This week is a really big week for me. In two days time I have my first CBT appointment in over five years. For the uninitiated, CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and this involves a gradual exposure to whatever your OCD phobia/s might be.
When people have asked me in the last few days whether I am looking forward to this appointment, then if I am being honest my response has been somewhat mixed. I reply, ‘I’m excited yet also scared at the same time’. I am excited because I want my life back but I also know how tough and nerve wracking this CBT is going to be.
The excitement and motivation comes from it hopefully allowing me to live my life once again, how I want too I mean. For example, I have not seen my two best friends for over six to seven years and this really saddens me. I feel guilty that I have not been there for them, not even been able to just pick up the phone to see how they were(cos of the OCD). If it had not been for marvel of social media and me messaging them on there, then I fear my OCD would have made me lose contact with them forever. How do you say to your two best friends that I still LOVE them dearly, even though it doesn’t appear like it because my communication with them has been so limited? I am determined to see them soon though(Ruth and Steve) once the help starts. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(to give it its proper name) can RUIN and DESTROY lives, I should know because it has been both ruining and destroying mine for way too long now!
One of the first things I want to do once the CBT starts is to go and speak to a Careers Counsellor for job advice. I long to do something in the written sphere, but want to see if they think this is just a pipe dream or not. There are soooooo many things that I want to do once the CBT starts, get a job, a flat, a girlfriend …….I WANT TO START LIVING MY LIFE ONCE AGAIN!
I am nobody’s fool though. I am scared stiff of facing my OCD contamination demons and realise it is going to take a considerable amount of time to get to where I eventually want to be. I guess I should have already said at this point that I suffer with emetophobia(fear of being sick) and my contamination OCD comes from worrying I am going to come in contact with sick. This therapist is not going to be able to just wave a magic wand and get me better in a matter of days. It is going to take a lot of baby steps along the way. Nevertheless, I am fully committed to trying to get better because this feels like my last ever chance.
On the plus side, this will be the first time that I have had CBT whilst being on mental health medication. My physical health up to the last six months has always prevented me from taking OCD medication, so to be able to do so now feels really encouraging. No longer do I feel like I am trying to get better with my OCD with one hand tied behind my back. I am taking Fluoxetine and Aripiprazole and they are definitely helping me. I do not panic like I used too. I do not ruminate like I used too, nor is my temper anywhere near as bad as it was. They are not a cure I obviously realise but I generally do feel a much calmer person taking them. I have not thought about suicide or self harming even for just one second whilst on these meds, therefore I feel hopeful about the CBT this time.
I just need my new Psychologist/therapist to be nice. I have been scared of a therapist in the past, as well as not having any confidence in my last one(they were a trainee). If I like her manner with me then I know this will really aid my attempt to get a lot better. I say it again, I am excited and yet scared. I look forward to telling you all how this first appointment went.
The month of May is mental health awareness month, so I thought I would share with you all the latest happenings in me trying to get better from this severely debilitating illness. In the last two weeks I walked through Manchester City centre for the first time in seven years(a massive achievement for me). This proves I am trying to conquer my fears and is the reason why I AM EXCITED YET SCARED, OF THIS FORTHCOMING CBT!!!