Yep – it’s Monday again!
In today’s session we talked about how my week has been – not good basically. And we talked about the psychiatrist, and why even though he has a plan, it made me feel hopeless because it’s going to take such a long time.
Cognitive distortions at work again – trying to predict the future. A said “do you have a crystal ball?”, which is a good point really. I am being pessimistic and assuming that the CBT and medication won’t help, and that we really will have to try every option that there is to make me feel better. It might not happen. I need to approach this from a more positive angle – they wouldn’t get me to try these things if they didn’t think they would help, and if they don’t help, there are still other options.
I said I feel like I am functioning less, because I missed quite a bit of uni last week, and phoned in sick for my volunteering. By the end of the session, A said she actually thinks it’s progress, because I am realising that I can’t/don’t have to do everything, and I am noticing when I need to take some time off. Before I would always go to uni/other commitments, no matter how bad I felt, but now I am starting to pay more attention to how I am feeling, and be a bit nicer to myself.
We also talked about my perfectionism again. I told A that I don’t think I’m going to get a first. She said “what’s the worst thing that could happen?”
Me: “I could actually fail.”
A: “Is there evidence that you are likely to fail?”
Me: “No, I probably won’t actually fail. But if I don’t get a first I will FEEL like I have failed.”
A: “But is that true? Would you have failed if you got a 2:1?”
This conversation went on, and the gist of it was that:
a) I’m angry because I am working hard, and under normal circumstances getting a first would be quite possible, yet no matter how much I try I can’t concentrate at the moment so I am not working at my best.
b) I want to get a first to prove the ex wrong. He always made me feel like I couldn’t do stuff, and I don’t want to let him ruin any more of my life. If I get a first it is a major achievement, and I will have done it without and in spite of him*.
and c) I need to change my expectations of myself, because aiming high is good, but seeing anything other than the best as a failure is not.
Then we came back to trauma stuff. Because that’s the way the session went. A asked me to give an example of a time where the ex made me feel like I couldn’t do something/that I was a failure. I couldn’t do it. I was dissociating and we used the grounding technique to bring me back to the room. It was like I felt dizzy even though I wasn’t moving, and when I shut my eyes it seemed like the world was shaking, like when you watch a home video and the camera wobbles a lot.
We then started on the retelling of the memory that I have flashbacks of a lot. Today I did it in the past tense, so it was more detached but next week I will do it in the first person present tense – “I am in my room.”
Afterwards I went to my safe space, and then at the end of the session we said goodbye until next week. We had a longer session than normal today, and A said I could stay and sit for a little while to make sure I was ok before I left.
Even just talking a bit about it today was hard, but I feel a little better for it. The memory doesn’t seem quite as scary anymore, and even though it did happen and it was horrible, it can’t hurt me anymore. I need to remember that. “What is the worst thing that could happen?” That’s a good question, and when thinking about memories, actually nothing can happen because he is no longer in my life, and he can’t hurt me anymore.
I think today was a very productive session actually. And now I’ve written this and reflected on it, I am feeling a little bit more motivated to do some work (even if I didn’t manage to make it to the gym today, and had a nap instead – oops!)
So maybe there is some hope after all!
Lots of love,
*We actually discussed this too, and A asked if I would still be proving him wrong if I got a 2:1… I guess the answer is yes.