Chapter 5: Growth from Therapy | Kelly’s Story


此采访为中文采访,中英文参访字幕在文末。


In March 2021, CandleX director Xiaojie interviewed Kelly Yang on her experience with bipolar disorder. A year later, CandleX decided to present this interview in five chapters to commemorate World Bipolar Day. This is Chapter 5 of the interview. Check out Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, or Chapter 4 if you haven’t already!

In today’s Chapter 5 video, which is also the final chapter of Kelly’s Story, Kelly shares her learnings and the adjustments she made since starting therapy. She went into therapy thinking of just having a safe space to pour out her feelings, but soon learned that it can give her much more than that. She explains how her therapist helps her to dig deeper in examining her behaviors and to find the inner emotions that drive her actions. She said that therapy has allowed her to become more self-aware and know her true self better and that her therapist has helped her bring subconscious thoughts to the conscious. Then, she shares with us a trick she finds extremely useful: creating a “happy list.” This list consists of things that make her happy, and she elaborates on what she puts in the list and how the list comes in handy during times of low emotions. She also mentions escaping the box that we may feel trapped in during depression and discovering hobbies to fulfill ourselves. Overall, therapy has been guiding Kelly in a positive direction.

Interviewer: Xiaojie | Director of CandleX

Interviewee: Kelly

Time of interview: 2021


Finally, a huge thank you to Kelly for sharing her experience with us! Hopefully, her story has helped you, inspired you, or taught you something. This brings us to the end of our March World Bipolar Disorder Stories of 2022.


TRANSCRIPT

Xiaojie: Can you tell us about the changes that therapy has brought you?

Kelly: Starting last November (of 2019), I began another depressive episode, which was due to some family changes. So, I went to therapy because I wanted to find a place to express my true feelings. At first, I went to therapy with the goal of pouring my heart out to someone. My therapist is a young Malaysian man and a great listener. Every session, he would say one or two things that’s eye-opening to me. After engaging in around ten therapy sessions with him, I could identify my thought process clearly when describing events. While I speak, I could see a clear train of thought. After I expressed my thought process, he would point out the different internal feelings I may have when doing certain things and how I could improve in the future. He wasn't telling me what to do; he was pointing out things to make me think deeply about the meaning behind my actions.

Xiaojie: Right.

Kelly: He was guiding me to see the deeper logic that goes into my actions. We engaged in about ten sessions, and it has been a positive help for me. He has helped me realize the reason behind my actions. Before, I thought I acted in certain ways because "I am just that kind of person." But that's not true. He would explain my inner feelings that drive these actions. When I think back and realize what he said is correct, I learn more about the real me.

Xiaojie: You mentioned a few key things. Through therapy, you have learned more about yourself. Only when we are self-aware and know what we're deprived of, can we make according adjustments to our lives. You talk more about gaining a deeper level of knowledge of yourself. We don't know why we act certain ways subconsciously, and your therapist helped you become conscious of your subconscious. Another thing you mentioned is you made adjustments to your life to better charge yourself. So, which adjustments were the most useful, in your opinion?

Kelly: I am someone who is willing to try different things and I have quite a few hobbies. So, a strategy I use is, when I'm unhappy, I would have a "happy list." I would write in my "happy list" that I was happy when I went singing today. Or I did a thorough clean-up today which made me happy, and I would add it to the list. I would fill my "happy list" so that when I felt unhappy, I could find something on the list to do to make me happy. Say I'm unhappy today. I look through the list, then decide to find a few friends to go sing together. Afterwards, I would feel relaxed and relieved, and I would go to sleep happily. The "happy list" has been a useful little tip for me lately.

Xiaojie: That's great. Many times, when we're unhappy, our emotions are negative, which makes us act negatively. For example, we drink alcohol or do shopping, which later makes us feel even worse because we spent so much money. So, the "happy list" you use is something that makes you happy and something that gives you more energy.

Kelly: That’s right.

Xiaojie: It can help you short-term recover from your negative emotions.

Kelly: Another thing is, since I was depressed, I was stuck in a box thinking about one thing. What I've been getting better at doing is forcing myself or allowing myself to escape from that box. Then, I can go develop a hobby that makes me feel truly happy, alive, and fulfilled. For instance, I've been starting to learn a few instruments. Once you give yourself the power and energy, the complicated thoughts and feelings will slowly fade. You would start to focus on more things that really matter and realize that you're better off improving yourself. A lot of the time, we need to be able to jump out of the box.

Xiaojie: True. You may have heard of this, but it's said that when we are in an unhappy environment, most people spiral into the negativity. What we need during these times is a technique called distraction. The "happy list" you talked about aligns with this. You have a list of things you know you like to do, so I do these things first to distract myself and relax my mind. Good for you. I'm so happy to have been able to discuss so much with you in nearly an hour. One hour is actually not long because there are more details that we weren't able to cover today. But, hopefully, we'll have more chances to interact and grow with you in the future. Thank you so much for sharing.

Kelly: Thank you, and thank you to CandleX.


文字稿

小杰:能够讲一下心理咨询能够给你带来什么样的改变吗?

诗诗:其实我相当于是从去年11月份开始,自己又有一段时间的抑郁情绪,是因为一些家庭的变故。我去找心理咨询的诉求,一开始的诉求其实很简单,我希望找一个地方能够去说出我真正内心的想法。当时是想以倾诉为目的去找心理咨询,但是因为我的心理咨询师也是一个很年轻的马来西亚的男生,他也是一个很好的倾听者,他其实每一次会有那么一两句话点醒我。其实就是相当于我觉得,到后面我们磨合到现在大概是有十次左右,我跟他磨合到的一个感觉就是我过去跟他说我这段时间所发生的一些事情,其实我在说的过程当中,自己就已经给自己理出来了一条思路。在我说出我这些思路之后呢,他就会点出比如说你这个行为,你那个行为有可能自己的内心是一个什么样的想法。那么如果下一次的时候你可以其实选择怎么做会更好。他其实不是说我告诉你你要怎么怎么做,他其实是在点你,让你去更深的思考你这个行为背后的一些意义。

小杰:对的。

诗诗:或者是说你这样做自己深层次的一个逻辑是什么。其实我觉得我们两个交流了大概十次左右,其实对于我来说是一个比较正向的帮助吧。他有真的是在让我意识到,原来我这样做,因为之前有的时候一些行为我就是这么做的,我本来就是这样的人。其实不是的。他会告诉你,这样做内心是一个什么样的想法,我自己回去再思考好像真的是这样的时候,就会更加的真实的认识到自己。

小杰:你刚刚说到几个比较关键的词,就是说通过心理咨询的这个过程,让你更多的去了解到自己,因为只有我们了解到自己是什么样的状态,需要什么样的营养,我们才会作出比较相应的生活上的改变,所以你刚刚提到的更多是认知层面的,在心理咨询你刚刚讲更深层次的,就是我们潜意识里头自己都不知道,为什么会有这样的行为,他慢慢的让你这种潜意识的意识浮上来,到你的意识层面。

小杰:第二个你刚刚也讲到说,可能会做一些生活上的改变,然后给自己更好的充电。那有哪些这种特别你觉得做的生活上的改变是特别有用的行为吗?

诗诗:其实因为我自己本身是一个比较愿意去尝试更多可能性的人,兴趣爱好也比较多,所以我自己其实有一个小窍门吧,就是在我不开心的时候,我会有一个“开心列表”。我会写下来今天唱歌了我很开心,就会把唱歌写到我的“开心列表”里面。比如我今天做了一个彻底的大扫除我很开心,就会把大扫除写到我的“开心列表”上面。所以就是积满你“开心列表”的时候,当你真的不开心的时候,我就去顺着那个“开心列表”去找,什么事情我可以开心。比如说我今天不开心了,顺着这个去找,我找一两个朋友我们一块儿去唱一次歌,唱完歌回来之后就很放松很发泄,很开心的睡觉了。其实我觉得“开心列表”这个东西是近期来讲我自己的一个,让自己变得开心的调解。

小杰:非常棒,因为很多时候我们在不开心的时候,因为情绪是负面的,很多产生的行为就是负面的,比如说酗酒,闷闷不乐的,可能就是一阵的去有些人疯狂的购物,完了更难受,因为又花了很多钱。所以你刚刚说的这个“开心列表”让你很高兴的这些东西,更多的是给予你的能量。

诗诗:对。

小杰:能让你在短期里头从这个情绪里恢复过来对吧。

诗诗:我觉得还有一点就是,因为之前一直处在抑郁情绪,是困在那个框框里出不来,就一直在想同一件事情。其实我到现在稍微的有一点好转是,我真的是能够强迫自己,或者是让自己跳脱出那件事情,然后我去培养一个自己真正觉得开心的,自己真正有体验感有成就感的一个兴趣爱好。比如说我最近开始学一些乐器,我觉得在真的,当你自己给自己加上一些小马达之后,你有一些复杂的思绪就会慢慢的消减,就会觉得这都不算事儿,这些是什么事儿啊,你去想它干什么啊,我还不如把自己过的更好一点,其实有的时候

小杰:对的,这其实在做咨询的时候,有可能你也有听到过,就是我们在一个特别不开心的当下环境的时候,大部分的人都会陷到那个漩涡里头。我们这个时候更多需要的是一个技巧叫注意力分散。你刚刚讲到这个,其实就是我有一个帖子了,我知道了哪些喜欢,我就先去做这些事情,让自己的大脑放空。很好。非常高兴能够在其实差不多有一个小时的时间跟你有很多的探讨,虽然一个小时的时间并不长,但是实际上还有很多很多的细节,我们今天没有时间去沟通到。我们在以后也希望能够跟你再有机会交流,一起成长。非常感谢你给我们的分享。

诗诗:谢谢你,谢谢CandleX。