Today was my second assessment, as my doctor from last week wanted to discuss my past further. For those of you who have read my previous blogs, you’ll know why this wasn’t easy.
Unlike last week I tried not to dwell on the appointment. I knew now, that I was going to be asked a series of probing questions, and that trying to prepare for them was futile. Around 2:30am my husband woke up to leave for work, and I woke up with him. From then, I pretty much lay awake, unable to get back to sleep. I tried listening to Spotify’s sleep playlist, and whilst I found it very relaxing, it didn’t help.
My mind was racing, but not about my appointment, just about a series of other things going on in my life right now. My exam, work, my feeling inferior at work, going over conversations with colleagues and scrutinising them. I was driving myself around the bend, just laying there, listening to melodic piano music, whilst my thoughts went out of control, and before I knew it, my alarm was going off.
By the time I got to work, I was like a complete zombie. This made me feel quite anxious, as it can often feel similar to depersonalisation. Like I’m walking around in a hazy dream. It’s a horrible feeling. I worry that I’m losing control, and one day, I won’t snap out of it. Have you seen the move “Get Out”? If not, brilliant film! There is a scene whereby the main character is hypnotised and gets lost inside his own head. I relate to that scene on so many levels. I am so scared of getting lost inside my own head. It’s such a dark and cold place, one that I wouldn’t wish my worst enemy.
Fake smiles, laughter, menial conversations and work, is how I got through my morning. Anything to distract myself from how tired, and anxious I was feeling. What I really wanted to do was run home and curl up in bed and forget about everything. No work. No worries. No menial conversations. No having to paint a socially acceptable face on. Just to crawl into my nice, warm, non-judgemental, bed that expects nothing of me.
On my drive to my appointment, I put one of my metal playlists on. Cranked my music up as high as I could stand, so as to drown out the thoughts. I just needed peace until I got there. I find that loud music is about the only thing that stops it. It’s so loud, that the bass is literally vibrating through my teeth. The sensory overload helps to dull the madness.
My knees were barely bent, when my name was called. I still felt very disorientated at this point, but no longer as anxious. When I sat down on the couch, I was given a quick recap of what we had discussed last week and what they wanted to discuss with me this week. I was first asked to talk about my childhood. What was my childhood like? What are my parents like? Am I close with them? Do I have siblings? Am I close with them? If I could describe my childhood with one word…? Given the previous questions, she didn’t seem shocked when my one word for my childhood was “shit”.
We literally went from where I was born, until I met my husband. We spoke of my shit childhood, my not being academic at school, being bullied, abusive relationship, drinking, drugs, and finally when I turned my life around. It was going through all of this, answering her probing questions that a pattern of self loathing has emerged. This isn’t a new thing. I’ve never had anything nice to say about myself. I’ve always thought I was ugly, stupid, not good enough etc. This has been with me since I was a little girl, and the behaviour is so deeply ingrained.
It was another very emotional meeting. I was quite shocked that I’d cried, because a lot of what we spoke about isn’t exactly deep dark secrets, and is pretty much common knowledge for the most part. I think it was the way in which they ask the question, it makes you think about your answer and actually take the time to realise what you’re saying. To realise that my childhood was NOT ok! My abusive relationship was NOT ok! My sister (only 10 years my senior) raising me, was NOT ok. Not having parents who gave a fuck about me more than money and alcohol, was NOT ok! To tell myself consistently that I’m ugly & useless is NOT ok.
We discussed what we thought would be the biggest issue I have; is it my anxiety or my depression? It was agreed that I’m depressed because of my anxiety. It makes me miserable with all the negative feelings it causes me. It has been suggested that I no longer go for the 20 sessions, but rather go for 12 sessions of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). They believe they can help me and give me exercises/homework to help me retrain my thoughts.
I’ve been left feeling quite sad after today’s appointment. It’s got me thinking about things, I haven’t thought about for years. This makes me both sad and angry. With my husband being away from home, this also means that I’m just sat here alone, playing the worlds smallest violin. Never a good thing!
I have chosen to write this blog now, as I knew that writing it all down would help. I’m certainly not feeling as bad as when I started. Now I think it’s time to try and switch off. I’m about to put a mindless TV show on, and hopefully just lose myself for an hour. No thinking, studying, or playing the violin.
The positives for me here, are that I’m making progress. That is my assessment done, and now I just need to wait for next weeks appointment when my CBT begins. Just think, in 12 weeks time, I could be starting to feel better? I could maybe have some positive feelings toward myself and my life? This is more than positive, that would be amazing.
I will be sure and update again next week, and hopefully will be able to share some techniques I’ve been given to work on.