I’ve been in CBT therapy for the last 4 months, to say I’ve found it difficult is an understatement, in my quest to find better mental health I’ve had to look deep inside to find answers to the questions I have been avoiding for ever.
My sessions aren’t structured in the normal way as I had a lot to get of my chest, especially when dealing with the past which shaped my behaviours from childhood into adulthood, my discoveries haven’t made pretty soul-searching, though it is essential that I stop avoiding and distracting myself instead of dealing with my problems.
My childhood was pretty ordinary, we were a single parent family, my mother always worked full time, therefore I was left with quite a lot of responsibility, I was given a key when I was 6 years old, and that was a huge thing even at that age the burden was placed on me to be responsible, the problem was I immersed my self in that role which effectively became part of my identity.
Add to the mix my mother was a very high achiever which was always instilled in me, at the same time she was my daily critic on every little thing I did wrong, well to her mind anyway, even though she’d bestowed this huge responsibility on me, she treated me like a child, which of course I was, however she did rely on me, I could never get that switch she made from being responsible and serving home cooked meals on a nightly basis to being treated like a truculent child.
I think this sowed the seeds of resentment, and in my own mind I had to do better, which became my mantra and served me well for many years, to be frank I feel that I lost myself many years ago, not that being a people pleaser is my thing, however I could not always satisfy myself as to my own values and expectations,which were/are ridiculously high.
In fact I became another person and this has manifested itself in therapy, I often talk about myself in the third person as I struggle to bring balance to all sides of my personality, to become whole.
The high functioning person that I was, that worked 90 hour weeks, made decisions all day long, who also partied hard and was everybody’s go to person, my identity again took another shift in that work became my identity, therefore more avoidance in taking care of myself, I was “living the dream” although deep down I always knew this wasn’t really the way to go, so I just worked harder, partied harder I’m exhausted just thinking about it I burned out and had no tools in which to recover.
What people didn’t know, I came home most nights and cried, I’m an expert at super gluing that mask to my face, and those who did see past the cracks I banished from my life not wanting to appear weak, but something more intrinsic than that was I didn’t want anybody to see the real me, I mean in terms of seeing the emptiness that lurked beneath the surface, I became so good at avoidance which meant that I isolated myself and feared that people would see just how lonely and helpless I was.
When I started back blogging here 3 years I thought I was in recovery, it wasn’t true again I avoided dealing with that I had a breakdown and also became homeless, something I never thought would happen to someone like me, it has had such a profound effect on my life, in turn these events dispelled the myths that I’d created around myself, just to function, however yet again I was just hiding from the truth of my mental status from myself.
So there you have it, who I was, what I became, now I’ve been slowly trying to strip away the layers to find out what’s underneath, I’ve come to the really hard part, in trying rid myself of old behaviours and develop new ones, it’s so bloody hard, mindfulness and meditations help, setting small goals, living life one day at a time, trying to be kind to me, the biggie is to stop beating myself up, as the saying goes old habits die-hard.
I am discovering new things, not always sure how I feel about them, I guess in time it will become the norm, S my therapist said today I need to stop obsessing about stuff, it only has an impact because I let it(easier said than done) but he’s right, however a lifetime of destructive behaviours that have harmed me only, hopefully I can set myself free and become whole.