Two sides of the same field…Entry 2 of a Girl and her books.

Over the month of August, among the other many books I got to read, I came across a book that I consider myself quite lucky to have found. I believe the book is a memoir, I am certain that it is a memoir, written by an author named Lori Gottlieb. The title of the book is Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. When I first came across it, I wasn’t entirely sure it was a book I would fully be invested in. I knew it entailed matters concerning therapy and I was a bit iffy on whether it would be artistically motivating to read. I can say with certainty now that this book is a lot more than I anticipated. I read it gradually, but loved every bit of it, including how expressive the author wrote. I am genuinely glad I got to read it to completion.

Without giving out too much of it, the plot of the book is something that quite captivated me. I learned a lot and it gave me quite the insight. I say this from the perspective of someone who has mildly studied psychology, ( I say mildly because all I have had the chance to study it, is through a diploma and if I am being honest, I still consider myself quite the amateur in regards to it). Before I can delve into my own relation to psychology, I just want to elaborate on how insightful it was reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Insightful in that, it was able to bring light into the subject of therapy from both a therapist’s opinion and that of a client’s opinion. It sort of normalized seeking professional therapeutic assistance, to those who already had sort it out and equally to those who hadn’t. I found that quite wonderful about the book. Besides just normalizing therapy itself, it too humanized therapists as more than just their professions. The author who is a psychotherapist takes us down the journey of being a therapist as well as seeking one out for herself. I found that quite great because, speaking from a personal opinion, one can be quick to perceive therapists as invincible. It is easily misjudged that therapists, being what their profession entails, are too strong of human beings to go through similar motions as those of their clients. On the off chance that they do experience similar hardships, the perception is that they are equipped to somewhat counsel themselves out of those said hardships. I should clarify that it does not work like that at all. As a psychology student, it is insisted enough that therapists need their own therapists for themselves. It’s entirely a chained link of therapists seeking out therapy from each other. That aspect of the book was quite important for me. I applauded the book mainly for that, besides all the other wonderful aspects of it that were brought out.

If someone came to me and asked me if I would advise them on seeking out help from a therapist or counsellor, or even a psychiatrist, my outright first answer would be yes. It is entirely important to give time and care to one’s mind as is given to one’s body. It would be instinctual for me to say yes as my first answer, but I owe you the honesty that it will not be technically a walk in the park. This is from a very biased opinion, this is my opinion as a client who’s been to therapy, it is not the opinion of a psychology student. This is also not meant to be a discouragement towards anyone out to seek therapeutic help, not at all. Therapy is great, wonderful even, but it will require a lot of you. Some parts of you will be required, parts that you may not be quite yet aware of.

My first experience of professional therapy was with my school counsellor in college. If I am being truthfully honest, it was long overdue. I want to be very clear that when I refer to professional therapy or counselling, I mean it as therapy from a professionally trained counsellor or psychologist. One who has studied in that field and is not a self-appointed counsellor. Anyone can give advice, not everyone can offer therapy. Just needed to be clear on that. I am strictly talking about a professional psychologist.

It was quite a big step for me to reach out to the school counsellor. I wasn’t the most approachable person, and neither was I the most approaching. At school, I knew well to never be too personal with anyone. Actually, if my memory serves me right, I was incited by my sister to seek out the counsellor because my sister thought of me then as a ticking time bomb. I was convinced that I wanted a baby, ( major eye roll) and I was only twenty years old. Then, it felt like such an urgency for me, like it was the only thing that I was missing, and it would somehow complete my life. I was quite naïve then because even now, I am not remotely ready for a child. Therapy was able to show that to me. I later learned that I was overcompensating for something entirely different. Anyway, my first take on therapy was good. I found solace and empathy that I had never quite experienced before. It was as it should have been, it was therapeutic for me and I was able to go through therapy for the next three years I had in college. It took a bit of a turn for me because the relationship between me and the school counsellor progressed to a very close friendship which in therapy is regarded as a dual relationship. To be able to maintain the levels of professionalism, it is frowned up to have any other sort of relationship outside the client/counsellor relationship. It is perceived that if the boundaries are severed, the therapist will not be able to give enough credibility in her profession hence why it is important that one seeks out a different therapist when boundaries are crossed.

For me, I wouldn’t say she entirely quit being my counsellor, and I didn’t seek therapy elsewhere. She transformed into a guide to whom I sort out counsel and advice. Now she is practically like my best friend who is also my Yoda. 

Therapy was able to open me up in ways I probably would never have had the chance to before. It even motivated me into being a better student in psychology. Sometime last year, I was able to go back to the professional context of therapy with an entirely new therapist who was just that, my therapist. I only got to see her for about a month before I stopped. The experience of it was quite different than my first which leads me to my next piece of advice, you don’t have to be stuck in a therapy that you don’t feel is working for you. It is absolutely okay to decide on changing your current therapist and seeking out one who best fits you. I understand for those who have been to therapy that it may sometimes feel like a betrayal to your therapist if one considers leaving, but it is best to remember that it is your wellbeing that comes first. There will be no hard feelings from your therapist.

