The Therapy Diaries – A Positive Out look.


Hey there! so i haven’t done an update on therapy in a little while, so i thought now was as good a time as any to let you know how its going. So at the time of writing i got back from therapy a couple of hours ago, im on the last 3 sessions i have with her now, so we have split them up over 6 weeks and this was the first one with a two week gap in between.

I had a lot happen over these 2 weeks, i found out that asking for my benefits being taken down to be reconsidered had been declined, friendship troubles & trying to nurse a poorly guinea pig back to health who sadly lost his fight, it wasn’t a quiet 2 weeks!

But we also spoke a lot about how i am slowly understanding and accepting that recovery in the end can only be something you do for yourself and im also beginning to want to do it for myself too. When i met my therapist i had basically given up, i didnt think i had any other chance any more but thanks too my therapist, i found hope again.

I found a reason to fight, and for once it wasn’t in someone else, for once it was for me, i wasn’t fighting for anyone else but myself and my therapist had pushed me in the direction to do so. And now, i still feel that way, i want to recover, i want to get better but i want to do it for myself, of course other people come into my thinking but mainly its for me and what i want. And thats how it should be, i should be recovering for myself, because after all i have to put in all the hard work!

So therapy is really positive at the moment, we have been doing positive qualities diaries and ive actually managed to think of positive qualities that i think i have myself now, and im not just going by what other people tell me.

And being able to write these down, actually started with the guinea pig i mentioned above. My mum works in a primary school, and they have guinea pigs and one of them got very poorly so myself and my mum gave him the best chance we could and syringe fed him every hours for most of a day. Sadly, he didnt make it but doing this made me think something.

Regardless of the human or the creature, if they need me i will help, a bumble bee or a great white shark, my best friend or my school bully if they need someone i will always be willing to help. And it was then that i knew what my first positive quality trait was, and that i also knew that little marmite had taught me a valuable lesson.

So even with a lot of things happening, im feeling really positive right now and thats, well thats lovely.

I hope it sticks.

Cath x

*Herbal Salve 5% CBD Oil Review.



Hey there! so today im bringing you a review of something ive wanted to try for a while now, CBD oil. Its been toted around for a while now as a natural, powerful way to treat anxiety, depression and a long list of various pains. But due to the price ive never taken the leap to try it, so i was very excited to be sent 5% CBD oil from salve herbal.

Salve herbal was formed because the owners struggled to find the right kind of high quality CBD on the market that could help manage things like anxiety. They sell three different strengths, 5% which is the one i have and thats £19.99, 10% which is and 20% which is.

So the CBD is in a small glass bottle with a dropper, and what you do is put a few drops under your tongue, hold it for 60 seconds then swallow and you are meant to do this twice a day, adjusting the amount of drops as you go along depending on the strength you need.

The biggest thing that you will notice about CBD oil, and something i was warned about too is that this stuff tastes horrible! which to be honest is no surprise, considering what it comes from. If you have ever smelt hemp, you will know its not exactly the kind of thing you would put in a candle!

And yeah, its tastes awful, someone discribed it as old socks but i think it tastes more like dirt. Its not nice at all, but if you buck it up and have a strongly flavoured drink ready to wash it down your ok! i tended to have juice or a fizzy drink ready to wash it down and that was fine its honestly not the worst thing in the whole world to have to taste!

I started with 3 drops but i quickly increased the drops up very quickly, i took it morning and night and have been for a couple of weeks now, to see if would help with my anxiety, depression and pain in my joints and aching overall at all.

and has it?

sort of.

I think that if i really wanted to feel a massive difference i would have to go for a high percentage, but even on the 5% i did find some differences. My pain is still bad and sometimes overwhelming but it did help with the aching in my legs and the fact that i sometimes get restless legs from the pain, it helped that. Ive felt calmer, even with my anxiety being at its normally high levels i have felt over all just more peaceful and calmer and this is the only thing i can put it down too really!

