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Thursday, August 26, 2010

abstraction in therapy

During my EMDR therapy yesterday, my doctor tried to help me cognitively grasp the difference between potential and possibility.

I felt like I had gone back to uni and was writing a paper on concepts and such definitively.

In any case, I still have to mull over the difference between the two concepts. Apparently, one has the potential to do a task excellently. However, possibility is limited to parameters. For example, if you were given endless resources, the limit of possibility is way out of sight. However if you were under much stricter conditions, the potential of you being great is still there, but what you will achieve will be much less. That said, it does not mean that the task has been churned out in mediocrity. It means it is excellent, given the limits.

Hence, if I am sick, and can only do so much, I am not mediocre.


The revelation takes a while to sink in. Apparently perfectionists have difficulty distinguishing between the two abstract concepts of potential and possibility. I guess I had to be cured of my perfectionism, else I would never get anywhere. I am one of those perfectionists who either do and do it fuck-off-well or not do it at all. Hence oscillating between moments of brilliance and moments of lull, near-death, sickness and social-disappearance.

Well other things happened during EMDR therapy too. My doctor brought me to re-live the experience of a panic attack. It was traumatic at first, and I dropped emotionally till I felt suicidal, but he brought me back, and then I realised that the experience is simply physiological. Somehow I managed to detach my emotions from the pain of a panic attack or depressive episode. Like it is all just physiological and has nothing to mar on my soul. It was quite a revelation too, also abstract, but something I can cling on to when my body next plummets into a depressive episode or panic attack.

(Oh and yeah, my adrenal glands are fine, after taking the test. My panic attacks are undeniably caused by my clinical depression alone, nothing else. Healthy heart, kidneys, thyroid, but brain-wise still need chemicals to adjust the imbalance. My doctor said one day I could do without medication - I am on so much now, the possibility seems laughingly slim - have you encountered me when I am not on my meds? Not a pretty sight at all. But well, we will get there. It has been years already anyway, I can wait.)