ceri: (Default)
Something came into focus for me this afternoon, as I was exchanging e-mail with an old friend about, among other things, the temptation to believe that the definitions we use are as objective as the world we apply them to. 'Tain't so, of course. Both our categories and the options within them are definitions we construct, and the world isn't obliged to conform. But in practice we can't be always stopping to define stuff if we're actually engaged in any kind of exchange with others. We use available definitions where they don't miss too horribly badly and sort of roll on....

But right now I have very few obligations to be engaged in that kind of exchange. Meanwhile, I do have some real need to be reexamining more of my own mental landscape and my definition of it. I hadn't explicitly connected these things before, but it seems obvious as soon as I did it: I am withdrawing from blogs, forums, and other net interaction so that I can spend more time in self-definition. I'd been thinking "I'm withdrawing, and I'm re-defining", but I see that the connection is stronger than that.

My counselor's been encouraging me all along to make sure I take the proper time to deal with all of this stuff, both the actions called for and the thoughts and feelings they stir up. So this is very much part of that overall therapeutic project. And I'm glad to know that.

ceri: (Default)
Counseling was really wonderful today. Cassie listened as carefully as ever, and had a lot of helpful pointers in the way identifying specific things grinding me down right now and going and ahead and dealing with them as genuinely serious, rather than brushing them off or trying to proceed just as if they weren't there. Long-time friends will know that I'm sometimes prone to a sort manic stoicism—when I first read Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series, I found some familiar things in the Casseline Brotherhood's approach to personal challenges. There were some other things of note in today's session that I want to write up after I've assimilated them a bit more, too, particularly about reinterpreting some of the mysteries in my past. Great stuff.

As I wrote last week, I've been feeling resentful about the dislocations imposed by diabetes on my eating and particularly on my cooking, just as I was getting underway with a genuinely good routine for more or less the first time ever. So what does buddy Mark have for me today? A link to a collection of diabetic-friendly crockpot recipes, and then a link to a second such collection! Happy me! I am plotting shopping and cooking e'en now.

Last week was damn rough. But this week is looking up a lot.
 
ceri: Comic book word balloon for "Well done!" (Well done)
My regular readers know that I write "wow" a lot. The world often surprises and boggles me, and I like to note the fact. But it does leave me at a bit short when I want to really, really say "wow". Wow. WOW, even. Seattle Counseling Service impressed me a lot.

The woman who did my interview has a classic casual style, but completely professional manner. Parts of my experience with systemic illness were unfamiliar to her, but she had a frame of reference that anchored her well enough to provide incisive questions that helped me make important distinctions. She's the first person I actually said a lot of these things out loud to, rather than writing them out as previously. They sounded strange to me, some of them, but...right. Knowing myself, I imagine I'll have bouts of self-doubt for a long time to come, but I feel a lot more firmly set in the rightness of my wishes after having laid them out for someone else.

As for the help they can offer me..."all of it" seems a pretty fair description. I have here on my desk a referral to a physicians' practice that takes Medicaid and works with SCS on a regular basis, so they're prepared to deal with the medical side if and when. I've got a push to go follow up on the dentist lead I already have. And SCS will do the paperwork so that I can get disabled people's bus passes again. Within their own practice, they're set to help with the grief, depression, and anger I've got built up, as well as with sorting through my gender identity better, working out a plan of action, and then putting it into practice. Medicaid in my flavor entitles me to 33 hours a year of counseling, so I'll have biweekly appointments, with a scheduling call this week or next to set them up.

One last thing: she volunteered the suggestion, when we got to that question, that the obviously right answer to "Gender?" for all their internal paperwork is "Female." Whatever I can or can't do and choose to do or not about it, as far as they're concerned, I start off as female, and only the expression of it changes. I could get used to this.

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Ceri B.

April 2010

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