All day today I had a huge amount of fear going into my appointment today with the new psychiatrist. I shook. I imagined getting under the desk at work, and staying there for good. I smelled my lotions again and again and again in attempts to ground myself before my appointment. I was such a wreck that I started talking about the wrong topic during a meeting right before my appointment.
I race over to the new psychiatrist, who is 45 minutes away from work. As I fly into his office he comes out to greet me, and I all I can think of is that he looks exactly like Doc from Back to the Future with the same wild white hair and absent-minded persona. I’m second guessing the choice to come see him as I enter his office. There’s stuff everywhere, and the place has this old, dusty feel to it. I just want to leave, and the moment I think that Doc says to me, “Just breathe. You’re fine.”
He said it not in a condescending manner, but in an empathetic way that got my attention. He turned to me and said, “What brings you to see me?” I started getting that floaty, shaky feeling, and I asked, ” Can I tell you in Cliff Notes version?”
And he responded by saying, “Whatever way that will convey the information to me so that I can help you is fine.”
But, even with Cliff Notes version I immediately ran into trouble with the first few words. He finally stopped me, and asked me to rate my level of stress with 10 being the highest, and 1 being the lowest. I quickly rated myself a 10.
He then stopped me, and had me do the “tapping” technique that I also knew as the Emotional Freedom Technique. I had heard of it, but I was skeptical about it for no good reason. He had me tapping certain acupressure points while I repeated phrases he gave me such as, “I love and accept myself.” I know there was more, but I don’t recall the other phrases.
Believe it or not, I was able to get down to a 4 doing the tapping on myself. I was actually able to start to tell him about the trauma that led me to his office. I didn’t finish the story because we spent so much time tapping. But it was miraculous that I left that office in such a calm state. That has never happened in all the time I’ve ever had to convey that story. And, that my friends, is real progress.