My Return to Therapy – What I’ve learned so far

You may or may not have read my blog post from back in September in which I talked about the fact that I was going back to therapy after almost two years.

In that blog post I talked about my reasons for going back, and what I was hoping/expecting to get out of it this time around. Well, I’ve been back and once again, therapy has surprised me.

While my first couple of sessions have been mainly focused on catching up with my therapist and getting him up to speed on all of the changes to my life (my job, my Instagram and blog, my sex life), some really interesting stuff came to light in our last session.

Self-Sabotage

I was talking to my therapist about how I was feeling unhappy; unhappy in my job, unhappy with my Instagram, unhappy with my blog. I explained to him how I had seemed to lose all inspiration and motivation for all of it. And how I felt shitty because I couldn’t take pride in my work, in my content or in my progress. I explained to him that I didn’t understand why I was feeling this way, or why I couldn’t seem to shake it and just get on with things.

In his usual fashion, he just sat back and let me work through it all on my own. I ranted and rambled for what felt like an eternity until finally I stopped and looked to him for some kind of comfort or guidance. What he said next floored me.

He said, “self-sabotage is something we engage in when we’re living in fear”.

Self sabotage? What?

I couldn’t believe it. And yet, the moment those words left his lips, it all made sense to me. I’m no stranger to this phenomenon. In fact, if you had to describe the past 15 years of my life in two words, you’d be hard pressed to find two better words for me.

But, why? Why am I doing this again? I thought that I had dealt with this shit the last time I was in therapy. I thought that I had addressed my fear of not being enough, and built a self love strong enough to do away with self-sabotage. Apparently not.

Moving Forward

Now I find myself pretty much back to drawing board, working towards self belief again. And that’s ok. The last thing I’m going to do is come down hard on myself for finding myself here. As my therapist said himself, “we’re never just done with working on this stuff, it never finishes”.

So I’ve decided to throw myself back into the core practices that really helped to transform my relationship with myself and my body in the past:

  1. Meditation
  2. I’ve downloaded a new meditation app called Insight Timer which I’ve used every night since that session and I’m really enjoying so far. It has a free beginners meditation course that I’ve signed up for and it’s really helped me to get back to the basics and begin developing my meditation practice again.

  3. Gratitude journalling
  4. I went out and bought myself a cute little notebook, and I’ve spent a few minutes writing in this every night before I settle down for my meditation. I’m loving being back at journalling again and constantly surprising myself by how many things I can find in my life to be grateful for.

  5. Affirmations
  6. I’ve written about how I used affirmations in recovery in a previous blog post, and I’ve basically thrown myself back into that practice again.

    However, this time I’ve chosen two new affirmations to use; I believe in The Universe, I believe in myself. These feel more appropriate for what I’m struggling with right now. It’s been tricky to get back into this habit, but knowing how well it’s worked for me in the past, I’m persevering with compassion and patience.

What Does it All Mean?

It’s funny, because I feel so much better since coming to the realization that I’ve been self-sabotaging. You’d think I’d be angry with myself, or frustrated to be faced with something I thought I’d overcome, but I feel relieved really.

My therapist is right of course, self-sabotage is fear. So, you might ask, what am I afraid of? Well the answer is very simple. I am afraid of not being good enough in my job, in my personal life, and to achieve my goal of working as a digital influencer.

With ambition comes fear, and I’ve always been ambitious. And the cruel but unwavering irony that comes with ambition is this; the closer we come to achieving our goals, the more intense our fear is that we will fail.

The fear of failure is one that we all face at some point or another. Fear is not the enemy. It’s rational and intuitive and protective. But when we stop controlling our fears and start being controlled by them, we stop living and start existing. Right now, my priority is work on my self-belief. And that’s something I’ve thrown myself into. Because I do believe that I am enough. I just need to start feeling it again.

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