Today is Bell Lets Talk day so I figured we would do just that. The last time I wrote more in depth about Anxiety would have been my post from last year! It was about being diagnosed, I included a link at the bottom of this post in case you guys want to check it out.
When my doctor recommended CBT to me I was very hesitant. How was I supposed to tell a total stranger about my life when I couldn’t even talk to the people around me? What was I supposed to talk about and how was I supposed to fit that in my schedule between work and school?
The place recommended to me was just a few stops away on the metro from my school so I went in between classes. I’d finish class in the morning, hop the metro and walk the rest of the way. Then I’d do the reverse and head back to school for more classes. It made for an extremely long day and I always felt so drained afterwards. I cried once a week in front of a woman that I knew nothing about and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
The process of starting was that you first go through an evaluation. I filled out so many forms filled with extremely personal questions. Then I sat down with two women, that read the forms and asked me even more questions. I cried during that too. They then determine what kind of anxiety you seem to have as there is more than one. Next they find a therapist or student therapist to match you with. They then set up an appointment for you and away you go.
I bawled my eyes out for almost every single appointment. I learned so much about myself and the people in my life. It sounds weird to say that but I saw them and their actions in a new light. I realized that I had some very toxic relationships that I either needed to fix or end because they were destroying me. I talked about so much and I said things that I would never have felt comfortable talking to the people around me about. I always worried that I wouldn’t have anything to say but after a couple of questions, I felt like I didn’t have time to talk about everything.
I knew my sessions were coming to an end when I was able to go once every two weeks… That and I wasn’t crying my way through the whole session! That was a huge improvement for me. I still have the tools my therapist taught me and I can’t thank her enough. I don’t know what I would have done without her.
I also got homework to do from my therapist and it was actually super helpful. I still use some of the techniques now, even though I no longer attend sessions. CBT is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety. I learned what triggered my anxiety, how to stop from spiraling, and how to cope with it. It is usually done over a shorter time period, it can also be done in groups but I was not up for that.
Sometimes I think about finding another therapist, a bit closer to home, because it helped me immensely. Unfortunately, it can also be very expensive. It helps to talk about things and I am so glad my doctor convinced me to go. I don’t regret it for a minute.
So now I’ll wrap this up by telling you to please talk about it. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone in your life, an outsider can be so much easier. I still struggle to talk about how I feel but I’m better than I used to be and I hope I can improve even more. Don’t suffer in silence anymore, and you are always welcome to contact me through the contact us page if you just need to talk to someone that doesn’t know you, with no judgment.
Talk about it and help end the stigma.
Link to the diagnoses: