At this very moment I feel grateful. Grateful that I feel so much better, that I can enjoy seeing friends, that I can eat normally again, that the intrusive thoughts have slowed so much so that I’m almost managing to forget they are there.
I had my first CBT session yesterday and whilst a few people in the group thought it was their own private confession session, it was helpful to know that regardless of why our mental health was suffering – there are ways to get ourselves feeling better. We broke down situations, thoughts and emotions and looked at how these three aspects can lead to a viscous cycle: causing further anxiety and avoidance which can be really harmful in recovery. Whilst it’s great that people felt bold and brave enough to discuss their past, I felt it really distracted us from learning how to cope with and handle our mental health. I’m hoping the next session people will have gotten enough off of their chest to allow us to practice these new skills.
I’ve ordered a book written by Rose Bretécher called ‘Pure’. Rose has suffered with Pure O and OCD since she was 15 years old and just reading articles she has written and listening to her interview on Woman’s Hour has really opened up my eyes to this illness. Whilst hearing/reading/seeing other people’s suffering doesn’t lessen your own – it helps to know that you are not alone. You are not a bad person, you are not vile or disgusting and you have nothing to feel guilty about. The mental health stigma still holds us down; instead of admitting to these intrusive thoughts and feelings we choose to bottle it up. It’s not as interesting or appealing to people when the issue isn’t depression or anxiety – that’s what I find anyway.
So whilst I may not be 100% myself, and whilst I know that I probably will face this wall of despair again – I am grateful that there are resources to learn from and other people to listen to.
What are you grateful for?