I mentioned in my last post that agoraphobia makes my head foggy. That head fog, as I like to call it, comes about for multiple different reasons. Unfortunately, today is a pretty foggy one.
It’s making it difficult to find motivation or inspiration to write anything of substance. I’ve started, deleted, and started, and deleted multiple posts in the last eight hours, but I can’t seem to write anything I’m happy with. But I promised myself I would write a post everyday this week, so I’ve decided fuck it, I’m just going to write about how I feel and see where it leads me.
Part of me thinks that today’s head fog is down to having my first session of psychotherapy this afternoon. I woke up in a bit of an anxious tizz about all the things I’d been putting off doing i.e. student finance and registering to vote by proxy. But anxiety heightens your emotions, it doesn’t dull them like foggy days do. These heightened emotions resulted in a mini panic this morning, which I got through by practising some deep belly breathing exercises in order to be able to leave the house and walk to therapy.
The 45 minute walk to therapy in the light rain improved my mood. Exercise always seems to help my anxious side. When I arrived I was feeling quite positive. I’ve always felt positive about therapy because I really enjoy talking about my feelings. Which is funny, because I also really suck at talking about my feelings. I’ll give the bass line of my day, good or bad, to whoever asks me (yes, I’m one of those annoying people who actually answers with the truth when you ask ‘how’s it going?’) but if anyone tries to dig a little deeper, I get awkward, self-concious and tend to just shut down.
I’m an expert in turning the conversation around in talking about the other person. Partly, because I genuinely care about how other people are doing. Also, because it means I don’t have to talk about myself, even though I desperately need to sometimes. But when I talk about myself, even just for a short while, I begin to get all kinds of thoughts that I am somehow annoying the other person, that I am a burden or simply talking too much.
The good thing is, that I don’t have to worry about any of this with a therapist. It’s literally their job to listen to me talk ‘too much’ and they get paid to do it. Not only that, but they almost always manage to do something constructive with my word vomit. So you know, that’s a bonus too.
Anyway, my first session of psychotherapy seemed to go well. Psychotherapy is a form of therapy where you delve deep into the past, into your childhood, adolescence and other big events in your life. The idea is to try and uncover how the past effects and feeds into current emotions and behaviours, in the hope that this information will help to reverse and improve some of the unhealthy ones.
It’s not the first form of therapy I have done. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that I recently underwent about five months of cognitive behavioural therapy. I loved CBT as it focuses on the here and now, and provides solutions to unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours. It’s a very practical form of therapy, that provides lots of homework, thought exercises and challenges in order to get you back on your feet.
However, after my time with CBT finished, I felt myself slowly sliding back down again. I had all the tips and techniques in place, but eventually, they just stopped working. I’m not knocking CBT at all. It helped me in so many ways. I just found that as it is a therapy that focuses on the present, rather than the past, it didn’t help to resolve the long term, underlying psychological issues that caused my mental illnesses in the first place.
Which leads me back to psychotherapy. After finding out last week that the NHS waiting list for CBT in my area is 21 weeks long, I made the decision to go private. Which obviously, for cost reasons, isn’t ideal. But I decided that my health is really the most important thing for me to focus on at the moment, and therefore there’s really no better thing that I can spend my hard earned cash on than improving it. I just wish it wasn’t so darned expensive.
The head fog started creeping in after I left therapy. Sitting in a chair talking about your life for an hour might not seem like much, but man is it tiring. I managed to get myself to the nearby safe haven that is McDonald’s and used the fuel from my chicken nuggets meal to get me home. My therapist warned me that I would probably feel exhausted tonight. And she was right, I do.
So yeah, that was my day. I realise this is a combined ramble about head fog and types of therapy, but hopefully you learned at least one new thing from my nonsense. Or maybe it’s not nonsense, but right now, it’s quite difficult for me to tell. The world currently feels like it’s in black and white, like somebody drained all the colour and sparkle and then smudged it around the edges. Fingers crossed I’m feeling a little more human tomorrow.
A few useful links:
- Symptoms of depression
- Symptoms of anxiety
- Information on types of therapy
- Information on exercise to improve anxiety and low mood
As I said, I’m not feeling particularly creative today so these are all from the Mind website. Fortunately, Mind is awesome, so I don’t feel too bad about that.