CBT thoughts part 2

On Thursday, I saw J again, and instead of trying to tell him what I was thinking about our last meeting, I printed out the blog entry that I did last week. It made the most sense, rather than struggling with my words, the wrong word coming out and J taking it at face value. Sometimes, my mouth comes out with some utter shite rather than what I’m trying to say. My brain moves too fast for me, I think.
The crux of it is that rather than me seeking reinforcement – even subconsciously – it’s a case of other people giving me that reinforcement. So, if I feel anxious, it’s Mr D’s instinct to comfort me, but in a sense he’s perpetuating the problem. Coupled with the fact that instead of staying and dealing with the problem, I use avoidance tactics, it all adds up to why I’m just coping with my illness – not getting better.
This week, J and I looked at all the individual places that make me anxious, however at first he wasn’t too impressed with my response of “everywhere”! For each place, we gave it a score out of 100, with zero being virtually asleep and 100 being a full blown panic attack. I looked at my list, which was mostly shops and very local places and said, “God, I have a sad little life…” J suggested that I could hang on to that thought with a view to making my life more interesting when I get better. He’s right. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve turned down invitations or longed to go somewhere. At the time, I struggled to think of a particular place or event that I’d like to do, and came out with “shopping in New York” which I guess is a bigger goal than J was aiming for. When I came home and thought about it, there was one thing. My friend B runs a weaving class. My rekindled interest in fibre crafts means that something like the class would be a perfect next step from knitting and handspinning. The thought of attending makes me want to puke, though.
My fear is not being in new places, but having to deal with people. I have visions of making a fool of myself, not being able to speak properly, people thinking I’m stupid. I said to J that you could stick me in the middle of a field and I’d be okay, but put me in a crowd and I’m a goner. It’s made me think about just how restricted I’m making my life so that I don’t panic – but at least we have something to work towards.

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