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Wondering if i should take a break

Discussion in 'Treatment & Therapy' started by barefoot, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. barefoot

    barefoot I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    I’m feeling pretty stressed out at the moment. Two main reasons:

    1) my business is very slow at the moment. I barely have any work therefore I barely have any money coming in. There are a couple of projects that I thought were going to be happening by now but I’m just in limbo, waiting to hear. I keep nudging but am just getting radio silence at the moment. If both end up happening, it’s all good. If one ends up happening it’ll be either all good or ok (depending on which one happens) If neither ends up happening...well, that’s a very stressful prospect as I don’t have anything else in the pipeline right now and don’t have any ideas for creating new leads at the moment. As I worry more about it, my confidence in either happening is waning.

    2) I’ve recently refocused in therapy so we are digging more into trauma. We’ve started dipping a toe in to looking at parts. I haven’t been dissociating in sessions - which is good progress. But, the flip side is that I’m feeling a lot that’s being stirred up. It feels like things are emerging/shifting. It’s hard, but I feel like I’m getting somewhere with some important stuff (now that I can largely keep my head in the room!)

    I see my therapist for an hour every fortnight. If my finances were better, I would currently be choosing to go weekly, in order to push on and build momentum.

    However, my work/money situation being what it is, I have actually found myself wondering today whether I should take a break from therapy. Again, two reasons:

    1) therapy costs me around £250 a month at the moment including travel. I don’t really have that to spare. So, a therapy break would mean not spending that.

    2) I’m feeling very stressed and worried about my work/money situation. And I’m not sure that starting from such an anxious state is helping me do the work in sessions. I just seem to be getting doubly stressed - stress (re session content) on top of stress (work/financial).

    I don’t actively want to stop going to therapy. At all. I would actually prefer to go more often! Because it feels like things are shifting and I’m making some good progress and I want to keep going.

    But my current work/finances situation is making me think that taking a break is the right thing to do. It will save money and remove a couple of stressors.

    I suppose my main concerns about taking a break are:

    - I have no idea how long the break will be. If I take a break until a work project comes through, that could be days or could be months.
    - If it’s a long break, how easy will it be for me to go back and pick up where we left off?
    - While I’m on a break, how will I press pause and “contain” where I’ve got to in therapy sessions? Or are there things I can do on my own during the break? Or is that not advisable?
    I also feel a bit like it could look like I’m wimping out. That I’m quitting just as we are getting into harder stuff.

    I just mentioned all this to my partner who looked really shocked that I was suggesting taking a break. She said that she thought I was feeling good about therapy at the moment and that she doesn’t want me not to go because of money. But...it’s quite a significant factor!

    We’re not in dire straits at the moment but I already haven’t been able to pay my share of the bills this month, so she is paying for everything. And she can’t continue to do that for long.

    I know none of you know whether I should take a break from therapy or not. Just wondering whether anyone has anything to throw in the mix here? To help me brainstorm or something?

    I just feel so incredibly anxious about all of this and don’t know what to do.
    I just want to cry :(
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  3. Friday

    Friday Raise Hell Moderator

    I’ve been going to therapy once a month -on average- for maybe the last year and a half. This is after taking about a 2 year break, because I couldn’t afford it. Prior to that my T had wanted me there 2-3x a week... couldn’t afford that, either, but I made twice a week happen as often as possible.

    This once a month business isn’t actually me working on anything. It’s mostly just keeping my hand in. Touching base with someone to leave the door for therapy open for later when I can actually afford it.

    I still go rounds with myself on whether I should quit altogether. I didn’t have any therapy the first time I dealt with this shit, and I was fine. Ish. Not really but I got through. But I also know myself well enough to know that if I did quit again, it would take a major crisis to get me back into any kind of therapy. And the hard thing there, is that it takes me a very long time to find anyone I can work with, at all. I don’t have common problems for the region I live in. Which lands me right in the place I was in 2 years ago... desperately wanting help right now / being out of my depth... taking 6mo to find it, and then it being too late to actually do anything but cleanup, rather than prevention or handling things well.

    So it’s frustrating, but the alternative -for me- is worse.
    blackemerald1, barefoot and scout86 like this.
  4. Suzetig

    Suzetig Still the Staff Kitteh... Moderator Sponsor $100+

    For me financial struggles are a huge issue, so I’d usually do anything to avoid putting myself under financial stress. And £250 is a lot for therapy given that’s not a weekly session. By comparison I can see mine weekly for £140/month so it would take me longer to get to the “I can’t afford this” point.

