I have recently started CBT counselling for my anxiety and depression. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. (Thanks www.nhs.uk for the definition)
In this week’s session, I basically used up the entire box of tissues as I cried for the whole hour, and just couldn’t stop. I kept thinking:
Life is so unfair
I used to be able to do all these things that I struggle with.
Why am I so tired all the time?
Why can I just not snap myself out of these depressive episodes that get me so down?
I got myself so worked up and pitied myself and the shell of a person that I had become. A shell of the happy self that I used to be.
Then my counsellor said something that stuck in my mind. She said ‘Just surrender to the fact you have depression and don’t compare yourself to what you used to be like. It’s ok to feel like this.’
Is it ok to feel like this?
To constantly feel like there are clouds in my head?
To not being able to concentrate?
To feel sad for no particular reason?
To be sooo tired, I can’t even open my mouth to ask for help?
To cancel work commitments due to this feeling?
The answer is yes, its ok for me to feel like this… for now. It will not last forever and there will be good days and bad days. Enjoy the good days and take all the positives I can from the bad days, as there are positives in there, they are just overshadowed by the bad bits.
With this in mind, I’ve started writing a daily log of things I do based on BASE (Body care, Achieve, Connect with others, Enjoy). I record down all the positive things I’ve done each day related to keeping my body and mind healthy like eating lot of fruit and vegetables and not chocolate, what I have achieved today – which may be as simple as doing the washing up, how I have connected with others – was this through text, phone call, email or face to face contact? and what I have done today to enjoy myself.
I am only on day 2, but I can already see the merit of this task. It makes me ignore all the negatives – like I didn’t go the gym today, but keeps me focussed on what has gone well in my day and how I have been kind to myself.
I will continue on with this over the next few weeks as I surrender to having depression, but I will not let it control me forever.