Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Crisis of confidence

I'm in an existential panic. What have I gotten myself into? I can't believe they call me a therapist. How am I qualified to help people? I'm much too narcissistic and angry. How on earth do I justify telling people how to manage their anger when I fail to do so on a daily basis?

I'm not sure if this is some kind of mixed-state hypomania or if I'm losing too much blood (trust me, you don't want the details, but it's not normal) and lightheaded as a result. I should probably call my doctor. I'm still trying to get in touch with the light box expert, who's not returning my phone calls and emails. I'm still trying to work with MVAIC to have my claim processed. I've got too much on my mind.

Yesterday my supervisor told me that one of my clients, who's in her relapse prevention group, raved about what a great counselor I am. Am I? I can't remember what I've done or said that was therapeutic. I know that just listening is often a big help, and I'm pretty good at that, but how on earth did I ever think I was qualified to do more?

The only good thing is, I appear to be sleeping more normally. I think. So I'm not as exhausted as I have been. But I'm sitting here today in a white-hot panic because I can't believe I'm a therapist! I was relieved when clients called to cancel today, or just didn't show up. How on earth am I going to lead my relapse prevention group tonight? Please, please let there be some good talkers in there with me.

I feel like I'm "getting over" -- the phrase my clients use for hustling or other forms of deceit. I've managed to convince a bunch of people -- superiors, co-workers, and clients -- that I know what I'm doing. Only now I'm convinced I don't.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Your job reqires you to be a role model WHEN you're on the job. When you're off the clock, your personal emotional condition is irrelevent to your qualifications as a therapist.

    Haven't we all heard of really good cardiologists who can't lay off the fast food when they're outside the hospital? That doesn't mean they're not really good at their jobs.

    As long as you don't bring it to work, your personal life, with its ups & downs and your bipolar induced mood swings, is your personal life.

    It sounds like you're a great therapist. Don't let the rough hand you were given in the rest of your life make you doubt your professional skill.

  2. As my first qi gong teacher told me: sometimes ya gotta fake it till ya make it. 1) I would rather be around someone who is humble and aware that there is room for improvement and growth because those that aren't are often some mix of delusional, egotistical and crazy. 2) Everyone in every field goes through this and often repeatedly. We just happen to have responsibilities for others that comes with being health care workers and sometimes feel a little absurd and well, helpless, trying to help people when we don't feel we can even seem to help ourselves or our loved ones. 3) haven't you always been your harshest critic and overly so? 4) even when you don't feel like yourself or that you are operating at the level you expect or would like, you are still a cut above the rest given what you know and where you've been and what you've done and what you can and will continue to do.

    I don't know. Snap-outta-it! *Cher slap* (from Moonstruck :) Don't worry be happy. Hang in there. Just breathe. -Spike

  3. I was gonna say what Spike said, except he said it better.

    You *own* substance abuse therapy, babe. It is your b!tch. And if your emotions are raging, well, that sucks. But you're faking it well and making it, too.

    Also, drink tons of fluids.

    Luv ya :)

  4. I agree w/all the above!
    This feeling will pass. I myself had an anxiety attack just yesterday. Try reading your earlier posts on this blog to remind yourself about all the good you do for your clients. As far as the 'blood', if you are concerned by all means call your GP!
    If the blood is what I think it is then your mood should probably lift soon.
    And there must be another light box expert out there!
    Hugs & Kisses...

  5. Thanks for the support. @Riva: it's not THAT kind of blood. It's a more worrisome, less routine kind. If it persists for a week I'm calling my doctor. I guess I could try to find another light box expert... I'm just feeling overwhelmed trying to fit 5 days of work into 4 so I can go to my boring hot training all day tomorrow. Sigh.