I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Friday, 9 September 2011

Occupational Therapy has begun...

I met my Occupational Therapist yesterday. I am not ready to pass judgment on whether this will be a useful exercise, or if she will be able to help me. But I am hopeful in a restrained kind of way.

The idea behind occupational therapy is very cool, and very much in line with my personal beliefs and Montessori philosophy. The idea is that people are naturally inclined towards being occupied in ways that make us feel good. When something happens that doesn't let us engage in these occupations (not work necessarily, but things that we enjoy doing, need to do, or make us feel better), it can lead to serious implications for mental, emotional, and physical health. The therapist is there to help find ways of getting us back into those occupations.

From what I understood yesterday, she will brainstorm ideas with me, and I will then decide whether or not to put those ideas into play. She suggested, for example, trying guided meditations in bed when I have insomnia. I hadn't thought of that one, and that seems like something reasonably easy to do, and potentially very helpful. She also wants to look at how to get me dating again. That seems a lot more complicated and not as easy to do.

The first thing we did was fill out a depression questionnaire. Then we did my full medical and psychological history. Then we got into the nitty gritty of how I spend my days. I had a hard time expressing myself, and I just hope I got across to her the reality of my situation. I think I did, but it's hard to tell.

These first sessions are always kind of annoying. I feel repetitive, I never know if I got across the things I felt were most important, and I always feel like we're sussing each other out, so it's hard to be myself, and be comfortable. And in this particular case, it's not like I was interviewing her, or assessing her, as I normally do when starting a therapy-style relationship. I don't really get to choose whether or not I work with her, unless something is really seriously wrong. The insurance company referred her to me, and so I feel like I have to stick it out, and give it the best possible shot.

Next week we are going to start working through a mindfulness workbook. Is it just me, or is there something off about that? Mindfulness is all about now, the moment, the experience. Not about recording and detailing. Or maybe it's not so off, and it's just not what I'm used to. I guess we will see!


  1. One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
    ~~~Andre Gide~~~

  2. Your blogs are always interesting and thoughtful Andy. It's good that you have people who can send you lovely inspiring quotes like the one above. I would like to contribute as I have at other times for other people but I am far too needy at the moment.
    I'm not down but I'm not in a good place at the moment.
    We seem to have somewhat in common.
    I sent my children to Montessori school (when they were available, we moved from place to place alot when they were young). I know somewhat about how Montessori is done differently in different places. I have even withdrawn my children from Montessori I felt 'didn't deliver the goods'.
    Lots to say on the subject~some other time.
    I have always done many crafts with my kids and I have a huge supply of stuff I will never part with.
    But only recently as my children are older I have had the time to pursue knitting and more recently Jewelry making. I bought some beads and things for a niece for her birthday who I thought might enjoy the art.
    And since then I've ordered tons of books from the library and been to all the websites but have not yet invested the money~it being rather tight.
    I wish you a world of well my dear,

  3. PS I forgot to mention that I have also studied Chaos theory or Complexity theory as I know it better. There is a very good book on the whole concept that you may like to read or perhaps already have an understanding of and that is "Complexity" by Roger Lewin. It's getting old but is still an excellent book.
    Also I mentioned on one of the forums a book you can listen to. It's quite long and written (spoken) very engagingly. The book is on the history of science and is written by Bill Bryson, "A complete history of nearly everything." I think you would really enjoy it.

  4. Deborah, the more I get to know about you, the more I feel we have in common! Thank-you for your kind words. They mean so much. Sending good vibes your way!

  5. I like the structure your OT is using, I'd never seen it so fully and concisely articulated but it makes sense to me. If the OT is more focussed on outcomes than process then she will be more than happy to you to pick out the bits that work best for you and make them work for you, and to set aside for now the bits that aren't helpful right now.

    I would presume the value of the mindfulness diary is to force you to become aware of the present. You will have to tune into the present in order to write about it.

  6. That's what I'm hoping for, Mike, but I gotta be cautious with my optimism. Let me put it this way... if I'd been looking for a therapist, someone with whom to bare my soul, I would not have made a follow-up appointment. But I am keeping an open mind, and hoping.... :)

  7. If that's because she's action-oriented, that's fine. Her job is not to engage with your problems but to identify your capacities and constraints and help you navigate them to do as much as you can. So long as your physical problems are taken seriously it may be a valuable process.