Phew! Finally a moment to sit down with my thoughts and blog it out. Tuesday night, I bit the bullet and went for my first session with Dr. Wendy Ryan, with Walk and Talk Ottawa .
To be honest, I nearly threw up in my car in the parking lot… nearly bailed at least 5 times, and frantically fb chatted with my dear friend Krista trying to keep my brain occupied while I killed time waiting (I was early). The first thing that happened, was that a red beat up car with 2 guys pulled up.. they were loud, and brash, and joking around with each other about their upcoming fishing venture… Meanwhile I shrank back into my seat hoping they wouldn’t murder me lol. Deep breaths, anxiety spiking, heart racing, my calculating the probability of a heart attack before I ever get to my first therapy session… finding the humor in how funny it would be to die from a panic attack while waiting to be treated for panic attacks… more frantic typing to Krista, more refreshing my facebook feed, skin prickling, gotta bail, can’t bail, wanna run, can’t run…
And then I saw her pull in… 100% mixed reaction. on the one have massive relief that my “wait” was over (even though it wasn’t that long, and in fact she was a few mins early lol)… and on the other hand, a spike in my anxiety because now I am going to meet a complete stranger and talk to them…. in person…. on a bike path.. where people can see me. *sigh*. I was terrified.
Let me just say that within the first 5 minutes, I was completely at ease. I found it so easy to open up and talk to her, my fear subsided, somehow it wasn’t even terrifying when bikers would ding their bells to let us know they were about to pass us.. I went from panic, to relaxed in 5 minutes. The rest of the time we spent talking about my life, teaching me some meditation techniques to try and apply to myself, enjoying the nature that was all around us.. I even found a spot or two that I am dying to go back solo and bring a journal or my camera, or maybe even one day canvas and paint, and just spend some time there. The hour ended way to early, and I made the choice to set up my next appointment for the following week, this time in Luskville. I’m hoping by placing the sessions close together at first it will help keep me motivated and keep the ball rolling… once I have a better grip on myself and am not so deep in crisis and panic all the time, I will be fully loaded with tools to help me in between sessions.
The main thing I took away from my first session, is that I really need to learn to be gentle with myself. I am focusing right now on learning that it is OK to be happy, that I deserve to be happy and feel love… and I need to extend that love that I shower all of you guys with, onto myself. Whenever my bad thoughts and self loathing creep in, I am working on retraining my brain from “You don’t deserve this, they deserve better than you, and nothing you ever do will make you good enough to be their friend / his wife / her daughter etc) to asking myself “May I be happy? May I be healthy? May I have peace?” (and there’s a fourth one I keep forgetting)
I’ve taken that, and kind of tweaked it a bit into a mantra that was easy for me to remember and fits my situation..
“May I be happy? May I be free, from thoughts that plague me?”
Basically asking myself for permission to let go of those harmful thoughts that keep creeping in, and be happy.
So far, it’s too early to tell if this is specifically helping… but I am hopeful. It won’t be a quick fix, and it won’t change over night… but I feel more at ease, even in the midst of dealing with getting back onto EI and all the fun that comes along with that lol. I have a lot to look forward do during my time off… and unlike last time, where I wasted my entire summer trying to please a friend who ditched me the second her wedding was over…. I am going to care for myself. It may mean I’m not around as much for everyone, or that I may be quiet at times since I’m hoping to be less glued to my phone, and more in tune with the people around me or nature or just my own thoughts if I am alone..
It’s still early days, but I have hope, and where there’s hope, anything can happen 🙂