In last week’s post I told you about how we focused that session on the blood test I had coming up on Friday in the hopes of helping me to deal with it better. I said I’d give a little update on how it went and whether it worked so…
No panic attack. No anxiety. A completely ‘normal’ blood test.
Usually the night before would have probably been worse for me than the actual event – this often happens – but I definitely knew that changes had been made because the night before my blood test I was so chilled out. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I slept well and ate well.
Now we’re really in the thick of it. I believe that this week we identified where one of my main anxiety triggers is coming from and to me, that’s great progress. I’m a very analytical person and knowing what and more importantly, why is something that’s often necessary to me in all aspects of life. Do you know that feeling where something in your head suddenly clicks and oh gosh how have I only just realised that? This is what happened. I was talking about a particular event and it suddenly all made sense: this is a key trigger.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, this week was tough. I cried and I’m exhausted but we must not forget that recovery is not a straight line and despite struggling a bit in the session, progress was made and now I’m actually feeling quite good. I actually feel quite proud of myself for the way that I dealt with it and the progress that was made. My therapist stops at intervals when doing EMDR, asking me to rate how disturbing I find that memory/event/scenario. At the beginning of the session this particular event was at an 8 out of 10. At the end, I couldn’t picture it enough to rate it.
As I said, recovery isn’t a straight line and I’m sure that when I’m not so tired and my eyes have recovered a bit more, I will be able to picture it again and it will be shit but, it might not be as shit. The whole process of moving traumatic events to the long-term memory means bringing them back up again – this is what we do in each session – so that they move on properly and are no longer triggers. When I then picture that memory/event/scenario it stays a memory and doesn’t become an experience.
I would also like to mention the weird dreams I’ve been having. After last week’s session I had three completely weird dreams a couple of days apart and to be honest I’ve never really paid much attention to the dreams I have or what they represent or whatever, I never really believed in that kind of stuff. But now I know that all of our processing happens whilst we’re asleep, I can recognise that some of the things I’m dreaming about aren’t at all random. It might be weird, but it’s not random.
After last week’s post a couple of people got in touch with me and said that after reading this series they felt encouraged to get help. Firstly, good for you. It’s a very difficult step to take so I respect you for taking it. Secondly, I would love to hear about how you’re getting on so if you’ve started therapy or are thinking about it, get in touch!