I dont honestly think i would buy this myself, but this is purely down to feeling that it isnt worth the price tag for what it does for me. if i could afford the higher percentage i would for sure give it a go but i just cant at the moment.

However, i am glad i tried it, the restless legs have been an issue for a while and finding a way to ease them is really nice, its worth the taste!

Have you tried CBD oil? did it help you?

Cath x

I was sent this product free of charge to consider it for review, this does not effect my opinion what so ever.

Emotionally Broken – Because i dont have a chance.


Hey there! so i haven’t done a emotionally broken post in a while, but ive had some stuff on my mind lately that i wanted to write about.

I am a big fan and follower of critical role, a dnd twitch stream that is basically amazing. The weekend just gone in LA they had a critical role art show & live show, the whole weekend looked completely amazing. And even though it wouldn’t be realistic to think that i could go to that even if i was well & recovered, i still felt very jealous.

And i tend to feel this every time something like this pops up, comic cons and live events, gigs etc i get jealous. I stalk the pictures and the tweets and make it worse for myself, soaking it up beating myself up for something that is so far from my reach.

And yesterday i was thinking, why do i do this? with something like the LA shows, even if i was recovered and well its not realistic to think i could go to something like that, its across the world and of course money is always a factor!

But i dont think that is the point really, its because regardless of anything else, i dont have a chance to begin with. Theres no “oh i wish i lived closer!” or “if i had the money”, mines more “going to tescos 10 minutes away takes 3 days of prep and 2 days of recovery, LA is like going to the moon for me”.

The fact that i couldn’t have that, that regardless of anything else i cant go to shows, gigs, cons, i cant meet up with friends or go out to dinner, i cant even go to supermarkets or go for a walk to the park.

I dont even have the chance, and thats what really gets me.

Soo many people have told me over the years that you never know what peoples lives are really like, that i should never be jealous, but without really meaning too i am. Because it doesn’t always matter about the life i dont see, they are still getting something i dont have the chance at.

Thats enough.

And then of course the guilt kicks in, i dont want to be jealous, of course id rather be happy with what i have, but im not and that sucks. I mean of course its not abnormal to be unhappy with what you have, but it doesn’t make it suck any less.

But, of course you have to find ways to get through these things, so i tell myself that one day i will get what i want, and i will be able to go to gig and cons and see friends and live life.

Its the only thing you can do, and sometimes it can feel like im feeding myself the biggest lie. But i need it to keep going, so i keep going, with the hope that one day i wont stare at my phone wishing i was there, but i will stare at pictures a few days later smiling because it was, that i actually had the chance.

Cath x

The Therapy Diaries – the fear of the end.

Hey there! so in 3 weeks time my therapy comes to a end, i got 16 sessions and ive almost had them all. And, i am really bloody scared for it to come to an end.

Ive had cbt therapy before, and i did really well and improved a lot while i was in therapy and then within 2 months i started going backwards and very quickly i was back to square one.

Ive improved a lot since i started therapy in september, and im really scared that it will all go to shit again. When i started therapy, i had basically completely given up all hope on ever getting better, on ever improving again and my therapist gave me the kick up the ass basically that i needed too start trying again.

I have done so well, i know i have but because of this i am terrified that i cant continue it if im not going to therapy weekly. I hate how you just get dropped like this, im going to have to fend for myself so to speak and im really worried i cant.

I expressed this to my therapist last week and when i left the session i felt as if you know maybe she is right and i could manage it by myself. I have the tools, i know what im doing right? but in the days since then, it all feels way too much, and im so worried this isnt going to work out.

Ever since i started therapy it has felt like this was my last chance, i dont feel like i can have another chance to get better. I feel like i cant do this again, recovery is so much, and im barely into what is years of work and i know that i just cant repeat this all over again. But that is also even scarier than normal, because if i do fail, thats it.

I feel so completely overwhelmed right now, i really wanna just hide away forever! maybe everything will be ok, but it doesnt feel like it will be right now.

Therapy is great, but no one talks about when you have to leave it!

