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Anxiety: Part Five of a Zillion

If you missed my previous posts on Anxiety, you can find them over here.

A couple of people wanted to know more about cognitive behavioural therapy but before I get into it, I have to let you know that I didn’t just dive into CBT off the get-go. When I started therapy, I was actually seeing the guy for my crumbling marriage and then ended up dealing with a lot of underlying crap I had burbling below the surface. Man, was it ever eye-opening.

Going through that kind of therapy is actually anxiety-inducing, and for me, I really needed to be medicated to just give me that extra bit of chill so that I could devote my energy and strength to dealing with my issues rather than recovering from repeated panic attacks. Staring into the truths of ourselves and our pasts has got to be one of the scariest things ever. Truth hurts.

So once I learned more about myself and why I act the way I do, I decided that I wanted to change a few things. Mainly? I wanted to be less fearful and anxious of every damn thing that crossed my path. But I had been pre-wired by DNA and life circumstances to act a certain way, so this was going to be a lot of work. I had to re-learn how to live. I had to change my wiring so that I’d act healthier, and that is cognitive behavioural therapy.

Imagine that all of a sudden we found out that we are to now stop at green lights and go through red ones. Can you imagine the chaos? And crashes? That’s a lot of PSLs on the floorboards. So now we need to re-wire our brains to go through red lights and stop at green ones. At first it would be extremely difficult because for so long it’s been automatic for us to stop at red and go through green.

Now attach some emotion to the wiring and it becomes 100% harder to change behaviours. But it can be done, if we can just see the big picture.

And the only way to see the big picture is to ask somebody else who has been there, who is one step ahead into the future and can hold our hands and say, “Hold on bitch, you’re going to get there and when you do, I’ll be waiting with wine, kittens and chocolate.

Now, obviously my issues weren’t of the traffic light variety but I’ll get into them next week.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever found on your floorboards?

A frog.

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{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Susie @ SuzLyfe October 6, 2015, 3:57 am

    I think I’ve become my own CBT over the years, successful or not. I’ve definitely had to rewire some of my tendencies. Luckily, I’ve got a patient man to help me out and call me out 😀

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com October 6, 2015, 7:22 am

      I think you’ve been successful, totally! And we all need called out from time to time. As long as they’re calling us out while giving us shoulder rubs or something lol.

  • Megan @ Meg Go Run October 6, 2015, 5:40 am

    Thanks for explaining CBT! I am interested to hear exactly how one does that! Can’t wait for part 6.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com October 6, 2015, 7:19 am

      I hope I didn’t butcher the explanation.

  • Heather@hungryforbalance October 6, 2015, 5:48 am

    Very interesting! It sounds like it would be very helpful, but very difficult. I would love to ‘rewire’ my brain so that I not a spaz all the damn time. Do you promise that you would be waiting with wine, chocolate, and kittens?
    I don’t think I have ever found anything especially strange on my floorboards. Probably one of Matilda’s toys or a spatula she stole from our kitchen.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com October 6, 2015, 7:18 am

      It IS difficult. The therapy part is difficult emotionally and the re-wiring is exhausting mentally just because it takes so much concentration to try and change old patterns and habits.

  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes October 6, 2015, 8:32 am

    I find CBT so interesting and didn’t know much about it before, so thanks for sharing! In grad school I was super, super hard on myself and went to confession weekly where a priest helped me practice gratitude and stop berating myself. Not CBT, but so helpful in beginning the slow process of rewiring how I think and speak about myself.
    I find pug hair and coffee stains all over the floorboards of my car.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com October 6, 2015, 8:08 pm

      I could see myself getting obsessive with confession. It would keep me up at night. I’d be visiting the priest all day every day confessing every single thing until I was blue in the face because God forbid (brilliant pun) I forgot something. I have enough people around me to remind me, though. :/

  • Allison October 6, 2015, 10:58 am

    I wonder if I would benefit from trying cognitive behavioral therapy. I don’t have anxiety but I tend to just take things to the other level – push things out of my mind to AVOID anxiety – basically like out of sight, out of mind. That’s not good either.

    The weirdest thing on my floorboards…we have an 1890s farm house that was abandoned and when we moved in I found a millipede that looked like a small snake. I don’t mind snakes but bugs…I lost my shit!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com October 6, 2015, 8:07 pm

      My middle son is like that. He stuffs all his emotions until the burst like POW because it’s all gotta go somewhere. We often don’t even realize that it comes out or where it comes out but it does.

  • Maddie @ Dixie Runs October 6, 2015, 1:05 pm

    Wine, kittens, and chocolate = the light at the end of the tunnel! Sometimes learning why we are the way we are is the hardest step, but its also the most crucial. It’s so refreshing to read these posts, thanks for sharing as always.

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com October 6, 2015, 8:06 pm

      Hey, no problem. I worry that it’s a bit of a yawn, but I know there are enough people out there that find relief knowing that they’re not alone when they read this so hey, it’s all worth it.

  • Courtney @ Running For Cupcakes October 6, 2015, 6:27 pm

    I have my Bachelor’s in Psych and have learned allll about CBT… I think you just described CBT better than any psychologist could. Thank you for sharing!

    • suzy.suzyheather@gmail.com October 6, 2015, 8:05 pm

      K, whoa whoa whoa, that’s a huge compliment. I’ll take it!

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets October 11, 2015, 8:23 am

    I think you nailed it with this explanation. It’s literally rewiring your brain, which sometimes (at least in the Hubby’s case) meant facing his fears over and over again until it was no longer such a source of anxiety. That shit is hard and I think it’s something people have to do with a qualified professional. You can only get so far on your own. We all need help from time to time.

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