Thursday, 13 June 2019

The CBT Diaries Week Seven

It's been an odd one this week. Both my session, my week, my life. It's been all sorts of unusual. Today's session wasn't technically CBT based, but rather unintentionally reflected a traditional counselling session. I think sometimes my therapist shakes things up simply to shake my 'ideal plan'  and to expect the unexpected. On the morning of my session, I'd received some test results from my GP which stated a cyst had grown to 6cm and I'd need referring back to gynaecology. I asked if this would need surgery and he told me they'd probably give me medication first but I'd need to see the specialists at the hospital. I felt quite scared to be honest, and a bit miffed that something is growing inside of me that I don't want there (Can I swap it for what I do want there? I think not!) and I went home, booked the appointment and now had to endure a two month wait, in which time said cyst will probably grow even more! I went in feeling a bit deflated to be honest. On top of that , my week leading up the session was weird. I left last week's feeling quite energised and optimistic. I had Thursday through till Monday feeling pretty swish. I was productive, and able to get on with things including some tasks which I felt were well beyond my ability to cope with and I had delegated to family members but actually felt able to deal with and sort myself. It felt things were going quite well. Then Tuesday came along and threw me. I just felt rubbish. I stayed in bed all day. I'd put it down to taking my anti depressant a bit earlier the night before, so maybe it had thrown my system. My counsellor ruled that one out and said it wouldn't have the effect I'd described - so no excuses! Tuesday rolled around to Wednesday and I didn't quite shake the negativity and by Thursday and the session I think I'd actually gotten more attitude about the whole situation and a bit fed up really. Cue the explanation for feeling this way from my counsellor. She explained and reminded me of the pursuit of happiness from our session a few weeks back, and that you can't aim for happiness as it's too exhausting. If you spend every day at peak happiness, expect the same amount of peak sadness. Your body exhausts itself at either end of the spectrum. You need to aim for the okay in between happy and sad. As I'd spent Thursday - Monday feeling very happy and everything was going well, I was due a bit of down time. It sounds a bit cruel in ways I guess, however it does make sense. We identified as well that the actions, I took on Tuesday were not particularly positive - my counsellor made it quite clear it was fine to feel sad or fed up or any negative emotion, it needs to be accepted then dealt with, not kept in the same situation. We moved on to the questionnaire. 

Questionnaire Scores for this week: 

Anxiety - 5
Depression - 14

I've noticed with the questionnaire scores (another fantastic reason to document these numbers) that these scores are very similar to week five, and that week was not a very good week either. 

My counsellor then sat back and we discussed what was on my mind.

It's a bloomin' weird question ... what is on your mind? Will I ever be a Mum? Will I ever feel  that I won't be a disappointment? I wonder if Marks and Sparks will have those nice scotch eggs in? Literally the mind has a hundred and one things going on and then some. Where do I even start? 

We discussed my biggest fear - not being able to have a child. I explained how guilty I felt for a variety of reasons. She literally went 'Well what happens next if it doesn't happen' and for me I just don't know. The whole process feels overwhelming a lot of the time. I'm not sure if that feeling ever goes away, even for those that go through fertility issues and have children in the end. We discussed other options available to me even though I don't honestly feel open to them yet and I know this is just the beginning of my journey.

We moved onto moving forward through this and finding some more routine and purpose. I reflected on my past week according to the homework sheet. I've come to the conclusion I watch a lot of TV and need a bit more exercise/movement to my week. 

I've got two tasks for the week to come - start thinking about what I want my future to look like and aim to get more routine in my day. A little way is even just spend an hour of the day thinking about what I want my future to look like. She gave the example I could decide one day I want to look into what I'd need to do to become an astronaut. I could spend the hour mind mapping and thinking of things I'd need to do / look into to achieve that. The next day, I might scrap that, and choose something else. I need to start thinking what do I really want to do, who do I really want to be? As fertility and motherhood is a huge focus, she suggested curating a daily routine starting with one hour slot and moving it upward when I felt ready to create a plan for what myself as future mother might look like - would I be laying in bed all day? 

I left the session and did feel better, but know deep down there's a lot left to do and sort. My goal this week is to dedicate an hour a day looking at possibilities for my future.

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