Last week I had my appointment with my therapist. Now I don’t know how typical my experience with therapy is compared to other people, because mine is through the VA and the sessions for this starting level are only a half hour long and initially were supposed to be every other week. This was my fourth appointment and we made the decision to start me on some medication.
That itself was fun to determine, as I wasn’t sure how something like that would affect my job, what with the gun I carry. I asked my shift supervisor about it, then ended up asking the medical staff themselves if anything would negatively impact work. I was told they were mainly concerned with side affects and those that were taken “as needed” but others were okay.
I told my therapist this and she started me on Zoloft. She explained to me that it isn’t a “happy pill” and won’t automatically change my mood, and I won’t start seeing results from it for about 8-12 weeks. The purpose, she said, is to help level out my moods so I don’t get the incredible swings that I was getting. It’s also important, she said, to keep up with the thought journal and breathing exercises.
Beyond that, she wanted me to seek community, so Saturday morning I went to the PA Non-Believers meeting in York. My first time going to a meeting like that and it was nice. It was quite a drive for me (70mi) but as I mentioned in a previous post, the closer meeting isn’t one that I can get to with my work schedule. I was up late the night before editing the podcast, and I considered talking myself out of going. My anxiety with new places and people was arguing against my desire to find fellowship. But knowing that I’d have to report to my therapist that I chickened out was what pushed me into getting up early enough to make the drive.
A second thing that we talked about me doing was volunteer. I got the idea to volunteer at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo. I love animals and it seemed like a good cause to me. So I looked into it and found out that I needed to turn in an application and attend a volunteer orientation. That was Saturday afternoon. That’s also quite a trek out for me, but it’s something that I’m really going to be enjoying. I’m genuinely excited about starting out with that.
I still get anxious and sad. I still cry without reasons. But I’m trying to make the efforts that I need to in order to improve my mental and emotional health. And beyond volunteering and finding a community, things like my beading crafts (I’ve been on a jewelry-making kick recently) have impressed my therapist. “You’ve been busy! That’s good!”
The funny thing about that is, my crafty stuff is all done in the seclusion of my home, away from people and with no sort of input from anyone. But when one is an introverted as I am, I’m glad that doing something solitary is beneficial for me as well.