I had psychology today. I still get a sense of calm walking back into the hospital. Part of me wanted to stroll onto my old stomping ground, head to the dining room and make a cup of tea, just so that somebody would ask me; “Are you o.k?” It’s clearly had a lasting effect on me. I’ve been out now for 2 weeks and I really really miss the amazing staff.
I do love my psychologist though (not in a creepy way). I’m limited to five more sessions with her, which is scary. Hopefully I’ll be in a better place by the time our therapeutic relationship ends.
Today I was tasked with yet more homework which I believe is worth sharing with you all. Depression tends to make us less active, less inclined to care for ourselves and less likely to do things that lift our spirits and so the vicious cycle goes. I’m certainly struggling in this regard, and if I didn’t have a little toddler shouting at 8 am every morning, I honestly don’t think I’d get up.
I’ve been introduced to “Activity Scheduling”. Basically its important that in any given week we schedule activities that incorporate the “Fabulous Four”
- Pleasurable Activities.
- Activites that we get a sense of achievement from.
- Physical activities.
- Sociable activities.
I’m not so good at this, and both my CPN and psychologist are trying to get me to do more of 1, 2 and 4, with the emphasis on 4. I’m nailing 3 though if that’s any concilation. Indeed I’ve just come back from the gym. 50 minutes of cardio followed by the leg lift challenge, which is continuing to stave off self harm (my stomach muscles burn instead).
I’m really struggling to find activities that I find pleasurable. At 32 years old (33 soon), you’d think over the years I’d have developed interests but actually I think as the years have crept up on me, I’ve become increasingly reclusive, scared to try new things and lacking in motivation. For these reasons I’m also struggling to become a more sociaiable being. I make plans and cancel them by text. I look up classes but never enrol. I have good intentons but never follow through.
Changing this particular behaviour on the path to better mental health, is perhaps the most challenging off all. I’m afraid of exposing myself to new people, in all my pale, squinty, odd looking, albino glory. I’m afraid of trying new activites or challenges for fear of failure due to my poor vision or just incompetence. When you hate yourself and all your flaws, it’s very difficult to present yourself to new endeavours. I don’t think we’ll fix this in 5 more sessions!.
This week I will at least try to make plans with existing friends, and give serious thought to what I can do.
The Fabulous Four is something that we all should strive for. If you’re interested in reading more about it; check out; https://www.childline.org.uk/globalassets/info-and-advice/your-feelings/feelings-and-emotions/depression-and-feeling-sad/activity-plan-the-fabulous-four.pdf
You’ll need to copy and paste. It’s a safe link, I promise.