Here are my top five reasons I might hand you a mood diary at the end of a CBT session.
5. You’re not sure what you’re feeling.
4. I’m not sure you know what you’re feeling.
3. You think your feelings don’t make sense.
2. You think your feelings are stupid.
1. I ran out of time for us to properly plan a task for you to try between sessions and I thought this would probably be helpful and I couldn’t see how it could possibly go wrong. Continue reading →
I can see myself biting off a baby’s fingertips one day. I don’t mean that’s my dream retirement plan, I mean I can really clearly see it. Sometimes I don’t even have to close my eyes, it’s just there, transposed over whatever I happen to be looking at in that moment. My teeth. Baby’s fingertips. This recurring intrusive image started popping into my mind when I was about eight years old, after a friend told me that her mother had to bite the fingernails of her new baby brother. I immediately pictured myself tasked with trimming a baby’s fingernails with my teeth, and accidentally trimming the finger instead.
I like to sit in cafes pretending to write a screenplay. Even when I’m in a café writing this blog, I pretend I’m writing a screenplay. This is because I like going to cafes, I often go by myself, and I would rather that people think I am writing a screenplay than that they jump to the conclusion that I have no friends. Or that I have a blog. If I had spent as much time actually writing a screenplay as I have pretending to write a screenplay, I’d probably have written a pretty good one by now. And by “good”, I mean “long”.
I have no problem doing things alone, but I do have a problem with being judged about it. I don’t need eight years of therapy school to tell me that this is irrational. Sure, people probably won’t even notice that I’m alone, and sure, doing things alone doesn’t mean someone has no friends, and of course it shouldn’t matter even if a complete stranger did believe that of me. And it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter in the slightest. Unless that stranger is giving me a funny look. Continue reading →
It’s rare that I hear procrastination referred to in a positive light. Perhaps at high school, when some of my esteemed classmates would exhibit their extreme cool by saying they were procrastinating studying for exams. They didn’t actually mean they were putting off studying, they were implying that they had no intention of studying. More than that – they were implying that only dickheads cared about school. Of course, only us dickheads could appreciate the irony of misusing the term procrastinate in a sentence intended to demonstrate the insignificance of a good education.
After six weeks of trying to write this blog post, I came to the conclusion that I simply could not identify with a fear of contamination. I couldn’t imagine experiencing a deep feeling of being unclean, an unshakeable physical and emotional belief that something unseen will make me sick and that there are no cleaning products available that can adequately wash away the grime. There was no way I could relate to having to stay away from anything potentially dirty so as to avoid a two-hour shower ritual, or to reducing my water consumption because every toilet seems like a biological landmine. And then last week I spent three days camping at a music festival. Now I get it. Continue reading →
I have a huge head, and it’s roughly 40% forehead. Whenever I casually refer to this fact, most people kindly try to reassure me that it’s really not that big. But it really is.
You know that point in the early 90s when bike helmets suddenly got smaller? Mine didn’t. My head simply grew like a goldfish to fill the space left by the improvements in helmet technology. Despite my protestations, every single helmet seller I’ve ever encountered has insisted I try on a size Small or Medium, and subsequently suffered the embarrassment of resting it like a fez upon my crown before mumbling something about children’s sizes and scurrying off to find something more realistic. I’m not imagining it. Continue reading →
For three weeks, the following visuals triggered a flash of pure rage in me: running shoes, technical fabrics, my Garmin, shorts, the gym, food with “energy” in its name, emails from the charity I’d run for, and anyone who was out running or might have just been running or was possibly just about to go running, or could have run at some point in their life. And Top Gear, but that may have been unrelated.
Most infuriating were those smug, leap-out-of-bed-types bounding across Primrose Hill regardless of the weather, too smitten with running to be even remotely bothered to judge those foolish enough not to have caught on to their miracle remedy for the crushing reality of adult life. What was their problem? Who the hell did they think they were? How on earth could I become one of them? Continue reading →
Yesterday I asked running to give me a second chance. I know I spent some time with the sofa but, you know, we were on a break. Continue reading →
Roughly six weeks ago I decided I hated Running. In that moment, it seemed like a pointless activity in which the minimal gains were far outweighed by the physical, mental and time investment required. Running had convinced the world it was accessible to anyone, but when anyone got involved, they were no longer anyone, they were now a Runner. They cared about wicking, they could convert speed to pace and miles to kilometres, they engaged in the barefoot debate, they used marathons to sort out their brilliant-older-sibling issues, and they couldn’t run a phenomenal distance without telling everyone how freaking phenomenal the distance was that they just ran. Running wasn’t a pastime, it was a cult. I wanted no part of it. Continue reading →