Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Saved My Life

I’ve recently turned 24. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when I was 21 but didn’t start there. 
My earliest memory was when I was 15, walking to school with a friend when I was attacked by someone suffering with their own mental illness. 
It freaked me out to the point for over a year I did not go anywhere alone. I no longer walked to school I have to be taken in the car. I couldn’t talk to shop assistants or ask for directions. 
One of the hardest challenges for me was starting college. Being around new people. A new place. It scared me to the point I thought I couldn’t breathe. 

Slowly but surely I built my confidence back up, which was helped by learning to drive. I became independent. I got a part job. Life wasn’t too bad. Then I changed my job because I felt like I was ready for a new adventure. Full time work. New location. I was ready for it. 
But two weeks into this job was where things started spinning out of my control. 
My new manager was hard to talk to. I needed support I needed more training on products and how things worked in this new shop. I was struggling. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I cried a lot. Stopped eating. Struggled to get up in the morning. 
My mum took me to the doctors and that’s where I was diagnosed and put on tablets to help with things. I decided that my job wasn’t working for me so I found a new one. Things settled for a while. 
But every new job I went to something was stopping me from progressing. A mental barrier.

Fast forward to 2016. I met the love of my life. A random meeting lead to the start of a relationship. As I said, at this point I’d just started a new job. It was great. 
Three months in. The struggle started yet again. How could I get so lucky? 
But that’s the thing. Work put more and more pressure on me until I crumbled. They didn’t understand my mental illness. It wasn’t important to them. 
I split with my boyfriend because I was putting to much pressure on him. Then that’s where I hit rock bottom. I was hurting myself. I wrote a note to my mum and I was planning to end my life. I was watched 24/7 and then when it got too much. I was taken into hospital. From there I spent days talking with different doctors. 
It was a very long process but I was still breathing. 
Three weeks after coming out of hospital, my boyfriend got back in touch. He didn’t understand what was happening to me. But after a conversation with my best friend and a letter from me. It was starting to make sense to him.

After that back story, I will get to the point. September 2017 I started a course of therapy known as CBT. Cognitive behavioural therapy. 
It takes a look at the way you think about things. I thought, “Come on, really?” I was doubtful at first. How could changing the way I think help my depression?

Well let me tell you. I feel like a different person. The course runs for a long as I need to and once the course has come to an end, my therapist is at the end of the phone if ever I need advise. 
The root cause of a lot of my issues especially with work is that I do not feel like I’m good enough. Working on this is hard. We’ve been breaking down where that comes from. Who made me feel like that and when. 
Being taught if I’m having a bad day don’t stay in bed and don’t use food as a comfort. Write down all the good things that happen. All the positive thoughts. Look back when you have a bad day. We all have them. There’s nothing wrong with that. 
Take everyday as a new adventure. The past has gone now, don’t dwell on it. 

CBT saved my life. Don’t knock something until you’ve tried it. 
As I said I’ve just turned 24. I still have a long time to live. 
I have a great job where they understand the support I need. I’m engaged to the love of my life. And I have the most supportive and amazing best friend anyone could ask for. 
Life is pretty sweet right now.

Charlie x

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