This one is about me. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Commencing, with what I feel can only be some sort of practical joke God is playing, days before we found out that my Dad is terminally ill (see previous post).
I’ve been a lot better since the big meltdown, and seeing a counsellor more regularly is definitely a part of that. My community mental health team have finally pulled themselves together and figured out that they think I have an anxiety disorder, so we’ve started CBT.
At first I didn’t want to admit that I had (have?) an anxiety disorder. I fought against it. Felt that I was far more complicated than that (laughs at self – nope). Well partially that’s true – I also have almost non-existent self-esteem.
But CBT is teaching me that this can change. It’s also shown me, recently, just how much I have changed my life to pander to maintaining my negative self image (there’s a whole destructive cycle of thoughts that basically make you feel bad so you act in ways that maintain the negative self image, and make you feel bad all over again. Apparently it’s really difficult to explain concisely – apologies!). It’s terrifying. I’ve gone from being a busy, bubbly person, to someone who dreads social situations and spends most of her time at home with the rabbit.
And you know what? This makes me angry. I love to dance. LOVE to dance. But I’ve stopped dancing over the last few years as I’ve been busy being sabotaged by my own messed-up thinking.
So I’m taking this back. I am going to beat this thing. If it takes me years, so be it. I WILL win this war.
I’m also kinda rushing the process, because I feel like I need to be much more stable before I lose my Dad. Plus I still feel like once this is sorted out, once I’ve learned to love myself properly and well, then maybe I can learn to love someone else, too – maybe I’ll end up getting married. And if that happens fast enough, maybe my Dad WILL walk me down the aisle.
I have no intention of marrying the wrong man. I’ve messed this up way too many times in the past – God is my first thought in any situation that may become involved.
Okay that’s not true. I still walk in with my eyes closed and mess up – but then I turn back to God and I put Him back in the most important spot in my heart, and He gently leads me back to the light and sanity (once He’s finished having a good laugh).
Tonight, for the first time in … eighteen months..? I went dancing. Just a wee beginners contemporary class. And it was really, really hard to get myself there. But once I was there, it was incredible, and I remembered just how much I love to dance. I am absolutely not the most talented dancer – I’m not trained, I just love to feel the music and move – but using my body makes me feel so alive.
This week is the week we got Dad’s prognosis, so I haven’t been at work for a bit, and there’s been a lot of dark, heavy, hard things to face and to think about and to talk about.
Tonight, in spite of all of that, I managed to beat my demons and get an hour of freedom, expression, of joy. And that is without doubt a gift straight from the arms of my God. My loving, caring Father who I can feel with me, even in the darkest of times.
I think that this CBT stuff might work.