Its not OCD its GAD!

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 books 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…….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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So its halfway into January, the regime isn’t going too badly, although I did have Burger & Chips washed down with several glasses of wine last night ( I was celebrating viewing a potential wedding venue) and now have a doughnut in front of me. Apart from that its going well. I’ve decided to try The Body coach lean in 15 plan, it’s actually quite easy and the meals I’ve made so far are really nice, although I currently have things in my kitchen cupboards that I’d never even seen before, such as Fennel. WTF is that all about? It was actually quite nice.

In all seriousness, I need to lose weight. After I separated from ex 8 years ago I was so slim, a size 10-12 could literally wear anything I wanted, but it’s slowly piled on and I am now 3 stone heavier, hardly any of my clothes look decent on me and I feel awful. I have two weddings this year, one of which I am bridesmaid for and I am the biggest bridesmaid by far.

So now is a good a time as any for a change of lifestyle as I finally feel like my head is in the right place, which I never thought would happen as a couple of years ago I was told I had Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) I used to worry about EVERYTHING, to the point it was interfering with my life. My head was a mess.

I had been with my boyfriend for about 18 months, we’d been living together for 6 and I gradually started letting the worry creep in, if he went out for the night even to play football for a couple of hours, I would be panicking about his safety and could not rest until he was home, this sometimes meant staying up until the early hours. If he was later than I expected (even though he never told me what time he would be home) I was be so distressed I would either be in tears or furious, which would then end in an argument.

I would worry about missing the train to work, getting a seat on the train, someone turning up at my house unexpectedly, my boyfriends  kids breaking something, the list was endless, not to mention exhausting and my health and my relationship were starting to suffer big time. I was living on my nerves, so when I had a drink, which was quite often, I would turn into this awful person shouting and screaming at my boyfriend most of which I wouldn’t even remember the next day, I would just wake up with a feeling of dread.

It all came to a head after one particularly bad drunken rage and I knew that if I wanted to save my relationship I needed to do something about it, rather than be an ostrich and bury my head in the sand. Then my friend told me she was seeing a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and they had diagnosed her with OCD. The symptoms she described were almost identical to how I felt. I went online to research therapists in my area and booked myself an appointment for the following week at lunchtime. I work in London so the fees were pretty expensive but my relationship was far too important not to mention my health! I was just praying it would help.