Friday, February 25, 2011

I Lie.

I lie to my shrink.  Well, she's not technically my shrink.  She is the PA at my psychiatrist's office.  I see her and not the actual Crazy Doc because it seemed at one time easier to get an appointment with her.  That's it.  The only reason.  The availability.  In my state she does have prescriptive authority, so it seemed like a true win-win situation.  (I don't know how the PA thing works in other states and I just don't care enough to look it up- I'm looking up enough shit for grad school.)

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When I did see a shrink though, there were times when he and I would have what I called "The stare down session."  This would be where he and I would sit in uncomfortable leather wing back chairs (much like the ones I found for sale on the Internet and posted here).  However, our chairs were on opposite corners of the room.  

During "Operation Stare Down" I would look at my hands or my feet, his desk, try to figure out what book he was reading.  I would look at his shoes.  I would look around the room for the tissue box, because when I did need it I could never find it.  I think he moved it each week on purpose.  Occasionally, I would look up at him and then he would give me a grin.  Or was that a smirk?  Was he smiling at me to reassure me?  Was he smirking at my uneasiness?  I hated those sessions.  WHAT THE FUCK was he doing?  I think he could have let it go on for an hour like that... if I hadn't started talking about something.  Anything.

That's when I started with dream analysis.  I would tell him my dreams that I remembered from that previous night or throughout the week.  I am a vivid dreamer.  He seemed very excited about that and would literally spring from his chair and hop to his desk to grab a notepad to take notes.

The note taking made me more nervous than "Operation Stare Down."  Was I talking too fast?  Is he recording verbatim?  Is he taking personal notes?  Is he just making a grocery list for later?

All in all I liked that therapist the most, and I lied to him the least.  You have to understand... it's not that I enjoyed lying to previous therapists or counselors.  I wasn't ready though.  I was not ready for the realness behind a true therapeutic relationship and a true therapeutic session.  As soon as I stopped lying in therapy, I stopped lying to myself, I stopped lying in my relationships with friends and loved ones. 

I lied for a long time.  To myself.  To my husband.  To my kids.  To my friends.  I'm not just talking about my sexual identity.  I really lied.  About everything.    Sometimes I would lie about things I didn't need to lie about.   Sometimes I lied because it was easier than the truth.  Sometimes I lied just because it's what I had always done.

Currently, I do not.  I have found that the statement, "Honesty is the best policy" (or whatever the fuck that statement is) kinda is true.  If you can find a way to be appropriately honest, in the appropriate time, it is always best.

Old me sometimes tries to tap me on the shoulder.  On Wednesday of this week I had a phone conference appointment with one of my instructors at noon.  S and I were all wrapped up on the couch in a blanket loving on our Josephine and loving on each other.  S had to leave on a trip at 2... I got busy pressing her uniforms, making sure her suitcase was packed right, etc.  When S left a little after 2 I realized I fucking forgot my phone appointment with my instructor!  Goddammitmotherfuck!  Immediately, I thought, "just call her and tell her you've been sick and just woke up.  Or email her and tell her you've been sick...."

Whoa.  Whoooaaaa.  Wait a minute.  Uh huh. 

I called her immediately and apologized.  I told her I got very busy with "things around the house" and if she needed to reschedule... if this was a bad time... She stopped me and with a laugh said she completely understood and this time was just fine.

Phew.  Okay.  So while I feel like an idiot for completely forgetting my phone appointment, at least I don't feel like shit for lying about it.

Yep.  Very simple, very basic things like that.  Things that maybe everyone else takes for granted.  But I actually make a conscious effort to do.  Because I find it part of my authenticity.  In fact, last year Motherless threw it in my face that I "am a liar" and that she "cannot believe anything I say."  It might not be fair to quote that, bit it was something very similar to those words.  It stung and she was right.  I told her so.  I told her that I had lied to her and to a lot of people, but that I was working hard to not do that anymore.  I told her I would just have to prove myself to her ... I just wanted a chance.  I wanted her to give me a chance.

based on that fucking paper?  I just feel good.  Here, Give me it back.  I'll change a few to 50.  That was their sole basis.  The paper.  I was sleeping, eating, concentrating well, anxiety was in check, etc.  Ugh.  I just didn't want them fucking with my doses so I thought... well... I thought I needed to be 100.

