Another sessions with Celine (NHS CBT Lady who comes to my uni) on Thursday. This was a useful one, involving a worksheet (third para down).

Earlier this week (Three Options post) I finally felt like something had clicked: rather than mope about not knowing what to do or where to begin, I tried going through my various options and the positives and negatives of them, and ended up with a particular route that I would try to stick to. That is much better than I have been before, where everything in my mind gets too tangled and I worry about wasting time, only to waste more time worrying! So that is good.

So this week Celine suggested we tackle how I can stop getting wound up every time I get a little bit stuck – which is a major problem for me and has been since I was at least 10, 11 or 12 years old (when it first dawned on me that the world might not be perfect). Something about realising that every time I’ve got a bit stuck, I’ve ended up feeling totally stuck and crawling to the dr’s for some happy pills (am hating that term more and more as they don’t even make me happy, just a little bit better for coping), it’s made me even more depressed thinking that I might be stuck in the circle for ever more, unless I do something radically different. Til now I haven’t been able to figure out what that is, and has made me feel stuck and set me off on another stuckiness rampage (do you see the circles forming?).

Celine had a worksheet for me. She’d clearly just printed it off the internet (complete with the source address. Ha she wasn’t even plagarising!) We looked at the first few sections and agreed that the headings don’t really apply directly to me. But never mind. I can get over that. We didn’t have time to go through it very thoroughly, so my homework for the next fortnight is to think about it and fill it in.

The first section was “What made me vulnerable in the first place”. Although I know that being an only child has affected me in all sorts of ways, I’m not really sure I’d say I’m ‘vulnerable’ because of it. Am I even ‘vulnerable’? Celine suggested I tackle that question just by thinking about what has shaped me and my ideas from an early age… with leads to the next section:

“Core Beliefs – about myself, others, and the world: I am…; Others area…; The world is…”. At a surface level, those are fairly easy: about myself, I like to think that ‘I am Likable’, ‘Others are Perfect’, and ‘The world is Good’. These simple statements quickly became more complicated when I thought about the next section, so I will look at them again more closely later.

The next section was “Rules I live by…” and divided into “Helpful” and “Unhelpful” columns. This is where everything seemed to become more complicated. Where some rules start off as positive, but then I put an unhelpful twist to them. Others seem to conflict and show how my supposedly core beliefs are a lot more tangled, and that what I initially wrote down is what I would like them/the world/others to be, or how I imagine in a perfect world they would be. I’ve never thought about things like this before, and already I can see where having imaginary ideals that in that fantasy world everything and one lives up to them, causes me problems because then I can’t live up to them, and in reality nothing is as perfect as I would like.

The other sections are, “What triggered the problem”, “What helps me cope: helpful/unhelpful“, and “What maintains the problem now: thoughts –> emotions –> behaviours –> physical sensations –> etc” (hot cross bun thingy).

Anyway, there is a lot of meat in there, and I need to go though it more carefully if I am going to make use of my sessions with Celine. And as my nasty little vicious circle shows, I am rather desperate to break out of it, by any means possible! I haven’t got time (as always) to look at it all right now, but will try to think about each section in turn over the next two weeks.

Here are links to my entries for the rest of the worksheet: Early Things | Core Beliefs | Rules | Current Problem & Triggers | Coping & Maintenance