Image from Google
Yesterday was my first therapy session, which I had been extremely concerned about. I don’t manage particularly well in new situations, and find it difficult to deal with strangers.
Also, the thought of dredging up some truly horrific memories from my past was incredibly daunting.
As is usual for me though, I arrived for my appointment to discover that I had worried needlessly. I was greeted by a lovely, softly-spoken Indian lady wearing a beautiful sari top and loose pants (I can never remember the name of this particular style of ethnic dress, but I always have loved the beautiful colours and designs that Indian women wear). When she shook my hand I noticed that her hands are tiny – even smaller than mine!
We wandered into her office, where she proceeded to – very gently – take me through a list of the things she needed to know about me, my past and my family/social/relationship/medical histories. There were some tearful moments, but she was very gentle and understanding, and I got through it.
She says that I can’t have counselling until I’ve stopped drinking for six months. Between us we have worked out that, over the years, my consumption of alcohol has become such a safety blanket from emotional pain and so ingrained as a part of my daily routine that – due to my autism – suddenly stopping would be like taking any other part of my routine away from me. Change causes me fear and anxiety, so this needs to be handled carefully. Also, from the epilepsy point of view, I will need to be closely monitored so that I don’t risk a fatal seizure by stopping too abruptly.
So I have been referred on to a service called Changes and have to wait for them to get in touch with me. She is also contacting my doctor advising him that – because of the liver damage I have already sustained – he should prescribe me a strong dose of thiamine. I’m not certain, but I believe that thiamine is needed to help my liver to repair itself, and protect it from damage caused by my epilepsy medication and my fondness for wine. I shall have to look this up for more information.
So I have a long, long road ahead of me. Years of therapy consisting of getting me alcohol-free, seeing my counsellor every three months or so and after six months free of alcohol there will be therapy for however long it takes to talk through what might be causing my food issues.
This time I can do it. This time will be different. It will be different because I have a good life, a good medical team and a wonderfully supportive husband, who will help me up if I should fall down.