Tuesday, 24 January 2017

looking back at the roads I've travelled

I've finished CBT for my anxiety today. 12 sessions and 'sha-zam!' I'm anxiety free... well, not quite. Far from it, but at this important point in my journey I feel that it's important to see how far I have come, on a day to day level.

I wrote about learning to see my anxiety and I do, even more so. I catch myself mid-worry and then see 

What the worry is
Is it real?
Is there any evidence for my thoughts?
Can I do anything about it now?
Can I send it away? 

This is my mental version of The Worry Tree. A diagram which is a bit lame to be honest. It's more of a flowchart that someone drew a tree around. 

I journal and make lists - I am aiming for almost daily 'worry 15' where I can let my worries run around and I can sort them out. 

I'm less afraid of things that are imaginary - like 'what's the worst that could happen?' Isn't always a helpful question, but an 'is it likely? Is it the end of the world?' Check is pretty helpful.

I can see my intolerance of uncertainty: I can't control people, life, animals, ANYTHING! However, I've always really clung to the idea that anxiety makes everything work better for me. 

It doesn't! Preparing for the worst and imagining all the worst things made me miserable for the last 17 years. 

So I am actually better, anxiety-wise, finishing therapy is hard, it's making me feel low and sad and rejected. Probably the EUPD part of my mind.

I see now that my anxiety stems from intolerance of uncertainty and I wrote it a letter early in 2016 . It sprang up when my entire life stopped making sense: my mum and stepdad were shit, my dad and stepmum were shit, my boyfriend had dumped me and my two best friends had to resit year 12/ lower sixth. 
I had no one at school, no one at home, with the love for my siblings and a lot of praying to survive. 

I'm amazing. I've lived with GAD for years, undiagnosed, unrecognised. I have a career, a family and a husband. And friends. 

I'm not in that place I was in, but I'm glad I can see why it all started. 

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