Tag Archives: cognitive behavioral therapy

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 6 Months On…

So today was the big day, I had my 6 month review with my Therapist. I was wondering when I got the letter, with my review date months ago, what I would feel like when this day actually came around and the reality is much better than the expectation. I could have only have dreamed then to be feeling how I am now.

Being able to tell my Therapist that I can pinpoint the exact catalyst almost a year to the day from when the problems started really helped. Because I know I will never take those pills again and that outcome will never happen to me again.

Something so small ended up bringing down my whole world and causing me to lose someone I may never get back, and it has taken me a year to claw myself back from that.

I still have to live everyday missing him and knowing I may ever get the chance to speak with him again. I’ve built my new life around this strange feeling of knowing what I had been searching for is out there somewhere, and as weird as it is to know that and be happy for him at the same time, I wish it was all so different.

I’ll never give up hope that one day things will be better between us, because I made the choice to stop giving up on the things I want, the things that make life worth living.

I’ve created an environment around me now that I can function in. I’ve removed all the stresses and made a new list of goals, but this time there are no time frames. Time frames are still beyond me, they add stress and frustration when they don’t work out and build expectation that leads to disappointment.

I’ve achieved so many things that life just threw at me and I had the time to go with them and complete the goal. It was only in explaining them today I really got to realise that, without the writing over the last 6 months being my constant, I would not have got to where I am now.

It’s so strange, how I have ended up is never anything close to what I saw in my future. Without 2 people showing me the path and many others helping to guide me along it my life would be so much different from what it is now.

What I have achieved in 6 months is nothing short of impressive, at least to me, if I list it all out. I had talked about taking a 6 month break to write at the beginning of the year but ruled it out for financial reasons but in the end that is exactly what happened. I spent 6 months writing and I am now broke but happy!

But the only real way to test my resolve is to continue to re-emerge myself in the parts of my life I moved away from. That starts on Monday with my new job and becoming part of a workforce again. I’m not even feeling apprehensive about it which is good.

Even walking into the office this week to meet the team didn’t make me feel nervous at all. It felt like that was where I was meant to be. Now I know what signs to look out for, so if for whatever reason things don’t work out, I’ll not get stuck this time and be positive enough to move onto something new.

The ultimate test for me will always be him and wanting him back in my life. Until I have the opportunity to try to mend that bridge I will never know if I fully dealt with all the issues I had.

Maybe its needing to understand things from his side too and the reasons why it all became too much. I have the feeling that in some part he blames himself for how I was and I would do anything to make him see that he was in no way at fault for what happened.

I would love to be able to replace all the bad memories with good ones and build a stronger friendship than we had before but without him wanting that too it will always be just a dream.

I’ve learned to conquer my over thinking and utilise deep breathing exercises. I understand the triggers more now and can challenge the thinking much better but in practice I haven’t been putting it to the test much.

I found a trick in St John’s Wort to help me on the bad days. I’m not convinced it helps me as anything more than a placebo, in that I’ve taken a happy pill so it will help. In truth I need it so rarely I’m not worried. I never wanted to start the route that needed medication to deal with my problems, I need to cope by myself.

I’ve always been a bit of a mardy bum since I was a teenager, sadly I think that is hormonal rather than anything else because I’m pretty happy most of the time.

Occasionally I just need everyone to leave me alone and let me be dark till it passes, it usually lasts a couple of hours and then I’m fine again. The Therapist assures me this is quite normal but to me it’s just annoying and I would like to learn to stop it.

There is nothing worse than when you feel low, and there is no reason why you do, for people to keep asking you what’s wrong. It makes it worse because you end up getting snappy with them.

How the hell do I know what’s wrong? I was fine a minute ago and now I just want everyone to go away but in a couple of hours I’ll want to laugh and joke again as if nothing happened.

I’ve noticed its worse when I’m trying to concentrate and someone interrupts me. Like when I’m deep into editing something and all of a sudden someone decides to tell you about a really funny cat video you have to watch.

Like seriously, I’ve been at this for hours now and I can’t for the life of me think of a word to make this sentence work and you want me to laugh at a cat video.

Which ok I admit is funny, but dammit now I have to go back and start reading from the beginning, and I’m still stuck on this sentence, but now I’ve wasted half hour because I was interrupted and it was easy to check Twitter.

My fellow writers will understand this I’m sure.

I think I have a handle on what works for me now. This whole episode scared the life out of me and has left me with lots of regrets and things I am really not proud of but that is life.

I need to keep everything small as much as possible so I can stay on top of things and not let it all spiral out of control. It means I can grow things at a nice steady pace and acclimatize to each new phase before moving forward which is good.

My challenge at the moment is learning to deal with the build ups of pressure inside me. The headaches and numbness that result from the pressure build ups are getting unpleasant and more frequent. I will eventually have to stop being so thick-headed and see the doctor to get it checked out.

I’m banking on it being stress and worry over getting things sorted and settling into the new job. If it continues past the first few weeks then I will get it checked out. My new office is next to the GP surgery so I’ll have no excuse not to!

But the over-riding feeling over the last 6 months is pride. I’m actually proud of how far I have come and the things I achieved.

