Episode 12

24:10
 
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Transcript

SureEyes: [00:00:00] you're listening to quintessentially mental a podcast hosted by SureEyes, please note that this host is not a mental health practitioner or professional, and this podcast is not made for treatment of any mental illness.

[00:00:25] Spudcaster: [00:00:25] Baobulb.org is a podcasting platform and a medium for storytelling. This podcast is also available on all the major podcasting apps, including apple and Google podcasts. Podcast

[00:00:39] your life with Baobulb.org.

[00:00:42] SureEyes: [00:00:42] Hey y'all you're listening to quintessentially mental the podcast and I'm your host, SureEyes. Another day, another day had a, quite an interesting chat with one of my cousins. Um, we, we spoke a bit about all familial or family issues and how that potentially affects us and things that we're expected to do to show progress or show that we’re dealing with things.

[00:01:15] And one of the things he asked me was ja but why must I go to a therapist now? This is quite a, you know, interesting conversation. We, you know, people think that using therapists you have some kind of holy grail and they're going to fix you. And all of a sudden things are going to be okay, and you're going to be resolved of all your issues and life is just going to be dandy.

[00:01:49] That's not necessarily true, although it's deconstructed a bit. Why a therapist? So all I asked him was if you broke your arm, Would you go and put a cast on yourself? He looked at me and started laughing and was like, uh, obviously not. And I was like, oh, so if you, you know, had some kind of physical health illness, Are you going to medicate yourself?

[00:02:19] Are you going to write your own script? Are you going to perform open heart surgery? Are you going to, you know, why, why would we treat our mental health different to how we treat our physical health and he was like, okay, I see your point. And I was like, yo, all therapists are another type of medical practitioner.

[00:02:44] Um, and so I think, you know, we, we, we forget that there are specialists for all types of health. So we have, you know, GPS, cardiologists, um, I dunno, neurosurgeons, paediatricians, you know, we have all those kinds of medical practitioners, oncologists, you know, we have all of these types of medical practitioners when it comes to our physical health.

[00:03:18] And if we look at, you know, despite what you believe in, or regardless of what you believe in, they, you know, Idea of spiritual health, and this could be your spiritual health practitioner could be your priest or your rabbi or your mom or your, um, Sharman or your, um, you know, whichever type of your clairvoyant your, you know, whatever or the type of practitioner you deem quanlified in that.

[00:03:52] To deal with your spiritual health. And so the same, I think goes for mental health, right? And so these are people who are trained. And when I say trained, I mean, they also went to school. They also went and studied the subjects that pertain to this particular topic, whether it be. Um, you know, family psychology, whether it be, um, you know, psychiatry, whether it be, you know, studying the Freudian, um, types of belief system, whether it's cognitive behavioural therapy or.

[00:04:34] You know, any other type of, um, therapies. Where there’s actual learning behind an actual, you know, studying of the subject behind what it is they're specialists in. And so the idea of therapy isn't, you know, we should. Just kind of hand off all of our problems to some unknown third party, you know, who is going to wave the therapeutic wand and all of a sudden we're going to be chilled.

[00:05:08] Um, you know, I sometimes joke and I think I'm like, why do I, like, why do I pay my psychiatrist? Which doesn't give me answers. These aren’t people who necessarily or it's been my experience. It hasn't necessarily been people who provide answers or provide solution per se, or provide the action and next steps that I need to take to deal with.

[00:05:37] My particular situation. And so this conversation with my cousin evolved, I said, you know, and so that's what therapists are, whether you go to, um, a psychiatrist who is also a practicing therapist, and that's more, if there's been a medical diagnosis, Um, there might be, you know, medical. And when I say medical, I mean, medication intervention or hospitalisation intervention that needs to happen in order to address the issues that you face.

[00:06:08] Um, and then it was like, you, I don't think my issues are that deep. And I was like, okay, that's fine. You might need a psychiatrist. But, you know, you, you may need to talk to a social worker or a psychologist, a clinical psychologist, or a behavioural psychologist, or a, um, occupational therapist who helps you kind of deal with, you know, work-related school-related issues, you know, there's this range of therapy.

[00:06:39] And I think. The, you know, we blanket all types of therapeutic intervention under one umbrella. And so you had. You know, if I'm going to therapy, I must need medication as an example. And this isn't, this isn't necessarily true. You know, there are different ways and means of dealing with ones. Um, Mental health state.

[00:07:07] It doesn't always have to involve medication. It doesn't always have to involve a therapist, but I think, you know, refusing help of, or refusing the notion of reaching out to a therapist because you think that therapy is only for lunatics. I think that is the problem, right? The fact that we, we see mental health.

[00:07:34] Support and mental health care and mental health help as those things needed by crazy people. When essentially it's just about when you can't cope with the situation or you don't necessarily know how to deal with your overwhelming and it doesn't even have to be overwhelming when you don't know how to deal with feelings that impact your life.

