To say the past few days have been difficult is an understatement. I had my first EMDR session on Wednesday and since then I have been really struggling to stay positive. It was incredibly intense and has given me a lot to think about.
I know we expected it to be hard and I definitely expected a tough time to follow the start of the sessions but even so, it has knocked me for six.
I have been trying my best to take some time out for self care since and I’m quite pleased with how I’ve managed that. Lots of time spent napping and cuddling up on the sofa under a blanket but also some running and some nice walks with my dog to make sure I have got out each day. I have also done my best to ensure I have eaten properly as I know that is one of the first things to slip when things get tough.
I am frustrated though because I have got a lot of things I could be getting on with but have lost my motivation to do them. A typical depressive episode I guess.
It’s funny, this morning when I was walking the dog, it was really sunny and bright and I felt refreshed by getting out in the fresh air. Tomorrow morning it is supposed to be torrential rain but I will still have to walk the dog. That made me think - the world will still be the same one that it was this morning tomorrow, just with some extra clouds and water falling from the sky. That’s a bit like how I need to look at things in general now - the positive, productive and promising world that I was experiencing a couple of weeks ago is still there, it’s just that it’s covered in cloud right now. I have to keep going through the storm to come out into the sunshine again.
In the meantime, I will just have to keep up with the self care and keep reaching out for support if and when I feel I need it. It is hard to have no targets for me to strive for, especially when I am low on motivation so to try and give myself some semblance of structure, some self care things that I hope to do include:
- reading some of my book and browsing a magazine or two
- finding a new series to watch on Netflix
- having a shower and using some nice smelly stuff
- doing some exercise every day, even if just taking the dog out
- doing my online food shop and getting it delivered
I don’t know how things are going to develop as obviously this is only week one of however many weeks of similar sessions but I just hope I can hold on to how things were going beforehand. It’s going to take some time to get back on my feet, I know that but if I can keep a handle on the progress I’ve made then hopefully things won’t go too far backwards.
I saw my GP last week in a planned appointment to keep things under review. He offered to call me after my EMDR session to check in, which I was really grateful for, and when he did, he ended by quoting myself back at me. When I first saw him after my discharge from the therapeutic community where I had been an inpatient, I told him that one of the biggest things I’d learnt whilst there was that not every thought needs to be acted upon. He has been using that with other mental health patients he has seen since then and reminded me of what I’d said. And he was right to - things may be rough but that doesn’t mean I need to react in some way, more just ‘be’ with the emotions and feelings that arise.
That’s something I need a lot of practice in so if nothing else this is a huge learning opportunity!