I'd rather talk to my cat then go to a therapist.

For the most part, at some point in this journey of illness, we have all seen a therapist. I have seen psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers. Been there. I have seen folks who have CFS or Fibro and are therapists.

Those who are ill need to talk about it. We need to vent, let it out, all of the disappointments, the losses, the grieving. As much as one would just love to rely on their significant other to spill to, or family to dump on; they are people too who may get tired of hearing it. Other friends with CFS cannot always be a person to talk to because they are ill too and may not have the energy to offer support or may feel such sorrow as well. And then there are those who are well. They listen but don't always get it, or recommend things we have known about and done already.

For me, therapy has not always been therapeutic. I have had a therapist cry during my sessions, telling me how she suffered a horrible depression. I had a psychiatrist who talked more than I did and constantly tried to get me to buy his book. I had a shrink come on to me! I had a woman with CFS who was a psychologist tell me that I, as a patient, was too draining on her because she felt so bad for me being ill so young. Oh, you name it, it's happened. Let's face it, many of them are CRAZY!

But more importantly, they want you to come to terms with an illness or fight it. Or, they don't believe in it or they don't realize the seriousness of the situation.

When you have an illness, you are ALWAYS grieving. We are constantly in a state of mourning. Just when we think we have accepted a situation, a new symptom, it bites us so bad that we are down and out and angry or just down right spent. I have been grieving for over 21 years and although I accept that I am ill because I have no choice, I am not happy about it and yeah, I still complain that I have to deal with this crap. Honestly, if you did just accept it, I would wonder what is up with you!

There is also the issue of time. A visit to a therapist usually lasts for 45 minutes. 45 minutes doesn't allow me enough time to deal with all that is going on. Yesterday I was semi functional, the day before that I was in bed, the day before that I was in so much pain I was taking constant baths to settle it down. Also, you are dealing with the real world around you while you are sick. Should I talk about how my friend, co-worker, boyfriend isn't accepting of my illness or should I talk about what the doctor said? How do I fit this into 45 minutes? What can anyone say to make you feel better about that? "You are strong, you are a survivor!" I know, thanks. Now what?

I would rather talk to my cat. My cat snuggles with me. My cat listens. My cat knows when I am not feeling well. My cat gets it. He doesn't say anything weird or start crying. And you know what? I don't have to pay him either. It's really pretty awesome. We both get something out of it. He gets attention and I get to cry, talk, dump, whatever. He is fine with it.

But here's the deal, I don't have a cat.

I have a plant.

Anyway, you hear me.

Therapy hasn't worked for me. Some therapists have seriously hurt me more than helped. I have post traumatic stress disorder due to CFIDS. I would need intense therapy for that and honestly, I would just rather live my life. Something that I have learned over the years is that therapists, doctors, etc....they are all just people. That is all they are. They may be just as messed up as I am and clearly some of them have been.

To me, the best therapy is a nice bath, a hot cup of tea, clean sheets, journaling, a good friend and television. Taking care of me. Ultimately, we know what's best for us. Our gut is the therapist. Something that someone said to me that always stuck with me is, "Go by how you feel. Not but what makes sense or what "should" make sense. If something doesn't feel right to you, then it's not right. Don't question it, feel it and go from there."

Now when it comes to illness, that is not always easy to do because we question our mental state sometimes. But at the end of the day, if something doesn't feel right, it's not right. HOW DO WE MAKE IT RIGHT?

I don't know. But until then, I will continue to talk to my cat that I don't have.

SMILE. :Retro wink:

Comments

Lovely piece of writing, Spitfire,

You write as well as you make & design jewellery.

Ever considered making money from writing?

(and yes, Psychiatrists & Psychologists can be a pain in the *&%^#! - hope my 2 Psychologist friends never read this :Retro redface:)
 
I have an uncle who is a psychiatrist. He is a thousand times more crazy than any of his patients. He also takes his own drugs, grows his own pot in Hawaii and basically stays stoned day and night. This one is actually the only one in the family that didn't tell me I was nuts when it comes to CFIDS/ME, but he didn't know what to do for me other than to tell me to eat healthfoods and live life holistically. Anytime I think of him with his patients, I think of a pot smoking mad hatter from Alice in Wonderland sitting there. You'd probably get the same amount of counseling for free on a street corner from a drug dealer, except the street dealer has more street smarts to teach you.

