Young, Sick and Invisible

My illness has shaped me,
But it does not define me.

My Therapy Battle


Onto my next hurdle ... Therapy.

I decided that I had been struggling long enough, and I was only dragging myself down. This is when I decided to take action.

I don't know how to explain it, having depression and anxiety is like a battle between you and your inner demons, you fight every thought you have and undermine yourself all the time. My anxiety was at an all time high, especially when I first started volunteering. I had to travel on the bus by myself, to a destination I barely go to, and then travel home by myself. My thoughts of everyday consist of, will I wake up on time ..? Will I leave on time ..? Will I get to the bus stop on time ..? Will the bus arrive on time ..? Will there be traffic along the way ..? My anxiety would settle once I arrived, but then would go off again as soon as I entered the Hospital .. What would set it off again during the day though was lunch time ... I had to eat by myself .. which I hate as I feel like everyones watching me (even if they aren't), not only this but was I dressed appropriately ..? Can people see my fat ..? Do I look fat ..?

What sets me off the most though is the nightmares, the same nightmares every night, the same ones that make me wake up sweating, crying and made me question my life. The feeling as though I was losing something or someone.

This is when I took action, I took a trip to my GP and let my mum explain everything - I would've but the tears took control. That's when she told me about Let's Talk IAPT and how they'd be able to help.

Time went on and I had my first session around the corner. Due to my high anxiety about time, I left an hour before the session started, and got there 20 minutes after I left my house ... I really didn't plan that properly.

I signed myself in after talking to the receptionist and she told me to take a seat. 20 minutes passed .. and nothing ... 40 minutes passed .. and nothing. I was bought up to not interrupt conversations, but merely wait till they had finished, the receptionist had been on the phone the whole time talking about her trip to Jamaica and Sainsbury's, although after 40 minutes I lost my patience and asked what was going on.

That was when I was told I was in the wrong place. I had missed 40 minutes of a 50 minute session. I was fuming, but didn't know how to channel that energy and so burst out into a panic attack. The place I was supposed to go was only a 5 minute walk away, so I had a 5 minute session.

The therapist was nice, young and sounded like she understood me, but what else can I say ..? The session was only 5 minutes long !!

Onto the next weeks session now, and things had just begun !!

I got to my session on time and sat down with my therapist .. and that's when things went from bad to worse. She twisted my words, tried to tell me that it's not this .. but THIS. The only good thing that came out of the session was that she thought I had severe OCD with organisation, so much so that I even wanted time to be organised (which explains a lot).

Don't get me wrong, she was a lovely person but things just weren't working out.

I went home and called up the Lets Talk and asked for a different therapist, I thought I was in my rights to do so no ..?

A few weeks had passed and I was on my way to a new appointment with a new therapist. I was praying that things were only going to get better.

And damn did that prayer come true !!!

My new therapist is lovely, she gets me, like I don't know how, but she understands me, evaluates all that I say and is so calm and nice about things.

After telling her my story and explaining absolutely everything she asked me to do a test, that's when I was diagnosed with PTSD.

I have PTSD ...

I won't ever get used to saying that.

I ... have ... PTSD ...

What do I do now ..? Does a name change anything ..?

What it did change is my thinking process, it made me realise and piece things together, why my behaviour is the way it is, why I have the same nightmares over and over and why my depression and certain triggers make me act out.

Everything happens for a reason, I needed to go through what I've been through to seek help, I needed to go through a bad therapist to find a good one, I needed to get a diagnosis to figure out how to get over it. It all happened for a reason, no it wasn't all good and some things bought my mood down even more, but It's like I needed that to get where I am today, for me to learn from the past and move on ...

Onwards and Upwards I say !!

Until next Monday,

Bethany S.

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