A girl with too many thoughts...

Monday, 4 July 2016

Setting Myself Challenges

During CBT, you are set sort of 'tasks' that you think you can cope with that challenge your anxiety disorder. For example, with my OCD, I might have agreed to not use kitchen roll to open the cupboard door next time I go to make a sandwich. Then I would look back at the situation, realise that nothing bad had happened and be able to do again and again. Eventually, touching the cupboard door handle without using kitchen roll wouldn't cause me so much anxiety.

However, when you end treatment and have to continue the recovery process on your own, you might not have somebody to guide you through this process anymore. Instead, it's up to you to set your own challenges. You can't think just because your therapist isn't there to ask you if you've done something, means you don't have to keep doing it!

It's really important when trying to recover from an anxiety disorder, that you continue to set yourself little tasks that challenge the anxious voice in your head. It's difficult, especially when the only person putting you in uncomfortable and distressing situations is yourself. After all, why in the world would you actively choose to do something that you know is going to send your anxiety through the roof?! Surely, it is illogical.

But the truth is, you need to carry on doing this if you are going to stay on top of your anxiety disorder. In my experience, anxiety will take every opportunity to creep back in and take over your mind, so don't let it. Carry on showing your disorder who is boss, and that you aren't going to stop doing things just because it makes you feel uneasy.

So that brings me to the challenges that I plan to set myself this summer:

1) Eat out more often at different places, and be more adventurous with what food I choose (usually I just stick to my good ol' 'safe' baked potato and beans)

2) Wear the clothes I want to, without being self-conscious about what other people might think. If I want to wear that playsuit, nothing is going to stop me and I'm gonna feel good in it!

3) Cook some different meals myself, eat the foods I am scared to eat because they might 'cause me an allergic reaction' and prepare them from scratch  (even if I'm worried that I accidently put 10 teaspoons of salt in the tomato sauce when I obviously didn't or that just because I looked at the bottle of bleach, it has now somehow teleported into the food I am making and I am going to ingest it and die).

4) Talk to people more! Ask somebody who works in a shop if I can't find something, instead of walking around aimlessly looking for it. Ring that number if I have a query or need to book something.

and finally...

5) Learn to drive (something I am dreading). Obviously, if no instructor can fit me in for months then this isn't going to happen (I can't help that!)

So there is some of the challenges I am going to complete myself this summer. It will certainly be interesting to look back and see how many I actually managed to achieve...

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