Tomorrow is my last session of therapy. I’ve had my therapy via self referral through the NHS so have been limited with the amount of sessions I could have. We managed to get another 6 sessions added on but they have now come to an end.
I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.
I get on with my therapist so well. We’ve both said that “in another life” we would be great friends. We both really enjoy the sessions too. I already know I’ll really miss her.
In my session last week. After a 3 week break over Christmas, I was able to really pick up on my growth and things I’ve learnt. I felt so proud of myself but I also know there is a lot more we could have done, and from now on it’s up to me to keep up with the practices we’ve put into place and to continue to work on myself and keep this version running.
We covered a lot about me being a people pleaser. As a result I’ve put others first a lot and let people walk all over me, treat me how they want and although at the beginning of last year I decided to take steps to change some of those relationships, I still felt a kind of guilt for doing what was best for me.
One thing she picked up on is that I will apologise for a lot of things to please other people. Things I shouldn’t be sorry for. Things about my character which are part of me, not offensive to others and are others issues if they don’t like it.
I wanted to sit and make a list of those things. To show how far I’ve come, where I’m at and as a reminder if I have a “relapse”.
What I choose to do with and to my body.
This being tattoos, piercings, what I do or don’t wear, how I have my hair or what colour my hair is. Lash extensions, how dark I do my eyebrows. The style and colours I have on my nails.
Also included in this is my weight. It doesn’t matter what size or shape I am, it only matters if I am happy with that. And if I’m not happy with it, it’s on me to recognise that and do something about it.
My weight, my tattoos, my hair, piercings do not change who I am inside. Putting on weight can make me self conscious and affect me in that way but my tattoos, the way I dress, my hair etc boosts my confidence and makes me feel more me. That’s not a bad thing surely?
I have always felt really self conscious around 2 things in particular. One being that I laugh a lot and the other being that I cry a lot, not just at sad things but at happy things, cute things, memories, photos, songs, all sorts!
It doesn’t hurt anyone so why should I be sorry about it? If anyone doesn’t like it then it’s on them.
How I choose to spend my time.
I can feel sorry and guilty if I just want a day or even an hour of doing nothing. If I want to sit on my phone and just look at TikTok or play games for a while then it’s completely ok. The only time it isn’t is if it truly affects how I take care of myself, my children or my house. But this kind of goes in line with one of my favourite quotes. “Sometimes, it’s ok if all you did today was breathe”.
Things I am into.
So what if I like to listen to songs on repeat? If I want to only listen to The 1975 in my car for a while. If I want to listen to 21 Seconds by So Solid Crew because one day I want to be able to recite all of the lyrics. If I listen to crime podcasts as I go to sleep and watch crime/true life shows which are dark before I go to sleep rather than a comedy or something light hearted?
Taking so many photos.
I take a ridiculous amount of photos. I'll take photos of buildings, animals, flowers, food, people. I love taking photos and one of the main reasons I do it is because in a situation when I'm anxious or overwhelmed I find it hard to really "live in the moment" and take in what is going on. By taking photos when I look back the next day it gives me that reminder of what I did and how I truly felt about that which would have been taken over by anxiety and overwhelm at the time.
Not actioning an email straight away.
I have got myself in a habit of never being able to have an unread email. If I’m working on something and see an email come through I have to read it, and more often than not I’ll action it and reply straight away. This is something I need to step back from and instead prioritise things. Does it need an immediate reply or can it wait an hour, or until the next day?
The problem with how I have worked with emails is that I’ve set up an expectation and people to expect an immediate reply or action and will assume I’m on annual leave if I haven’t replied in half an hour.
Sticking up for myself and realising my worth.
This is where I also have to use a technique from therapy of having awkward conversations. Putting myself first and not pleasing others before looking after myself. And also feeling like I don’t have to explain or justify myself, which I am still struggling with but will get to eventually.
Bigging myself up and being proud of myself.
I truly feel like if you don’t big yourself up and realise what you are good at etc then how will you progress, how will people know what you’re good at? There’s obviously certain ways to do it to not come across egotistical but saying “I did a really good job with this” is completely ok. It’s the same as positive affirmations right?!
I’ve worked really hard to accept who I am, my personality, my character, my mental health, my struggles, my strengths and my weaknesses. I’m not sorry for who I am. Not anymore.