The last time I saw my psychiatrist she referred me to the rolling cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) that they run weekly at the community mental health centre. The first session was yesterday and prior to arriving I was already feeling really anxious about it. By the end of it I was a complete wreck and when I got home from it I had a huge panic attack. One of the worst I have had in a long time.
I had decided that I would do my very best when I got there and try to embrace this therapy as I really want to get some semblance of ‘normal’ back into my life. Initially I thought that this was possible until we started to go through the first lesson – Managing Unhelpful Thoughts. You would think that this would have been helpful, and if my problems and my thought patterns were not so messed up then perhaps it could. We had to complete a thought record and this is where I began to fall apart inside. I could fill in three of the columns but the other columns just made me feel like a complete failure because I couldn’t fill them in. I couldn’t think differently. How can I think differently when it isn’t all about my thoughts. It’s about flashbacks and nightmares, hearing things, seeing things, being rejected and abandoned, used and abused etc.
My thoughts are surrounded by things which have happened that make me believe that certain things are true. If my own mother cannot support me and be there for me then why on earth would anyone else want to be. I feel like a complete freak for having such a bad reaction.
After the session had finished I spoke with the lady who had been running it. We had also had to write a feedback form and I couldn’t do that either. I thought that perhaps I was overreacting about how I had been unable to do it, but she told me that it was a basic course for those with mild depression and anxiety and that my thought processes were more complex than this. She said that she would talk to my psychiatrist and perhaps I would be better to go on the stepps course again! I don’t know about the stepps course, having only done it recently and my counselling barely started I don’t know that I am ready for that again.
We agreed that I would go next week as she is focusing on unhelpful behaviours of which I have many. If it is triggering or anything then I can leave and at least I have spoken to her so I don’t feel like I have to be scared of her.
I sat through most of the session picking at my skin and scabs. When I came home I just had this overwhelming sense of panic, failure, self-loathing and being the biggest freak on the planet. I tried to control it, I thought I would make some tea and have a cigarette to calm myself down. But then all those ideas of taking all my meds came and I saw a knife and thought I could hurt myself. I just felt my lungs tighten and my whole body was shaking. I couldn’t think and I didn’t know what to do.
I text a friend but knew that I needed to speak to someone straight away. So I phoned the only person I knew that might have been able to talk to me right then and that would understand. I literally burst into tears when she answered and freaked out on her. I was a rambling mess and honestly remember little of what I said to her. I just had all this stuff inside me and just needed to let it all out. I have to say she was amazingly calm and talked to me for a little over an hour and I am incredibly grateful to her. When I spoke to my other friend I was definitely calmer, if not slightly exhausted by the sheer scale of the attack. BUT I am sincerely grateful to them both for having been there yesterday because I was in a real state and to be honest I am not sure what I would have done if they hadn’t been there.
I am not looking forward to the session next week, purely because I am scared that I will feel like this again. It’s horrible. It took me right back to being in uni in a lecture that I couldn’t get my head around at all. I had no idea what the lecturer was talking about, people around me were speaking and it sounded like they were far away in the distance. The sound of rustling and people’s phones vibrating were ridiculously loud. I couldn’t focus on anything and the more I tried to calm myself the worse it got. This was almost 2 years ago now.
I have considered part of my reaction could have been because my GP messed up my prescription. I have several items on acute dispensing because of my over-dosing tendencies. I requested last Wednesday to have zopiclone and quetiapine. Both are only issued to me weekly which means that I have to remember to put in the request in time so I don’t run out. Great when I have a memory like a sieve. Anyway, I asked for these last week which would have meant that I had both in time. I went on Monday to pick it up. Thinking to myself that there was no need to check what they had given me. As I took my meds that night I found that they had prescribed me zopiclone and co-codamol. Co-codamol is on acute as that is the one I am addicted to and abuse the most. They monitor it and they should have known that I wasn’t due the next script of it until later this week. AND I had NO quetiapine. So Monday night I didn’t sleep, when I did it was full of nightmares etc. It was a bad night. Followed by the bad CBT session, I was exhausted last night. I took my meds as prescribed last night and was surprised at how quickly they kicked in.
I don’t actually remember coming to bed and this morning is a slight blur with the kids getting to school. I have felt exhausted today and have done nothing other than fade in and out of sleep all day. I feel shit now, the house is a mess and I am still exhausted. My body is aching from all the shaking I did yesterday and I haven’t managed to eat today. I have not even wanted to smoke much either, only 2 so far when I would normally smoke much more.
Tomorrow I have to go to a course called the Parenting Puzzle which is for 2 hrs in the morning and then straight from there I have to go to counselling. I am not looking forward to either thing tomorrow because I am just so bloody tired. I do want to get better but I am at the point where I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep. Insomnia is still bad when I don’t have my meds but when I have them, I am shattered. I feel like I am in a catch 22 and have no idea how to escape this feeling.