Irrational Thoughts


This morning I am feeling like a failure. I know there’s no truth to these feelings, but still …

In a few hours I will be sitting down with my therapist again. We last chatted several months ago about tactics to use when Anxiety creeps up on me in public. We felt good about the progress I was making. No need to schedule another visit.

Before that, as issues came up, I made appointments to talk about how I felt, and what I could do to navigate what felt like rocky roads ahead of me.

And before that, while I was still in the midst of my major bout with Depression and high Anxiety, well, we worked through both the really serious issues I was grappling with and how I could see and feel things differently.

Progress at the beginning. Progress at quick visits to deal with discrete issues.

Now I am going back again for what feels like the beginning of something new … something serious … something unlike the issues we discussed before.

On a positive note, I am not Depressed with a capital “D,” although this morning I am having depressive thoughts. I am also not nearly as anxious as I used to be.

But I am feeling like a failure. I am — irrationally — disappointed in myself.

“Why can’t I just fix things by myself!?!” Hadn’t my meds — and the prior talk therapy visits — prepared me for my new world … the new Michael who experienced Depression and Anxiety in a new way?

As regular readers of this blog know, my mental health med doctor told me a couple weeks ago that continued tweaking of my meds — which was doing wonders over the span of about a year — had brought me to a place where now most of my benefits would come from talk therapy. I was, I guess, surprised.

And mind you, in theory and on most days in practice, I am a fan of talk therapy. I totally see how it can help. And, truthfully, I totally see how it can help with the issues I am dealing with now.

But because these issues are a whole new set of issues, I kind of feel like I’m starting all over again. And that I will be looking at a number of visits to help me deal with it.

In addition, it hurts because my mental health med doctor has said I am likely at a place where I’m going to learn more tactics to manage my anxiety.

Not get rid of my anxiety … manage it.

There’s a great deal of sadness there … in that sentiment about my future how to be who I am.

Yes, yes, Michael. End on a positive note.

I know after the visits with my talk therapist I will be a stronger and more capable guy. I will have more tools to put my bully named Anxiety in Its place.

But right now — just a few hours before my visit with my therapist — I can’t simply end things on a happy, strong, and positive note. As I started out, I feel like a failure. I am hugely disappointed in myself.

Why? Why can’t I just be stronger and more capable?



  1. Norma Bourland 31 August 2016 at 6:40 am

    Thank you, Michael, for your honesty and candidness…I think of you often and send prayers for comfort and peace.

    • Michael Dahl 31 August 2016 at 6:51 am

      Thanks for your prayers. And candid is always what I aspire to be.

  2. Tom Sampson 31 August 2016 at 6:55 am

    Michael, I’m sorry you feel like a failure. I trust the feelings will pass. Here is something I need to share with you and perhaps all my facebook friends. From today’s scripture readings – millions of people all over the world will hear these words today in both the Catholic and Protestant churches: (see how Jesus laid his hand on the sick and cured them). This isn’t a fairy tale! This is our Christian faith. I encourage you to discuss the part faith plays in healing with your therapist.

    Gospel Lk 4:38-44
    After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon.
    Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever,
    and they interceded with him about her.
    He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.
    She got up immediately and waited on them.

    At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases
    brought them to him.
    He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
    And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.”
    But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak
    because they knew that he was the Christ.

    At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.
    The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him,
    they tried to prevent him from leaving them.
    But he said to them, “To the other towns also
    I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God,
    because for this purpose I have been sent.”
    And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.


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