I've decided that the more time goes by pondering something, the less likely I'll probably be in doing it. So, what better way to have some accountability than to mention it to a who-reads-this-thing-anyway blog? Who am I kidding, really - I'm a procrastinator, through and through - but the guilt factor really does work with me. :-) I AM still working on the bathroom (personal things have been thrusting distractions in the way), among a million other little projects...but I'm optimistic that, with cooler weather will come a completed product. Seriously.
Back to the subject at hand. In the interest of complete disclosure and over-sharing, I've seen therapists (ie analysts, ie psychiatrists, ie shrinks...) for many years, on and off. When I say "many", I mean over 23 years. I saw my first incredible mental health professional when I was 6, just beginning to understand the death of my father and feeling the effects through lowered self esteem, depression and anxiety. Let's just say that, while he was great, those symptoms have followed me for years. I don't really expect them to ever be "gone", just hopefully managed.
Recently, I started with a new therapist, but the fit just didn't work for me. I ultimately realized that I'm handling the depression things (no medication, currently) pretty darn well, and I think that the love and support of my husband and friends and family (as well as that whole "cats need you no matter what" responsibility thing) has helped. My anxiety, however, has popped up, and no matter how intelligently I try to talk it away, it's still front and center. We won't even get INTO the self esteem stuff. That's a day-to-day given. I think it's probably also why I'm involved in acting - what actor DOESN'T have that issue? Not to mention that the rush from a supportive audience can help, momentarily. ;-)
After a hurtful session which led to the ultimate break-up with my recent therapist, I did lots of soul and mind searching. "I know what all my issues are, and where they're rooted, and how they show themselves; that's not the problem," I insisted. "It's dealing and coping with them. I'm smarter than this. I need to control or work with this myself." It may be naive to think this, especially since, when I was at my "lowest" in the past, I couldn't talk the pain and agony away. But, things are different with anxiety.
So, I decided that I need to purchase some self-help books...but not necessarily the kinds you'd imagine. I guess I tend to scoff at self-help books, in general, but when I'm learning some truly helpful methods of handling life, I let go of the criticisms. Strangely enough, what worked best when I was in high school was looking towards Eastern methods of, well, LIVING.
I meditated, studied several Eastern religions and philosophies, and found myself to be at peace for the first time in my life. Of course, the life of a teenager eventually took over and, by college, huge personal pains took me back down the spiraling hole of despair.
My husband has a great respect for the Buddhist religion, even blogging about his occasional readings about it and letting it affect the way in which he handles, particularly, stress and "that which cannot be controlled". I am now reading (silly as it is) The Complete Idiot's Guide to Zen Living (while Dave works on the same series' Buddhist title). I'd like to move on to more "serious" readings, but this book is good at relating zen methods to a 21st century, Western lifestyle; good for a "beginner" like myself.
Additionally, I'm taking my mother's advice (I MUST be an adult!) to look into yoga. While my mother's a devout Catholic, she's a smart lady - and has read about the helpfulness of yoga for those who need help handling stress, centering themselves, or even those coping with anxiety and depression. So, now I'm on the hunt. It reminds me a bit of my last search for a therapist, and I had considered going back to the drawing board for a new doctor (which may still be on the horizon, depending on how things go), but this is also something I've been interested in for several reasons, for awhile.
There are no "local" yoga centers, as far as I can find (as in...close to home), but the greater Utica area has a few from which to choose (have those two words ever been uttered in one sentence - greater Utica?). The challenge is determining when I can fit it into my schedule, since rehearsals for the current show at ILT are starting this week. Once I hammer down that schedule, I can determine what facility will best work for me.
The options are the Universal Yoga Center, the Yoga Haven, and Yoga Journey. The Yoga Haven's web site appears to be for children, but other reliable sites linking to them lists that they have other valuable types of classes for adults, and the Yoga Journey site seems not to have any openings, currently. I know that our local community college offers classes, but my mother suggested attending a more professional type of class to get greater benefit from it.
I'll update everyone as to how my search goes and what I decide. However, ANY suggestions or shared experiences in the world of yoga would be greatly appreciated. I'm ultimately hoping to learn relaxation/calming techniques, gain physical benefits (I'd like to actually be able to stretch...and tone in the process), and perhaps make this my go-to form of physical activity, especially when the word "prenatal" becomes part of my vocabulary. Cross your fingers and wish me luck!