Cath x

A Big Old Update.


Hey there! wow, ok its been a while since ive done like just a rambly update, But i have a lot to talk about!

So about a month or so ago i had an assessment to go too, im on ESA (employment support allowance) So every so often you do have to go and have an assessment to see if anything has changed and where you should be on the payment scale. I mentioned about this assessment in a therapy diaries at the time, i was surprised because it was barely a year ago that i had my last assessment, when i was moved onto the highest tier of support, the support group were i got the highest tier of pay and couldn’t be made to do anything related to going back to work.

I have to admit that while a bit worried, i wasn’t overly worried that i was going to be moved, im worse than i was! plus combined with the fact that i might have narcolepsy and randomly pass out for sometimes hours? i thought i would be alright.

But then 2 weeks ago i got a letter, i call them the “brown envelopes of doom”, letters about anything benefit related are almost always in a brown envelope, over the years ive now come to fear anything in a brown envelope! The letter gave me an appointment on Friday the 14th of December, to meet my “work coach” at the job centre. I swear my stomach dropped, i knew what this meant, i had been dropped a tier, it didn’t tell me this however it just said that i must go see this work coach, or my money would be stopped, great. My money went in that night, and i was missing £25, odd….the tier below support group is £100 less, so i should of been missing £50 (you get the money every 2 weeks) But i couldn’t find out why, so i just had to wait.

On that Friday i got my answer in the form of another brown envelope of doom, telling me that i had in fact been dropped from the support group down onto the work related activity group. Which meant i was in fact loosing £100 a month, and would have to go see the work coach regularly or of course they would remove my money.

So i saw the work coach last Friday (im writing this on the Monday after) and it actually went really well. She was basically very surprised i had been dropped down a tier, her face basically had “i have no idea why you are here” written all over her face. She suggested i contest the change, which i do plan too, she also suggested that i apply for pip (personal independence payment) which i will be doing. She was very nice, and it was reassuring to hear that even she thought it was a stupid move.

This meant because the appointment last week was on a Friday i had to get out 2 days in a row. This was terrifying for me, not something i felt ready for at all! But there wasn’t much i could do about it, i didn’t want to miss another therapy appointment. And even though it was tough i did manage both days, even if i got 7 hours sleep across the two! I even managed to get out today too, though i really felt like it was impossible i did make it.

I am surprising myself at the moment, my drive is very strong even if i really dont feel like i can do anything most days! Im even feeling Christmassy for the first time in years, of course it brings a lot of anxiety, but im actually looking forward to Christmas for the first time in many years.

Therapy is going well, though i know now that my sessions will end in February and im already worried about keeping this up without therapy to help. Im crossing my fingers and willing myself to be able to do this without therapy, because the last thing i want is to fall back again.

All in all im doing well, im exhausted and my anxiety is regularly getting the best of me still but regardless im doing miles better than i was, so thats a win in my eyes.

I still do hate how much ive had to let things slip, like the blog for example but i havent had the time to write! Im hoping i can find myself a better routine come next year, and maybe ill be able to post more! I hope your all doing well, if you ever do wonder were i am have a look at my instagram cat.titcomb, i tend to be most active there!

Cath

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Gift guide for those with mental illness.


Hey there! so, i wanted to do some gift guides this year, obviously in an ideal world i could use my own pictures but i dont have that kind of money! so i will be using stock photos were i have too, anyway! with that out of the way, my first gift guide is for those in your life that struggle, mainly with mental health but you know it really could be anything!

1. Weighted blanket – These hit the scene about a year ago, and annoyingly they are still very pricey but from everything ive heard they are worth it! they are basically blankets that have been weighted inside so that they feel heavier than normal on you. This is meant to help calm down and ease anxiety, as someone with anxiety i can see this helping for sure!

2. Notebooks – I dont know about you, but with anxiety and the like its often nice to be able to just get everything out onto paper. Its someone ive done as a way to cope for years, writing everything down then tearing the page out and throwing it out. Also, as someone in therapy you need a notebook for that!

