So this morning I had my CBT assessment at the hospital. The morning did not start off very well as I overslept. My appointment was at 10, and I had woken up at 9:15, which considering it was a 40 minute walk, was not ideal!
But, after waiting for so long to get to see a CBT counsellor, I leapt out of bed, threw on some clothes, brushed my teeth and was out of the door.
Thankfully I didn’t get lost on my way, and although it’s freezing, it was a beautiful sunny day so the walk was actually quite nice (even if it was quite long, and up steep hills!)
When I arrived I had to fill in that horrible form. This one was a slightly longer version than I normally do, as it had phobias and how depression affects your work/life as well as the normal depression and anxiety parts.
So I filled the horrible thing in, and it didn’t look good. But I gave it to the CBT counsellor, who I shall now call A (until I think of a better name) and we went into one of the therapy rooms and sat down.
I was really nervous, and very worried because I am beginning to think I’m a lost cause. I was terrified that one of two things would happen. 1) After the assessment she would say that CBT wasn’t suitable for me, and then I would be out of ideas. or 2) I will have the CBT, but it won’t help, so then I’ll be out of ideas.
But A was lovely. Even though I was feeling very anxious, she made me feel a bit more calm, and she explained everything about CBT, and that I’m allowed 16 sessions, and that we could organise a weekly time to see her.
And then when she finished talking, she asked me what I was doing there, in my own words. So I talked a bit, about how I feel really low and I have too high expectations of myself, and about things with the ex, but I didn’t even get started on the heavy stuff (which will obviously need to be dealt with at a later date.)
I was telling her about how I did my A levels and I thought I failed but I didn’t, and she said “did you do well?” and I ummed and ahhed and eventually said “yes, I did do well, but I didn’t do as well as I had hoped,” which was an example of my belief that “if it’s not the best it’s a failure.”
I know it’s irrational, and I said so. But the belief is ingrained into my brain, so I guess that’s one of the things we need to work on. And another is probably that I take on too much, but that’s for another post.
And then we talked about some other stuff but I can’t really remember. And at the end she set me some “homework.” I have to keep a daily mood diary, and she wants me to rate my mood on a scale of 1 – 10 each day. This resulted in me saying it’s hard to do because there’s no measure of what 1 is and what 10 is, and she said this is another example of me wanting to do it perfectly, but it doesn’t have to be perfect, and it just has to be subjective and how I feel that day.
My other homework is to make a timeline of my life, including good and bad events up until now, so that it might explain why I am how I am now, and why I am needing therapy.
A said I should get a book and use it for my CBT, and keep my mood diary and timeline, and future homework in there. I think this is a good idea, and I want to find a nice notebook to use for it. I am going to go and hunt for a suitable notebook when I get a chance.
So then it got to the end of the session and we looked at our timetables for next term, and decided on a time for our therapy sessions. And do you know when it is? The worst time of the week! 9am on a Monday morning!! This was the only suitable time (for now) but at least it will mean I’ll be up in the morning!
So after that we said goodbye, and I started walking back. But I went through Williamson park on the way back because it’s easier to get to uni that way, and I took a few pictures, as it was such a lovely day!
The view from Williamson park
Hmm, having seen how that photo turned out it doesn’t look so nice. In real life it looked much brighter and prettier!! I also got a photo of the Ashton Memorial, which looks pretty cool!
The Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park
Oh yes, and one more thing. Near the end of the session, A asked me to give my cognitive triad (the world/other people are…, I am…., the future is…) and I found it really hard to answer.
Eventually we came up with The world/other people are changeable, I am unimportant/I don’t know, the future is hopefully better. She said this is good because I still have some hope left!
And the other thing she asked me was “what are 3 words you would use to describe yourself?” but I couldn’t answer. I didn’t know what to say, so she asked what my boyfriend or friends would say, but I still couldn’t answer.
So instead, I’ll ask you: What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?