement. Yes– watch inspirational documentaries and reading novels every afternoon while lying down to declutter the busy brain.
I can’t change the world, others, or my age; however, I can change how I deal with it. Personal, private meetings have value when you are comfortable with the person facing you. Validation and sincere feedback are important especially when it is unbiased and anonymous.
Airing out my closet and organizing it from time to time lessens my internal stress and recharges my batteries.
So, how is your closet?
Author of Managing MS
Community Advocate for MultipleSclerosis.net