When my therapy session last week was about to end, I handed my personal journal to Dr. G. It was the journal that I kept when I was still under the care of Dr. B (my former psychiatrist) and was still not undergoing Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I was just under medications back then. Writing on my journal was my way of releasing...whatever it was that I needed to release. My anger, anxiety, things that make me upset, things that make me sad, Z whom I'm so insecure of, how Z (or should I say, thoughts of Z) has the power to pull me into a deep, dark, downward spiral--all these are on the pages of my journal which, coincidentally, is purple and has a metal elephant ornament in front. "Oh it's an elephant, and it's purple," Dr. G said when I handed her the journal. My purple elephant. My symbolic purple elephant, which I wrote about here.
I stopped writing on that journal when Dr. G told me to keep a thought journal wherein I would write situations, my moods, and emotions and images that came to mind in those situations. This is the CBT format. My purple journal doesn't follow any format. It's all me. I'll resume writing on my purple journal when I'm done with CBT.
I decided to lend my purple journal because I wanted to let Dr. G see how I was before I started seeing her. I wanted her to see what plagued me when I was still not undergoing CBT. I wanted to give her a peek into my chaotic mind so she can help me deal with my present troubles, which are a continuation of my past troubles. I wanted her to get to know me better so she will know the story behind every tear I shed during therapy.
My purple journal is my private, personal journal. The journal itself is a gift from PM (my boyfriend), which he got for me during his trip to Thailand. He told me that when he saw that journal, he knew he had to get it from me. And the moment I saw that journal being handed to me, I knew I was meant to have that journal. It's now my purple journal, and written on its pages are my purple elephants.
I let PM read my entries once in a while. I'm not sure if I've allowed him to read everything, but every time I want him to read an entry or two, he would gladly oblige. He is the only person who has access to that journal, and even then, he doesn't touch it unless I ask him to. Now, it's with Dr. G. I'm practically letting her dig deep into my soul. I'm practically introducing her to my demons. This is difficult. No wonder a psychiatrist's professional fee is steep. It's because he or she helps the patient fight demons that the patient cannot fight alone. And these demons cannot be seen, but they are there.
I've been seeing a psychiatrist for a year and five months already. It has been a long journey but the road ahead is still long. Dr. G and I are processing everything one at a time. Every negative thought, every emotion, every trigger--we're dealing with them one at a time. CBT is usually finished after ten sessions, but I think I would have to extend. I don't think everything that plagues me can be resolved in my remaining three or four sessions.
On a more positive note, I always look forward to my CBT sessions with Dr. G. I get upset when I have to skip a session because of work or other matters. I feel safe in her clinic. For me, it is a place where I am free to talk and cry and then talk again. It is a place where I am away from all my demons and ghosts, from all my triggers. It's a place where I am away from Z, where Z cannot hurt me.
Every time I sit on that sofa at Dr. G's clinic, I do not want to leave. I do not want to be back to the "real world." But of course, the next patient is waiting, someone who maybe has the same demons as mine.
I hope Dr. G has the time to read everything in my purple journal. But she's busy. Maybe she would scan them and maybe read the entries that stand out. I don't know. I don't know what her reaction would be. Maybe I'll find out on my next session.