No one who does not have this can really help. They don't know what to say or do. And IMO, they're all a waste of money. My friend Kathy spent hundreds on a "counselor" whatever she was. It was such a scam. Like three hundred bucks for an hour of telephone counseling. I thought it was nuts to spend that. And she is no better for it, so what was the point, other than losing her money? You want counseling, blog. I have a private blog that I've had for many years with a very tiny select group of people. Just knowing they listen to me, even though they don't have this disease and can't really help, it does help that they are there. I'm in the habit of blogging throughout my entire days and nights. I probably update it every hour or more so. It really does help. I talk about my daily or hourly symptoms, I talk about what I've gone through that day, or even just what I'm going to make for dinner or lunch. I'm like a total blog addict. But it does help.
 
Victoria, I used to be a journalist. I wrote for NHS News in Britain. I was a medical journalist. I love to write, but don't think about doing it for money. It would be fun. THANK YOU.

Carrigon, that was too funny what you wrote above. I love that description. Your uncle sounds crazy. I love the growing pot part...gotta love it. The world is a stage! I forgot to write that I went to a shrink who worshiped vampires, went deaf listening to too much Pink Floyd and greeted me in his sweat pants...the same ones every session. He was another loony tune!
 
lol, i just imagined what it would be like to talk to a plant . but i guess it would still have a more postive outcome than talking to a therapist :)
btw, would you have enough energy for a pet, spitfire?
 
Spitfire I loved your piece of writing here! And I completely agree. Unfortunately my cat got run over by a carjust yesterday. It still hurts so bad. I had her for 4 months and it became a great buddy. I never had a cat before. The way cats play, the way they explore everything, the way cats talk, the way they behave, how they try to get attention, it's just great :) I would rather choose a cat than any therapist in the world if I had to.
 
Diesel, that's awful! I lost my 'therapist' last summer, things just haven't been the same since.
 
Luke, I'm sorry for that, she really looks cute and thanks DavidJ for the sympathy.
 
WOW!! I am sorry about your cat. I had a dog once and I almost died when he died. For a week I was so upset. Afterwards too, but I cried uncontrollably. I can have a cat but I am allergic to them. So, I choose a plant. I would love to have a dog but don't have the energy to take one out in the snow or just at all. I can at times and at other times....not so much.

Friends can sometimes be the best therapists. ANd just knowing that others who are ill get it is huge.
 
I used to be horribly allergic to them too before I got sick, now not a thing.

I'd love to be able to have a dog too, I had a great period where I borrowed my neighbours during the day, no walking or bills and the dog didn't have to get lonely either.

But luckily plants are good company aren't they, though I seem to have a terrible history of killing my favourite Bonsais.
 
I have to say Diesel, thank you! That is the first thing that made me laugh all day. Ordering a hypoallergenic cat!! I am laughing and I have been miserable today! LOVE THAT.
 
Spitfire, I wrote down that quote about going by what you feel. I really need that confirmation now.

And as for therapists, I grew up in a highly psychologized atmosphere and it was decades before I would admit that SOME therapists might actually helpful instead of just manipulating and screwing with you. I believe there are therapists like that but they are probably the ones who rely on some spiritual help, more or less follow the dictum of going with what feels right. This illness has opened my eyes; it's becoming clear to me that most human beings in our culture are seething masses of wounds and confusion. Our culture's idea is to put a nice mask on top of that; that's the mask that none of us with CFS have the energy to wear most of the time. In a way it's a great gift.

I lost my much-loved cat last year and send sympathies to all of you who have lost pets, so understanding and so inspiring in their ever-present "nowness" in the world. However as a confirmed plant person I will also say that plants have their own kind of communication to offer if you just listen for it. It's a very valuable one which has inspired people through the ages. If you can go outside, take time with some plants in a waste spot or park - some plants may resonate with you more than others. If you can't go outside, get cuttings or find a plant you can grow inside. At the risk of sounding loony tunes, I can assure you that if you really listen with your guts you will find a whole new level of understanding with plants. They sustain us in many more ways that food and medicine, though that in itself is something.
 
I like that Sunday. Especially about the plants. And so true about the mask. I cannot wear a mask like I used to. What I once could hide, I cannot now. Too tired and too sick. I call a spade a spade. I once told my ex boyfriend, "you are getting on my nerves" in the middle of a movie. He thought it was great at the time, but when I broke up with him...I became the word that begins with the letter B. HEE HEE! Oh well.

My friend made a wise statement; "If someone says something to you that makes the hairs on the back of your neck rise, ask for the check and LEAVE!" Good advice!
 
My cat Gus doesn't demand anything, his gaze absorbs. He is the most perfect of companions.
 

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