A little content/trigger warning: I’m gonna be talking about paranoid thoughts and suicidal thoughts. Don’t know if this really needs a CW/TW but I don’t want to legitimately trigger someone. I’m trying to be a rational yet decent human being.
Ugh, I’ve had no will to write a post…
So I’ve had about 2 sessions of CBT so far. I think they’ve gone fairly well. My therapist is really nice, and she’s really pretty and has a tongue piercing which I can’t spot looking at every time she speaks. It’s not distracting, but I have to say I’ve never looked at the inside of someone’s mouth so much in my life. So far in CBT we’ve been working on emotional outbursts and anxiety. That’s about all I’m gonna talk about because I honestly don’t have the energy to go on about it. In other news…
Not much has changed really. I guess the low moods have gotten a bit better. I’m not sure why that is. It might be due to the fact that I was finally able to change groups in uni so I’m in the same group as my friend. It’s great because I don’t feel so lonely and isolated anymore, and it’s also helping my friend too because she may be dealing with social anxiety and she said having a close friend nearby helps.
I was also able to finally reunite with Grace! We met up during the holidays and spent the whole day together, talking, drinking, giggling and hugging. We actually only drank a little wine, but apparently we’re both light weights so… Grace and I are still talking regularly which is great. I’m really glad she’s in my life again, I really missed her and I know she missed me because she even misses me now (we’re not in the same city) and doesn’t fail to remind me of that.
…Make of that how you will…
I’ve also been having a little luck these days. This guy, who I’ve previous referred to as ‘Joker’, who I’m now going to refer to as ‘Cute Guy’ because that’s the code name I use in real life, has been sitting next to me or really near me in the last few lectures and I’ve just been on cloud 9. I don’t know how I keep managing to sit next to him. It’s not like I’m following him or anything. I think it’s just because I sit in the same general area where he and his friends (including Curly Fries who I also call ‘Cute Guy’s Boyfriend’) sit. And it’s just been great. At first I felt extremely uncomfortable because I was really self conscious and I tend to judge my self-worth on how many people like me (which isn’t a lot), but eventually I just started sitting back and soaking it in. I mean I get to watch him everyday. It’s a little hard when I’m sitting next to him, but when the lecturer moves to the side, I am technically forced to look towards him. It’s funny watching him in lectures. I thought he was so cool and …’popular’… (I don’t tend to use that word- I don’t think our year has that kind of hierarchy) but he’s also a total nerd. So serious in lectures. Making notes and nodding like every two seconds. Always answering questions that he can be heard in almost every recording. I like that about him. I think he’s weird and he moves a little bit too much, like he’s… it’s hard to explain… he’s a little restless but not in a ‘bad’ way. He’s just so into the lectures.
Such a nerd.
I guess the last things I wanted to talk (write) about are my paranoid thoughts. Let’s end this off with something negative as always. 🙂
I’ve always had weird thoughts since secondary school at least- when I started taking public transport and going place myself and being more independent. I thought about stuff like,
“What if someone’s gonna turn back and shoot me/stab me?”
“What if someone jumps out of that bush and drags me in?”
“What if someone pushes me onto the tracks?”
What if this person has stolen my phone/travel card?”
“What if I dropped them by accident?”
“What if I get trapped?”
“What if I have a heart attack?”
“What if something jumps out and gets me if I go downstairs at night?”
“What if that man lets his dog free to attack me?”
What if that person stabs me for walking past and in front of them?”
Soooo many questions. The train track one is fairly recent though, now that I get the train everyday now. When I took the bus I thought about bus crashes. But anyway, the point is that while I thought these, thoughts, they didn’t affect me that much. My therapist said it’s normal to just have these ‘what if’ thoughts. It’s a way to assess threats. As long as you don’t listen to them, you’re good.
Only the problem is I’ve started to listen to them.
And now I genuinely fear I’m going to be pushed into the tracks. I do think I’m gonna lose my phone or travel card if I don’t check every few minutes. I do think people are waiting in the bushes for some poor victim to cross their path. And I do run to my room every. single. time. I can hardly go to the bathroom at night. I have to mentally prepare myself beforehand and I’ve even started leaving the hallway light on as well as the bathroom light so I feel safer- and it works, but only by a bit.
My anxiety is always bubbling in the background. I’m always surveying my surroundings. I look back several times, I check my bag every few minutes and then again after the first one because the first one might have made my phone fall out… And then check again.
I told my therapist about this and she decided I try exposure therapy. The idea is get into an anxiety provoking situation and to sit with anxiety, without engaging in the behaviour I normally do to call myself down (e.g. looking back, checking and rechecking). I have to stay there and wait for my adrenaline levels to fall and the result is after repeating this, your anxiety level when faced with the anxiety provoking situation is much lower and it takes less time to calm down.
For now she asked me to notice how many times I engaging in my calming behaviours and that day as I was walking back home, I engaged in bag checking quite a few times. At first, I tried to stop myself, just to see how hard it’ll be, but I eventually gave in and checked my bag before I exploded. It’s fucking hard. The next day, I was heading to uni in the evening for origami and it wasn’t even dark and I was still looking back. I think I looked back around 8 times and checked my bag about 5 times during that 10 minute walk. And obviously more for the rest of the day- I was almost in panic when I was walking back home. It was much darker and I was staring at those bushes I always think I’m gonna get dragged into.
The next step is to develop helpful rational thoughts to counter the unhelpful ones that cause the anxiety (which are more like beliefs at this point- I actually believe the unhelpful thoughts) and use them to avoid the behaviours. That’s gonna be the tough part- actually applying those helpful thoughts.
I think a lot of my problems stem for fear of having a lack of control. That would explain a lot, especially why I would rather walk half an hour than get on a bus for about 10 minutes to get to an appointment. Public transport is so unreliable and I haven’t been on a bus in a couple of months. Not being able to check my bag means a huge loss of control. I don’t know whether I have my phone or travel card. I need them to have control. I’ll be out of control if I lose them. I’d have no idea where to start. And then I’d start thinking about jumping into that train track myself. One reason I suspected BPD is the fact that if I get something wrong (e.g. losing my phone or purse, or travel card, being late to class or a lab) I think it’s the end of the world. There’s no in between. It’s all bad (I have full control) or it’s all bad (I lost control of one thing therefore I have no control). I have only 2 options: do everything right and have things go as I want, or have one thing go wrong and so you need to jump onto that track because there’s no reason to live anymore.
There are no other options.
Of course there are other options, but I tend to try so hard to make sure things don’t go wrong so that I don’t have to kill myself. The temptation to jump in is strong though. But I’m not suicidal- despite the trigger warning. Honestly. I think it’s just a form of impulsiveness. I don’t know. I don’t think clearly at those times. And I don’t think I want to die. Rather, I’m terrified about dying and I’m clearly trying to avoid it.
That’s it for now. I’m tired and I want to go to bed… buuuuut I still have work to do. This term I’m just so busy but I’m glad I was able to make a post.
Thanks for reading, I mean it.