Rocks and Water Therapy

So I just watched a show with a strong back story about being traumatized and going into therapy. The therapist basically takes an empty glass and a glass full of rocks, pours the rocks into the empty glass and says, “It only looks full of the bad things.” Then they add water which does fit into the spaces between the rocks and say, “You have to focus on the good things, which are the water.”


I mean, on an intellectual level, I get it. But from the standpoint of someone who crashes and burns without rhyme or reason, I find it almost laughable. I AM grateful for  the good things in my life. I do try to focus on them.

But if you’re using that as a way to”fix” bipolar and all its bastard cousins like anxiety and depression…You’re very bad at your job.

This is not simply some cognitive “retraining” of the mind to view things differently. This is basically telling those of  us who take meds to “correct” the imbalance in our brains that we should just focus on water and rocks. Am I simplifying? Insulting what is a worthy therapy method for many? I have been lambasted several times for daring to criticize cognitive behavioral therapy. And I stand by my assessment of it. If it works for you, excellent. It failed me.

I have learned many things in therapy. Like how to rein in my emotions when they go wily nilly and not lash out and throw shit at people’s heads. Like how to identify when triggered or when a mood or anxiety hits from out of nowhere. I have learned “cautious optimism”.

What I have NOT learned in over 24 years of having therapy shoved down my throat as a cure all is…How not to go under when the depression  hits and the anxiety attacks. Over and over it happens again. No matter what changes I make in my behavior, my thinking, no matter how stable I become or how panxiety ridden I am…I TRY to hold on like someone hanging off a cliff, til my fingers are bloody, my nails are ripped off, and still I cling and hang on…

And go splat anyway.

So where’s my water and rocks there????

Oh, right. It’s between “There is no cure for bipolar” and “Buck up!”

This is not some behavioral thing for me. Why in the hell would I purposely become SCARED of listening to the music I (normally) love? Why would I suddenly stop wearing the make up I have always had so much fun with?

Because…I am bipolar two and I CYCLE.

I can gloss over it as much as I want but it’s just a fact. Every winter, it is a fact. Surprisingly, I have yet to meet a doctor to suggest maybe moving might help with the seasonal. Not that I could pay for it. But if the climate plays such a role, why not move?

Right. I tried that. Sunny California. It didn’t stop the downward spiral.

I didn’t fall as far there until I returned to this…place.

Rocks and water.

Pardon me for being pissed off I have more rocks than water at the moment.That’s totally unnatural and counter productive, right? To just feel the way you feel. No, you MUST spew rainbows and burp sunshine. LIE to yourself. LIE to everyone. Because it makes everyone much more comfortable. Except for you, but you don’t matter. You are, after all, a head case.

Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?


But true to my rebellious nature, I stand by my right to make mountains out of molehills, to feel the way I feel, and to not give a damn if it’s “counterproductive”.

grumpy lemons




3 Responses to “Rocks and Water Therapy”

  1. So I’ve seen this demonstration as a college student trying to cram everything into life that I needed to cram in there. Not as a positive thinking “cure” or more aptly, a distraction, from my moods. In college they said, you’re wasting time if you can’t invest every moment into the important pursuits of life in the order of their priority, and proceeded to show us the glass wasn’t full if they filled it with rocks and then pebbles and then sand and then water. First, it’s hard to see the water when there’s all that sand and pebbles and rocks, just saying. And second, if I can’t concentrate for longer than 15 minutes at a crack, sometimes even shorter, how do they think I can prioritize? Plus, I didn’t have the energy to keep cramming more in if I can’t process what I’ve already got in there. If the water is the good stuff, mine’s got a little too much sand and dirt and who knows what all mixed in, I don’t recommend drinking that. But I’m trying to count blessings when I’m not bogged down in the random quicksand quagmires of my lows. And I hope your pebbles pass painlessly, or settle out, so you’re able to focus on the water.


    Now I’m wishing my fish tank were full and lively instead of dry.~DM

  2. I can’t stop the fall either xo

  3. All those inspirational posters, quotes, suggestions (BULL SHIT) that people say are nowhere near given any thought when expressed to someone with mood, personality other mental illness. Our brains don’t function correctly FUCKER! That’s why this shit doesn’t help. If it did, we wouldn’t HAVE mental illness! ! DUMB FUCKS!

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