Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Last night a psychologist saved my life. (A day off).

I was doing pretty well yesterday, until I realised that at the rate I do things I don't have enough time to fit everything I want or need to do in a day. Whoops. Hence no blog. Mr Spliff came-a-calling too, but nothing to major and it hasn't engendered any kind of mental breakdown (yet), so we'll let that one pass.

I had to go into town for another appointment at Pathways, the job service for the mentally challenged. This was an occupational therapy kind of deal and it was the best advice on anxiety I've EVER had in all my years haunting GP surgeries and A&R wards and the like and BEGGING to get them to take me seriously and do something to help me with what I, but apparently no-one else, consider serious mental health problems that need treating. Treatment by the way is not the same as approximately one second's thought and then playing a game of "I've taken that, they took me off it, it made me sick" as you roll through the list of antidepressants.

Well, enough of the whining already.

I went into the little office and the guy, who was much younger than me I think and almost aggressively dapper, asked me where I felt I was and what my problems were. Anxiety is a big one when it comes to getting back to work, I told him and bang, he was off.

I'm going to put in another post on what he taught me, which he called PSYCHO EDUCATION (so I will too, him being the psychologist and all), in that one hour session, so impressed was I with this, to me new set of techniques. And that was key - actual practical things you can do to not feel like this.

The first thing he told me was that he had suffered almost constantly and terribly with anxiety in his late teens so knew what it was like and that these techniques work. I was bowled over.

Sadly, just before I left, he said he was going to have to leave the job fairly soon as he was finding it a little difficult to have to spend such a large part of every day talking about the problem that nearly took his life apart - like me hanging round in the pub all day, I offered. It's a shame because he's very good at it.

He also offered advice on getting over my alcohol problems. He was wary of AA, thinking it rather too guilt-based and also putting yourself at the mercy of other people's moral standards. Don't consider drinking again a failure, he said too, that will only make any slips worse and you've already done something incredible already. (I'm really digging all this praise at the moment - D is always telling me how well I look and how proud I should be of what I've achieved, one of the old guys from the pub said pretty much the same the other day. I'd better take it while I can, it's not going to last forever.)

The rest of the day was slightly disappointing really. I didn't do much more than buy some computer games (only a tenner), have a couple of squashes in the pub, cook some dinner, have a smoke and mooch about till bedtime.

No alarums and no surprises.

If you spent it thank you for your time.

Cardiff Drunk.

PS, I think my spell checker on blogger is still highlighting correctly spelled words, anyone else out there having this problem.

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