by Sandra Diez
For a patient it is difficult to look back and see all the things that have changed after therapy, or at least for me it is, to remember my first session with the clinical psychologist. However, having been asked to think about it, has allowed me to realise that at the end of the day, change has happened, and the fact that it is helpful to look back and see how it developed.
At the beginning, I was nervous, I doubted and questioned everything and I asked myself over and over again, whether I really needed to go. Now I can recollect the first contact in which I believed that I would not understand anything, and that I would get pills prescribed. I also thought that he would blame me for everything. In my case, I had heard negative things about psychologists and feared that I could end up hating my family, my job and my life.
I cannot talk for others, but my experience of attending therapy, has marked a crucial point in my life. This obviously, is not what I thought prior to the therapy experience. I am now happy to see that I was wrong.
Before my problem started, I was someone normal, with my own life style and my plans for the future, like everybody else. When my life changed as a result of an occupational accident, I became helpless. I have worked since age 14 and having an accident at 30 that restricted my life in many ways had a drastic impact on me. I always give 100% at work, and have a high work standards. Therefore, I could not imagine how things would look like from another perspective. At the beginning I tried to ignore the symptoms, which were related with the injury; drowsiness, problems with memory, lack of strength, loss of sensation in my fingers. However, I understand that other people would have freaked out having all these experiences. Somehow, I was dealing with it. Pain, loads of medication, loads of tests…the worse was when I suddenly became fearful about everything. I did not expect and I did not understand it. Doing simple things or usual tasks became a hurdle. Asking someone if they could do me a favour or respond to a request would make me feel anxious. In my private life, I thought that I was abusing my husband, given that I was ill and needy all the time. I thought I was not the same person anymore and could not handle the change. The pain originated in my neck was intense, but the other pain, the one coming from my head, was unbearable. That other pain told me that I did not deserve to have friends, family or someone to care for me. Because I was useless, I was broken, incomplete and out of coverage.
Since I started attending my psychology sessions, I have learned a lot, not necessarily about the accident, but about me. My psychologist has taught me to try not to search for meaning all the time. Or maybe not to look for more or deeper implications and be able to stay more in the “here and now”. If you are guided by your 2013 agenda, it is hard to get things done today. It will be impossible to be successful. That idea is stuck in my mind now. It is true that I am not the same person and if I try to get back to who I was three years ago, I will only find frustration and pain. Now, day by day, I am learning to write my new diary, in which I find more ideas for the present and the future, and less time to think about the past.
If someone thinks that attending a psychology clinic will lead to changes in their marriage or life, I will say that it is true, at least that is my experience. My life has changed for the better, solving doubts that would make me see my life as a road full of shadows. My marriage has changed or to put it in better words, it has been rescued. Now I am more open with my husband. I allow him to look after me and I no longer feel guilt.