Hi guys, I’m back! Firstly, let me apologise for being an absolutely RUBBISH blogger these past few weeks. I haven’t blogged in so long, I just haven’t had time! But, I wanted to update you all on my “Mental Health Journey” (find the previous post here).
So, for those of you who follow me on Twitter, you’ll be aware that I started CBT on Wednesday.
“Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression” – NHS Choices
It’s been a longtime coming, due to the 2 month waiting list, but it finally came around. Whilst I was awaiting the 4th January, I had plenty of time to worry, go over it in my head a million times and stress about it not working. But honestly, it was so much easier than I imagined to get my bum through the door!
The night before, I set my alarm way too early (as per usual), so that I could arrive at least 45 minutes before my appointment (ridiculous, I know). But I’d already thought of every possible situation that could result in me being late, even down to wardrobe malfunctions and Nottingham being hit by a freak snowstorm.
When I arrived (free from snow and split jeans), I proceeded to wait outside the building for 20 minutes because I didn’t want them to judge me for being early. David kindly reminded me “that’s why you’re getting help”, which made sense and convinced me to go in.
I was greeted by, what I can only describe as a mountain of paperwork, so it’s a good job I arrived early (HA!). I waited for AGESSSSSS and then my therapist finally came to get me. I had no idea what I was expecting (a mysterious guy in a suit, I think?) but he was a small Geordie geezer, in casual clothes. I must admit, I was slightly taken aback – you don’t normally see health professionals wearing camo trousers? But he was so lovely and really easy to talk to – I think it made me feel more comfortable actually.
He asked me loads of questions, about what I experience in my day-to-day life and what I usually struggle with. Surprisingly, I managed to answer all of his questions without crying or going quiet (even the ones about my libido – awkward!).
He told me to start a “worry journal”, which I use to write any worries I get throughout the day or night. After writing the worries down, I forget about them until my allocated “worry time”. During this 15 minute period, I look back over my worries and analyse them – deciding whether they are “practical” or “hypothetical”. The idea behind this is that you are in control and the worries don’t take over, which therefore, prevents the anxiety. I also put other sections in my journal, such as a mood tracker, goals and to-do lists.
As well as focusing on my mood and being organised, I’ve also started eating healthy too. Not at all for dieting reasons, but because eating healthy is good for your mental health! After a week of eating lots of delicious goodness, I’m feeling great and have a lot more energy!
I have 6 sessions left, which I am already looking forward to. I feel like it’s good to go into detail about my problems and I am really enjoying gaining back a little control over my thoughts. Honestly, I know the idea of therapy is really daunting – but if you are offered CBT, please PLEASE do it. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it!