You’re standing in front of two doors. One leads onwards, and the other one leads to (Ba-baba-BOOM!) certain DEATH! Yeah, just like Labyrinth. (Actually, no, worse than ‘certain DEATH’ – something more resembling Room 101). But there’s no riddle here. Only ever increasingly persuasive arguments from both sides. How do you choose? Would you EVER choose?
There are a thousand desperate voices in my head shouting to be heard, all telling me NO! Don’t do that! What if..! That primal terror/dread in the pit of your stomach as you are confronted with your worst fear (looking over an edge, coming face-to-face with the creature you have a phobia of). That’s happening all the time.. when I try to decide on taking diazepam, or D asks what I want to watch on TV, or I try to work out my opinion on *anything*… just all the time.
In CBT they talk about doing little experiments, to test your theory that the worse case scenario is inevitable, because mostly it isn’t, and it’s fine, and every time you see it’s fine you feel a little safer doing the thing. But what they don’t tell you is what in the everliving fuck to do if your worst fears actually happen. I spent time telling my therapist that I felt sure the CMHT consultant psychiatrist I got would not take me seriously, and that I felt sure they would never agree to refer me back after 6 months, like we talked about. She specifically wrote up in the discharge letter that they would welcome me back after 6 months if I felt it would be helpful, to help ease my worries. But here I am, with a consultant who did just that. Citing the cost. Budgets and cuts may be a reality, but tell a patient with crippling self-esteem issues that the treatment is too expensive, and that’s only going to go one way. D is going to take up the fight for me, and try to insist on the referral, at least for the assessment. But my original point remains.. what do you do when you push yourself into CBT’s behavioural experiments, and the result only serves to reinforce your worst fears, your internal truths? When it turns out Steve was right?