It’s been a long time but I have finally finished therapy! I have come a long way and changed loads since my first one, even I am shocked at how well this has worked. I would recommend CBT to anyone going through any mental health difficulties, big or small! It really has helped me a lot, despite my reservations. I couldn’t be happier with my achievements. For me, this is the best thing I have ever done for myself without a doubt.
It started with my therapist asking how I feel, saying she has noticed how even my voice has changed and picked up from the first time we talked. Even my voice, which I do not really notice had apparently changed – it shows how depression can effect every area of your life, without you even noticing. The session was very light hearted and it made me feel so happy afterwards because I realised how much better I have become. It is like growing every day – you don’t notice it happens at the time because it is so slow but if you take a moment to look back you can see how much you’ve grown and changed. This is exactly how therapy has felt for me. At times I really struggled because I did not think I could do it but I am so glad I persevered.
In my final session, my therapist told me what I must do to upkeep the things I have learnt in therapy;
- Notice any triggers – When I am alone and start to feel slightly down is when I know that I am going to get bad. So whenever I am in a triggering situation (alone) I know to change what I am doing to distract myself. By doing something I won’t allow myself to get into a bad cycle so I can completely avoid getting down!
- Work through any thoughts – This is probably the main thing that has helped me the most. If a negative thought pops into my head, I know to find all the facts that support that thought and all the facts the prove that thought wrong. Every single time, the supporting ‘facts’ are not even facts at all. They are other thoughts I have made up in my mind. This really helps me realise that I am lying to myself and these negative thoughts should have no impact on me at all because they are simply not true.
- Keep a routine – I have to ensure that I keep myself busy because then my mind is less likely to wonder into a negative area. By doing things all the time I also boost my activity levels, which boosts my serotonin and is healthier for me! These things don’t have to be physical or written down. I just wake up and decide what I am going to do, even if it includes reading for a while or playing a game.
I now also have a diary in which I write a good thing that happened every day. Even when I have had an awful day, I write ‘I managed to get out of bed today’ or ‘I am alive today’ and I am thankful for these mundane, normal things. This helps me keep positive and read back about how good my life actually is.
Therapy has helped me immensely. I have finally got back to the person I forgot I was. I cannot recommend therapy enough. If you are struggling with anything, a little bit or a lot I urge you to seek out therapy because you are still there underneath and you can come back out again, just like I have done.
Thank you for reading, If you have any questions or comments email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.