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

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

*Thrive: mental wellness app.

 


Hey there! So today i have a review of a very interesting phone app for you, I was very kindly given the chance to try out the thrive: mental wellbeing app for IOS. Thrive, is a app made to help prevent and manage stress, anxiety and depression, it also contains a lot of cognitive behaviour therapy based ideas and activities.

Everyday when you log into the app you see the mood meter, what you choose on the mood meter then will decide what you see next.

So if you go closer to the sun (happier/positive mood) you then get –

You then get to choose why you are happy.

Then if you go closer to the stormy clouds –

You then choose why you are feeling this way
Then you add more detail
Describe the reactions you had

And what you did, you can choose to add a custom bubble (as you can see from my nothing and my typoed nothinf) or to remove some and have different ones come in with the more button.

You then pick the thoughts that you had and where making you feel shitty
And finally, you can pick a logical, more positive way to see the situation

This mood meter comes up the first time you log into the app everyday, but you can also access it at any time.

Im rather meh about the mood meter, it feels good to do when your in a good mood but if your in a not so good mood you dont always wanna explain why or try and be logical about it,i think it should be more optional than it currently is.

The first time you log into the app and once a week there after you do a questionnaire, if you have ever done any kind of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) you will likely know this questionnaire as you tend to do this at the start of every session.

Its a lengthy questionnaire so i haven’t shown all the questions, but once you have answered all of them you get your results –

I understand why they do this, and that they do these quizzes and the responses and the suggestions because of the “crisis”. but honestly, they need to make this work a bit differently! im a sufferer of severe anxiety, my anxiety will always be severe even on a good day. For me its not a crisis, maybe asking what is normal for you at first would be a good step? so shouting crisis at people doesn’t scare or upset someone.
Once your logged in,you go to your daily goals you get 3 goals a day, generally the top one is one of the apps that either help with relaxation or distraction. The middle one is always doing something like going for a walk, talking to someone etc and the end one always tends to be applied relaxation.

You collect points and levels as you achieve your goals, you can also choose to do any of the above activities at any time,they are all for relaxation, calming down or distraction. my personal favourite is the deep muscle relaxation, for 3 minutes a calming female voice will talk you through tensing each part of your body and then slowly relaxing them. Ive never liked this type of thing, but i actually find that this one really calms me down and helps.

There are a lot of different options with the apps which is great, but i do find that some the activities can be difficult to understand. smart words was one that i really struggled with, i couldn’t figure out how to use it for ages! and if you click one of them through your goals and not the home screen you dont get any instruction, it drove me mad! it took me ages to figure out there was someone talking, making everything clearer would help a lot.

You can also see your progress weekly, and see your progress in the past to and see how you are doing over a longer period of time.

Thrive is an app you need to pay for, its £5.99 per month, £14.99 quarterly or £49.99 yearly. obviously its no small thing to pay for a phone app, if its worth it would of course be completely down to you and your love of the app and your money. but personally for me? no i wouldn’t pay for this app.

It is a good app, however it isnt something i would pay £6 a month for, its too much money for what thrive is for me. I think that if you find all the relaxation tools useful and that the app makes a massive difference, then yes i think it really could be useful! but for me, the downsides just tip the scales for me.

i still suggest trying it out however if you can, even if just for a month because everyone is so different it may be brilliant and incredibly helpful for you.

Have you tried thrive before? or any other mental wellness apps?

Cath x

*i was gifted this product for review, this does not effect my opinion.

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

You dont have to reflect at new years.


Hey there! so, i was going to do a post reflecting on 2018 etc like im sure a lot of people are doing. And though there is nothing wrong in that, i suddenly thought “why am i doing this?” when, its the kind of post that if i read it would upset me.

Im sure im not the only one who really doesn’t like new years, the reflecting on mainly all these happy things, being super positive and very “wow! life is amazing!” works for some people, and is true for some people but it just isnt me and as someone who generally crawls into the next year barely held together i dont really want to explain why im so “thankful for everything ive done this year”.

