I can’t believe it’s almost 6 months since my last blog post documenting my journey through therapy at Yorkshire Psychotherapy Ltd. It’s been a bumpy journey with some massive hurdles thrown down for me to overcome – I’ll spare you all the details and save those for my sessions with Dave!
I can’t quite believe how far I have come. I have reached a point where my anxiety around my family and I has reduced, just through having a good understanding of how my mind perceives threat and reacts to it. I have learnt the skills I need, to not run with my thoughts – to label them if I need to and accept them. In doing so, as if by magic my anxiety has reduced! Now this sounds very simple but I have had to learn these skills and work at them daily, weekly until they have become as much a part of me as the anxiety had. I suppose what I am saying is there was no magic wand to make it all better, you get out of therapy what you are prepared to put in.
As Christmas approached, with it came the inevitable barrage of winter bugs that seem to blight everyone at this time of year, (which would have previously sent me spiralling into an angst ridden wreck). I accepted that I couldn’t stop it from happening, but that I could stop myself from catastrophizing if and when it did.
I can’t explain how proud I was of myself when my youngest came down with a virus a few days before Christmas. I did not let it make me anxious. I had a twinge of the tell tale ‘tight stomach’ and feeling of dread, but quickly dismissed this and stayed calm. As it was, the pesky bug passed in time for us to enjoy Christmas. So you see……no need to panic!
So now I have reached a point where I understand my anxiety, but there are still a few niggles, triggers and memories that I just can’t seem to move on from. The thought of them causes me to instantly freeze inside, and I can immediately picture myself in that moment, an all consuming image, a feeling, a thought, so strong its like being back in that very moment. It’s all well and good retraining your brain not to dwell on things that bring down your mood and trigger anxiety, but you can’t avoid interacting with the world outside and there will always be things that trigger those thoughts no matter how hard we try. So what what now? How do we overcome this one?
The answer I am reliably informed by Dave Thompson is; EMDR (Eye Movement Desenitisation and Reprocessing). Google tells me:
‘This type of therapy uses a patient’s own rapid eye movements, to take emotionally charged memories out of traumatic events’.
That’s about all I know, despite it being explained to me in depth by Dave. It just sounds too good to be true if I’m honest. Any way, I’m starting EMDR tomorrow. Dave has explained to me that I will see a dramatic difference after I’ve had EMDR as I won’t have the same emotional pulls that influence how I behave. I couldn’t help but ask; what if I don’t like the new me? Dave has assured me that this will not be the case. So here I go, into the next phase of my therapy journey, I’ll see you at the other side.