From the standpoint of being a soon to be counsellor, I have only had so little experience as one. I did my first internship as a counsellor at a hospital and I genuinely disliked every moment of it. I was extremely underqualified and my supervisor thought it best to leave me alone on most occasions to tend to actual clients who needed therapy. I often hope that the clients I got to see were able to seek out a second opinion from a more qualified professional. Over time, I have not had the chance to be a counsellor since I finished my diploma. Let’s just say I have been putting it off for nearly a year now. I have convinced myself that I am not ready and I am not certain when I ever will be. On multiple occasions, I have had some serious self-doubt over whether psychology is even the right course for me. Most of the self-doubt best comes from the fact that I am on most occasions, a better client than I am a psychologist. I am two sides of the same coin. Reading this book sort of gave me a perspective of what it is like to be on both sides of the spectrum. The author delves into her own therapy and how difficult it was at first to not feel like her own therapist wasn’t doing enough for her as she thought she would towards her own clients. I am well aware of how that feels because it was in that exact position that I quit seeing my last therapist. Every day, I go through it in my head whether psychology was the best choice for a career. I knew I wanted to be a psychologist when I was in high school. I knew that I needed to be able to give some form of help to those who were like me then, to kids who had never quite felt like they were ‘’normal’’. I believe that I still want to do that, even despite the self-doubt. I still very much want to help people who struggle with their mental health. All I can do is hope that soon, I will get to offer that help.

To finish this off, I would definitely recommend reading Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. It is a wonderful, insightful, inspiring, beautiful and enlightening read. Lori Gottlieb is a wonderful author from whom I would love to learn more from, especially as a psychotherapist. Be sure to check it out. One can access it on the e-reader called Z library.

Some quotes I picked up from the book that I absolutely loved…

we have to let go of the fantasy of creating a better past.”

” When the present falls apart, so does the future we had associated with it. ”

A girl and her books – Entry 1

About three or so months ago, I started reading books on an e-reader on my phone, not that I wasn’t already a reader before but the app on which I previously used to read on crushed and hasn’t been back up since. So upon discovery of this new site, I was able to start reading a lot more and quite vastly than I did before. I was ecstatic, to say the least. Reading is such an essential part of me, just as it is with writing. After I got the hang of reading again, I decided that to be able to maintain a steady wave of my reading, I’d put out a list of books that I would have to complete at the end of every month, regardless of whether I got distracted or not. Being the way I am, this was perfect for me since I tend to easily sometimes take my sweet time while reading which slows down my pace on how many books I get to read. Anyway, I had been scheduling my reads for the past two months which has even allowed me to put in more reads over the month than I had intended.

Since I started on my monthly schedule of reading, I have read some really wonderful and inspiring books that made me wish I was in a book club of sorts that would allow me to delve into other people’s reviews of the books. Some books made me cry, others struck a chord and some others made me see a few things in a new light. I relish getting to the end of a good book because it just boosts my yearning for reading more of similar good/great books. Since for now, I still don’t have a book club, I thought that maybe instead of just moving on from one book to the other, I’d express through writing what certain books make me feel or how I related to a degree with the said book. It wouldn’t be a full review but just my take on what the books I read leave me with. Like an interaction between the book and me. Just to put it out there, my favourite genre of books always have a touch of mental health in them. For those who may not be aware, a lot of my life has revolved and still revolves around mental health so I quite regard it as very personal and integral to me. Reading more on it through either fiction or memoirs from authors has always given me a sense of connection and solace that my struggles with mental issues isn’t foreign. It has been a support system that is quite unmatched for me for which I am grateful. Therefore, going forward, I hope to be able to share here more of what I read and how it inspired my thoughts, my emotions and my ideas too.

Title of the book; All this time by Mikki Daughtry and Rachael Lippincott

I read this book over the month of September and it was a great read. I definitely would recommend this book, most especially to the readers who were great fans of the author’s similar books, Five Feet Apart and The Lucky List. Also for readers who enjoyed the books, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Fault In Our Stars. I am hoping that whatever information I give on this book does not act as a spoiler for those who may seek an interest in reading this book. I actually don’t recall exactly how I came across it because I am constantly on the search for books, most especially on Pinterest since I am able to level down to specifics of the types of books I am usually in search of. For this book, it was at first a slightly slow read but not slow enough that you wouldn’t want to complete it. I was hoping for it not to be a tragic read because books that have an endless array of tragedy, I never quite finish. My anxiety always tends to have me lean on books that aren’t too tragic or those that seem to never have happy ends. But for this book, it proved to be quite worth the finish. It has a twist about it that at the beginning, a reader won’t quite detect. Overall, as the book nears its end, it will captivate you and intrigue you. It will hold your mind and bits of your heart captive. It won’t be a read you’ll be able to put down for another day, you will want to see it till the end and you’ll later be thankful that you did.

