Saturday, 31 May 2014

The Art of Self-Doubt

Self Doubt. We all get it. But what happens when that little bit of self-doubt starts to take over? When it consumes you and it is no longer a feeling you get every so often, but an all consuming feeling that dominates your daily life?

Self Doubt is defined in the dictionary as- 'Lack of confidence in oneself and one's ability'. There's a fine line with self doubt. Sometimes it can be helpful (like the time you tried to vault an exceedingly high fence, then doubted your abilities), but other times it can stop you from trying new things, being adventurous or even going out at all. I am fiding that I am now beginning to cross that line. No longer is my self doubt stopping me from doing something stupid (like eating a whole lemon), it's stopping me from going out with friends, talking and socialising with people, or even wearing nice clothes.

I am beginning to doubt myself, my abilities to talk to people, and how I look. I no longer want to go to parties, try out new clothes, meet new people. I don't even want to go to my Year 13 prom. There's always this nagging doubt at the back of my mind, shrouding everything I do or that I try to do: 'I've been an idiot' or 'I am going to make a fool of myself'. If I have gone out somewhere or to a party I will come home extremely anxious and sad, and spend hours on end lying in my bed running over everything I say and concluding it was a mistake, I am an idiot. I then doubt my abilities to go out again. And it happens over and over again.

I recently had my 'last day of school, excuse to get drunk, leavers day' and I spent it with some close friends I hadn't seen in a while. But as soon as I got home the thoughts creeped in. 'You didn't sit in the right way, you dind't talk to that person enough, you were a complete idiot when you talked to that person, what about your other friends?' A monologue that runs over and over in my head till I fall asleep, that wraps around my brain until all I can see are the words 'Idiot' or 'Fool' behind my closed lids, and I am afraid to go out again.

I croseed the line, in fact as Chandler from Friends would say 'The line is a dot to you!' and I desperately want to be back on the other side, but how? I recently read a blog post by tiny buddha all about the five easy steps to rid yourself of self doubt, and it was a great starting point for me. Now when I start to feel the negative monologue creeping in I shut it out, sometimes physically by squeezing my eyes shut tight. I have also started singing positive things out loud to myself, little things like 'You can talk' and 'You look great' just to propel me out the door and go see the world. And I am hoping that bit by bit these little changes will knock down the fortress of self doubt that I have built around me, and hopefully one day I will be on the right side of the line. However I will never try to eat a whole lemon again, somethings you just have to doubt yourself on....

And to finish, how about a little quote from Shakespeare, who really was one smart cookie:
“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Fashions Favourite #4

(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

Whether it is walking the red carpet or nipping out for a casual lunch, Miss Delevingne knows how to wear it. The girl with the eyebrows is taking the fashion world by storm, with head of Chanel Karl Lagerfeld having a soft spot for the young model. With a love of beanies and disheveled hair it is Cara's laid back looks that I love the most. Oh, and that pretty aborable pet rabbit of hers too!!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

My experience of CBT and Anti-Depressants

Recently I opened up to you all about my recent battles with mental health problems, in a post titled My Story. Although really scary for me to write, at the same time it was really liberating, and over the past year I have learnt it really helps people to talk about their problems and to know that someone else out there is going through the same thing as you.

When I was first refferred to a specialist over my illness, and had to sit down and talk to the doctor, I cried, and cried. Sometimes you don't realise how hard it is to talk to someone about all those things that are going on in your head, or to admit to yourself what you have done and what you have thought.
I went to see a psychatrist privately every week (as the NHS waiting list was extremely long) and had a mixture of CBT and Anti-Depressants. At first I was not keen to go on any medication, I had been taking St. John's Wort and we agreed to up my dosage and see how I was. However, through no fault of there own or lack of trying some people just need that extra something. my doctor once told me it is like someone telling you to pull your socks up and sometimes you just phisically can't do it, and you need that little bit of extra help. For me this came in the form of Anti-Depressants, a form of Prozac called Fluoxetine, which I took everyday. The medication had some mild side effects for me, bad dreams and trouble sleeping (but no worse than when I had been before), being tired and a certain detatchment from things. But to me this was much better then what I had been experiencing on my own.

Alongside this I had CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) every week for an hour. This was much much harder than just taking my medication everyday. It was sitting down and talking about your problems, how you think and tackling them head on. In the beginning I would cry, and experience full body sweats (which was rather disgusting). I wouldn't want to admit things and had a hard time trying to change what I thought was right. I would also get very tired, after an hour of CBT I would find myself exhausted and falling asleep on the car journey home. However, in the end, it was CBT that helped me the most. With the help of my doctor I looked at the ways I thought and behaved, what I thought about my self, and stuff I did subconciouly as a result of this. A lot of it was hard to hear, and once it was written out in front of me, as a target, as a task to try and complete or even a mind map of one of my average thought processes I often had a hard time admitting that what I was doing was hurting me, making me sick. Sometimes people don't realise how hard it is to battle with yourself, and the realisation that you are hurting yourself more than you could ever imagine. I certainly admire anyone who has gone through something like this, it's a tough lot to take.

I am now off my medication and no longer attend CBT. I am still working to keep things under control, but things are a lot better now I know what I am looking for, what I am doing, and often I can tell when something is wrong and just to take a step back. I am not going to lie to you, coming off the medication was difficult, and I did feel a drop after a month or so, but now I don't notice anything at all, and I am glad that I no longer have that detachment that I experienced before. If anyone ever wants to ask anything about my treatment, or needs someone to talk to about this kinda thing I would be happy to help or just to listen, and feel free to email me about it any time you need to.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

What I am Listening to this Week #19

1. Funeral Suits- All Those Friendly People I love a good drummer and this song is just one of those ones that is really easy to listen to. They remind me of another band, but I can't seem to put my finger on it just now....
2. The Paper Kites- Bloom Beautiful, so mesmerising, who thought a banjo could sound so relaxing. And the video is pretty magical too.
3. The Black Keys- Fever Guess whos back, back again. One of my favourite bands, The Black Keys are back, and whilst I am skeptical about their forthcoming album, I do love this song.
4. Bahamas- Caught Me Talking Just one of those tunes that defines summer for me. Alternative and easy to listen to.
5. Femme- Fever Boy I just discovered Femme the other day (Monday, Made In Chelsea, if I am honest) and I really quite like her. Slightly whacky, she reminds me of Chloe Howl, which is always a good thing.
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