[00:07:58] You sometimes reach out to, um,

[00:08:02] Therapist,

[00:08:05] That said you know, we will, we'll take a break and I will share my journey of how I actually ended up going to therapy. I mean, I speak, I speak at length about being in therapy since I was whatever, like 19 years old, maybe younger, maybe a bit older. I'm not sure.

[00:08:28] But I speak about being in therapy for a prolonged period of time at length. And so I think it's worth delving into what were those situations? What were those? Um, what lead me to actually believing in therapy as a form of mental health support. So after we'll take the short break and, uh, Thank you to our hosts, baobulb.org who graciously hosts such beautiful topics like mental health care discourse.

[00:09:03] Um, and we'll, I'll catch you after the break.

[00:09:07] Spudcaster: [00:09:07] This is a Spudcaster podcast from Baobulb.org.

[00:09:11] SureEyes: [00:09:11] We're back, you're listening to quintessentially mental the podcast, and I'm your host, SureEyes. So before the break, I promised you a bit of a delve into my backstory with therapy, um, which I think is not the traditional one, I think, but I think it does highlight, you know, the points that I'm trying to make it, how I eventually got to a point where I do believe that, um, therapy is one of the tools I have in dealing with and coping with my mental health.

[00:09:47] I think I was in school. I think I was in primary school, late primary school. Maybe early high school. I can't remember exactly. So maybe around between the ages of, let's say 11, 12 and 13, 14 years old. Definitely not 14. So maybe like 11, 12 years old. And my parents had the most, uh, turbulent and dysfunctional relationship, I still have ever seen in my, in my whole damn life.

[00:10:21] Um, and while they were going through the rough periods, my mom thought. Okay. It might be a good idea. To have these kids, see someone, um, who at that point was a social worker to be able to help them deal with the emotions, kind of cope with the situation that, you know, we found ourselves in. So I remember going to this , which only in my later years did I realize was kind of like a free stroke, affordable mental health care facility that offers mental health services, um, across the spectrum, focusing on relationships and more specifically family relations.

[00:11:07] Anyway. So we go to this, we go to this woman and I can't remember if it was just myself and my sister or if it was myself, my sister and my, I can't remember who all was there, I know my mom was there, um, but I can't remember who else. And I remember sitting with this woman and she gave me. Um, a page that had a wheel on it and the wheel had, had been split into, you know, different areas of my life.

[00:11:37] And I kind of had to colour it in how I felt on the different dimensions. And I just thought, okay, lady now, now what now, now, what is this supposed to do? What is this supposed to help me with? Like, I don't understand. I think if we look at it, Therapy track number one, I think my mom didn't quite explain to us what it is we were doing at that place.

[00:12:05] Um, maybe she didn't have the words. Maybe she didn't have the ability. Maybe she, you know, she didn't really explain what was going on. The therapist herself. Didn't quite explain why I needed to colour in like, kind of your feelings or I just didn't understand. She was like, okay, where do you see yourself?

[00:12:25] And just colour it in. And I was like, but what, what is the end goal. What are you actually trying to help me with? What is the going to give you insight to? And it was then that I realized I had a, quite a questioning and critical mind. We, I didn't see the point in doing something for the sake of doing something I needed to do, uh, understand exactly why I was doing, um, what I was doing.

[00:12:55] And I needed to understand, you know, Yeah, I just needed to understand fast forward my first year of university or no second year, first or second year of university. I think it was my second year. We, I was in a relationship that had me because of my own insecurities and because of my own, um, kind of perception of my self-esteem and self-worth, I.

[00:13:26] I really struggled in my relationship where I struggled to separate myself from the person I was in a relationship with where I struggled too. You know, not view his actions as a slight on me or not read his behaviours as has been something to say about me. Um, I took things that he did pretty personally.

[00:13:49] I, I thought that, okay, what he's doing, saying, being acting, it's just living, basically just living. I thought that that might be a reflection of me. And so I went to student health and I started seeing a, um, I started seeing a social worker, um, through, through student health. And again, I was left questioning, like, what am I doing?

[00:14:18] How is this helping? What is the point? What is the plan? Um, why, why, why am I doing this? I don't understand. Fast forward a few more years when I was in my first year of like formal employment. Where through the companies like employee wellness program, they had access to what we had access to a psychologist and I met with the psychologist and eventually, you know, she started putting things in perspective and I thought, okay, so.

[00:14:54] You're going to help me understand myself and help me understand why I do the things I do and help me understand, you know, the things that affect me. Um, and I, I, at that time, I only had like with employee wellness, you only had a set number of sessions that you had access to. I found myself having to the minute we just started getting into the cracks of the situation, the number of sessions that I had, uh, ran out and I thought, okay, now I must go find someone new and explain my whole long story to them again, and then try and get to the crux again.

[00:15:41] And, you know, and I kind of felt defeated where I was just like, how am I. How am I going to find someone I click with, how do I find someone that I'm not going to grow tired of explaining my situation. I'm not going to, I'm not going to, that's something like not to sound arrogant, but sometimes you've got to feel like, you know, the therapist is as smart as you.

