Signing off my therapy journey
Wowsers! I can’t believe how long it’s been since I first documented entering into therapy. I’m finding really difficult to put into words how I’ve changed. I may add that therapy has taken a little longer than anticipated due to a few unexpected curve balls such as Spinal surgery, kids and work commitments but I got there in the end.
So I’m going to (very briefly) run you through the past couple of years. It was August 2017 and my family and I were holidaying in Cornwall. My husband and my son had both been ill and there I was curled on the bed, my stomach was a ball of anxious knots, my heart was pounding and my mind was racing away in a storm of catastrophising and ‘what ifs’. I hated that holiday and couldn’t wait to get home – back to my ‘safe’ place. Fast forward to August 2018 and the memories of that awful holiday remained. If holidays were mentioned I was catapulted right back to that moment in Cornwall curled up on the bed. To me, holidays equalled illness, anxiety and unhappiness. After discussing with my husband, and for the sake of my young family I agreed to go the East Coast with the agreement that if anyone was ill we would come home. No one did get ill but I spent the whole time on edge and the constant hyper vigilance and anxiety was exhausting, hence my decision to seek help from Yorkshire Psychotherapy Ltd.
I have learnt from my sessions with Dave that I had unconsciously developed unhelpful thinking styles such as catastrophising , developed a ‘should’ and ‘must’ mindset, along with a nasty habit of predicting and mind reading (which rarely came true but I whole heartedly believed I knew what other people were thinking). Over time I have learnt to challenge these thoughts and beliefs. Some of these thoughts and behaviours had become so ingrained in me that I didn’t even realise I was doing it. This had ultimately led to a decline in my mood and the result was a negative slant on my surroundings and my interpretation of situations. As a bit of a side issue I do believe that social media plays a part in us feeling that we are not good enough; everyone else is prettier, happier, more likeable, more successful……but are they really or could they possibly just be sharing a filtered version of themselves…..I’ll leave you to decide on that one!
Anyway back to the subject in hand. Now that I have completed my course of CBT, I can recognise when my inner critic kicks in and refocus my attention to things that are fact or actually matter. In all honesty I’m a lot more confident in myself and if I have a thought or feeling I accept them for what they are and recognise that they will pass. I make mistakes but who doesn’t – we’re only human after all. The trick is not to punish ourselves for the mistakes we make and to learn and move on from them. Sounds easy doesn’t it? I’m not going to pretend that I instantly ‘got it’ but with time and patience from my therapist it did finally ‘click’.
To be truthful most of my anxiety was treated through CBT alone, the power of understanding why and how our brains behave really helped me. Towards the end of treatment we did some EMDR sessions to ‘mop up’ some upsetting or painful memories. I’ve still have no idea how it works but it does! All I can say is if you are suffering from the aftermath or a traumatic event or experience try it. It doesn’t erase the memory but it does remove the upsetting emotions and distress associated with it.
To evidence just how far I’ve come, please refer to the photo that goes with this blog post. This is me in September 2019, having a wonderful time on our family holiday to Spain, – a holiday I may add, that was my idea to book! I will be forever thankful to Dave and Yorkshire Psychotherapy Ltd for helping to mend me.
If you are not sure whether now is the right time or wondering what would be the best therapy for you, call, email, or message on Facebook and we’ll point you in the right direction.