I wish it didn’t take losing someone I care about to make that happen but sometimes life is a bitch.

I think I’ve grown into a better version of who I was, things that scared me before don’t seem to anymore and life feels positive right now and the best bit is the future is still unwritten…


Psychology and Loss

I’m a overthinker. I’ll admit it. I always have been. I get lost inside my own mind sometimes if I’m left to my own devices for too long.

It’s one of the characteristics I hate in myself because in the long run it really does me no good and it frustrates other people. The more I try to stop the more I seem to make it worse.

I have this need to understand the events of my life. So much has happened to me that I couldn’t control and it has had a big impact on me as a person.

Doing the CBT course I had to ask myself some difficult questions that I would never previously have considered. In truth the questions made me explore deep parts of myself I keep buried for the simple reason they are too difficult to reopen.

I have my therapy review next month which will be interesting. To see where I ended up from where I was at the start of the year is a vast improvement.

It hasn’t been easy getting here and I wasn’t always helped by the people around me but the course was definitely what I needed at the time and without it I know I wouldn’t be here now.

Not that I mean that in the sense I would have ended my life, I wouldn’t. No matter how bad or how low I have got in my life ending it is never an option I will consider.

I won’t lie, I did consider it once. After my brother died. I didn’t want to live, I couldn’t see how I would ever be happy again. Catching myself laughing over something meant that I was being unfaithful to his loss.

I was 7 years old at the time and I sat with a knife pressed against my wrist, admittedly a butter knife, locked in the bathroom and as I did he appeared in front of me, shook his head and said ‘No’. I never considered it again.

I went downstairs and looked at my parents and knew I could never do it to them. They never knew at the time but I think they are aware of it now. It’s not a conversation any of us would be capable of having.

They didn’t know how to deal with his loss themselves, let alone help a 7-year-old child get over it. No one is equipped with the life skills to do that, unless they have been through it before.

Looking back we should all have had professional help to deal with it. We went through counselling when I reached my teens because we started having issues but by then the damage was already done to the relationship I have with my parents.

It wasn’t any of our faults. We were all doing the best we knew how but we all became damaged by it in different ways. I didn’t only lose my brother that day, the world I knew ended and part of me and my parents died too.

I’ve been thinking about my brother and that part of my life a lot lately. He will be 30 on the 4th September this year and the big milestones always hit me hard.

Notice I can’t even bring myself to say would have been instead of will. In the same way that seeing the name on his headstone with died aged 2 3/4 years written underneath hits me for six every time I see it.

I’ve always found psychology interesting. In order to help find some answers to why things ended so badly for me, I decided to search the internet for help. It’s a topic I intent to spend more time learning.

I came across some interesting articles that I thought I would share. I know I’m not the only one who has had a difficult life.

I’m not the only one to get hurt by people I cared about and lose people I love so maybe others will find help in the articles too.

I found occupying my mind helped with the spare time I found myself with. Now I have overfilled myself with projects, it beats missing something I can never have and it’s certainly more healthy!

The 5 Psychological Challenges of Loss and Grief

Why We Overvalue What We No Longer Have: The Psychology of Loss

What Is Resilience?

Do You Ever….

Do you ever just feel so lost that all you want to do is take out a blank page and write down everything thats pissing you off with the world?

It was my coping mechanism through my teenage years. Every time something got to me I would write it all down, usually in floods of tears, until it stopped hurting. I never read back anything I wrote, in fact I burned some of it for the release. Most ended up torn to shreds and thrown away.

The act of writing out your problems is the key. I always found reading them back a strange experience and far too painful to deal with. So the best thing to do was just throw them away.

In some ways this blog became my blank page. I’ve written about some personal things in an attempt to show I’m just as messed up (if not more) than everyone else out there.

I didn’t want my blog to just be a showcase of articles and stories I’d written looking for validation. Searching for your validation in others is a wasted journey. I write for me in the hope that I find at least one other person who will enjoy what I wrote.

It’s certainly no secret that I struggle to deal with my emotions. Lately I’ve been all over the place and had I not completed the CBT course I’m sure the depression would have got me by now.

I keep being haunted by something someone said to me. When I was fighting with a friend, someone told me they would make things right and when they had they would leave. We made things right and now I think the second part came true, we don’t talk anymore.

I don’t understand, when things were bad I get my friend didn’t want anything to do with me, I made mistakes and owned them. We fixed things, I got my friend back and now when I really need my friends to keep me going they aren’t around anymore.

I hate it when people leave and I get left behind wondering if I’ll ever see or talk to them again. I often think back to things that made me happy and want to share that with the people who were there. It’s usually a good excuse to pick up the phone or send a message and re-connect.

I’ve never been good at saying goodbye. The people I left behind I didn’t care enough to say goodbye to and the rest I never wanted to have to say goodbye. But I don’t get to choose.

Sometimes people just walk away, and you never get a reason why. I guess for them you ran your course and no matter how hard you try things will never be the same again. The hard part is stopping yourself from wanting to talk to them.

So today I think I’ll find a blank piece of paper and write…

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Angry Boater Joel Sanders

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I eat cheese, I run from zombies, and I do therapy