Bit of a diary entry this one

Don’t expect anyone to read it as it’s long and a splurging out of troubles. Just need to express how I’m feeling and my stress levels are sky high…..And feeling low.

Got news that my son is ill in Thailand and before we discovered it was ‘just’ dengue fever it took me over the edge. Worried out my mind, in tears, feeling helpless while he’s ill in bed for days. Ready to jump on a plane then realised I can’t find my passport since I moved house.

I know it’s okay to have down days but I’m having so many these days. There’s been a build up over the last couple of years of the constant financial insecurity of running a business alone with all its responsibility, the loss of so many friends, through moving away (zeta and Steph) death (gonzo, Tamba, Fiona) and voluntary letting go of some (Dave and family, mark, Alex, and even Jamie) the death of my old dog, my son leaving home, and now see very little of Glen and Mary having moved away myself from being next door to them. And people I love moving away from me for their own reasons like Barry and Michael. I find myself feeling isolated and often lonely. Feeling sorry for myself here! Slowly new friends are appearing. I’m liking Euan, he’s honest good company, see him about once a week, but have a feeling there more than meets the eye I’ve yet to find out.

I thought joining the cbt course would fill a hole, but I don’t relate in some ways to the type of therapy or many of those on it, and find it intensely challenging alongside running the business. It’s very cerebral. Also seeing highly distress and depressed clients as a beginner is extra pressure.

I don’t know what to do. I woke up feeling anxious today, those sneaky scary thoughts crept up on me in the middle of the night when the boiler woke me up rumbling loudly….strange how the middle of the night can be a vulnerable time for scary thoughts to take a hold. I did the mindfulness technique of noticing acknowledging and letting them go, but not before my threat detection system had been activated and cortisol and adrenalin were coursing through my veins. Still, I got 7 hours sleep, not too bad.

So it’s time for practising some CBT on myself and writing down some ‘good facts’ to remind my activated threat detection system that actually things are well, and I’m not in the danger my brain is suggesting so often.

The stress was increased by having no work for 6 weeks in the winter and feeling my whole livelihood was under threat, my flat, my ability to support myself. So here are my stress producing thoughts and a counter thought to provide a reality check

  • having suppliers demand money you don’t have – that is now being resolved and the money owed is lower than ever
  • having difficult to please clients – I’ve had some great clients too including the current one. I can be more choosy now.
  • Redoing work that hasn’t worked or been done or designed properly – I’m going to avoid potential problematic design features such as rendering which often goes wrong
  • Not enjoying this work much any more and procrastinating – just doing it anyway, a little a day and I’ll feel some achievement
  • Feeling very alone with all this responsibility – I’m joining groups out there, going to a singing bowl sound bath today, and have started a new 10 week course on a Tuesday night.
  • Having hard essays to write for the course and procrastinating – do a little each day even if I don’t feel like it
  • Having to remember so much new information on the new course – forgive myself, I’m a doing learner so the time will come when I know the info and techniques by trying it out
  • Having therapy clients with difficult issues and doing my best for them knowing I’m only a student – both clients are coming back and also reporting they are benefitting from coming to see me.
  • Having to do a group presentations which I feel uncomfortable about – just accept the discomfort and appreciate the opportunity to get over a lifelong fear of public speaking. Plus I joined a public speaking club.
  • I’m in the difficult transition between a sole trader and a ltd company status – I have a transition period so can relax a bit about it, it doesn’t have to happen overnight and I’ve done most of the difficult

This is actually what I’m learning in CBT that stress producing thoughts have a more reality based basis that can reduce the threat level caused by the anxiety thought.

The idea was to give myself another occupation option in the future. I have to see clients each week too, which I’m feeling responsibility of, being a student and wanting to do my best for these people in high levels of anxiety and distress.

I’m just writing this down to explain to myself really why I feel the weight of obligations and responsibilities just now. And aloneness in it all is hard. I do feel so lonely. Being on my own most of the time is just so boring. I’m at my happiest when connecting with others. I’m feeling so low these days, when actually things are going well!

Time for some Good facts

  • I have legs that work, and a whole body that is healthy and relatively fit
  • I cycle round the park next to me regularly and love it.
  • I enjoy the company and love of an adorable well behaved dog
  • I have a lot of business coming in and am able to pay off what I owe
  • I have a friendly loving mum who lives nearby
  • My friend Steph is always there for me
  • I’m slowly making new friends

And be aware that how tough times are is very much up to me. Things are as they are and it’s my perception and the meaning I give to experiences that determines my emotional response to them.

Questions arise about my purpose and direction in life at the moment. What future do I want to create….I have no idea.

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