my healing journey

Hello Again

This is just a post to say I haven’t written here for over year as I’ve had a lot of shit going on. My previous relationship ended horribly, one that was emotionally abusive I see now in hindsight and a bit rapey, I have ended up in hospital following a psychotic episode and I am now in a much moe healthier relationship with a new partner, have group and individual therapy and I am working on my issues. I have a lot on my plate atm , and have neglected a lot of my hobbies including blog posting. Hopefully now that I am back I will be able to post a bit more frequently and upload art alongside other things to my blog posts. I hope to be able to write more honestly and open up a bit more to try to sort out the messy cave that is my head.

So to new beginnings – or carrying on from before- I don;t know which xD

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End of Counselling (CBT)

It’s been so long since i wrote a post but I think that has to do with me not wanting to come to terms with where I am in life atm and getting back into reality, or as some people call it the ‘denial’ stage of a relationship breakup haha, but then I realised I am doing this blog for me and myself and that I shouldn’t not want to help myself heal. Maybe this is some fort of self harm, or self-sabotaging, punishing myself because I don’t feel as if I deserve to move on in life and be happy with myself.

My last counselling session with my CBT therapist ended with me finally coming clean about my fear of spiders. I have been afraid of spiders since I was a child. Even typing the word kind of freaks me out . I realised that I had linked spiders to my child abuse and everytime I saw one I felt out of control and terrified. Ironically autumn came and went past and I was sort of forced to deal with seeing them everywhere. It wasn;t nice and I went a bit loopy but I survived it I guess. Ive started to notice aswel in times of extreme anxiety I start imaging that I am seeing spiders that aren’t actually there.

I had actually forgotten my last counselling session was my last one which was handy as I don’t really know how i’m expected to act when I finish with a counsellor. I think the one before this counsellor I didnt even turn up. Thats not very good, and I suppose its a form of avoidance when it comes to the termination of personal relationships that I have. In the end the last session wasn’t too bad, it was a bit awkward as I didnt really know what to say, but it was alright in the end.

I think CBT helped me a lot, I think this is mainly because of the nature of CBT and it forces you to stay in the present not in the past. The trouble is I think part of me will always be in the past because I have so many internal unresolved issues to address. But I don;t want to live in the past all the time because I am missing out on my life in the present and not enjoying it in the moment. I think that is also to do with depression aswel, so I guess maybe I have to be patient and try to do both at the same time.

– This blog post again does not have a title as I didn’t put one when I was writing the notes for it. I am now remembering to do this 🙂

Waking up with anxiety is a big problem for me. I’ve noticed that when I record my Moodscope score just as I wake up in the morning it is usually a lot lower than my other scores that I have taken during the day. I don’t know if I should record my Moodscope scores twice- once in the morning and once in the evening. At the moment I am just trying to focus on recording the scores at least once a day. My plan for battling the depressing thoughts that \are fuelled by anxiety at the beginning of the day is by pushing them away by repeating a mantra in the morning when I wake up in my head. The mantra of ‘I love myself. I am a good person. I deserve good things. I deserve to heal’. Most times I just end up blurting this out in my head in a frantic attempt to push these thoughts away. I am starting to feel better in myself and the anxiety thoughts that I get at the beginning of the day as soon as I first wake up are beginning to lessen which is excellent.

When I made the notes for this post I wrote that I am aiming to dedicate portions of the day to self-love and positivity. I was also aiming to begin with spending 5 mins of each morning repeating this mantra. At this moment in time I haven’t specificially set out 5 minutes for this mantra but I am saying it and reminding myself to say it at different point of the day. I am also trying to find the time to sit down to write a daily journal entry, making a blog post and drawing, or going out and doing activities that I like. These all count as acts of self love , as do eating food, showering, sleeping, spending alone time and exercising. This is a lot to take on but when I think about it I have been doing these things anyways. I am aiming to attempt to continue to connect with myself on a daily basis as a grounding method.

I have been feeling overwhelmed with the amount of personal work that I have to do. However, when I wake up feeling tired and pissed off, I have to remind myself that the good mood I have been experiencing and the more positive experiences I have been having are due to me doing all this work despite it being difficult, alien and tiring. I am being to feel that it is ok to spend time alone, and that it is necessary. But also spending time with others and spending time doing other activities makes the time that I spend alone by myself feel more worthwhile and I enjoy that time more. My newest challenge is the challenge of being in the present. Not being in the past and feeling depressed. Or feeling anxious and worrying about the future. It is interesting how mental illness links with timeframe. A lot of the time I now find myself saying ‘Just worry about today’. Taking each day as it comes is completely new to me.

