If I had the answer for that 100% set in stone, then I’d be lying to myself. I don’t know why I will succeed, but I know that I will try my hardest. See, I already know what it feels like to fail. I know what it feels like to lose. I know what depression feels like and I know what rejection feels like. I know what it feels like to throw my hands up in the air and want to say fuck it all and give up. I know all too well what having no self-esteem….not low, but no….feels like. I know how bad it feels and that it can suck everything out of you. I know that I want all of that to stop and that is why I know I will do all I can to succeed.
I met with my new therapist last night. She specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I did some reading up on that last night. The goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind my difficulties and/or relationship problems. (*Obviously what I talk about there won’t end up here verbatim, but some of the situations may be in here with names changed to protect the innocent) CBT (Cognative Behavioral Therapy) is suppoed to change my attitude and my behavior by focusing on the thoughts, images, beliefs, and attitudes that I hold (cognitive process) and how they relate to the way I behave and how I deal with them emotionally.
The article I read said it takes 5-10 months of sessions to solve most emotional problems. I worry it will take 5-10 years of sessions. Behanoral therapy pays close attention to the relationship between our problems, our behavior and our thoughts. In that sentence alone, I know I have one major issue to deal with and that one scares me. Having to say it all outloud and possibly confronting the person/persons scares me. CBT is based on the meanings we give the events that upset us. If we keep thiking negatively, we block seeing things or doing things that don’t fit what we believe is true. In my situation it is thiking people see me in a negative way and make fun of me for my working on myself when the truth is they are beyond super supportive and proud of my success. If I hold on to the negativity of my thoughts … I will never learn from them.
An interesting point I found in my readings was that negative thinking patterns are set up in childhood and can become automatic and relatively fixed. I always thought (or was told) that I had to be good and that if I wasn’t my father would start drinking again and it would be my fault. This lead me to think I had to be good and toe the line at all times or I would be responsible for bad things happening. Even after I got engaged; I couldn’t believe my fiance (now husband) chose me over any other girl. What did I do to deserve his love and wanting to have a family with me? I didn’t think I was loveable and waited for the other shoe to drop. Maybe in someways I’m still waiting for that shoe to drop even now.
Thinking you have to do well all the time or people won’t like me is called dysfunctional assumption. Some pepole , as I type this I realize it’s me as well, believes this and makes them work hard. I worry if I don’t do good at the gym, I’m letting Fritz and Nigel down and they won’t want to train me. (This is not true; I know). People who think like this and then experience something beyond their control and fail, they have automatic thoughts like “I’ve completely failed and no one will like me. I can’t face them.” CBT is supposed to help you understand what is going on. It helps us to step out of their knee jerk reactions and see what would really happen. For instance, if I couldn’t complete a race because of one reason or another (which did happen) would Fritz and Nigel be mad at me. No, they weren’t . They were proud of me for just walking it out and doing the 10 miles. I felt like a total shit; but I didn’t intend to get a concussion in the first place. I thought they’d want to drop my ass as a client – well more Nigel who is my regular trainer then Fritz who is my running trainer.
People in CBT get homework between sessions. I do know that at the beginning of each session I decide what I want to talk about. Homework may involve a diary of incidents that provoke the feelings of anxiety or depression so that they can examine thoughts around the incident. If I’m willing to do these assignments/homework, then I’m supposed to really benefit from CBT. My doctor knows I blog and seemed okay with it. She knows I keep it as “vague” as possible and use it mostly to air out what is going on in my head. I know that CBT and going to see a therapist isn’t a miracle cure. I need to put in the work as well and be open and honest. It’s the last part I worry about. If I’m open and honest with mostly myself….will I like myself when I am?
I know I need to learn coping skills to deal with my anxiety and my depression. Keeping this blog and my personal journal and being as blunt and honest in that journal helps me to look back at a situation and see what happened at that moment that triggered it all. I can look at what I wrote an hour…a day…a week or a month ago and see it with a more realistic view and stop the spiral down of my mood. It can help me to not assume the worst about people and lets be honest, people generally think of themselves and I’m a blip on the radar of the people who I think think the worst of me.
If I can learn a new way to cope that would lead to changes in my attitude and how I behave in situations, it could show me that my axniety in a situation isn’t as bad as I thought. I’d love to change my behavior of thinking that I’m flawed or completely inferior to the world. I’d love to see myself as just a normal, regular person. I’d like to think that thoughts are just thoughts, not projections and doom.
So, will I succeed? All I know is I’m going to try.