I’ve been tackling my mental health again, it’s always very up and down as long as I can remember.
I struggle to ask for help as many do when suffering mental health issues but after a few big wobbles earlier this year I decided I really needed to deal with my mental health better. I was already struggling and very wobbly when again, my benefits were messed around with due to DWP not even attempting to read my doctors notes.
Obviously the huge cut in money left me feeling awful, a burden to my family making them suffer and go without because my physical and mental health is rubbish. Building up yet more debt because we only just finished paying off the loan we took from them last time they messed up. Add to that the fact I’ve felt like a burden and waste of space since a young age, I was seriously considering how easily I could escape it all by jumping out of our 11th floor window. The Mr thankfully saw how much I was struggling and talked to me about trying to get counselling again.
There is a self referral programme called Inclusion Thurrock that offers a few services to help those struggling with their mental health. I attended a few CBT session here previously but after a few sessions I ran away knowing I’d simply get discharged.
I found CBT unhelpful for me but I’ve recently learnt I need trauma focussed CBT due to my PTSD and panic disorder thanks to the therapist who is still trying to assess me after two appointments.
Knowing my past is a bit much for some people can make it difficult to open up and talk about the really bad parts, I used to try and blurt through the blog but then found it hard to write how I really felt. I can laugh and joke and tell stories like I wasn’t there and it was all fun and games but my new therapist is quite easy to talk to and I’ve managed to spill a bit already and realising I’m not making myself worse but my past was more traumatic than I believed/still believe at times so it does have a big impact on my day to day life.
My therapist has suggested trauma focussed CBT and EMDR to help me process my memories and move forward. Tackling my mental health is more than just making me feel better, our mental health affects those around us too and I’m very aware of that. I don’t want the girls growing up struggling because they’ve seen me go through it and I want them to see that its ok to ask for help.
EMDR utilises the natural healing ability of your body. After a thorough assessment, you
will be asked specific questions about a particular disturbing memory. Eye movements,
similar to those during REM sleep, will be recreated simply by asking you to watch the
therapist’s finger moving backwards and forwards across your visual field. Sometimes, a
bar of moving lights or headphones is used instead. The eye movements will last for a
short while and then stop. You will then be asked to report back on the experiences you
have had during each of these sets of eye movements. Experiences during a session may
include changes in thoughts, images and feelings.
With repeated sets of eye movements, the memory tends to change in such a way that it
loses its painful intensity and simply becomes a neutral memory of an event in the past.
Other associated memories may also heal at the same time. This linking of related
memories can lead to a dramatic and rapid improvement in many aspects of your life.
I have to admit at first I thought it sounded a bit silly but reading more into it I’m feeling hopeful it may help and willing to give it a go as my mental health affects me constantly and the constant memories and flashbacks make me react differently to how I would usually, I can become panicky, think people are annoyed for no reason, jump at little noises etc as well as affecting my mood.
Not Giving Up
This week my therapist is on holiday and I’m determined to pick up the phone next week when she is back unlike my previous therapist. I felt like I had traumatised her simply by explaining BDSM. I didn’t feel she was able to cope with my being completely honest about what I had seen and grown up around so when she went on holiday I took the opportunity to not return. Thankfully my current therapist doesn’t seem as horrified by what I tell her, obviously she thinks it’s all horrible but I don’t feel like I’m traumatising her at least which is giving me more confidence.
Anyone that has followed my blog a while will know I quite often get side tracked and bounce from one subject to another and thankfully my therapist also let’s me do this without interrupting which is quite helpful as often I find several things from my past all link to how I’m feeling and reacting to situations now and she let’s me blurt that and how I see the link but can’t shut it down, hence the suggestion of trying EMDR.
I’m hoping I can tackle my mental health and start making some progress. I spent so long ignoring what I went through as a child and teenager, making jokes out of it all that I didn’t realise the impact it’s had on my way of thinking especially about myself. I knew my past messed me up a little bit but I didn’t realise how traumatic it really was.
I’m catching myself now and realising, things like when the Mr accidentally knocking my wax burner, I found a way to blame myself. I instantly felt guilty, it’s my fault, I shouldn’t have put it there, shouldn’t have put it on then, should have told him it was on, shouldn’t want something so silly just because it looks cool and smells nice, wasted money on a pathetic want because I’m a selfish bitch.
In the moment this all feels real, looking back it’s absolutely ridiculous and as the Mr said, it was simply an accident which he cleared up and put right. Yet I still kept berating myself. The hardest part is realising it when I calm down, seeing how ridiculous my reactions are and then I wonder how on earth the Mr puts up with this shit on a daily basis. How bloody annoying it must be! Hopefully trying a different style of CBT and trying EMDR will help with this as I am truly fed up with my past messing with my present.
Have you been struggling with your mental health or tackling your mental health? I imagine lots of us are right now, I hope if you are you can find a service that can offer some help. If it doesn’t feel like it’s helping talk up, there may be another service they can offer or recommend that may be more beneficial. Please don’t do what I did and give up.
Having explained to my therapist what happened last time, she reminded me not everyone will click with every therapist and we are fully within our right to ask to see someone else if we don’t feel comfortable. I feel a bit silly now as I could have worked through these issues years ago had I spoken up and asked to see someone else but I’m determined to tackle this properly now and if I don’t feel comfortable I will be asking for a different therapist or therapy instead of struggling for a few more years then 6 months waiting for help!
If anyone is ever struggling please remember my social media DM’s and blog email (firstname.lastname@example.org) are always open for a rant or a blurt. I may not have the answers or be able to help you heal but quite often I can listen, sympathise, make stupid jokes and help find local services that may help you. Tackling mental health is tricky but having people to blurt to can make a huge difference!