Lastly, the more I read about depression and anxiety, the more I begin to be able to name depression caused thoughts and anxiety caused thoughts as they are. Simply labelling a thought as ‘you are caused by anxiety , fuck off’ or ‘depression is making me think this’, is pretty empowering and is pretty useful aswel. I want to make the ‘normal’ voice in my head the loudest, so logically by labelling the negative thoughts as what they really are , this should help?? I hope so anyway..

 

28th May 2014

(I didn’t have a title for this blog post, I only have the date on which I made the notes for it)

Of recent I have been scoring in the 40’s and 50’s on my moodscope. These are the highest scores I have recorded on there since last May when I started to record my mood. The beginning of my highest scores ever began on the 28th of May, which is a far cry from this time last year. I have a picture that I drew on the 29th of May 2013, when I believed that my little sister was about to die. I drew the angel of death. I think that picture was one of the darkest that I have drawn. I still have it on my wall, I think it is important to acknowledge the feelings that I had at that time, but to also take into account that all is well now.

I have a habit of not wanting to come home. I think this is linked to the fact that I feel as if home is not a place that I want to come back to. ‘Home’ as in the sense of the childhood home that I had no choice but to go back to. I am trying to make sure I make the journey back home when I go to visit friends, I think it is important for me to feel as if I have a place that I can go back to, which is safe and which is my own space. Safety and personal space is a thing I am working very hard at attempting to create. I think it will help in the journey of attempting to heal from never feeling safe during my childhood. I remember being at home and dreading the sound of either my mum or dad coming in through the door. The locking myself up in my room and pretending to sleep. Even not eating because I did not want to be around anyone. I still do that now sometimes when I feel particularly low. I lock myself up in my room and don’t eat for days. It doesn’t do me any good and I am punishing myself due to the actions of others.

I have actively been doing more personal work. I think I am getting better at connecting with myself as opposed to just writing streams of misery and dwelling in that misery. I miss myself, I had a very close relationship to myself when I was younger, I suppose I had to, nobody else did. I think this relationship is important and I am working on trying to mend this relationship and get it back. I am recognising that the self- help that I am doing has contributed to this and now I want to be able to feel strong in the confidence of myself and know that the work I am doing is having an effect and is making me stronger.

In regard to my improvement in Moodscope scores, it is not that I have been feeling fantastic, I think it was mainly me being honest in my feelings that helped me to improve my mood. I think a big contributor to depression is the fact you become numb to your own feelings and you forget that you have any or pretend that nothing affects you. I think this just works to make you further depressed. Of recent, due to the CBT iIhave completed, I think I feel a bit safer in attempting to be honest in how I feel with people that I trust. I think this is important, it allows me to get things off my chest and it allows me to remember that I have people that I can talk to if I need support.

I ave become resigned to the fact that I probably have to get used to doing a lot of writing from now on, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. I think for me writing is a release, it is the first way that I am able to get thoughts out of my head and in time this allows me to speak about these thoughts. Writing makes the thoughts real which can be scary, but also helps me to evaluate and process my thoughts. Writing in my personal diary aswel has also helped me greatly and I often feel better for writing things down in a place that I know is for my eyes only. Although I still have the fear someone will read it against my will. I think this also stems from childhood and having no privacy in my house. Now I am an adult and I am entitled to privacy and nobody can take that away from me.

 

(I write this as ‘Today’s counselling thoughts’, but I made the notes for this blog post about two weeks ago, I have since completed my CBT therapy, but that will be spoken about in a future blog post)

Today I finally spoke about my abandonment issues to my counsellor. This has been something that did not begin to affect me in my adult life until I started having serious emotional relationships, I think my problems with feeling abandoned first became apparent when I was around 16 and was in a pretty dysfucntional relationship with a guy I was seeing on and off for about two years.

