Ridiculous Thoughts?

Yesterday, I started writing a post about how J, my new counsellor, had asked me to write down all the negative shit that goes through my head when I’m anxious. I thought I’d blog it because it gives another little insight into how my head works right now. As I wrote, I started feeling incredibly crappy, which isn’t surprising when things like “I’m useless” “I’m stupid” “why can’t I manage this shit?” “I’m going to die” come out.
I have a funny feeling that J is going to go through each one and counter it with logic. The thing is, I do this all the time already. “I’m not stupid, I just have depression and things seem more difficult right now. Give yourself a break, already”. “I’m not useless, I do all kinds of things that I take for granted, I should give myself a bit more credit”. See? How easy is that? It doesn’t help, though. The useless and stupid thoughts are ingrained, I’ve always had poor self confidence. How can I erase thirty odd years of that?
As I sat there thinking, I wondered whether this is really the right time to be doing this. How can I concentrate on what is probably going to be a difficult road to recovery when I have this benefits thing looming over me? Despite everyone’s assurances that I have a damned good case, I still have that nagging doubt that I’ll fail the appeal, and the consequences of that are just too hard to even think about. If I continue with my counselling and I fail, it’ll be harder to do it next time around. I can’t help thinking it would be better to say, “put me back on the waiting list, I’m not ready for this”. There’s another reason for my negativity and doubt. J is a psychology student. Although he’s a fully qualified counsellor, he’s seeing clients as a psych student, therefore needs clinical supervision. This means that he has to tape some of our meetings.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. At the time, I said that although I didn’t like the idea, I understood that it was necessary for him as part of his ‘training’. The only people who will hear my witterings on tape will be him and his supervisor, but when I feel so ridiculously self conscious anyway the thought of being taped makes me want to puke. Unfortunately, if I’m not comfortable with it and can’t deal with it, I go back on the waiting list to see someone else. I was ‘pulled out’ of the waiting list to see J, because it was felt that I was an ideal candidate for him (fools). I guess I need to know that I’d go back to where I was on the list, and not right back at the end.
For this whole therapy thing to succeed, I need to feel comfortable, and I’m not. I hate this – it feels like I’m making excuses, and given that I’ve gone on and on all this time about how I want to get better, I also feel like a bit of a fraud. I see J again tomorrow morning, and shall talk to him about it.

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3 thoughts on “Ridiculous Thoughts?

  1. tiexano says:

    I don’t know much about psycology, but I very much doubt that he’ll just try to counter it with logic. That’s the first reaction of everybody confronted with a persons unrational fears. He will know that you can do this yourself and that it isn’t working. I furthermore doubt that he asks you to write it down to read it at all. If he would be interested in a list, he could just ask you, I mean he is even taping it! My guess is, he told you to write it down for the act of you writing it down alone; to record some things from the world of thoughts and emotions in “physical world”-black and white. give it a go.

  2. jonas says:

    I can empathise with the ingrained poor self confidence issue but like tiexano says, I doubt if J will treat it as a pure logic exercise.
    As for taping some of your meetings, since he only has to tape some of them, perhaps you can ask him not to tpae the first few until you get more comfortable with the situation?
    I hope everything goes well for you, and I’m thinking of you.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I did some home made CBT out of a book and I think he is unlikely to be countering the bad thoughts with logic because if you could do that you wouldn’t be there. I think he is just getting you to make a note of any ‘catastrophic thoughts’ in order that you become more aware of them happening when they happen rather than after you’ve spiralled downwards. It’s then you start to address those thoughts in different ways.
    You will most likely feel that you cannot do this because they are ingrained but it is surprising what you can do, by increments. CBT is a curious combination of therapy with a kind of training course, it can be very intimidating but think of a mountain which is climbed in several steps. You are just setting up your personal base camp!
    I like to learn by reflecting on what I am about to do before I do it so I don’t like the ‘do this and I’ll tell you why afterwards’ approach. Other people prefer to launch straight in and learn from what happens. This might be his. If it doesn’t suit you then maybe you could negotiate a different approach based on this:http://www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/aboutyourlearning/whatlearning.htm
    I’ve just been reading your blog because I was wondering how you were getting on and I am distressed by how badly you have been treated by the state. More power to you lady!

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