Life in a Bind – BPD and me

Borderline Personality Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and my therapy journey. Listed in Top Ten Resources for BPD in 2016 by goodtherapy.org. I write for welldoing.org and for Muse Magazine Australia, under the name Clara Bridges.

#Therapybreak is over!

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Last week I posted a link to my ‘Twitter story’ from Day 1 to Day 16 of my Christmas therapy break, and this week I’m posting the tweets from Day 17 to Day 26:

https://storify.com/lifeinabind/christmas-therapy-break-day-17-to-day-26

My Christmas therapy break finally ended yesterday, with a ‘return session’ of the kind I haven’t experienced before. Usually I spend some time after a break trying actively to feel reconnected to my therapist, hoping that she will somehow ‘reach out’ to help me do that. She often tells me that we are still connected, even if I can’t feel it, but particularly straight after a break that can be hard to take on board and accept.

This time, although though I spent a little while at the start of the session showing her various items and mementos of the therapy break that had been important in helping me to look after myself, I did so because I really wanted to share those things with her, rather than because I was seeking a connection I felt was missing. I went in feeling connected; and though on many levels I just wanted to ‘rest’ and have her ‘look after me’ after the ‘effort’ of being apart, the more ‘adult’ part of me stayed uppermost and I was able to talk freely and openly, rather than feeling stuck or resentful.

There were some very difficult and painful times during the Christmas break – intensely lonely times, times when I thought about death and about dying. I held those things back until I saw my therapist yesterday, and that was okay. The strong sense of connection persisted throughout the painful times and the holding back, and when I heard from her over email in response to the things I did tell her about, her responses felt somehow more ‘relational’ and less ‘practical’ than they had done in the past. They felt as though they were less about addressing immediate difficulties I might have, and more about reminding me I was kept in mind, and that our connection persisted. Perhaps her responses felt different because my emails too, were different. As with any relationship, we impact upon each other.

As tends to happen with me at any sign of progress, I started to worry about whether my therapist would think I was now sufficiently ‘recovered’ and therapy would be foreshortened. She reassured me there was still work to be done! Very early on in my therapy I asked her how you know when the process of therapy is coming to an end, and she said ‘when you no longer notice the breaks‘. Thinking of it in those terms, I can see that I still have a way to go – and in truth, I cannot even conceive of not noticing the breaks, it does not seem possible. I got through this break much more positively than on any previous occasion, but I noticed it very much. I missed my therapist hugely, and she was always in my thoughts. More importantly, I didn’t doubt that I was in hers, and that knowledge sustained me.

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5 thoughts on “#Therapybreak is over!

  1. What a lovely reunion with your therapist! I feel so connected to you in your writing…. I am also on a therapy break but have not been as successful as you. I have had multiple email sessions with my therapist; I feel so bad for her. And I so know the feeling worry when there is ‘progress’ and ‘signs of recovery’; my abandonment issues come back, and I’m frightened she will throw me out again…. But we have both come a long way and I think she will let me know before hand. Where as 5 years ago she did spring the end of therapy on me and J was devastated….. Anyway, love your blog….feel very connected to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent news. Your continued progress is striking, particularly as I think about what you were writing about over a year ago. And it was not derailed (perhaps even strengthened) by how you dealt with the challenges that occurred over the break. Good for you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Progress, progress, progress. You did well. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on this progress πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘When you no longer notice the breaks’ – what a great way of checking in how it’s going. I worry about appearing better and losing my therapist before I’m ready to, but when it comes to breaks – yeah I’ve got a little way to go before I’m happy with those. I was writing here about ‘coping with breaks’just yesterday!
    Thanks for the insightful post and I’m glad your first session back went well.

    Liked by 1 person

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