My life in therapy- One Year On

So you know how I’m a bit of a disaster? A hurricane of emotion. A whirlwind of despair. A typhoon of ecstasy. A tornado of metaphors. I went to therapy to sort my shit out. It popped up on my On This Day thingy that it was a year ago that I had my first session. (I mean, it popped up a few days ago, but I’ve been busy. But let’s just pretend I am writing this exactly one year on. For dramatic effect.) Let’s see how this changed my life.

Here I am, having just finished my first session of  cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with my lovely therapist:

therapy

Well, one thing definitely hasn’t changed: I’m still smoking hot. In fact, I’ve gotten hotter. They say it is impossible to improve on perfection, but I proved that theory wrong. God, I’m so good looking.

Anyway, before I fall into a vortex of pure narcissism, let me tell you: this was an incredibly emotional and difficult day. I cried my beautiful eyes out. I mean, really cried. Proper bawling, snotters everywhere. What was so difficult? Talking. Admitting you have problems. Letting yourself be vulnerable. What if they didn’t understand? What if they told you you were being silly? What if they thought you were a freak? What if they couldn’t help you- you’re such a fucking mess that there is no way to help you? All this was running through my head, and more. What I was most worried about was them thinking I was silly, and wasting their time. You know how you don’t want to go to the doctor for something minor, like a papercut? It’s a waste of time and resources. That’s how I felt. There were people I was close to who had severe mental issues- they had been suicidal, self harmed and were medicated. I wasn’t. I just had a bit of anxiety, nothing serious.

But it is serious. This is my health, my well-being. My wonderful loverfriend Will gave me the perfect analogy, which I’m going to steal and paraphrase because I am better than him: you’re in the ER with a broken wrist. Someone comes in with their leg blown off, someone else has just had a heart attack, and a wee boy has rabies. They might have more serious injuries or need more immediate attention- but your wrist is still broken. You need help, and the fact that little Roger played with a rabid dog doesn’t change that. So don’t ever think your problems aren’t worthy of attention. They are. Things have spiralled so much to the point that I couldn’t sleep properly, was having panic attacks and my glorious, luscious hair had started to fall out. I needed help. And I was going to get it.

You know what else was a real challenge that day? Oh my god, you have to go through evvverrrrythiiiiiiing. It was the first day of meeting my therapist so she wanted as much information as possible so she can work out the best course of action for her Get Judy Cool Again programme. Do you know how exhausting it is to go through all the events that have lead up to this point? Break-ups, bullying, the self-depreciation and self-loathing, your childhood, your teens, your early adult life, your sense of ennui, the assaults, the loneliness, the crippling crippling anxiety. It’s so fucking exhausting. I bet even reading that list was painful enough. So many things you repressed having to be brought up and relived. Things you have to tell your therapist that you previously couldn’t admit to yourself. Fucking hell. Someone pass me a vodka.

However. After that first day, every week it got easier. I was telling my therapist everything and being so open and candid. If you want to get the most out of it, you have to be open and honest. So I was. No holding back, just let it all out. It was a safe and controlled environment, and I felt comfortable allowing myself to be so vulnerable with her. I knew there was no judgement, she was only there to help. The sessions are completely confidential. The only time she would contact anyone about what happened would be if I did/said anything that posed a risk to myself or others (for example, if I said something about how I was so depressed I was going to kill myself), but it never came to that because your gurl is supafly. Therapy is hard, but one you get over the initial hurdle, it gets easier and easier. Now I can’t stop talking about my problems, which all my friends are incredibly grateful for I’m sure.

One of the major things we worked on is my severe attachment issues and fear of abandonment, two traits which make me an absolute delight of a girlfriend. I’m an all or nothing type gal. I’ll either get super attached to you, borderline obsession, or I’ll be completely distanced and refuse to let you get close. As they say in Oklahoma: it cain’t be in between, it cain’t be now or then, no half and half romance will do. These issues stemmed from childhood were I experience a lot of loss, and a lot of watching Oklahoma, but mainly it was the loss thing. Maybe it was watching Oklahoma and singing along to the soundtrack. Maybe the character Will really resonated with me, and I was like yeah fuck Kansas city, everything’s up to date, but fuck it, I want my farm. I think I’m going to watch Oklahoma after this….RIGHT FOCUS!! Jeezo, where was I? I honestly don’t know.