Without giving too much out about the book, it got me thinking of the fantasies that I as Dawn had as a child. I cannot entirely rule out whether some of those fantasies aren’t still there. I feel as though sometimes, as human beings, our instincts or hopes held out, allow for certain fantasies we might have had as children growing up to continue being part of us. For example, despite my not so great dating history, I still hold out hope that my fantasy of my ultimate perfect guy will still come to flourish. The odds aren’t on my side in regards to the outcome of this happening but it doesn’t change that I still secretly fantasize that it will. It especially is quite bleak right now because I don’t have the best outlook on dating or even marriage. If you asked me, I am 99% positive that I will never get married, it seems to turn out to be more of a trap for either gender involved. No offence to those who are married and are flourishing, good for you. As for myself, I am not sold on it. I for one don’t entirely believe that there is someone out there who will deem worthy to spend the rest of my life with. I know how that probably sounds, extremely self-centred and a bit, okay maybe a lot obnoxious but I mean it. It is hard for me to believe that someone out there will be the yin to my yang. That we will somehow be in sync with each other despite our differences and odds. But what do I know, most of you would say… I am 23 years old anyway, what experience do I have? I admit, my opinion stands the chance to change over time but it also might not. I believe that one does not start to learn when it is believed they are of “prime age”. What is this standard prime age where one’s opinion stands a chance of being valid and expressable? There is no such standard prime age, or at least I don’t believe there is…

Another such fantasy I have is that maybe, even despite the odds of it ever possibly happening, I will amass as much wealth as is equivalent to that of Kylie Jenner. I know, even when I say it out loud, it sounds ridiculous and such a cliché. Quite embarrassing even… Allow me to explain why this is even a fantasy to start with. For one, I actually take to the high regard that Kylie and I are exactly one year apart in age. She and I share a birthday and she is exactly a year older than I am. For most people, that shouldn’t even matter. For instance, I have a friend from college who shares his birthday with Queen Beyonce but I haven’t heard him trying to amass a similar form of stardom or wealth therefore who am I to want to match King Kylie. It is an absurd fantasy but again, it is my fantasy. The odds are greatly stacked against me, I am aware. I guess some fantasies are meant to come true while some are better yet left as just fantasies.

p.s I hope that anyone who gets to read this has the chance to check out the book All This Time by Mikkie Daughtry.

If I can, I will put a link at the bottom that will hopefully allow a reader to access the book from the site e-reader called Z library which is where I get my books from. https://book4you.org/book/9039712/2a2789

I’m going to try be brief cause whenever I have something I wanna write about, I slightly loose focus and the beginning of the blog throws me off a little every time. So we are in a new year, yeeei!!! That’s me being as enthusiastic as I can possibly get. But despite my bummed out funk, I do have a few things that I’ve chosen to pursue over the course of the year. I’ve probably mentioned before how clueless it gets for me to understand the concept of self love. I can’t exactly say I understand it but I’m choosing to quit looking at it like some sort of math equation with a more fucked up solution. So I choose to decide that whatever it is I’ll pursue to do that will bring me any remotely good, nice fuzzy feeling, will be my form of self love.

For starters, I just had this wonderful idea to go on a date with myself every once a month. Dress however my mood fits & just go have something that will appease both my mind and belly. I will set for a day every month to accommodate myself and whatever needs I feel I have over that specific period of time. This will allow me not to have multiple anxieties over what to wear, how much money I’ll need to spend, whether my date will be on time and whether I can get to wherever the date will be, all just because I’ll have the ball in my court. It will be just me & I’ll be fine with that. It won’t matter what time or place I chose to have this date but what will matter is that I’ll find worth in being able to simply let go and feel content by myself.

As brief as I’m trying to be, one other thing I want to pledge myself to put on hold is getting a tattoo this year. I believe I have had my fair share of tattoos over the past three years and taking a break from getting any more will allow me to quit dwelling on the heavy emotions that are on most times my muse on the said tattoos . This does not at all mean I regret any of the tattoos I have gotten, I treasure them immensely because they are a part of my story & history. All I’m choosing, is to put on hold getting any more tattoos over the year and just rather cherishing those I already have on me.

I really don’t have much I want to expect from the new year, I’d rather not put pressure on myself & on the year as well. I know it sounds like a cowardly move but I really just want a quiet year without too much sorrow, too much pain, too much heart ache and with just enough happiness to keep me going. Until I feel ready to tackle the world and throw at it every dream and wish I have, I’m choosing to let the world guide me and take it a day at time. Happy New Year 2020.

