Positivity is so powerful.
I guess that’s pretty obvious really but, in truth, it wasn’t the biggest part of my recovery first time around. Thanks to a fabulous new therapist, who focuses beautifully on the positive, I am making it a big part of my CBT therapy following my setback/relapse.
I struggle to stay positive. I struggle to believe the facts over the lies Anxiety surrounds me with. I struggle to not be bitter and angry and sad. Some days I can’t be positive. Today is one of those days. But I’m doing it anyway. I’m writing down all the progress I’ve made and I’m doing everything I can to believe it.
I’m posting those positives here – to try to make them real, to flesh them out, to make them stand up against the awful lies that have been running through my head for three days.
5 weeks since this hell reappeared…
1) I am back at work and doing my job to a decent standard (I don’t feel comfortable doing it, I’m anxious all the time, but I’m doing it all the same).
2) I have taken care of Caterpillar alone, and coped well. I have even enjoyed some lovely moments with him.
3) I felt strong enough to post two blog posts. And plan others.
4) I am sleeping. Okay, it’s not perfect at all, in fact it’s pretty awful and broken but I have slept, sleeping-tablet free
5) I have racked up some good days and parts of days. I had at least one brief moment when I forgot about anxiety.
6) My therapist is very pleased with my progress, she seems confident that if I keep doing what I’m doing the anxiety will continue to lessen. She sees lots of positive accomplishments and reminds me of them.
7) I’m beginning to, very slowly, realise (remember?) that I control the anxiety, rather than the other way around. I.e. when I wake up and feel anxious I know it’s lies and I know how to deal with it. Sometimes it’s easy to deal with and sometimes, like the last few days when I haven’t slept well or I’m particularly worried about that day, it’s a lot more difficult but I always manage to pull it back to a point where I can force myself to function, rather than spiral completely out of control.
8) I can engage with the people in my life and have meaningful exchanges and conversations, the anxiety swirls behind it all, but I can still talk and support and make choices
9) Slowly, I’m beginning to stop associating anxiety with Caterpillar. I continue to come to the realisation that although taking care of him can be a trigger he is not the cause or source of my anxiety. It is there regardless of whether Caterpillar is or not, and actually he has often acted as a comfort to me during high levels of anxiety. I can recognise that, when anxiety is not present or lessened, I can enjoy him just as much as I can enjoy anything else.
10) I am slowly realising/teaching myself that I can still have a meaningful life, whilst recovering from this. Thankfully, I do not let anxiety stop me from doing anything or going anywhere, so I can still have (and give to Caterpillar) those happy experiences. They aren’t the same, I’m not experiencing them fully at the moment, but I’m still trying.
11) If I read a list of anxiety symptoms then yes, I have racing thoughts and sleep problems but the other symptoms are very minimal, short lived or non-existent. Even the “inability to concentrate” one is proving to be a myth as I’m doing my job and having conversations with people, making plans, lists, getting on with housework etc etc. The anxiety isn’t as severe as my brain is telling me it is.
Now, if I could just read this list and feel better *sigh*