This week drew a close to the CBT that I have been lucky enough to receive at least fortnightly since January. For almost half a year, I met with my therapist to try and put an end to the horrible OCD thoughts, anxiety and depression by learning new tips and techniques.
I woke up this morning to the awful news of the terrorist attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. My heart goes out to all those affected by such a tragic incident that should never have happened. It got me thinking, as most tragedies do, about how we should all keep our loved ones as close as we can because we never know what is going to be round the corner. I truly hope those parents with missing children or have lost their children can find peace. I cannot even imagine the pain they must be suffering. We saw some wonderful acts of kindness as all people fled to help, with taxi drivers offering free fares to safety and hotels opening their doors to people who needed it most. Know that although something so evil has happened, there was love and kindness around at the time and this can help people to try to remain positive.
Just lately I haven’t been inspired to blog (although I have been keeping up a little with Elefriends and other people’s blog posts). However, something that happened at the weekend made me think about how to take care of my well-being a little better. Why is it that my CBT therapist kept telling me to get a hobby? Was she just trying to get me to distract myself, or were there any real benefits from it? Well, I have to say that it definitely is the latter, and I was able to prove that to myself last Saturday.
When you’re feeling depressed, anxious, angry, confused (insert other emotion here) it can be scary. You feel like you’re the only person who feels this way and that it’s not normal. You look at other people’s lives and they seem perfect in comparison to your own. But did you ever think, if every person put their own problems in a pile, you’d probably take yours back? Everyone is fighting a battle, some bigger and more challenging than others. Something that seems so trivial to you may be a mountain of problems for another. The thing is, some people feel able to reach out whereas others don’t, can’t or feel there’s nobody to reach out to.
So I haven’t actually blogged for almost a week because I’ve been back to work (busy busy) and also because I’ve felt low. I didn’t want to keep writing negative posts everyday, I wanted to be able to put something upbeat that would help people. Not that there is anything wrong with posting about how you feel but for me I knew I needed to wait for a spark of positivity to inspire me again.
And low and behold, it came!
Sometimes we feel anxious when we think about the future. We worry that something will go wrong, or that something terrible could happen, and we do whatever we can to prevent those things from happening. When we feel that we can’t prevent these things that we don’t want to happen, we panic, and things become a downward spiral, and we become anxious and irritable… then we just don’t do whatever it is that is causing the worry.
I have found that it is not always enough to just put off the things that are worrying me. The problems are still going to be there and most of the problems are things that are just out of my control. When I explained to my therapist that I often get anxious about things I can’t do anything about, she told me to try and bring myself back to the ‘now’ to help ease the anxiety for the time being. I spend a lot of my time worrying about tomorrow, even though really I know that it’s going to be okay in the end. That doesn’t stop the shaky, irritable body sensations and my brain telling me awful things that make me want to cancel everything in my schedule and just stay in bed. So now I have to try and experience the ‘now’. And this is how she told me to do it.
At the beginning of the week, I wrote a post about making your own personal goals. (Read it here.) So, that’s just what I did. I have been off work due to Easter break and this week had to spend it alone, which is something I find difficult to do. So, every day this week, I wrote a list of things that I wanted to get done and also in order, so that I had a structure for my day and something to achieve. Some items on the lists were small and others were larger jobs. I was going to add a photograph of them but I feel it’ll be much neater if I type them out (though I have added an image of them at the end, to show you how I did it)!