When you least expect it

I was on training today at work. It was based on Compassion Focused Therapy, and I found it really interesting. I can really identify with the model and I want to learn more about it.

I knew that a lot of it resonates with me, but I didn’t expect what happened. At work I have my shit together (most of the time anyway), and I don’t like to bring my issues to work, particularly in front of a group of colleagues.

We were doing a visualisation about the compassionate other. We had to imagine the “ideal” compassionate other – the characteristics they would have, it could be a real person we know or imagined. Obviously this threw up some stuff for me. The description of strong, caring and committed reminded me of S, of what S used to be to me.

He was my compassionate other, he made up for my lack of self-compassion, and obviously I don’t have him anymore. At one point I realised I had tears streaming down my face. I was getting panicky, I half ran out of the room, to the toilets. By that point I was hyperventilating, full panic attack and I couldn’t stop crying.

I kept telling myself I need to stop because I’m at work. I managed to slow my breathing eventually. Tried to get the tears under control. But the voice in my head, the self-critic, was so loud. It spiralled:

You’re pathetic

You are a failure. You can’t even get through training at work, how can you do your job?

You’re a hypocrite. You want to help others but you’re a mess yourself

You are alone and always will be.

You messed up your chance at happiness

You don’t deserve to be happy, you don’t deserve to be loved

No one will ever fill that space.

How can you be a therapist when you can’t even manage your own shit? You should give up.

Others must think you are incompetent, broken, a mess.

I hate you

You are a failure. You are not good enough. You are unlovable.

It was pretty intense. Some of my colleagues came to see if I was ok, I felt very embarrassed. I am absolutely mortified that this happened at work.

My brain took me straight to some difficult places. I thought about hurting myself. My self-talk was so negative, so critical, so angry – I know I would never speak to anyone else like that. It made me doubt myself in so many ways – professionally, as a person, as a friend, the list goes on.

I don’t know if I’ve written about this on my blog, but in September I am due to start training as a CBT therapist. Today I genuinely considered emailing them and saying i won’t be taking my place on the course. I’m terrified. If a 2 day introduction to compassion focused therapy training can do this to me, how will I cope with training as a therapist? Maybe I can’t do it, maybe I’m not doing as well as i thought I was.

I was not very self-compassionate today, which was ironic given the topic of the training.

I didn’t expect a response like that at all. I knew it might press a few buttons, but this was a physical response. I had no control of my tears and no control of my breathing. I got pins and needles in my hands and felt dizzy. It had been several months since my last panic attack, and I had almost forgotten how horrible they are.

This was nicely followed up with a migraine this evening. I feel exhausted mentally and physically. I’m trying to be kind to myself now… I am having a quiet evening, reading my book, had a sleep to try to get rid of the migraine. I have texted my therapist to tell her what happened, I want to talk about it in our next session: I clearly have issues around compassion, around attachments and around S (duh!!) which need to be dealt with.

Love,

Ellie xx

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Spontaneous trip

Today I booked a last minute trip to Germany next week, I’m going to visit the town where I spent my year abroad!

I’m really excited, it will be nice to see people again and to see the place, although my german definitely leaves a lot to be desired these days!

I can already feel the anxiety setting in slightly, but I’m also excited, which is a good feeling. It’s nice to have things to look forward to.

There’s a part of my brain that is saying what the hell are you doing?! That part of my brain is telling me I need to stop and rest. I know that is true, but I have been invited to a specific event that weekend in Germany, so I’ve decided to ignore that part of my brain on this occasion. But I will definitely schedule in some rest time sometime soon… I just keep making too many plans!

I find it really hard to balance things because I know overdoing it makes my pain and fatigue worse, but I am determined not to let my conditions run my life. A difficult balance!

Love,

Ellie xx

Good night

Heavy limbs and a lingering achy feeling,

Where every movement feels like climbing a mountain,

Concentration is nowhere to be seen,

The brain is out of the office and will respond to requests on its return.

The prospect of snuggling into bed,

In a room of darkness

With hours of rest ahead

Is a blissful idea.

Good night!

Brain dump

Trigger warning – suicidal thoughts.

****

Intense thoughts, intense pain. It’s like I’m back in the middle of it all again.

I feel so angry, so sad, so desperately low. I know I just need to ride these feelings out, but in this moment I hate myself, I hate my life, I want to die.

I don’t know why I feel so awful this evening, but I do.

I miss S so desperately, and yet feel so angry with him. So betrayed, so hurt. Nothing has happened to bring this on but these feelings are like a tidal wave and I feel like I’m drowning in them.

I don’t know if it’s anything to do with today’s date, or if it’s because I’m hormonal, or if it’s completely random.

Today marks 10 years since my relationship with The Ex started. 10 years since it all started going (more) downhill.

Why am I such a mess? I hate it all and I feel so lonely. I don’t want to be on my own. I just want to be loved. That’s all I want in the world. I never thought I’d be 25 years old, locking myself in the bathroom, crying my eyes out and trying to stay in control because the urges to hurt myself are so strong.

I need to calm down. I need to let this pass. I know it will. I know the feelings will become less intense and I’ll feel more rational again. I know I’ll look back and question how I could be so silly, overreacting so much. But right now I’m in the middle of it.

This too shall pass.

That’s what I’m trying to focus on right now.

This is really just a stream of consciousness. I think it helps sometimes to let it out, all the stuff I can’t really say to anyone.

Just breathe and let it pass.

Boom and bust again

It feels like I’m losing control of things again. Migraines have been out of control again, pain has been worse and I’m completely knackered.

This boom-bust thing keeps happening and I never realise until I’m in it. Now I have to ride it out. Try and get back on top of things.

Every time I have a wobble, it’s hard to get back up again. I am going to have an early night and get my routines back on track.

I know I can do this, I know I can be ok. It’s like I tell my clients, recovery is not linear. It goes up and down but I’m not back at the beginning.

I need to take some time to look after myself and get back on track, if only I could find the time…

Love

Ellie xx