Written after my CBT therapy
I’ve had a strange week. Although the quick blip of convincing myself I have something called face blindness, my health anxiety had improved. I get thoughts and I try to be more present. Sometimes it helps and sometimes I forget to do it, but it’s all new so I just keep trying. I also distracted myself (like painting my room at long last!) which just changed the negativity to ‘you have to paint really slow now, because you’re stubborn and refused to use masking tape for the edges.’ Note to self: when negative thoughts creep up try and paint in a straight line.
I also made my own sort of diary so I could get practical worries done in a realistic way or time frame. That works well. It made me start painting my room, I may or may not have piles of washing wedged in a corner that I ignore so much so that I’ve started to wear complete outfits of my boyfriends clothes, but I can say with confidence I am painting.
Unfortunately though, but I assume rather naturally, as my health anxiety has got better my social anxiety took its place. I didn’t know how to deal with it, but as the therapist pointed out it’s exactly the same techniques. It’s hard to see things though, hence the therapy. So when I have a thought about not fitting in for example, or feeling like a weirdo, I have to concentrate on things outside my body and shift my attention.
I have two weeks till my next session and during that time I need to;
- continue with the panic diary and rationalise anxiety
- when anxious or negative thoughts come in concentrate on things outside of myself – mindfulness things
- when I have a practical worry tackle it by writing it into a diary
- when I have an hypothetical worry write it down and try to concentrate on other things and later go back to it for a read
- and the newest, stopping things that are a safety mechanism because it actually doesn’t help. So no googling symptoms, no checking for reassurance that I’m okay. I need to ride out the panic and eventually it’ll get less and less.
So a lot on my plate. It’s a full on roast dinner with seconds, but I’m up for it and it gets easier over time. Like your stomach expanding. Let’s stop this metaphor.
I felt comfortable. My brain over thinks and I don’t know how to act or what I should say, but this week was a needed conversation because I honestly had no idea how to handle my social anxiety. I felt okay saying what I said. It feels like we are working through my problems. Which yes, it should feel like that, but it’s a big deal that it actually feels like that.
Although I just said I was comfortable I was hyper aware that she is a therapist and judging my every move. So completely the opposite of the positive at exactly the same time. Ha, okay Emily. BUT I am aware that is an anxious thought, it is her job, and on the outside she’s not judgemental.
I’m enjoying it. I find it fascinating and it’s helping as long as I keep working on it. I do worry that I don’t stress my anxiety enough, because I often forget how bad I am till I’m bad again, and looking at those immediately around me and comparing, I am quite extreme. I’m obviously used to it, and it’s very English to play down how you are. I had a worrying thought that I’d have less sessions than I need because of this. But, you know, anxious thoughts and this music I’m playing is nice and I’m liking my grey walls…