Do I have a problem?


Tomorrow (Wednesday), I have an appointment with my therapist. Regular readers of Prone to Hope may recall that I frequently blog before and after these visits. Beforehand, I try to figure out how I will approach my time for some really honest talk about how I am doing. Afterwards, I’ve been known to write to process what was said in the conversation. (I want to get the most out of my co-pay!)

I should note, joking aside, that I really appreciate the care I receive — both from my therapist and from my med doctor. Also important, my wife really appreciates my therapist and doctor. She loves that they don’t sugar-coat how they see me doing, and they are both prone to letting me know where I’ve personally got some work to do to keep getting better (or maintain an acceptable place).

Anyhow, I don’t just schedule a visit with my therapist for nothing. Back when I made the appointment, I was going through a really rough patch (just after the holiday season). I was questioning whether or not Depression was trying to make a comeback (it was not), and I was feeling some increased Anxiety on a daily basis. I was pretty sure I knew what the Anxiety-triggers were that were creating the situation. I thought a visit with my therapist would help me tackle those triggers.

Well, tomorrow’s visit is still on. But I’m in a slightly different place. The Anxiety has receded considerably.

Why? My issues have not disappeared. And the Anxiety is still present (just at a lower level).

Well, it’s because I’m trying to figure out whether I should accept where I am — my wife likes the word “abide.” Or am I more in a more “resigned” / more negative place with my Anxiety?

Do I have a problem? Or have I settled (in a good way) at how Anxiety is going to sit with me … pester me … but I can often manage my way out of the situation after doing the brain tricks that have been taught to me from my therapist or I read in a book or I personally fashioned to get me out of the bouts on the winning side?

I’m doing a cost benefit-analysis. And I need some help weighing where I am at.

Wish me luck.



  1. Cori 30 January 2018 at 8:24 pm

    I think it`s good to be at a reasonable level of anxiety. When life throws you a bunch of curveballs, you have to swing at them. It only matters if you make contact or not. Forgive the analogy.
    When you learn to deal with your demons at a reasonable level, personally I find myself surprised at how well I can cope.
    My best to you.

    • Michael Dahl 30 January 2018 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks Cori. A combo of lower-level Anxiety with a couple really annoying side effects … that is what I’m weighing. I suspect my therapist is going to ask me directly: “Acceptable or resigned? How do you feel?” making me make the choice. Truth is that switching my meds up would be a tall price for me to pay. I’m just always striving for better.

  2. Kassie Hurt 31 January 2018 at 12:44 am

    Good luck Michael… I had an emotional breakdown yesterday morning and had to get up on my feet to be a grown up and head to work. I have realized lately that it takes a lot of work to keep a balance in life. I have been reading more of your posts and appreciate that you share your work for balance. Let us know how it went. I love you, my brother.

    • Michael Dahl 31 January 2018 at 4:17 am

      Thanks, Kassie. I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. I imagine you’re not at liberty with your job to just “call it a day” and call in sick. If you can, it sounds like yesterday was one of those days for you.

      About the balance, it can be so difficult to figure out when you’re in the midst of an acute attack or having really difficult days. I find it best to explore those questions at a time when I’m not going to beat myself up for not being able to find “the answer.” Or, of course, those are the types of questions a (your?) therapist can help you out with, whether your in a really bad place or not.

      I don’t know if that’s helpful … or if I should not be trying to help and just listen. In which case, I should just say, “I can empathize, and I know how hard it can be to find balance. That’s what I am trying to do.”

      Take care. I love you.

      ps: If ever you want to do a video chat over Facebook, let me know.

      • Kassie Hurt 31 January 2018 at 4:53 am

        Words are always welcome and helpful. I am very lucky I am able to talk things out with my baby sister, however I usually have to apologize at some point because I express myself starting out in the angry phase. It is never her that I am angry at yet she’s the one I take it out on and then I wind up feeling worse because I am so cruel to the most precious person God put in my life. I don’t want to burden you with my struggles, you have enough of your own. I would love to video chat over Facebook that would be great. Shari and I have started sending each other Marco Polo messages. It’s good to stay in touch. I love you. Have a great day!

  3. Tom Sampson 31 January 2018 at 8:59 am

    Good luck Michael. You and your therapist are in my thoughts and prayers today.


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