As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m currently having CBT sessions, and whilst it’s not been plain sailing, I have found many useful tools that are helping every day seem that little bit easier.
I’ve always been a very organised person; I like a plan, I like a list and I like a diary and this is something that’s reinforced, working as a PA. As anyone who has experienced CBT will tell you, it involves a lot of lists, a lot of charts and various diaries – so It’s something that I’ve really been able to get on board with.
The last few sessions have been focused on the notion of making sure I do things for myself; making sure I do things I enjoy and making sure I (try at least!) to relax. Underpinning this has been some work on finding out what’s really important to me, what I value and cherish and ensuring that I make time for it every week.
In recent years this is definitely something I have struggled with. The usual; spending too much time on things that don’t really matter and with people that don’t really matter, and it’s not until you really look back on things that you realise how little you were doing that you actually enjoyed. The notion of only doing things you want to do and only investing time in the people that deserve it is quite a basic one, but so damn hard to put into practice (certainly in my twenties that’s for sure).
Fast forward a few weeks though and I now don’t have a weekend free until October, but every weekend is to be filled with things I want to do, with people I want to see. And it feels great.
Family has always been my number one priority and always will be, and living away from them since leaving for university has been hard. Often it has been difficult/too expensive to see them as much as I would like and I’ve hated it. But with a bit of planning and a Two Together card, I now have plenty of visits planned, as well as a holiday with my younger brother Matt to see our aunt in Portugal in a few weeks time and some qality time with Tom’s family.
My love of going out to bars has certainly dwindled in the last few years, and I’ve found it hard to socialise with friends as I don’t really drink anymore and drunken nights out put the fear of god in me, but with the support and ingenuity of Tom, the past few months have seen me spending a lot more time with my friends, having fun, outside of the usual pub setting. We’ve taken part in the Crystal Maze, played crazy golf, been for walks and just had sofa pizza nights and it’s made me feel so much more confident and so much less hopeless and anxious.
Tom and I have also ensured we’ve been spending more quality time together and making the most of our weekends with going and exploring different areas of London and walks, and it’s when I’m at my happiest. I love a walk through a Royal Park, admiring all the flowers and dogs. Granted some might find it boring but for me it’s what I enjoy and it’s what gives me some calm.
Therapy is definitely a learning curve and I’m sure there’s a lot more to go, but I already feel that I’m able to make some smarter choices and choose what I do with more thought and insight. It’s important to remind ourselves sometimes that we aren’t obliged to do anything that makes us feel horrible or bad about ourselves and we don’t have to spend time with people who drain us and make us feel worse about ourselves.
You never hear anyone having regrets about spending too much time doing what they love and with the people they love, only ever about wasting time on things and people that weren’t worth it. Don’t feel guilty abot making those decisions.