I originally came into this counselling session with the belief that it was my final counselling session, however it wasn’t. It always seems to be as I near the end of counselling that I am most open, this is probably due to the fact that the counselling sessions I have had have been short term counselling. I hope one day that I am able to have a long term therapist so that I am able to build up a relationship and speak openly about my problems for a longer period of time, however the short term therapy that I have received has been useful

I spoke about the issues I have with abandonment, which have stemmed from the relationship I have with the adults in my life. For some reason I can no longer type ‘parents’. It is sad, but I do not feel as if these people deserve that label. This may be a temporary thing, I am not sure, I am just working through my inner child and the relationships that I have with these individuals. It helped me realise that I have an intense fear of feeling that I am being left alone. This reaction is mainly my inner child, because as an adult I need time alone in order to work through my feelings, also naturally I am a pretty solitary person, this is what helps me to be productive and to be myself.

I think in this counselling session is when I realised that I am only human. It was quite a revelation. To realise you are only human and that you are allowed to have reactions and emotions in regard to going through abuse. For some reason I have separated myself from other people, feeling that it is normal and encouraging people to cry and be upset if they have been hurt, but not doing this myself because for some reason another rule exists for me. I think subconsciously I feel that if I cry or allow myself to feel these feelings than somehow the perpetrators of this hurt will have won. But I think by thinking in this way that they have already won because I am not allowing myself to be ‘normal’ in the sense of having human emotions and reactions.

It was around this time that I made the revelation of only being human and recognising why I struggle so much with abandonment, is when I finally explained to my bf why I am such an insecure person. (This was also linked to another event which I will not type because it is a personal event in my relationship, also it is a bit embarrassing). I feel frustrated that this abandonment continues to plague my life, but I know understand that in order to overcome it, I have to sit with the feeling of abandonment and take myself back to the place from which these feelings originate from, acknowledge these feelings and cope with them in order to be able to move on in my adult life. I do not have the answers to everything at the moment, and I do not need the answers as the majority of the time as I have found out the hard way searching for answers as to why I was treated in this way does not actually make me feel better, it just makes me feel more confused.

My counsellor said to me what I already knew in myself, the fact that encouragement must come from myself. It doesn’t matter how long I spend in therapy or how many people tell me good things about myself or congratulate me for good things I have accomplished in my life. If I cannot congratulate myself or believe that I am a good person or have confidence in myself then there is no point in me doing all this work. It is only now that I am admitting that I have done a lot of work in order to still be standing here alive and still fighting today. I am now trying to learn to be present in myself. To acknowledge that I exist and that I am living and breathing and fighting. I need to recognise positive things I have done. Some times it feels like I am banging my head against a rock, but eventually I do allow myself to be proud in what I have achieved and recognise that I have indeed achieved good things. I want to gain my confidence to be myself back. I want my life back. Those who tried to put me down and abuse me and make me hate myself do not deserve to win. I deserve to win. It is my life.

My new task is now spending time alone with myself. Recognising that spending time by myself is not a bad thing. That life with myself is not a bad thing. I now say to myself throughout the day ‘I love myself. I am a good person and I deserve good things’. I am now beginning to believe it more than I did when I first began to repeat this mantra. It is only in loving myself that I will continue to have the strength to continue to heal from abuse and to live my life to the fullest. It is a pretty difficult thing to learn when nobody has taught you how to do this, but there is no better time to start.

Lastly, I discussed the fear I have of everything going wrong and the need to be in control because of this fear. I now recognise this as anxiety. And anxiety is not real. I realise I have anxiety because my inner child is still damaged and scared and living in the past of my childhood. It is only by connecting with my inner child and facing this childhood that I can free myself from this anxiety and from consistently living in fear.

My counsellor explained to me that fear will be my initial reaction to most things due to anxiety and due to the need to stay in control, but I have to feel the fear and continue to push through it anyway. If I believe in myself and have this confidence then I can do anything no matter how scary it may seem at first glance.

Although I made the notes for this blog post about over a week ago, it is pretty relevant as I am writing after spending the entire day yesterday in bed depressed and thinking. I think the only people who can understand this and why this happens is those who have gone through depression themselves. It’s times like this I realise that I am unwell. And I guess sometimes I need to spend the day in bed, often after spending a day or two I feel a lot better and have managed to think through some things in my head, also for me I think it is a chance to spend time by myself away from the world.