    But if I did, I would stop becaus the worry about money would undermine anything I was doing in therapy to the point where it would be useless. I know I’d struggle to rely on my partner to cover finances and finding work to keep things ticking over would take all my energy and time.

    There are lots of things you could do if you decided to take a break, some really good resources out there and not actively picking at trauma might let your mind settle down a bit and help you see what the day to day impact on your life is when you’re not actively working on it.

    I don’t know if you should take a break or not, but it’s a fair question when finances are tight. I hate the way decent mental health care in the U.K. comes down to whether you can afford private treatment or not. It should never be a case of choosing between health care and food for the month.
    blackemerald1, barefoot and scout86 like this.
  5. Sandstone

    Sandstone I'm a VIP Donated

    Coming out of hiding to say that my gut instinct is that this is the wrong time to stop. Your recent posts suggest that you are working on important things at the moment, and it would be a waste of of the slog that has brought you to this stage. Can you try to see the money as an investment in your future - one that will enable you to be more productive at work as well as more complete?

    Given your history, I think it would be a bad idea to ask your T for a discounted rate while money is tough.
    What would it feel like to ask your partner to give you the next few months therapy as a birthday/Christmas gift?
  6. barefoot

    barefoot I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Yes, one of my thoughts has been that I can go monthly until work/finances pick up. But, as in your experience, I’ve assumed that would mean not working on anything heavy. Because doing deeper work for an hour a month...I think that would be too long to hold stuff between sessions.

    Am sort of thinking this too. That, if I take a break of much longer than a month, I’m not sure whether I will go back. Just because I will feel out of it by then and may feel a sort of clunky awkwardness about returning. Not really sure why I think that. But, yeah...I feel a sense of awkwardness somehow about that.

    And, you know, if I take a break and I feel good and I don’t feel I actually need to get back into therapy..? Well, that’s a different thing. And that will obviously be good to discover! At the moment though, where I am currently with the work, the thought of stopping for good because my current state is good enough/all I can hope for? That feels dispiriting. I’m not a huge hot mess all the time. But I would like to end up more...whole?...than I currently feel.

    Yeah, I hear ya...

    Yes, my T isn’t cheap, plus I have travel costs to central London. That said, I checked out a T who my GP recommended last year - she is based in the small town where I live so I could walk to see her...and her fee was £110. And I know loads of coaches who charge £150-250 per 45 min sessions.

    So, yes, she’s not cheap. £140 a month for weekly sessions though?! That’s the biggest bargain ever for 1:1 work!

    Yes, this is what I’m thinking...whether I won’t get as much out of the work because I’m already stressed about money. It hasn’t been useless - we’ve dug into some important stuff in recent sessions and I’m not really dysregulated/destabilised by money worries. At the moment. Not sure if that will change the longer this work limbo continues.

    It definitely isn’t a long term solution. Firstly, because I wouldn’t feel comfortable being paid for long term. Secondly because it’s not financially viable long term.

    For a significant chunk of last year though, I was earning more than she was. So, I guess it all comes out in the wash somehow...

    The thing is, I feel like we’ve only just started to really pick at it. The last half a dozen sessions or so, we’ve been really refocusing and diving in. So, it feels like we’re just getting started as opposed to feeling like I could do with a break from it.

    Yes, that’s something that really bothers me too. Though, fortunately, I am not in a situation of having to choose between food and therapy. Hopefully it won’t come to that!

    Thank you for coming out of hiding @Sandstone - I appreciate it!

    Yes, this is the very frustrating part. I do feel like we’re finally able to get stuck into deeper, important stuff and that it’s happening and has been going well and proving useful...it feels very purposeful...so, to stop now...well..the timing stinks!

    Yes, I definitely see it that way. I just feel worried about investing money in it at the moment when my bank account is looking so feeble.

    It feels like, I shouldn’t be prioritising therapy, I think?

    Ha! No...I won’t be venturing to ask for a discount after fee-gate!
    blackemerald1, Sandstone and Friday like this.
  7. barefoot

    barefoot I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    Finally managed to make contact with one of the of the work project people. It’s the project that will bring me the most work and the most income. Sent her a text this morning and she replied straight away. We have agreed to have a call next week...though haven’t agreed a day or time... :rolleyes:
    She said she has a few things to update me on the part of the business I was going to go in and work with, so I don’t know if that means they still need me or that things have now totally changed so they don’t.

    So, still no clarity on that one and I’m not 100% confident that the call will happen next week. But it feels good to have got a reply, at least, after weeks of radio silence!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    Suzetig, blackemerald1 and MyWillow like this.
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