[00:16:03] And that can mean a number of things, right. That can mean understands your cultural context or understands, um, you know, understanding. The way, your brain reasons or the way your brain makes connections. And so, you know, I kind of stopped, started stop, started, stopped, started therapy until about 2014. Yeah.

[00:16:31] Beginning of 2014, when. Again, went through a really, you know, so before I get to that, another trend I noticed was I only really reached out for therapeutic help when my life was in crisis, when things were completely falling apart, where I was going through, you know, really dark depressions where I was becoming dysfunctional.

[00:16:57] And actually couldn't, you know, Look after myself, I was like, Ooh, maybe I need help. And so maybe the idea is also not to wait until your life becomes dysfunctional. The other flaw I made was through my stop start, stop start. The minute I started feeling. Not better, but like good about something. I would stop going to therapy because I thought I was cured.

[00:17:26] I thought I was great. I thought I was fine. Not realising that even in those periods, it's good to gauge my coping ability when I am feeling better when I'm not feeling like my entire life is a disaster and things are coming to crash style, you know? Anyway in 2014, I eventually found this therapist who specialised in.

[00:17:55] Relationships and, and to think, and, you know, kind of in hindsight, this is probably where the diagnosis for my borderline personality disorder, which is a relational type disorder. Started coming to the fore where I started to notice the trend that I was fine by myself, but the minute I included another person, especially in a romantic situation, in this mix, shit would get all kinds of fucked up.

[00:18:23] Like I would lose, lose, lose my damn mind. And it was at a point where the person I was in a relationship with had yet again, you know, betrayed me in, in quite a hurtful, deep way. Um, I. I'd kind of gone on a yoga retreat, um, which was a real yoga retreat. It wasn't me, it wasn't code for me going into hospital.

[00:18:54] I was actually at a yoga retreat. Um, and then I thought, you know, maybe, maybe I should go see a therapist who specialises in the thing that I am struggling with. And maybe I also didn't realize that all the things that I had been through. All the different experiences in my life that I had been through. What, what issues that created?

[00:19:20] Maybe I wasn't clear on that. So sure. I had trust issues and daddy issues and abandonment issues and rejection issues. And I had all of those things, but I didn't know how that actually impacted and played out. In my life and it played out in my romantic relationships, but that seemed almost like a no brainer, but how did it play out in mine, in my romantic relationships?

[00:19:50] And so I think when I went to go see this particular professional, who was a specialist in relational or relationship disorders and relationship disaster, And being able to talk to someone who wasn't of the, you need to do this, this, this, and this to fix yourself. You need to, you need to, you know, there was no, there was no dictation or dictatorship, I guess.

[00:20:18] I don't know what the right word is, but there was no, this is how it should be. And these are the steps you need to follow. There was almost a space for me to reflect. On my experience, reflect on my behaviour, have someone as a sounding board, have someone who understands that I'm an intelligent person who is naturally inquisitive and curious, and who wants to be able to figure things out on my own.

[00:20:50] I want to be able to figure things out on my own. I think the minute we place our power in someone else's hands, the minute we. You know, the minute we. Gosh, like the minute we expect someone else to solve our problems for us. I think we put ourselves in a very one disadvantage, but also dangerous situation.

[00:21:13] I think that absolves us of responsibility and accountability. I think it makes it easy for us to blame someone when things don't work out per se. Um, and so I think it's really important for me. To have been able to take that power back, especially having gone through relationships where, I didn't feel like I was empowered.

[00:21:39] I didn't feel like I, I mattered, you know? And so to build a relationship in a safe. You know, we talk about this proverbial therapeutic, safe place. And, you know, we can maybe get to that in another episode, but you know, it, it was really important to me to start feeling like I mattered. So is therapy the only tool?

[00:22:10] No. Is therapy going to fix us all? probably not. What I do think is that. We shouldn't just shut down therapy because we think it's for crazy people, you get different types of therapists who deal with and specialise in different types of psychological and mental. I guess I don't want to say traumas or issues or, you know, but different contexts.

[00:22:38] Um, you could, if you went through something, especially traumatic, the get trauma counsellors, if you are struggling with the death of someone, you get grief counsellors, you know, if you are just simply struggling with managing stress, you know, you get people who specialise in that too. And I think, you know, Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

[00:22:58] And also don’t knock it till you've tried it enough times to be able to figure out why it does or doesn't work for you. Anyway, on that note, darlings take care of yourselves, take care of each other, be kind to yourself, be kind to others and, uh, Join me next week for more of my mental health musings.

[00:23:27] And remember we are always, always, always, always, always fully ourselves. Toodles.

[00:23:38] Spudcaster: [00:23:38] thank you for listening to this spudcaster podcast. Don't forget to like share and subscribe.

[00:23:44] SureEyes: [00:23:44] You've been listening to quintessentially mental the podcast, hosted by SureEyes. Join us next week as we continue the conversation about mental health. And remember we are always perfectly ourselves.

Disclaimer: The views expressed do not reflect those of Baobulb.org

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