It has been a pretty big gap again. I’ve started posts in my head and they’re gone before I get to a keyboard, something about showering or driving to work makes my brain go all thinky. My counsellor (yes I have one now, for at least 5 more weeks anyway) says its because I’m not focusing on the problem at that point so my brain feels free to think about things without pressure, it doesn’t sound that illogical really.
I’ve been having deep tissue massages, acupuncture, reading self help books and talking to the amazing friends I somehow manage to keep hold of. I’ve also lost a friend or two but most thankfully thats a severe minority. The acupuncture hasn’t directly affected my anxiety that I can tell at the moment but I can say its helping my periods ease up, reducing my acid reflux and regulating my bowels… that does leave more spoons for dealing with everything else. It is also £40 a session so I’m having to space them out
I finally got the courage (partly by the people I’ve been talking at work telling me it was time and I had to) called works health scheme and I had my third counselling session on Thursday. It is talking therapy which draws from CBT & Mindfullness amongst other things without being focused on any particular style. I also sent my blog link to my councillor so she could read my early posts and give her an insight, it felt scary but I guess it cut a few corners and I only had 8 sessions.
The first week was mostly me babbling on so she could see how crazy I was 😛 on week 3 it’s starting to feel like its getting going because in some ways we have to learn each other a bit before progression can be made. This is something I didn’t really get in the Leeds IAPT provided CBT sessions I had years ago. I didn’t have a damn thing in common with my counsellor and there was no real rapport there. It was all following a procedure, and once the sessions were over I’ll admit my follow through dwindled away. It makes sense when someone is guiding you through it but it’s too easy to shut down once on your own.
So I’ve got a few things to work on at the minute.
- still have to finish reading the self care project
- start my 365 days of self care diary (this was released in september)
- find some guided meditations for tension release
- write some form of ‘trigger map’ to try and pinpoint the different things that give me trouble, then for each trigger I can assign a coping mechanism so I have a plan I can refer to about how to cope with different situations rather than having to try and pick them out of a jumbled mind.
- give some time each day to focused relaxation, something that is meant to make me feel calm and peaceful and not just distract me
- make sure I have relaxing activities to fall back on, hobbies that don’t include the requirement for adrenaline
One thing we looked at was the stress bucket analogy which was interesting in itself. Just in the session I wrote down a few things at the top of the bucket that add in stress and had one thing that immediately came to mind that releases some of the pressure. This highlights the need for the trigger map mentioned above. It should be the featured image for today if I saved it properly.
Something I have realised is how much I’ve learned about myself over the last year. Through the self care project, the blurt foundation, anxiety united, anxiety uk, counselling and various other sources I’ve had to analyse how and why I react to things. If I hadn’t I never could have even partially recovered from my burnout earlier in the year nevermind function normally.
I still can’t predict exactly what will make me hit the feeling of overwhelm and the need to shut down or run away. The sad fact is my bucket is full and because its sat at the top it doesn’t take much at all to make some water splash over the top.
This week I had a shutdown in KFC of all places, my food order was delayed and they hadn’t bothered to tell me so when I asked they said it would be 8 minutes and I said something along the lines of ‘why the fuck didn’t you tell me that sooner I have to be back in my car to go back to work in 10 minutes’ and I couldn’t exactly take KFC back to eat at my desk. I wanted to run out of the place, despite the fact that I was hungry and they already had my money, I just wanted to walk out and not deal with the problem, I told them to just give me some food so I could eat and didn’t care what it was.
A few weeks ago I was playing a board game with friends & other gamers at the group. We were trying to work out a new game and while it was fairly simple I was talking through how the move should play out and someone interfered moving pieces for me, I moved them back and told them to let me work it out and they interfered a second time. I’d had it, I took me piece off the board sat back against my seat told them to play without me and proceeded to play my phone game until the game was over and everyone had moved away due to the discomfort my shut down had created. I didn’t go to the next event and I’m not sure if I’ll go to the one after.
I can however use breathing meditations to pull myself out of an anxiety attack and if I really can’t calm myself down I have beta blockers on hand to reduce my heart rate and adrenaline.