My CBT Journey
I had been living under the clouds for many years. The adequate amount of light could not break through to direct my steps up to a meaningful life with purpose.
After frequently stumbling and falling down, the internal bruises were becoming too painful. The injuries were preventing me from functioning in both a work and social capacity.
A street sign advertising Efficacy was noticed whilst walking tentatively towards an office in which I found the environment to be overtly alien. Some in the office had conflicting values that they aggressively intended to impose on me.
I felt awkward at first but I had always found it easier to communicate with strangers rather than family and friends. I sadly followed the mantra: "The more they know about me the more ammunition they have to use against me." This was not an idle chat or passing the time over coffee and it became clear that I had to face topics that had been hidden in boxes (literally) during the last six years. Some issues had deeper roots and could only be revealed once the top soil had been aerated.
Initially, in pride and in denial, this thought ran through my mind:- "This can't help. He (the therapist) is writing on the board! I need to change."
Taking responsibility for the choice of my thoughts and actions was key. My colleagues may have been impatient but it does not mean that I become infected with their characteristics. Subsequently, before change can take place outwardly it is necessary to change internally.
I felt disconnected from the world. Why was I off centre? Others appear to be so relaxed and enjoying themselves. Why do some appear to be so awkward when in my company? The five steps that became apparent and remain relevant:-
1) The acceptance that I did have problems.
2) Actively seek help.
3) The feelings i.e. do not try to hide them internally or in boxes.
4) The number of qualifications indicates the number of years invested in the studying of CBT.
5) Aim for achievements. Whether it be one step forward or many steps to reach the finish line.
The therapist was an excellent coach and there was no need to take any performance enhancing substances. The direct questions albeit slightly gruelling were crucial to strengthen the core. These are questions that family and friends are yearning to ask but choose not to so that the fragile peace arrangements can be maintained.
There have been changes but regular training workouts continue with the realisation that there is always room for improvement.
The unease with social interaction will reduce with practice. Some may never cheer me on and that is a fact of life for any one. The diversity of the crowd makes the setting more colourful.
It is a matter of moving aside, not backwards, from those who only wish to throw mud. It is important not to engage or encourage their frustration. The therapist said "Lower the volume of your voice, speak slowly and keep the number of words to a minimum." This was essential advice.
With sincere thanks to the therapist for his patience and consistent training.