Apparently 100 is bad.  I have never made that mistake again.  Now, I write in numbers I make up... 65.... 80 (careful now... don't get too close to 100).... sometimes 55....

With the anxiety part of the form the goal is lower numbers so I write in numbers like... 15.... 30.... 8.... buwahahahahaha.  I refuse to use the 0, 25, 50, 75, 100. 

At my last appointment this week, I realized I am the only asshole filling this paper out.  Is this the PA's tool?  She's a tool.

I finally get in to her office after waiting in the waiting room for 45 minutes, and I realize I need a refill for my anxiolytic of choice.  We have to talk about my anxiety.  Really - truly - the only anxiety I am having right now in my life is surrounding her, her office practices, and the fucking Depression and Anxiety Tool she is making (what appears to be) only me fill out in the waiting room.

So I lied.  I told her how much better I've been doing since last time we met and she gave me all those really good ideas about time management and list making and how now I feel a lot more in control of my worry and anxiety and ..... I can see her chest puffing as I am talking.  She is smiling too.  I'm trying not to roll my eyes as she gets out some special notepads made specifically for list taking with little check boxes so you can check off what you've completed.

Oh that's what I need.  Check boxes.  That will help me, a busy working mom of five kids in grad school.  A FUCKING LIST WITH CHECK BOXES.  How about you just fill my Rx for that Ativan just in case these little check boxes don't work?

I leave her office and look at my Rx in my hand.  She wrote it wrong again.  My antidepressant is an XL not an SL.  Which, by the way dumbass, there isn't an SL... it's SR.  
I have 90 days to find someone new.

4 comments:

Natalie said...

I am so painfully familiar with that kind of lying...I think it comes from nothing I did as a kid being "good enough." So I found ways to always embellish, cover, make up a "better version," or an excuse for just being me. Or something like that, I know it goes way back.

So, good for you for being honest with you instructor! It may not sound like much to "normal" people, but fuck, I know how hard it can be.

As for the doc situation...ugh, this is the exact type of scenario that made me run screaming from every p-doc I met. For what it's worth, Ativan is a benzodiazepine - govt review panels in the UK and the US determined 30 yrs ago that these should never be prescribed long-term, as they actually worsen anxiety over time and often lead to disability...but that hasn't changed the prescribing habits of many docs. (I'll back away from the soap box now.) :)

I really hope you find a good match!

Anonymous said...

As a recovering liar, I feel your pain. I wish M would take you back. I can't lie to him. And he stares because he wants you to say what you are feeling and not lead you into something else. He saved my life! I hope you can find someone else.

A. said...

hey,
if you can't be honest about how you are feeling, you need someone new, period. I have had docs like that and I hate that game. My current therapist, we dont agree on everything, but I can be honest with her.

oh yes, i know about the lies, in my case it has to do with difficulties expressing my true thoughts, as i think they suck. not only is it not right, for the other people BUT it also does me a disservice, because then they don't know the real me.

*looks sheepish* with six kids and working on my bachelors, I find checklists invaluable

L said...

Natalie... there's plenty of room for soap boxes of all brands here. I have a few of my own. It was one of the things I particularly liked about you anyway, your firey passion regarding meds and mental health.

I only take my little white pills a couple time a month. I get a refill maybe once a year. I really don't think I'm creating any paradoxical anxiety here... but thank you for the information. SO GOOD to know these things. The studies I read are all in a different field.

Anon... thanks for the empathy.

A... I'm not saying I'm against checklists! Christ no. I dig em too. I even have an iPhone app or two for checklist making. However, it's not something that I find HELPS MY ANXIETY when I have an attack... or when I am in a relentless bout of insomnia. :)