I am FREAKED OUT about my therapist being away. I have shame about the panic too but right now the primary panic is louder than the shame. I never like it when he goes away and I’ve been with him now for nearly two years but I’ve never experienced it quite like this before. My first thought was that maybe it’s because there are a lot of changes in my life right now but it’s also occurring to me that I’ve never experienced my emotions the way I am experiencing them right now. It’s humiliating to admit this but I was imagining him earlier like a scarf, wrapped around me, keeping me warm. I am using him to meet my unmet need for safety. I can see that. I’m trying to go through the dbt skills to figure out what will work for this—the emotional regulation skill about fear is to do the thing you’re afraid of again and again- I can’t see a way to apply that. Radical acceptance, yeah, sure, whatever. I think about that I just feel like screaming that it won’t bring him back. So there’s turning the mind toward acceptance but I really don’t want to accept this. I’m approaching it willfully and approaching it willingly is what I need. There’s distress tolerance too, I do plenty of that. I think it would be easier if I knew where he was but I won’t step over a boundary and ask. It’s all taking me by surprise that I’m having such a strong reaction. I can just watch it, I can talk about it instead of being ashamed and trying to hide it. I don’t call very often and he returns calls quickly regardless of what day of the week it is but I even prefer him to be in his office then for it to be in the weekend. It’s very difficult for me not to judge myself about that. I seem to myself like a controlling, clingy, needy monster. Maybe I’ll feel better reminding myself that he’s coming back, instead of focusing on his being away. Half-smile works a bit.