P. S Just a quick reminder, this year we don’t take trash sex, no trash foreplay and definitely no manhandling of tits.✊🏾

Oh how low the “mighty” have fallen. Just in case your wondering who the mighty in this case is, it’s none other than me. I remember a time I used to write on this same very blog out of a positive niche and now, I’m doing it as preventive measure to stop myself from slipping into my pit of self harm. I’m writing this post sourly because if I don’t, sooner than later I’ll be staring at bloody wrist. I’m the mighty that’s fallen. I’m the mighty who’s weak now. I’m the mighty who can’t seem to stay on their own for less than a day without going mental. Yeah, maybe I was never mighty to begin with..

I’ve scavenged through social trying to find an answer to my twisted mind’s conception. It’s been less than four hours since what I can now term as the glue that was keeping me together left. I want to rip myself open with shame for the thoughts in my head. I’m not worthy celebrating the past twenty seven days free of self harm because they clearly were just an illusion to finally getting better or at least, less mental. How stupid could I get to believe I had it in me to conquer this because clearly, it was just a waiting game. All I’ve been is a sitting duck. Why am I surprised that I would feel this shallow & weak the minute solitude and loneliness creeps back in like the darkness in the night?? I should have known that it was just a matter of time before I sank back in.

It’s like a blanket of shame that’s wrapped around me because recently I’ve had so many loved ones & friends cheer me on for holding it together for those 27 days & now here I am, at the blink of a relapse. I’m not worthy of their cheer. I wish I didn’t know that cutting could turn out to be an addiction because that’s a lot of what it feels like at the moment. I wish I could say I am strong enough to fight this deep sated twisted emotion that’s slowly crippling me. I may fight now, but who’s to say I will fight it tomorrow… Who’s to say ,I won’t give in ?

I can no longer keep leaning on others to silence my mind. I can no longer keep up with the constant battle in my head between being rational & loving to myself over sating this demented feeling that keeps cutting through every little ray of sunshine that tries to seep in. I can no longer look myself in the mirror and think am worthy of people’s efforts to try fix me anymore. This is my battle now, I can either win or loose. In either ways, the playing field is my mind.

It’s been thirteen days … I don’t have a general term to express what those days have been for me… In honesty, they have been a blur ….typically my normalcy. I laughed ,I interacted, I left the house, just my typical blurry life. But, despite all that, I haven’t cut. Wish I could say I felt proud of myself but truly it doesn’t feel much of a win because it doesn’t rule out that I still thought of it. In every single day of those thirteen days ,it crossed my mind. Felt like an unfinished piece of myself I kept leaving out. Sad how much of it has become part of me now.

I wish I felt worthy enough to fight this waging war in my head but I’m not sure where to start. Everything is at a pause. Can’t seem to bring myself to sit through therapy again, just extremely exhausted to keep going on in circles with it. I’m done being cliche about this. I’m done writing about it despite it being the only possible outlet I have for my emotions & thoughts. I’m exhausted and just want to rest. I’ve lost focus on how normal it is to handle life’s challenges without needing an escape. I’ve quit trying to be strong. I don’t know what it means to be okay. I now understand what it’s like to have a cloud shadow over my head because in all honesty, I can’t focus on anything besides the voices in my head. That’s my depression, that’s my battle. I can’t keep trying to act normal when my mind keeps tipping over the edge every chance it gets.

Thirteen Days . In the last ten minutes or so, this thirteen days would have been irrelevant. They would have held no sense of importance to me. With a slit of my wrist, those thirteen days would have been twelve days of my ‘sobriety’ down the drain. I read somewhere that relapsing doesn’t mean I failed. It doesn’t mean I didn’t make steps forward. Well, if it doesn’t mean failure, what exactly does it mean? Not really expecting a response or an answer for that matter. Just cause I can afford a smile on my face, doesn’t mean anyone can see the pain & hollow fade behind my eyes . I’m not sure I want anyone to see it anyways .

I’m waiting it out. Waiting for the storm that’s coming. I can feel it. I’m not done falling. Until I can get the strength to hold on to something, anything, I’ll keep on falling, I’ll keep on sinking deeper into the depths of darkness that’s my mind. For now, I am hoping to keep up my facade till after my birthday. Not that it’s as important to me as I wish it was prior. I just don’t have it in me to feel excited about it. So until then, I’m gonna fake it. I’m gonna stand under my heated shower & pretend to wash away the waking ache to cut. For my birthday, I will pause that fall. Can’t promise I’ll make the most rational decisions after because again, the storm is coming and it’s unrelenting. It’s just a matter of time.