Tag Archives: Therapy

Mental Health: My post-therapy panic attack

Today has been a very bad day. Regular readers will know I’m currently having an intensive series of therapy sessions to deal with my anxiety and depression. My session today did not go well.

My therapist has identified that I have a very critical inner voice who tells me what I am worthless, that I am nothing, that I am ugly and that I am unlovable. (To clarify, I’m not “hearing voices”, it is my inner dialogue, something we all have, the little person inside us who narrates our life). I believe all the awful, bullying things this voice is saying to me. It tells me the truth that others are too afraid to say, or says the things people are thinking before they say it to my face. In short, I am horrid.

Today therapy was rough. The therapy session itself went well. We explored a few things, noted I was making some progress in some areas, chatted about this voice who says hateful things. I left feeling ok. Then somewhere on the way home I started crying, then I started having a panic attack. My mind ran at 300mph, I couldn’t do anything to help myself or stop myself. I was in the middle of the street 15 minutes from home and I couldn’t breathe. My eyes were streaming with tears and my nose was running, I must’ve looked an absolute sight.

I stood swaying on the pavement, not knowing what to do or where to turn, I glanced up and a blue car was driving up the road, without thinking I stepped towards the road and into its path. I just wanted it all to stop and the only thing I could think of was the peace of death. At the last second I stepped back off the pavement and clung to a lamppost. I have no idea how I got home.

By the time I got home from therapy I had calmed down a bit. The panic was going, but that was replaced with tears. I sobbed bitterly, painfully for two hours. A couple of friends chatted to me online and helped me calm down. Today has shaken me, really shaken me, I’ve not felt this bad in 18 months. I’m frightened that I’m going to slide back down that snake again after spending so long climbing the ladders. What I want to do is curl up and sleep and cry. What I have to do is work and look after my family.

It’s been so long since my last panic attack, it’s scary how they completely take over you and how they leave you feeling drained and worthless. This afternoon my friend reminded me to breathe, how stupid is it to have to be told to breathe? She was right though. Breathe. Keep breathing.

Mental Health: My post therapy panic attack

Read more of my mental health posts here.

Mental Health: Man hands on misery to man

I’m not great right now and I’m blaming therapy. I’ve been merrily plodding on for months and months now. I’ve had the odd bad day dragging me down but not for long. My strategy of locking all my demons away has been working terrifically, so as long as I don’t actually think about anything other than the things I’m doing that day I’m ok. Sometimes the misery can overwhelm me though.

Then last week I started therapy. After some mental health assessments I’ve been prescribed some CBT and some intensive counselling which is great news, but it does mean I have to put my misery and my demons in their best party dresses and take them out for a spin every week for the next three months.

My therapy will focus on sorting out my self esteem (minuscule) and getting my critical voice to be a bit nicer to me. Fine. But what that means is I’m now looking at WHY my self esteem is so tiny and WHY my critical voice is such a massive bitch and why I’m such a misery. I know the reasons why and it really really hurts to delve back there and pick at those open wounds.

If you want a clue as to why I’m a messy mess of messy issues. A pretty good starting point can be found in Philip Larkin’s famous poem, This Be The Verse. I had a perfectly nice, normal, average childhood. Regrettably I wasn’t a high achiever so it was devoid of praise, with fairly critical parents, compounded by my abject failure to match up to my high achieving younger sibling.

I love my parents and I know they love me, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’m a disappointment, a failure on all fronts. Even now their every interaction with me is peppered with criticism, or perceived criticism about me. How I look, how I act, how I dress. They criticise my husband and child; my life, everything really. Occasionally they tell me they’re pleased or proud of something and it’s so rare I figure they must be lying or have made a mistake. I do love them though, but I’m determined not to be like that with the small boy.

I know the first few weeks of therapy will be the hardest. Opening up to someone and showing them the darkness within. Talking about the things that hurt the most without having the strategies I need to cope with this new avalanche of pain will knock me for six. I’m really, really upset I’m feeling this way again and I’m frightened that it’ll drag me down again. That it’ll pull me under and overwhelm me and I just can’t go back there. Part of me wants to slam the door shut and run far away from it all. Part of me, most of me knows this is all for the best, in the long term at least.

So please bear with me, I’m struggling right now. I hurt a lot and I’m really, really hating on myself, but you know this isn’t really me. I’m not really like this. I’m just frightened of being swept away on the tide and never finding my way back again.

Man hands on misery to man

Read more of my mental health posts here.