3. Buddybox – Buddybox have been around for a while now, and ive always wanted one but there a little out of my reach. Basically they are self care subscription boxes, you can also get one off boxes too with around 5 items. Its a perfect way to give someone something that reminds them that they matter or that they need to take time out sometimes. You can also buy subscriptions, i think if you really wanted to make sure someone was going to get a treat every month that would be a lovely thing to do.

4. Pamper products – I dont want to pick anything exactly because you will know what the person likes best! for me, i love face masks and body scrubs but i dont do bathes so bath bombs would be useless for me. Shower gels however! so basically just go for what would be pampering for them!

5. Netflix/Spotify subscription – Distraction is a very important part of having a mental illness, because sometimes thats the only thing you can do. Watching a show or movie or listening to loud music are all tried and true distractions, a subscription to help with this would be a welcome gift! also, if you know they are into it, a subscription to the MMO they play online is also a good one.

6. wax melter/candles/aromatherapy burner – Ive spoken about aromatherapy on my blog before, wax melts and essential oil burners as well. i really love it, and it helps me an awful lot, so you never know who else it may help! and beyond that, a nice smelling home is always good.

7. Quote jewellery – I have a few pieces of jewellery that have mental health quotes on, but my first item and the item that means the most to me is a bracelet a friend of a friend bought for me that says “my story isnt over yet” it sits on my desk, reminding me exactly that. Getting something like that means an awful lot, trust me! you can find jewellery like that on ebay and etsy.

8. CBD oil – Now this one you gotta be careful with, i would suggest only doing this if you know they have mentioned wanting to try it! but personally i would rather excited if i got it as i would love to give it a go, but always remember that CBD oil and any of this kind of thing isnt a cure, and dont make it seem that way!

9. A personal gift – By this i mean something like, a notebook full of all the things you love about them, or maybe from lots of people! things like that can mean the world in the darkest of moments.

10. Fidget toys – Last year fidget spinners hit the mainstream market and everyone lost there minds, but honestly fidget spinners and all the other fidget toys that are out there can actually be amazingly helpful! also if they like gemstones, worry stones are also brilliant, ive gone through a few over the years!

So there you go, i hope this helps and also, please remember that no one is just there mental illness, but it is nice to get a thoughtful gift!

Cath x

The Therapy Diaries – me before you.


Hey there! so this weeks therapy session i knew was going to be a bit jam packed because i had an awful lot to tell her! and that means, an awful lot to tell you.

So, next week there wont be a therapy diary because i got a letter on Saturday with an appointment for an assessment for my benefits. It wasn’t expected because i had one barely a year ago but yet here we go again! and of course its on a Thursday at the same time i would have therapy. Its very important i go to the assessment, so i have to miss therapy sadly! but you know, needs must.

Last friday i went over my Nans for the first time in ages, its going to be a regular once a week thing (with my mum) and it was really nice. It was nice to chat to her, and just hang out basically with another human being! i love my internet friends, but seeing someone face to face is important.

After my benefit letter on Saturday my automatic response was to panic, and not want to continue getting better at all. I didn’t want to go to therapy etc i just wanted to hide because i knew that any sign of improvement would be taken negatively against me in the assessment. But i fought past that, i didn’t want to be controlled but them so instead seeing as i had done so well i asked mum if we could go to costa on Monday.

And we did! it was without a doubt the worst anxiety day ive had for months, but i did manage it all the same, just about. I then also had the doctors on Tuesday, after my situation that i spoke about here i needed to get a second opinion, and thankfully this time i was listened too! hes looking into referring me to a sleep clinic and i should hear in a few days.

So with all this i had a lot to tell her!

My homework for this week had been to work on the rules and assumptions we had spoken about and add to them if i could. I was able to add one to the mix, and it turned out to be really important because it looks like the reason why i always put myself before anyone else and that im very protective.