I was questioning why I never want to get out of bed in the mornings. Of recent it has been the anxiety that kicks in. Anxiety that comes to me first thing in the morning and it says that today is going to be shit. You are shit. Everyone else around you knows you are shit and pathetic. Everyone is going to laugh at you. Your boyfriend is going to dump you because you are too stressful. You have failed in life. etc. etc. All this in probably the first minute of waking up. This is too much.I decided to counteract these thoughts by the first thing I do in the morning when I wake up is too tell myself ‘I love myself and I deserve good things’, I have been repeating this quite a lot of recent. And now it seems easier to get rid of the dark thoughts when they come. 

Sometimes when you have gone through a heavy day and wake up to a new day, it feels as if you have to face the weight of coping through another day. But I guess I have gone through a lot of crap days, so I’m guessing what lies ahead cannot be worse. I’m sure I can survive the aftermath. I know this deep down, just sometimes I do not believe it, until I have to be strong by myself and cope

I think a main factor of depression is due to being depressed, you do not want to face the day by yourself. It is the feelings of loneliness and despair that make it tough. Some days as soon as I wake up I want to cry. Maybe this is not necessarily a bad thing. I remind myself I have not really felt any emotion for the past year whilst on Prozac, this is probably my body’s natural response.

When I lay in bed , I get to remain depressed and think of how things will go wrong. In my rational mind I know this is not healthy, but at times it is only through being in bed that I can pin point what is upsetting me deeply. For instance, yesterday I read alot about looking after the inner child, rejecting parents and I reflected a lot on my childhood and my relationship with my mum, dad and uncle. This gave me a lot of insight and I was able to connect with my inner child and feel the grief and emotion that I was not allowed to feel when I was younger.

Lastly, I think the scariest thing about depression and not wanting to get out of bed is the suicidal thoughts first thing in the morning. Getting up and the first thing you think is ‘I wish I was dead’. I don’t want to live the rest of my life like this. And I am confident I won’t. I am out of bed today, I can get out of bed tomorrow. Hopefully this will all pass.

The cycle of anxiety

It seems that I have a backlog now of ideas for blog posts haha, which is strange but I guess also shows that in order to avoid this backlog I need to update the blog more. So now this is my homework I have realised that counselling cannot only be my counsellor only telling me words but me making sure aswel that I am doing the extra personal work that is required for me to learn and continue my journey of self recovery. As it turns out it seems to be the further the journey goes on the harder it is getting. Facing yourself in your own head is pretty hard work but at times it is rewarded. I just took my Moodscope test this morning and it says that i have scored my highest score to date which to me sounded pretty astounding 🙂

I had a very open discussion with my counsellor yesterday as well which helped and i feel a bit more clearly about things.

I have been thinking a lot about the cycle of anxiety. It seems as if my brain and mind seem to have a constant need to knock myself out with anxiety, as a high or i guess my natural state of feeling I need to be in fear due to that constant fear that was always present in general. It would seem that experiences in your past as a child, lately have the ability to manifest in anxiety and depression in adulthood. So perhaps trying to confront these illnesses in yourself will help you to come to terms with these events, as they come about due to the traumatic events.

Anxiety is strange in the sense that I seem to have the ability to purposely make myself agitated, which is in some form a type of mental self-harm. Or another form of control due to feeling so out of control for such a long period of time. I then seem to have the ability to wake up the next day and not realise what it was that was causing so much stress and worry. I think in a way is the same affect as being on drugs and constantly being kept up and paranoid because it is a different state as to what you are normally. 

i previously was confused at how to go about attempting to overcome this cycle of anxiety. And I have noticed it seems to come back constantly when I am at my lowest, So the logical solution to this would be to have a set of coping mechanisms to revert to when I felt this low. It has also occured to me that I should make some sort of care plan for myself. Which means buying another notebook. haha, I have a lot of notebooks now, I think I need to get used to writing a lot, but it is helping.

When I reach these bad periods i need to be able to calm down and reflect, to think rationally ans clearly writing helps in this. I think the writing and re writing again in various different ways helps to make whatever I have been thinking a reality, help me to process from it, whilst still acknowledging what ever effect it has, and move on.

I made a decision to continue to write a blog online but to write down what i wanted to say first, this makes me constantly have to reflect on what I want to say first,and give me time to register my own feelings and wait for them to sink in. 

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