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Surviving May 20, 2008

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Uncategorized.
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Well. Yesterday was a very long day.

It started early, as I clambered reluctantly out of bed in response to my third alarm. Then it was a matter of dunking myself in a shower and making the effort to look presentable – make-up, hair AND clothes. It’s a hard life. An hour later I was stumbling out of the house into sunshine far brighter than my early morning eyes can accommodate, scarring my retinas and casing me to bump blindly into many an unexpected object. Then, objects negotiated, I was sat on a bus, sailing into town whilst all I could think about was what I should expect at my session.

I shouldn’t have been so worried. The cognitive therapy guy is a lovely bloke, very funny and self-deprecating and luckily (or not) has experienced depression himself. He wasn’t all against anti-depressants, as he has seen too many success stories – but he very much respected that I wanted to try something else first. If I can rewire my brain through this, then I’d rather do that than drugs to start with – though I am not at all against the concept. So there I sat, in a faceless white room, having been directed upstairs by Satan’s right-hand woman – or perhaps a distant relative of my horrific secondary school librarian. Wherever she came from, she was an angry woman, scowling at me over the reception from behind horn rimmed glasses and over a tome of pencil scribbled appointments.

“You’re late” she growled. Which I already knew. And which didn’t make me feel any better about it. Eventually she sent me up.

So back to the therapy. I am to start writing an “Emotions Diary” to capture my (and I quote) “Hot Cognitions”! Nothing seems quite as bad two weeks later as it does at the time, and I was aware that as he questioned me about various aspects of my life, the real emotions weren’t coming through. He was, however, shocked by my nail biting, and apparently I have anxiety alongside depression. Sods law, I do believe, since my patience with people being anxious has never been that good. Essentially it serves me right. The problem is I don’t know how to stop the nail biting – I get an unavoidable urge to comfort myself with biting them, and I can’t be settled until I’ve had a little nibble. Or a large nibble. I’m starting to wonder if maybe there is an element of self harm involved, whether or not I am consciously aware of it!

Does anyone have any new tips for how to stop biting nails? I’ve tried all the advice, much to peoples disbelief.

Finally, the nice and thoroughly undaunting cognitive therapy session out of the way, it was time to get ready for my interview. I was wearing a lovely pencil skirt, but it made me have to walk like a girl. Ok, so I am a girl, but this is not the major issue here. I am a strider, marching out with long steps and a quick, determined pace. I may occasionally be limited by heels, which leave me trailing in peoples dust, but that is nothing compared to this skirt. A nightmare I tell ye! Anyway, changed and ready I was soon on the train for the ensuing 3 hour journey – causing me to arrive half an hour late for the interview. Which is never the best of starts.

Now, firstly I must tell you that the guy who set up my interview advised me on what train to get and what bus. He gets the bus to work from the centre of Birmingham every morning, so I have no idea how he managed to get his advise so wrong. My train arrived at ten past three – he booked my interview at half three. The bus took about half an hour, with a ten minute walk from train station to bus stop in-between, and a ten minute walk after. Work it out!

So there I am, half an hour late, and out of breath from practically running. I don’t even remember much of what was asked or said, except that being a blubbering nervous wreck by that time, I jibbered a lot. And was completely stumped on a few very specific and very unexpected questions. I also had to do a test summarising a paper. I hope I at least did Ok on that!

Needless to say, I was knackered when I got to Ben’s, Knackered and craving the god of all “Hard day” remedies – chocolate.

It was a long day, but at least it’s over.

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