So for those of you who don’t know, I’m in an anxiety treatment center because yes, my disorders have gotten so bad that I need intensive therapy everyday for 3 hours. This is also why I haven’t posted for 2 weeks and for that, I deeply apologize. I’ve been sitting at my computer for the past couple of weeks with multiple drafts trying to think of something funny or encouraging or lighthearted to say while I go through this self-transforming process.
But let me tell you, its really hard to take this lightly because this shit is really fucking hard.
I’m receiving multiple kinds of treatment:
- Exposure Therapy: Exposing me to my anxieties and various phobias and fears and making me feel the anxiety it gives me until it goes away (yes it is as awful as it sounds and I have to trust my therapist when she says it works).
- Cognitive Distortion Treatment: So everybody beats themselves up and tells themselves things that aren’t true and makes themselves feel shitty. The difference between me and everybody else is that I do it constantly and I didn’t see it as wrong until I was told so. So I’m now analyzing every single self-deprecating thought until I can catch my cognitive distortions or bad thoughts (to be put in much much simpler terms).
- Teaching Self-Compassion and Mindfulness: Fun fact: I hate myself. I don’t mean this in a joking way; I genuinely hate myself. And I am 100% cool with this fact even though I really shouldn’t be. I built this wall of self-hatred around me because I was sick of putting so much energy into my passions that weren’t getting any recognition while I was in middle and high school. So now I have to unlearn hating myself and recognizing that I actually have talent and I’m smart. Some would call this Impostor Syndrome.
- Group Therapy
I’ve also been digging up my past and writing letters to people in my past that I have severely affected me but they’ll never get to read and I’ve been forced to let go of some habits that I felt keep me safe. I’ve had to learn that forgiveness doesn’t mean that it makes what that person did okay, but rather a part of letting go and letting that person go as well. There is one I still refuse to forgive, but maybe that will come in time.
Its not easy and its not fun and it doesn’t all start taking affect the first few days like I wished it would. There has been an immense amount of streaked eyeliner, one suicidal thought, an emergency family group meeting, and even some laughter. My therapist is hysterical and extremely helpful despite all my weird quirks and nuances.
I got through the first week of treatment, crying to my mom that I wanted to go home and I didn’t want to deal with this bullshit because it was making me worse and I didn’t believe it was going to help me. I wanted to drop out so badly because I thought I was hopeless and that I wasn’t ready for this kind of treatment. I had just finished my first exposure therapy session and it was the actual worst. Feeling something you’ve been repressing for years is the last thing I wanted to feel and I wanted to go home.
But I’m very glad I didn’t and I can’t believe I’m typing that now.
So heed my warning: I went into this thinking I was going to be fixed like kablamo! And I’m not. I am learning. Treatment Centers are not going to fix you for you; you have to put in work and a lot of work that you’re not going to want to do. Its like going through high school so that you can get into a college. High school (at least for me) really FUCKING sucked. But now that its over, I’m in a college that fits me like a beautiful dress. I just have to get through the high school part of my mental health so that I can graduate and go to the college part of my mental health that makes me feel as wonderful as actual college does. I don’t know if I’m going to get better after 2 more weeks. What I do know, is that I will have the right tools to help me get better, and that’s really really fucking important.
If you’re about to go into treatment for your disorders or anything, you have every right to be scared and even to doubt if you really need this. But if you’re considering it in the first place, that means you do need to. You have to do a trust fall with your therapist and trust that they will catch you and put you on your feet. It will be you though, that will have to do the walking.
Have a day filled with kittens, Okay?