Insomnia and Grad Anxiety

So in what I’m considering the king of ironies, after spending all day feeling exhausted for no apparent reason, I can’t sleep. Started trying to think about what could be the cause, and figured, hey: might be a good opportunity to write a little.

All things going well, I’m graduating from the University of Guelph in June. I was absolutely terrified of not graduating and having to take yet ANOTHER semester here, already being in my sixth year. Now I realize the only thing that scares me more than not graduating is ACTUALLY graduating. I know this is something a lot of soon-to-be grads go through, but it doesn’t make it any less nerve-wracking. I feel like I’m JUST starting to get a handle on my mental health issues this semester, and taking positive steps toward being able to live healthily day to day. I’m afraid it’s too soon. I’m afraid I’m not ready to enter the real world. I wish I had another four months to just focus on re-wiring my brain using CBT, talk therapy, and support groups.

But I guess that’s kind of a wake-up call to what life is. Many, many people balance their day-to-day responsibilities with the need to seek out and maintain practices that help them deal with their demons. I guess it’s just this feeling of being taken out of the oven before I’m fully cooked… or something. I kind of lost the metaphor there. You probably know what I mean.

I’ve contacted someone at The United Way about working as a social worker once I graduate, but haven’t heard back. I also procrastinated in following up with a CV as well. I’m worried that by doing so I’ve torpedoed the only “In” I’ve come across so far insofar as doing social work, and thus making it even hard to remedy the situation and send one in. The nice thing about doing CBT (and I’ll probably be filling out a thought record when I’m done this post) though, is that I have a little bit more awareness of the circular and unrealistic thinking around that. I may have screwed up, sure. It may have cost me the opportunity, sure, but I don’t know that. And sending in a CV late and following up is better than not doing it at all.

Here’s hoping I can catch some ZZZ’s before my alarm goes off at 6. Thanks again for reading, everyone. 🙂

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2015 Update the Second: CBT and Support Groups

So, about a month into the year, I figure it’s time I put pen to word processor and put another entry in here. I’ve started seeing a counselor at my campus (better late than never), did an intake assessment for potential learning disabilities or ADHD, and joined a CBT Anxiety Support Group. On top of that, I’ve been working my way through some CBT modules that my counselor gave me to try and re-program a lot of the self-negative, automatic thoughts that tend to characterize my inner monologue.

Turns out there’s like… a bunch.

I’ve filled out say… five or six of them at this point, and that, plus some of the behavioral methods for physical relaxation I’ve been learning at the meetings (specifically stuff like certain breathing techniques) have been a big help. I had what is (for me) a big milestone this weekend: I didn’t do a whole lot productive, and while I do have a little bit of guilt about it, on a scale of 1-10, while it’s normally like an 8 (and with a heaping dose of shame on top), it’s down to about a 2 or 3.

Right now, I’m trying to organize a little get-together with a bunch of people from said support group. They seem like a nice group of people (aside from one guy who frankly could do with a nice cup of shut the fuck up) and I think it’ll be nice to get to know them.

I’m doing my best to work on not being so inflexible in my expectations of myself. Being aware of the fears of “not enough” when they come up and trying to just consistently do one or two things a day consistently, instead of expecting myself to do five, get three done, then feel like shit and get depressed/anxious for the next few days where I impulse spend or eat poorly. On a micro scale, trying to do the same with exercising. I got a pair of kettlebells for Xmas, so those have helped me be able to just do a little bit of a workout at home when I want to be active, but really don’t feel up to going to the gym. Even when I DO, I’ve been learning to be more okay with just doing two or three exercises while I’m there, instead of expecting myself to do (again) five or six and feeling so intimidated by my own expectations that I don’t go at all.

I feel weirdly paranoid in saying that I’m doing better, since it feels like at any point depression could hit me with a spring-loaded boxing glove at any moment. It’s becoming a special challenge figuring out a way to honestly answer the question, “How are you?” Which I find kind of funny. Anyone else have experiences like this?

‘Til next time, my lovelies.