Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I'm taking advice from a professional. Sounds a bit serious, but it's a choice, so therefore I guess it's just a good thing, for me.

Since Mike died I've spent an awful lot of time with my own thoughts, too much really, and although I've struggled with it the most, my struggles have impacted upon the rest of my little family unit. Add that to that other challenges that we're facing and I just felt it was too much for me to manage alone.

I guess I was a little depressed, although now we've had a few sessions, it appears that it's more that I'm anxious. I didn't realise that, not just in these circumstances, but I think I've always been anxious, if I consider the things I've always said to myself, inside my head.

We've started talking about CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy). In very very simple terms (those I can understand) it refers to the language we use with ourselves, inside our own heads, in reaction to others and to ourselves. We can't control how others behave, but we can control how we react to others.

I was/am a bit cynical and my cynicism is welcomed. Once we started discussing it and I got over the fact that it sounded a little new agey, I realised how negative I am with myself.

It's as simple or complicated (I think it's both) as saying things to myself like"I need to do the washing when I get home", "I have to get on top of the ironing tonight", "I should be better at being organised than I am" etc, etc. As soon as you tell yourself "I should be better" you then feel the implications of all that means when you either don't get time to do something, get interupted, or whatever.

I realised that every day I started myself off with an internal dialogue of running down a long long list of things I had to do, think about, calls to make blah blah blah. I started every morning feeling defeated before I even began doing anything.

Yesterday when I left my appointment I really thought about what she'd said. It was early afternoon, I had to get home and make dinner, had things still to prepare for our kinder's AGM, get Ella to basketball, then back, make a cake for the meeting etc etc etc. I normally punish myself if I pull the pin on one of our activities (ie basketball) but yesterday I said to myself that I couldn't manage everything that day and therefore I chose not to go. That sounds a bit too simple, but it made a difference. I didn't feel guilty about not going. I had a choice and I made it, I was okay with that.

I often punish myself for the things I don't do with Leila, the activities we don't get around to doing, feeling she's missing out, that I'm a bad mother for not focussing solely on her.

Today I decided I wouldn't feel guilty, I would just slow down and be.

We walked to school and back, meeting friends for a chat along the way. We got home and worked on Leila's Halloween outfit and finished it. We pottered in the garden and then Leila decided we should have a picnic for lunch, which we did.

I haven't made dinner yet and I would normally be clock checking by now, getting myself wound up about all I had to do, but today I'm just choosing not to do so. Dinner will get made, I will get to school in plenty of time, we'll go to swimming lessons and come home and it will all get done.

Apparently I need to exercise more, listen to music and pamper myself, as well as continuing to work on all the above. It's made a small difference in a short amount of time, I'm surely not too old to learn new things, so perhaps there are yet great days ahead.


Sarah said...

Lifes like that isnt Vic.

We are women are so good at making ourselves miserable. It is so easy to get caught up with it all.

You sound great and can see where you are going. That is a great start!!!

Sandy said...

It's a huge step to ask for help when you so want to be in control of things. You will get through this one day at a time. You will! Man, I thought my day was overloaded. I think we all need to relax, sit down with a cup of tea, breathe. Being overly tired is definitely not a morale booster. Find're on the right path.

Jo said...

can't say enough good things about CBT... i went to a professional when Daisy was a baby, a few sessions, some shift in how I think and I was set for a few years. I went to see another CBT when Mia was about 6 months old, for different reasons, this one was a bit more 'mindful' in a buddhist sort of way. loved her, she did wonders for me, and even though I haven't seen her in about 18 months, I've never looked back.

This will continue to be so good for you and I'm sure you will be so much better, happier and accepting for doing so.

much love, x

Julia said...

All teary reading this. For you and what you're learning...but for me too. Lots resonating there. Perhaps I could do with a CBT fix... x

kristi said...

as an anxious soul, i am completely intrigued by this process. you have me pondering. x.

Kiki said...

You should give yourself the hugest pat on the back/butt for choosing to involve someone to enter your thoughts. That's always daunting. I may learn a thing or two from reading the posts that follow your visits.

I am a procrastinator and I'm not, that's the struggle I have with consistency.