Sunday 18th January – CBT & ME!

Hello everyone, I hope you are well, and that 2015 is working out well for you. 

I found the following image courtesy of PCOS Diva

PCOS Diva, aka Amy Medling is a fantastic supporter of all thing PCOS related, and her website is bursting with useful information. Check it out! 

The reason I’ve include this image because that list of 8 things to give up is like a brief insight into my mind! 2 in particular; ‘fear of failure’ and ‘fear of success’. I actually wrote a post about these very points back in August. Seeing them on this list made me realise that now, 5 months later, things have really changed for me. 

My negative thinking was very much a vicious cycle that I just couldn’t break. It was constant and exhausting. 

As you may know, I started CBT last year, and my last session took place the week before Christmas. I am both happy and slightly sad about finishing the sessions if I’m completely honest. Happy because I’ve seen it through and feel I have gained a lot from it. Sad because I had become accustomed to the routine of going to speak to someone every few weeks and get an outside perspective on things. 

It has most definitely been one of the best things I have done for myself and I am very glad I took it seriously and made an effort as there were times when I thought I wouldn’t bother. That is in no way a negative reflection on my therapist as he was wonderful. It’s more that when you’re in that mindset of ‘oh I can’t be bothered explaining this as no one will understand’, or ‘what’s the point’. That’s actually when you benefit most from the therapy, I think at least. 

If you think CBT might help you with any aspect of your life, but are unsure how it works, hopefully the following 2 diagrams might help explain how you work through issues with the support of a therapist.

This following diagram is quite a good visual representation of what happens when you have a panic/anxiety attack, or feel very anxious. During my CBT sessions, my therapist drew something similar for me to explain that the anxiety had a cycle that it put me through every time I experienced it. I find it much better to process and understand when there’s a diagram of some sort to back up what I’m being told. 

Going back through my blog posts I can’t believe it’s been 10 months since I started the CBT sessions. I was very apprehensive of taking the step to try and explain everything that was going on inside my rather crazy mind, so wrote a list of everything I was worried about and talked this through with my therapist. I think it helped us both understand the starting point for the sessions and provided a kind of rough overview of what we were aiming to achieve together over a set number of sessions. 

What I’ve realised from CBT:

  • It is NOT weak to admit you need help
  • It is NOT self indulgent to talk about yourself and explain what has been effecting you

  • I do NOT suffer from anxiety. I have a tendency to get anxious, or rather react in an anxious way to specific situations. I don’t say that to make light of anxiety, not in the slightest. But, talking with my therapist helped me understand things much more.

I’m very much a ‘ponderer’, so often think of what I want to say a few hours after a conversation has taken place. Not exactly helpful! But that’s the good thing about therapy. You can go away, process what you’ve discussed then when you have your next session you can raise any concerns/thoughts you have had in the meantime. For this reason I highly recommend having a small notebook just for your sessions. Being able to write notes to take with you can really help keep you focussed.

When my therapist first said he believed it was anxiety I was experiencing, I was almost disappointed. By that I mean I had never contemplated anxiety as an explanation to how I was feeling. I suppose I put everything under the umbrella of PCOS related depression and low self-esteem. I think I’ve learned that one label does not ‘fit all’, and that’s OK. Just because I like to quickly solve problems, and ticks things off my ‘to do’ list at work, doesn’t mean I can do the same with myself (unfortunately!). 
I was sceptical prior to starting CBT but I really have found it so beneficial.

So, although I’ve finished my sessions, I haven’t finished sorting things out. I just now know how to deal with certain situations much better than before. It’s not easy, and it will take time, but I’m on the right path, it’s just not a straight one! There are plenty of bumps and twists and turns ahead, but they don’t worry me anywhere near as much as they used to. Thankfully(!) I’m not expecting everything to be perfect, and I’m slowly letting my ‘perfectionist’ crown slip. Not completely, but slightly! 


One thought on “Sunday 18th January – CBT & ME!

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