She showed me the pacman theory today because i have been struggling with my self-esteem and thoughts of myself she wanted to show me this.

So the pacman theory is this, imagine a pacman –


Pacman here is a negative thought.

And this slice is negative reinforcement, something that fits very easily into the negative thought.


But this rectangle here is a positive reinforcement, something that doesn’t fit with the negative thought.

So instead, we either completely disregard the positive reinforcement or we distort the positive reinforcement to fit the negative thought.

So instead, we need to work so that instead of the negative thought we can create someone willing to take on positive thoughts instead.

It made an awful lot of sense to me, and its something i really hope i can work on and get better with.

So there you have it, ill have a different post for you next week instead of the therapy diary!

Cath x

The Therapy Diaries – Confronting my hatred.


Hey there! So this week, i left therapy not feeling quite as on top of the world as i normally do. Now dont get me wrong, therapy went great but today’s session was the first session that was on the heavier side, and i left not feeling sad or anything, just thinking, and feeling like i had a lot to think about.

We worked on breaking things down, basically we start with life experiences when your a child, because so many of our life rules and beliefs start there.

I have a rather long list of these learnt behaviours, but we quickly found that a lot of them surround the idea of not being worth anything/not being good enough and not doing things at the level i should. Basically, they all come back to low self-esteem.

Each one had that same kind of theme, not perfect enough/not pretty enough/not worth enough/ not me enough it continued, on and on.

I know this is silly, i know its pretty damn obvious but…do i really hate myself that much?

Seeing it laid out on paper, it was scary, its one thing knowing how you feel about yourself but its another actually seeing it all worked out and written down. There in black and white was proof that i didn’t like myself, it wasn’t just something “in my head” it wasn’t fake or attention seeking, it was 100% true and my therapist was agreeing.

I watched an interview this morning about a voice actor who i am a big fan of, and he spoke very openly about having body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphic disorder is widely thought to only effect people with an eating disorder but it can effect anyone. However i do have an eating disorder, not that anyone knows what to call it! Basically BDD is continuous worrying about flaws on your body that no one can see, its seeing yourself in a light that no one else does.

Low self-esteem and BDD, thats a fun combo isn’t it?

I didn’t know getting into this topic would hit me as hard as it as, but its got under my skin quite a bit. Its silly, because ive known this about myself for years, but maybe its finally sunk in.

The night before therapy i was upset about my performance in the game that i play, and a friend was able to help me through it but that knocked me too. It was only recently that i learnt the term “imposter syndrome”, but once i learnt it i figured out that i feel like that so much. And it came tumbling out to my friend, when full of emotion i squeaked out that i felt like a fraud.

I post a makeup look and the positive comments come tumbling in, and that feels amazing but in the back of my head its continuously reminding me that im a fraud. How? no idea, considering i do the makeup myself, i take the pictures myself and then i upload them with the only editing being turning them the right way or cropping. But yet still, i feel like i dont deserve the nice comments.

I throw myself into everything i do, generally to the point of burn out or just stupid business. But i dont know how not too, because to me thats the only way i can be remotely, enough.

And ive just noticed i started going on a ramble, but i suppose i needed it. I wasnt really sure how to start writing today, but this is what its turned into! thats ok, as much as i hope these posts help others, it is also a virtual diary for me to look back on and hopefully see how far ive come one day. I hope so, anyway.

Cath x

The Therapy Diaries – Making steps.


Hey there! so i had therapy on Thursday, though i went one better this Thursday as it was half term over here in the UK so my mum was off work. So after therapy we went to poundland too! doing more than one thing when i go out i find very tough, and going around a shop is still really difficult for me but im getting there and i did well with poundland.

Anyways, in therapy itself! i brought up a bit of an issue ive been having, i mentioned a little while ago about my issue with randomly falling asleep without warning and that i was going to go see a different doctor. Well….i haven’t made an appointment yet. Im scared, scared that i go to see this doctor and i get the same reaction my own GP gave me, scared that im never gonna be taken seriously purely because im fat.

