Today's session I had my boyfriend come in too, I thought it might be helpful for us both by him understanding, and also helping me with any tasks that are set.
We began the session by going through the questionnaires given to me last week. Both the Panic questionnaire and the Worry one showed quite high scores, and also the usual questionnaire remained about the same, -1 for depression and +1 for anxiety.
We then looked at my 'Thought Diary' which I had filled with things that made me anxious or worried this week. This was mostly absorbed by my worries around my new job, but also an episode where I panicked in the car. We discussed each thought individually.
We then went on to use that diary to create a diagram of how I'm feeling and the vicious circle that I have got caught in. Basically every anxiety issue that I have is stemming from excessive worrying and overthinking, which then causes anxiety then to panic attacks and then exhaustion & demoralisation, and so on. A definite vicious cycle.
A lot of this session was hijacked by my fears about this job trial. I had a good cry and spoke about the 'what if's' fluttering in my mind as well as some upsetting comments from a family member. My therapist was very helpful with my worries and also said I should dismiss any judgements from other people as it's my life and my choices. That settled me a lot. I often focus far too much on what other people expect of me and forget what is best for me.
We spoke about finding 'helpful' solutions to negatives, rather than 'positives', as there isn't always a positive to a negative. Which I think is a good way to look at it. We also spoke about what was helpful about this job - new beginnings, independence, money. I also think it will be really positive for my mental health and help me 'get better'. I'm very good at settling and not doing anything but it doesn't put me out of my comfort zone and then doesn't help me progress.
The thing I find most useful about speaking with my therapist is she stops me in my thought paths and stops them spiralling. For example - I said I'm worried that people will be disappointed in me, and usually that would spiral into me saying things like; they'll think I'm a failure, they'll be mad and not like me... blah blah. But instead of that thought trail continuing, she stopped me and asked 'will it affect them?' and my answer was no. And that stopped it right there. Sometimes hearing reason from somebody else is so helpful.
We are going to work on my worrying from next week and how I can learn to quiet my mind. Hopefully that will ease the anxiety and the panic attacks also. Fingers crossed!