 

Oh yes! Loss!! Issues! Kansas! Yeah, so super attached or mega distant. Which has proved to be quite….intense? Unhealthy. Incredibly unhealthy (side note, I am listening to the Oklahoma soundtrack now and getting mad distracted. It’s such a good musical.) Yes, very unhealthy relationships. But how am I doing now? I’d say pretty damn good. I’m managed to find quite a good balance and am able to just enjoy being with someone without latching on or putting up barriers. For example, this summer I met a man who was leaving in six weeks to go travelling for six months (not in Oklahoma), and he was hot so obvz we smooched and banged, and then were seeing each other until he left. Now, last year’s Judy probably wouldn’t have done this. I mean, she deffz would’ve banged him because he’s super hot and I love a good shag, but would she have continued to see him? No. It would’ve been distance distance because he’s leaving so what’s the point. This year’s Judy is like, yeah ok, so he’s leaving. But you can still have fun while he’s here. And bang. So much banging. God I love banging. Almost as much as Oklahoma. But no where near as much as I love West Side Story.

WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS BLOG!!! STAY ON TRACK!!!

Anyway, aye. Progress! Look at me not getting super attached or mega distant. Yer gurl’s found a balance, check me out. I mean, I still have a looooong way to go because I’m still a wee bit of a mess on this aspect, but progress! Many a new day will dawn before I do.

Fucking hell. I just love this soundtrack so much, I can’t focus. I could turn it off, but I would never. Oh, ok, it’s a shit song, time to get serious again.

As you could probably tell from this reading this blog, I have quite the erratic personality. I have extreme highs and lows. The highs are obviously a lot more enjoyable, but they are also fairly dangerous. When I’m on a high, I make rash decisions, don’t think things through, ridiculous energy and full of self-confidence. Imagine drinking 10 coffees, then going sky diving, and then watching Oklahoma. The down periods are like a bad hangover to this wild, exciting, fun period. The down times are when I will lie in bed, not moving, agonising over choices I made, full of regret, crying, struggling to sleep and incredibly low self worth. There is no set time for how long these periods last, usually on the up for a month or two and then I come crashing down for another month or so. I guess it’s a monthly cycle, but it’s not set in stone.  The middle ground…well…that’s just…dull as fuck. Nothing exciting happens. So I don’t like being in it. But we worked on trying to stay level. I kept a mood diary and had to rate my mood on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most positive. In one day my mood had fluctuated from 6 to 3 to 8 to 5 to 10 and back to 4. What the fuck is that all about!! Pick a mood, girl.

Am I able to regulate my mood better? Absolutely. I still have the highs and the lows, but I’m able to control it so it doesn’t spiral all over the place and reek havoc on my well being. Last year’s Judy would have spent a week over analysing a bad day and getting mad anxious. This year’s Judy spends a couple of hours and then it’s moving on. This year’s Judy is also able to relax a bit more during the highs and remain calm and not so manic. EVEN THOUGH I’LL SHOUT LIKE A MANIAC EVERY 5TH SENTENCE OR SO, it’s just because I have terrible hearing.

So….therapy. One year on. By far, the best thing I have ever done for myself. It’s helped me grow as a person, feel happier and feel healthier. I would recommend it to everyone. Even if you don’t think you have any pressing issues, it’s just so helpful to get to know yourself better and understand who you are.

I attented the Centre of Therapy and Counselling Studies in Glasgow. It’s privately run and you don’t need a referral from your GP to go. I honestly would give it a bash.

I also would recommend watching Oklahoma and singing along to the songs. It’s a great musical.

The Centre of Therapy
8 Newton Place
Glasgow
G3 7PR

T: 0141 331 0750

 

 

 

 

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