I explained this to my therapist and basically it wasn’t so much that i needed her to say anything it was more i think airing out what was in my head. We moved on from that, but i will come back to it at the end!

my “homework” had been to read this piece of text called the poisoned parrot, the parrot being low self-esteem. It really does hit home and make a lot of sense! so we spoke about that a little bit before we looked at what i had done with my goals, she wanted me to break them down a bit more so i did, i basically squished two goals into one because they are intertwined.

I put my goal “get out more often” and “become more independent” together because for the most part i am pretty independent, the big problem comes with getting out and being out so ive got short term goals now like “go to a different shop from mum” and things like that. As for the getting out more often, i broke that down into two goals, which is to start seeing my nan on Fridays, and to work towards going out on Mondays too.

The other goal i worked on was become less scared of change, so i put “do things that scare me”, but then i wasn’t able to put anything else because i obviously dont think about what scares me! and we ran out of time to work on that sadly.

For the last bit of therapy we started mapping, which i do remember from my cbt before. Basically its working on the fact that a lot of our behaviours are learnt, because when we are born we are basically a blank canvas, and a lot of our behaviours good and bad are learnt in the younger years when you take things on so much easier. It doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience or anything like that, but just a small thing that you manage to pick up on can be enough, and it can turn into something you turn into something you have to do as you grow up. But its breaking these things down and figuring out whats caused your problems!

With that, my “home work” this week is too do 2 small goals, so one is to get it set to start seeing my nan on Fridays, and second is to phone the doctors! and finally make that appointment i really need.

This week felt like a week of progress, a week were it was time to start making sure that i actually moved forward not just talked about it! I have been feeling good lately, just wish me luck in staying that way.

Cath x

The Therapy Diaries – I wont give up.


Hey there! so first off, im sorry there wasn’t a therapy diaries last week, my mums car thought that just when i start getting out more would be the perfect moment to break down. So i wasn’t able to go to therapy annoyingly,thankfully all is sorted now!

Anyway, i went in today feeling a bit worried because i hadn’t done my “homework” the work she had set for me beforehand. And honestly that had been part avoidance and part just pure forgetfulness! im not forgetful normally but we all have those moments, and yes she did tell me off a little bit but i completely deserved that one!

Today we spoke about how i had felt the past couple of weeks, i explained how i had been pretty good but this past weekend i had struggled quite a bit.

See i suffer pretty heavily and quite often with loneliness, thing is that i have friends, but they are scattered all over the world and also due to my mental illnesses and such seeing anyone is tough.

The saying “you can feel like the loneliest person in the world in a room full of people” is very true. I love my friends, but i haven’t seen a friend in the flesh so to speak in 4 years. And us humans are at the base of it social creatures, we need social interaction we need that connection, and though i get some of that through voice and text online i dont get that connection that you only get when the person is in the same room. I miss it, i that feeling and i well i want it back.

We established that those moments, especially this past weekend sound more depression driven than anxiety. Which, im not overly surprised about, i have anxiety induced depression and have done for many years anyway.

We looked at the goals i need to make smart a bit, and that was the homework i didnt do. We worked at it a bit and then its again my homework, we worked on my goal of liking myself more and we have broke it down to treating myself more like i treat others in 3 months time. Well, at least being better at doing that!

The rest of the session (these sessions go so fast) we went through my pros of changing, cons of changing, pros of staying the same, cons of staying the same. The pros of course completely outweighed the cons, by a tonne, and the cons…there not worth it.

I really do feel like ive found my spark again lately, i dont feel quite as hopeless as i did. Right now as im writing this on Thursday night i feel, well better than i have in a while honestly.

Last week when i couldn’t go to therapy, i felt sad, i wanted to go. I even said to my mum, but i want to go. That alone is such a massive step, it shows that i have my fight back, and even though im scared etc im really determined that this time is it. This is the big difference i am going to make, and in the end ill get the life i want.

Because i really need to recover.

And, i want too.

Cath x