Theres going to a lot of acronyms flying around in this post, so please try to bear with me.
So I had booked my lunchtime appointment with the CBT therapist (cognitive behavioural therapist) I was really nervous and wasnt really sure what to expect. I had only told my boyfriend and the friend who had told me about CBT, I didn’t want anyone to know, I was quite embarrassed, I wasn’t mentally stable!
It was down a little side street near Bank with about 100 stairs, I was out of breath by the time I got to the first floor and all hot and flustered. I sat in the waiting area, half of me eager to rid myself of the craziness, the other half wanting to run out of the door and hide from it all. Then my therapist came out, she was lovely, if she was an animal she would have been a sparrow (I do this a lot) she was tiny and birdlike. She put me at ease straight away. I explained that I thought I had OCD and why I thought that, I explained my temperament, the constant worrying and she diagnosed me with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) I’d never even heard of it, GAD didn’t even sound like a nice word, it sounds like some sort of STD, can I have something that sounds better please?
The first session was just really going over the basics, whats was going on in my life. “Well I have been separated from my ex husband for several years and in the process of starting divorced proceedings, I live with my boyfriend who has a psycho ex girlfriend who he has children with, I don’t want children myself and sometimes struggle with the situation as it’s all still very new and I am not quite sure where I fit in. I know that my behaviour isnt normal and I don’t like feeling like this” Wow, I didn’t even know all of that was swimming around in my head and she got it out of me in 15 minutes, I felt relieved and also quite alarmed, how was I going to resolve this? However, I can honestly say that after that session, I felt a little lighter, she gave me some homework to do, nothing heavy just basically to monitor my anxiety and report back.
I had a one hour session every week for 10 weeks, my life didn’t change but my thinking did, which is what CBT is all about. Dont get me wrong, I still had anxiety and some panic attacks but I dealt with them a lot better and that was because I understood what was going on.
I did other things to help with the GAD. I started mediating using the Calm app on my phone, I liked it so much I went and paid for the full version, I also did a lot of reading on the subject as I do love a good book. A book I would definitely recommend is “The Chimp Paradox” which basically tells you that your brain has 3 sections, you, a computer and a chimp, it tells you to name your chimp, mine was called “Barry” and this actually lightened some of the darker moments for me & my boyfriend as he would say stuff like “Tell Barry to piss off” if I was being a pain or I would say “It wasn’t me it was Barry” It did really help me understand how the brain works though and how to train Barry into behaving differently.
This was only my first trip on the mental health express…….