So, yesterday I had my 4th (of 8) counselling sessions.
I went into it feeling a little apprehensive and nervous (very anxious) like I always do, but I also went in a little hopeful. If you’ve read the post before this one, you’ll be aware that I have had a reconnection this past week, with an old friend.
In doing so I was able to talk through things with a neutral mind, and that seems to have helped stabilised my mind. At least temporarily.
I went into the session a little anxious, it’s always nervous when you know you are about to enter an area where you have to talk about your feelings, especially when you find it hard to do so (even more so when considering why I was there).
Anyway, I told my counsellor how I’d felt in the 2 weeks since my last meeting and told her how the beginning of the 2 weeks was really tough and just plain emotional. That I’d tried to be more self-aware of my own thoughts and catch myself when I started to spiral. I also told her that I failed to do so, successfully, at all.
I then went on to speak about my dreams and how I still felt so strongly about (E). I spoke about my 30minutes in each evening to just be by myself and reflect – to cry / to let out my emotions (if need be). She said that was probably a good thing that I’d done that because it shows a level of self-awareness and a good way of focusing my emotions so they didn’t interfere too much with my work/family/social lives.
I spoke about my recent reconnection, I spoke about the whole situation and how it felt talking to someone who was neutral and that there was no pressure with. We discussed my situation during the relationship (loose-fitting word) and how just realising how I was with her was a good sign.
All this talk about my overthinking, ironically, got me overthinking about a lot of things from my past.
We then looked at the CBT we were going to do last week. During which a bit of progress was made…
We discussed what I thought my main trigger was for the spiral inducing thoughts. Easy: (E). That’s not meant as an insult, it’s just a fact that when I think of her it tends to upset me, making me emtional.
From then on we discussed what I thought about when the trigger occurred.
I miss her,
Why did it happen like it did?
Why do I still feel this way?
Why am I so upset?
(and there were plenty more along the same lines)
Next up came how those thoughts made me feel:
Lost, Sad/Upset, In Love, confused etc…
And finally, how those feelings affected my behaviour:
I shut down, I lose focus, I start to feel tired, exhausted, drained, irritable, as well as being reclusive. Among other things.
That was all filled out relatively quickly – except a small hiccup where it was tough to recall some thoughts (something about them being there when you don’t want them but trying to remember them at other times is very difficult).
Then came the difficult bit: coming up with thoughts that were more positive than those automatic negative ones mentioned above. The idea being that when I start to think negatively I force myself to think these more positive thoughts in an attempt to nip the problem in the bud. It’s extremely difficult to even catch these negative thoughts at the moment, let alone actively replace them!
As we worked through this, my counsellor called me out a few times on my negativity towards myself. She asked why I always seem to be so harsh on myself. I didn’t have an answer for that one. We discussed it a little and she kept jumping in whenever I said something good but then immediately said “but” before saying something negative.
Turns out I do that pretty much all the time.
I said I’d noticed that myself when on the phone to my friend because my friend kept calling me out on the use of negative words where a slight change of tone or context would make the same comment so much more positive and reinforcing.
It’s difficult, I know that, but I think I can do it with the support of the counselling. I’m going back for session 5/8 next Monday and hopefully, i’ll come out of that one feeling even better. It’s difficult and I might still ask if I can pay to stay on for more sessions as I feel I might need the constant safety network they give me.
Either way, the big news is that this week’s session, combined with the reconnection, have helped me feel way more positive than I did previously.
I still feel all I felt before but it’s easier to deal with when you know how the negativity is affecting you. I’ve got a long way to go but I’m hopeful, for the first time, that I can get to a place where I can live with these feelings and pain – then, maybe, I can move on?!
Side Note: I’m still going out 8.30pm-9pm every night, for time to myself. But every time I still hope (E) turns up. I know she doesn’t want to be with me – she’d be with me if she did, but it doesn’t stop me hoping one day she’ll change her mind and come back. Maybe I’ll learn to live without that being a reality, maybe I won’t. But there’s always an option for her to come back into my life should she want to. I cannot lie to myself about how I still feel.