I saw my therapist today and received many good tidbits to chew on. And she once again proved how wise she is. Here are a few of the comments and my musings.
I posted recently about anxiety dreams about old positions. My therapist proclaimed that is very normal to have dreams where you experience places where you last used your strengths. And that it’s time to look at those strengths and imagine how they will be used next. My favorite pastoral acts, and those I was good at, include worship leadership, creating worship, sermon prep, teaching, preparing lessons. My therapist reminded me that you don’t have to be the pastor of a church to do any of these things! They require skills such as a non-anxious presence, creativity, graciousness of spirit and a welcoming presence, organization, focus and clarity, a sense of God’s presence through mystery and immanence. There’s a future with hope, even in the distressing dreams.
Another tidbit: Life for me (and others!) is like origami. I am in a phase of refolding the last shape into a new form, but I am still the same paper and color. Think on that for a moment! It’s a good metaphor when you think that the average person has 7 careers in a lifetime. Not 7 jobs, but 7 careers!
We noticed again that I could be growing out of my NAMI group. I may need to be around more folks who are stable with meds and situations and just living life, rather than folks who are struggling so hard, the way I was this past year. I’ve entered a new phase of the illness and I need to learn from others who are in that place. Though, if you think about, if they are feeling good, why would they go to a support group? Also, what if I don’t feel I have anything to add with groups of folks who are just out of the hospital, or in the depths of despair, or struggling with medication? My stability is new-found, hard-won, and fragile. I don’t have any wisdom to share, except put the work in, do what your doctors and therapist tell you, get a good care team, take your medications! and believe those who tell you that stability is possible. I wasn’t sure all that would work, though I was told the same things. I can believe them now that I am in a period of stability (albeit a fragile period). Maybe I do have something to add, though I still need to receive something. I’m not sure the current NAMI group has what I need though.