Just a quick post to check in as it’s been a little while and I’ve got something very exciting to share…
I’ve just had my last ever CBT session!
It’s been a long old journey, with two separate therapists and many, many issues to work through. But I DID IT!
If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen that I’ve not been very well over the last couple of weeks and that just after my birthday something happened that once would have been my worst nightmare: I threw up.
If you don’t know, I
have HAD emetophobia, a fear of vomiting. At my worst, this phobia controlled my life, made me starve myself and turned simple things like eating in public into a massive source of anxiety. As is common with emetophobes, I am very rarely ever sick. But for some reason, that night I was.
And you know what? I was completely fine. I mean, I didn’t enjoy the experience, obviously, but I stayed calm throughout, cleaned up after myself and took it in my stride. That might seem small to you, but to me it was a huge achievement.
Since then my confidence has grown and grown. I now eat things with my hands at work, eat chicken on a regular basis, and a few days ago did something I honestly never thought I would be able to do – I ate a sweet without washing my hands first. I didn’t try to tip it in my mouth, or pick it up with the wrapper. I just plunged my hand in the bag and went for it.
The list of small victories like this goes on and on and I’m ridiculously proud of myself.
This time last year I was at my absolute lowest point. I honestly felt hopeless. It’s been a long, difficult road, with almost 40 sessions of counselling and a prescription for Sertraline, an SSRI. Now, I feel like a new person.
No, that’s not quite right. I feel like the old me is back. The version of myself that finds joy in things, smiles for no reason and has goals, dreams and drives.
I was almost bursting with happiness when I reeled off this list of achievements to my counsellor and she looked so damn proud of me.
I went in knowing it was likely to be my last session. I felt ready. I’ve learned what I need to be kind to myself, to support myself during difficult times and to listen to my rational thoughts rather than my obsessive ones. I’m still recovering, but I feel confident enough to go it alone now.
Right before I said goodbye to my counsellor she said
‘You did this’
‘It’s not easy, but you did this.’ I can’t tell you how proud that made me feel. Finally I believe in myself again. All that trust in myself I’d lost over the years (for one reason or another), is coming back.
I feel invincible.
Afterwards I walked to work in the sunshine and treated myself to a milkshake.
I’ve got this. I’ve bloody well got this.
Recovery is possible. There is hope. I hope that I’m proof of that.
If you think CBT could help you, speak to your GP, who may be able to refer you to local NHS services. Or, check out the BABCP website, to find a private therapist in your area.