Maybe I’m just weird, but based on chats with friends, we’re all the same. We all get the post-therapy “blahs.”
So, I said to myself, “Lenora, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal, why don’t you write an article about post-therapy blahs?”. So I did.
As most of my readers know, I’m in the process of recovering from narcissistic abuse. To date, I’ve attended nine therapy sessions. Each time, the aftermath is the same.
The day of therapy, I’m a nervous live-wire. The prospect of pouring out my soul to a virtual stranger is nerve-wracking. As time goes on and I become more comfortable and acquainted with my therapist, the calmer I feel. But I still get the jitters.
After physically moving several hundred miles away from my family, I kicked the comfort eating habit. But there’s still one scenario when I indulge in comfort eating. You guessed it. Therapy day! I eat my way into therapy and out of therapy. I may eat myself into tomorrow.
Running on Empty
For the first two hours after therapy, I seem okay. I think I’m okay. Actually, I’m running on sheer, bloody nerves.
This can go on for several hours! I know I’m going to crash. My husband knowns I’m going to crash. Hell! I bet the dogs know I’m gonna crash. It’s just a matter of time…
Like any good workaholic, I push myself unmercifully when all I want to do is crash. But at some point, and apologizing profusely, I give in to the feeling of blahness. With The Big Bang Theory running on a loop, a cup of Earl Grey Tea and other munchies nearby, the dogs and I climb into bed. I huddle under the covers, hoping for the nothingness of sleep to calm my jitters.
Soon, a chorus of snores is added to the laugh-track of TBBT.
Two hours later, I’m wide awake again. Sleep eludes me. It just won’t come.
Reading doesn’t work.
Eating doesn’t work.
Even TBBT, the geeky alternative to sleeping pills, can’t float me off to the Land of Nod.
Post-therapy insomnia plagues me.
Washing off the Ick
Around 3 a.m. I give up and head for the shower. Perhaps a stream of hot, hot water will wash away the psychological ick I’ve drudged up during therapy. I feel dirty. Perhaps the water will help me feel better.
Wee Hours of the Morning
Finally, around 5 a.m., sleep overtakes me again. Woe unto anyone who calls and wakes me up before noon. The irritation of a hibernating bear interrupted from his Winter sleep has nothing on me.
The next day is no better. I’ve still got the post-therapy blahs. I wander, aimlessly, around the house trying to do something useful, to no avail.
A horrible feeling drowns me. I feel shame. Shame for revealing ways in which I’m wrong to my therapist. Wrong beliefs. Wrong thoughts. Wrong assumptions. Being a smart-ass. Ouch!
I also feel exposed. Like an introvert who, in a moment of daring, tap danced on a table. Like a clam pulled out of its shell. Like an abuse survivor who talked about things she’s not supposed to talk about.
Damn! It’s an awful feeling!
I try to corral my wandering thoughts. Try to buckle down to the things that need doing. Writing my PsychCentral articles. Other freelance writing. Housework. Burning artwork. Walking the dogs.
But it’s hard. All I want to do is crawl back into bed and vegetate, hoping for the oblivion of sleep, waiting for the time to pass and the awful feelings to leave me.
This is what I call the post-therapy blahs. If you feel like this too, consider yourself validated. You’re not alone.
The good news is that the blahs are normal. The better news is that, over time, it gets better!