This isn’t usually something that I like to put in a blog but my general personality is to be very private. Yes I use social media quite a lot and my day to day activities are not private but I don’t like talking about personal things apart from with Faye really. Not quite sure why that is. It has just always been the way. This is an attempt to try and deal with this issue and also to not put so much pressure on myself which contributes to some of my issues. So I had my first therapy session yesterday. Thankfully i didn’t have the same privacy issues which is essential for this to work. The main purpose is to try and find better ways of dealing with my anxiety issues especially when blood is concerned.
To give a bit of background. It has been an ongoing joke in my family about how I react with blood because of a single day when I was young (maybe 8 or so) where I was at a funfare type thing I think and I saw some fake blood and passed out. Ever since I have not really liked blood and avoid it where I can. It’s blood that looks real or that is real. Not blood in tv drama’s but blood in reality shows. You get the drift. It’s fear for life when it’s clearly real life.
Last year I started passing out again, and more worrying having seizures whenever I was around blood, talking about blood or generally talking about health related things that made my anxiety levels sky rocket. I had 2 seizures about a month apart and now my anxiety has reached further to going to GP surgeries. I then also had 2 seizures in the hospital and now I avoid going to the hospital. This is to a certain extent a good thing but when Faye has an operation in a month and I’m too scared to set foot in a hospital it becomes a bit of a problem and definitely not something I want to be avoiding! I have had all sorts of tests and nothing is wrong with me physically.
My first session
I met my therapist who was a lovely woman and not at all judgemental. It’s their job not to be but I guess the fear of judgement is why I don’t like talking about things. I always want to impress, do my best, not be judged wrongly or appear weak mentally and the therapist didn’t make me feel like that at all. She asked a load of questions about my mood, how I felt, my seizures etc and what basically came out is something that everyone, from my mother, my boss and Faye, has already told me. I am a massive worrier about all things, big or small. I guess this very feature is what has enabled me to move up in my job as worry, cautiousness and thoroughness allows me to be good at my job. The downsides of course are obvious. She also said that I am very in-tune with my body which is good to a certain extent but also bad because I know when I’m feeling funny, and thus become more anxious!
An example I gave to her was actually in the waiting room of the GP surgery before going in to see her. I started getting anxious and I knew it was coming so I started playing on my phone. I am not allowed to do that next week. It also happened when I was talking to her so I took my jacket off and leaned forward to get a little more horizontal as I was getting very hot very quickly as well as my heart rate going f*cking mental.
The interesting thing about all of this is that when it comes to blood, we are as humans are hard wired to pass out. Well, more specifically if it is our own blood. The idea being that by falling down and being horizontal we are reducing the speed of the bleed. In my case I think all blood or blood related topics and anything with an emotional connection is, apparently, mine or about me therefore I pass out. In all other cases of anxiety, we actually receive an adrenaline rush which means it is almost impossible to faint. Both the above instincts are hard wired into us, although its prevalent In some more than others! The purpose of the therapy is to try and control it as much as possible.
In the session I created a hierarchy thing. I can’t quite remember what it’s called but basically it’s a hierarchy of tasks from easiest to most difficult, designed to make me feel like shit and an idiot so that I can learn to deal with my anxiety to prevent exiting the “traumatic” situation through unconsciousness. The most difficult is my goal for the set of 4 sessions. To be able to go to the hospital with Faye for her operation. The problem is that I graduate on the same day but hopefully it the operation will get moved.
The easiest which I started today was to watch hospital programs such as the Real A&E and Embarrassing Bodies. Anything that has “real” blood and goriness and things like that. I am not allowed to stop watching it until my anxiety decreases by 50% and it has to be every day this week. No doubt I will be updating you all on how that went some time next week!