After my second week on the Self-Esteem CBT course, I’m again feeling slightly elated and rather content this evening! Then again, it’s been a while since I’ve felt any crushing lows now and that should be evident within my weekly test scores on the questionnaires we’re given.
I saw down, wanting to start writing this a little earlier and so, some of my thoughts have slipped to the back of my mind… But, I did make some notes on the back of my handout (in fact, I recommend) and so, by referring to them, I’m hoping that I can share everything I intended in the room. 😉
Where to start but at the very beginning?!
Driving down to Weston, I hit a surprise queue of traffic which was going to delay my arrival, meaning I reached the door several minutes late. That’s fine. In fact, they say that they would rather someone turns up late than to over-stress about arriving at the right time or, not turning up at all. I crept in through the unclosed door and greeted the now-shaven-headed Derren Brown-lookalike… Or, should that be a not-so-Derren Brown-lookalike-anymore…? I was looking for my familiar seat as I made my way around the back of the class, only to realise that there were fewer seats laid out than last time and, that two women were sat in ‘my space’… So, instead of turning around in search of another spot, I pulled the chair back and sat down between the two of them! Confidence?! I don’t know. But I did feel quite anxious sat there for the first hour and I sensed the two have them may’ve felt some discomforts of their own (well, they did chose to sit one seat apart from one another). After popping to the loo at the halfway break and then fetching a glass of water, I began to relax and found it easier to take in what was going at the front of the class.
After a quick review of last week’s session and soon after that, the realisation that barely anyone had been able to attempt the previous week’s homework (I am either a terrible or brilliant Procrastinator…), we looked in to THREAT, DRIVE and SOOTHING -based behaviours.
For most sufferers of low self-esteem, THREAT is something that will prevent you from, well, living your life to the full and reaching for your dreams. That, in turn, can DRIVE your behaviours. But then, a taking some time out to SOOTH and relax yourself can also DRIVE actions leading to more positive thought… I don’t have the time or space to explain it all on this page. I’m not even sure if I’ve grasped it perfectly by myself but, it’s all linking to patterns within a person’s ‘Vicious Cycle’ of Thoughts, Emotions, Physical Symptoms and Behaviours.
Perhaps the biggest lesson I took home from today came in realising the importance in tending to and SOOTHING yourself.
It is natural to feel guilty when we want to leave others to one side and to do something that we want to do. Something we know we’ll enjoy. It is also natural to want to help everyone but, that can also be unhealthy and, unless you’re aware of the risks, it can become dangerous. Our leader gave an example where, trying to do too much to help everyone else (and neglecting your own needs) can (in the long-term) leave you being in a state where you’re of no use to anyone and, in fact, you become the one who needs caring for and looking after.
We talked about our favourite pleasurable activities towards our own SOOTHING and some shared about their own problems with their own hobbies, which made me think about one of mine and why I prioritise it so much… It is something I know I am going to have to take a break from before Christmas, due to a change in circumstances (when I intend to move). Although I’ve been ignoring these thoughts, I have been placing a great emphasis on what I ‘should’ and ‘need’ to do in the limited time I have left. I don’t doubt my skills or abilities but I’ve always felt a ‘need’ to complete as many of a variety of these projects as possible. It is rather unfortunate timing this year, as I’ve developed quite a following (under my real name) in the last few months. But, I’ve got to stop telling myself that I owe these people. I have to be prepared to ‘let them down’, in order to reach contentment within that part of me and my life.
A really interesting quote from him came something like this: “You’ll never know who you really are so stop trying to find all the answers.” He apparently spent years trying to find himself, before coming to a point where he could accept who he is in the present.
He also briefly demonstrated a Window he learned about while training to be a therapist… I forget the name but I’m pretty sure it began with a J; J’s Window… Anyway, in this window, you have four panes and each one reveals an image of yourself.
There’s the me who I know.
The me who others know.
The me who nobody knows.
And the me whom both others and I know.
It kinda makes you think! 😉
Our homework for this weeks starts by having to list some of our activities; each falling in to one of three sets – routine, pleasurable and those that are necessary. Then, we have to arrange them in to an order of difficulty, before setting out a seven-day activity diary, which can use to first look at the week ahead as it stands, before attempting to modify that to include more soothing time, if it’s not already accounted before. This isn’t something I’ve tried before but I know it has helped others.
…I think I would greatly benefit from being able to allocate time each week just to sit down and do the homework!! 😉
Thanks for reading.
- Writing Thank-You Letters Shown To Improve Mood, Decrease Depressive Symptoms (morehappy.me)
- Elation (iamlvl.wordpress.com)