And you see everyone and there mother doing it, this year has i am much more active on instagram, instagram is covered with people reflecting over there year via pictures and stories. Great, im glad you had fun but i didn’t leave the house for 6 months, i completely gave up all hope and just resigned myself to rotting away until i finally got off the therapy waiting list and my lovely therapist swooped in and told me to pull myself together and fight for what i want.

Now of course im glad she did that, but being in that situation in the first place isnt exactly fun and games. And the thing is we are surrounded with “new year new you”, “im going to travel/train/get married/have a baby in 2019”, “try this new diet in 2019!”. Its everywhere, but honestly its not needed.

If you are crawling into 2019 feeling like you have been fighting a war all year and your going from one battlefield to another, please know that you do not have to like new years, you dont have to reflect and just being able to drag yourself into another year is something in of itself.

2018 is the first year in many years that i can happily pick out a number of positives in actually, but also a lot of negatives and a lot of hard times. But in the end? Im not going to do any of that, i am going to walk into 2019 back onto the battlefield with the rest of us, maybe with one or two less scars than before and call that a win.

while im here, its also completely fine if your not doing anything for new years! you do not have to see it in if you do not want to/cant. There is no rule saying you have too, there is way too much pressure to see in new years drunk and shouting, theres no need it doesn’t change anything. It just means that you will start the new year with a headache!, of course go ahead and have fun if you wish, but if you dont want too you dont have too!

Remember these things ok?

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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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

Emotionally Broken – Being a introverted extrovert with anxiety.


Hey there! so yeah, thats quite a title isn’t it? well, its a topic i want to touch on because i think theirs quite a few stereotypes that go along with having anxiety. And i also think a lot of people seem to think that you are either a extrovert or an introvert, but in fact i am proof you can very much be both!
ido lean on the side of extrovert for sure, but not fully, hence the introverted extrovert.

For as long as i can remember, ive been a people person, i love talking to people i love interacting and just generally having fun with people. I am often at my happiest when im around people that i love, and i get lonely very easily. As a child/teen and honestly if it wasn’t for the crippling anxiety i still would now, i loved preforming, singing/acting, i loved being on stage and quite frankly like the attention too.

However, i also have never liked crowds, never been a fan of parties or clubbing. My ideal night is playing video games with friends. And as ive grown up, my love the limelight has faded quite a bit, however i dont know if thats a change in me or because of my anxiety.

I think a lot of people tend to mix up anxiety and shyness, because thats one thing ive never really been! im not a shy person, as i said i love people,all of my problems with interacting with people have come from anxiety. Im really not a shy person, just a very anxious person!

To be honest, i think a lot of my introverted habits come from anxiety, but some of them have also always been there. Having introverted habits honestly have more then anything added too my anxiety, making it easier for me to just hide away.

But then my extroverted side, makes anxiety so much harder to deal with. I want to see people, i want to talk to them, i want to interact have fun and do things together yet due to anxiety and agoraphobia i cant, and that, god that really sucks.

Though of course, that gives me something to fight for you know? i want to socialise, and so to be able to do that i need to recover.

I doubt im the only one whos a bit of both, because lets face it theres so many people on this planet theres no way everyone fits into group A or group B you know? and thats true for me, i am group C! and thats alright.

Its just adding in anxiety that makes everything that much harder to deal with (thats a life motto right there). A people person scared of people is a bit difficult! i was worse a few years ago, i hated people, i had been fucked over one too many times and the result of that was someone who just, given up.

I had tried so hard to get somewhere and failed, so i stopped trying. I was quite happy to just curl up and rot away, i was done. A that, i cant explain what its like to feel like that, i felt like the world had given up on me so i gave up on the world.

Thankfully, due to going through my first round of therapy and meeting friends online i managed to drag myself out of that. My extroverted side will never be happy until i can meet up with people, until i can have fun and be happy again. And my introverted side will never be happy until i can curl up and watch a film by myself without panicking because my thoughts are too loud.

Basically, i wont be happy until im recovered, extroverted or introverted, group A,B or C i wont be happy until im in a much better place.

Its a damn good thing im stubborn and strong willed then really isnt it.

Cath x