We have two therapy posts for the price of one here: my anger levels were stuck at 11 after the appointment with my fertility consultant, and my brain just was not in a place where I felt like I could write about my sessions.
Thankfully, the anger has abated and I am feeling a bit more like myself again.
You may remember that in my first therapy session my therapist had set me ‘homework’ – to get up earlier, and to go swimming. By my second session I was able to report a bit of progress towards achieving these goals, which is all positive.
In the past two weeks I am pleased to report some pretty good progress. What the fertility consultant said about my weight was not in itself the problem – I know I had gained and felt uncomfortable – the complete lack of compassion and empathy was the issue. The appointment gave me the push I needed to get back to the gym (I must confess there is a bit of bloody-mindedness here – not only do I want to lose weight to feel better, healthier, and give my fertility the best chance – I also have a desire to say ‘eff you’ to that doctor. Stubborn? Me? Never!).
But back to the therapy itself. These sessions have focused on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques which in essense is about getting your brain to think about things differently.
These are some of the points I am trying to remember:
I reflected that I can maintain some control of myself even when the red mist descends. For example, during that fertility appointment I had a meltdown as a knee jerk trigger response, and my anger frightened me. But still, I was able to assert some control by saying my piece, and by walking out when I had had enough. And while the situation was not pleasant for anyone involved, we all lived to tell the tale. Basically, I need to remember anger isn’t necessarily bad – I usually connect it with aggression, and one doesn’t always come with the other.
My core values have for many months involved me thinking that I am a failure, and a broken person. Core values are what you believe about yourself. Pretty unpleasant core values. When asked to think about what others might say about me, I thought of more positive adjectives.
It is easier said than done, but I am trying to remember that I am enough, that I am a good person, I am loved and loveable. That I am not a failure: I had no control over what happened to me and to Hugo, it was not my fault.
This week’s ‘homework’ involves keeping a thought record to help challenge those negative thoughts that seem to come so naturally to me at the moment, the idea being to replace them with alternative thoughts that are more positive. I am also working on a set of positive core beliefs.
Therapy is hard work – while I am not going over the trauma (which is a huge relief!) I am being challenged to think and to dig deep about things, and to get me out of those protective walls I constructed for myself.
I will get there.
Onwards and upwards.