Thursday, 30 May 2019

The CBT Diaries Week Five

I'm not entirely sure how to even start this entry for this week. It's not been the best week. I've even delayed and procrastinated on writing this post - normally I can type it out pretty swiftly a day or so after therapy ... this post is being written the day before my next session pretty much out of fear of mixing up weeks if I leave it altogether.

I completely hit rock bottom this week. 
It was unexpected however now I look back pretty obviously expected. 
I'd been clinging on for months trying to keep some 'normality' to my life when in fact life isn't my old version of normal anymore. It's just I have a bit of trouble coming to terms with that. 

I think the thing that gets me the most out of embracing mental health is that you think you're okay, you think you've got it under control and you are 99% sure you won't relapse - you can and most probably will relapse. And that's okay. For whatever reason big or small - it's fine to relapse. It's fine to relapse a hundred million times, because you'll get through it in the end. It's just easier said than done when in a better frame of mind I guess.

I went to my session in meltdown mode. I couldn't take any more bad news. I couldn't bear the thought of being a disappointment any longer or a burden to those around me. I couldn't stomach one more thing going wrong. It was as simple as that. 

I'd spent the morning with the Mind team, then the NHS Mental Health Crisis Team, which I'll detail more another time. I had just enough time to make it to my CBT appointment. I arrived, flustered - signed in and went up the stairs, and the moment I sat in the blue chair I just broke. For weeks, I think I was kidding myself I was holding it together for in front of my counsellor, taking in her advice and techniques, avoiding the tissue box and going along my merry way. Well not today. Through tears I filled out the starting questionnaire. 
Depression was at 15.
Anxiety at 5. 

This really didn't surprise me, and it was clear that depression had taken the reigns and gone for gold on me this week. After the questionnaire was out the way I just cried and spoke and my counsellor just listened. There were actually periods of long, what should feel uncomfortable silence - thinking about it now, I think those moments grounded me and stopped me being hysterical. There was no agenda today. I went through my issues, what happened and how I was feeling. I had thought of not attending the appointment and had nearly cancelled. The reason I didn't, and I guess the reason why I'm finally writing this out now is because it helped me. I thought by showing my true colours, it would put me off the sessions. It would be embarrassing and it would make me awkward around my counsellor. It didn't. I walked in sobbing and I came out calm. Twenty minutes in, the tears had slowed down and I'd felt safe which is what I needed. I had even laughed physically out loud when I said all I wanted to do was be happy and she replied - you can't because it would exhaust you, think about when you have sex, it's happiness but it's tiring! The sessions actually make me wish I lived in an apartment block like in Friends, and could just cross the hall to confide in someone like my counsellor.

I walked into the appointment wanting somewhere to hide. I wanted to run away from absolutely everything and everyone because I felt it would be the best possible thing for everybody and within the hour, my counsellor had changed my attitude towards those things. Running away won't solve the problem. The problems will still sit there. That doesn't mean having to face them in that moment, you just have t

o acknowledge running is not the answer in this case. She also made me realise how much I'd been using distraction techniques in not dealing with certain issues, and how I need to structure and curate my idea of a normal life and not run from that either, even if my mind is playing the little game of tricking me into thinking keeping busy will solve the issues. We also had a long old discussion on trust and personal choice and I've realised I do have a lot of trust issues which I need to work on big time. 

My homework for this week is to do three things a day that are self - care, just for me things. A simple, quite exciting homework. 

I left feeling better.

If you feel you need someone to talk to, literally do it. Whether it's a loved one, friend, counsellor, your GP, helpline or  you can even message online - just do it. There is always someone who will be willing to help you.  On a day where I couldn't hear anyone, by letting one person in, it changed the direction I was heading in. 

Further resources: 
Making Sense of CBT by Mind (I wish I'd read this pre-writing this post!) 
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