Lately, I have been really fatigued – so tired that I fell asleep in the afternoon twice this week, and my energy levels have been very low.
Last weekend, I had started re-reading old letters and emails, purely out of sentimentality. However, afterwards I found myself unable to let a couple of those memories go and put them to rest again. My head started spinning, and so I emailed my therapist after a couple of days, asking if we could talk about that in the next session. He suggested I treat them just like recent events and run them through a situational analysis, always in relation to what they mean to me today.
Doing so put me a great deal forward, because I realized that one situation was only stuck on my mind because of the emotional impact it had made on me, but that I was otherwise happy with how I had handled it. For another situation I realized that even though I’d handle it better today, I did the best I could back then. I managed to let both of them go after the situational analysis.
There was one incident, however, where I was rather upset with myself: a couple of years ago, someone very close to me revealed a serious health problem, which had stunned me literally speechless. Instead of expressing what I really felt and saying how sorry I was, I had started a bombardment with factual questions about treatment options and only expressed my feelings about two hours later. In retrospect, this struck me as rather cold and insensitive, even though I most definitely was neither; I just had handled the situation very poorly. Knowing I would do it better now was not enough, and so I wrote this person an email expressing and explaining my sentiments about this particular conversation, saying how sorry I was that I’d gone about it all wrong. The reply was favourable, and that was when I could move on from this as well.
Usually, it would have taken the whole session to discuss the situational analysis step by step, but today we managed to talk it through without even writing on the flip chart, and we were done after about 15 minutes, moving on to developing strategies for counteracting the fatigue that has recently plagued me.
According to my therapist, many people underestimate how much work psychotherapy actually is, and that it would have been unnatural to not get tired after all the mental sorting. He suggested that I take at least two days off before the next session and do something recreational, as if I was on holidays: go to a museum or visit a new place, for example. The weather forecast is rather bad for the next couple of days, so it’s probably going to be something indoors – plus, my finances don’t allow anything fancy.