It seems like the weeks are going so fast, I barely got my post about Week 1 of the Course written and already it was time for session number two! This session was a bit different and if I am honest a lot more hard work but I got through it (and I am really hoping next week will be better).
We started off with the exercise session – trying to complete the baseline figures that we worked out last week – so again it was six exercises each for a minute but instead of trying to see how many you could do in that minute you had just do your baseline. Which was easier in some ways and harder in others – I felt like maybe I set the baselines to low for some activities and too high for others. But I got there in the end, and it meant I didn’t have to worry about it for the rest of the morning.
After that is was a morning of the psychology element… which was heavy stuff, it touched on CBT and Mindfulness – Mindfulness is new to me, CBT is not. It was predominately presentation based and covered the effect that pain has on your mental state. First stop was depression, then anxiety then anger… we have guilt to look forward to next week.
The session on anxiety was difficult for me to listen too and it caused awful – I want to say flash backs… (but I am not sure that is the right word) from the time when I had the bad reaction to one of the anti sickness meds I was given over the summer. I could feel it again, the strange tightness across my skin, the way that I felt like I wasn’t totally inside my own mind (clearly I sound crazy right about now), the way everything seemed sharp but then fuzzy at the same time, and I had to fight off the need to itch at my skin, the restlessness. I know I had a severe reaction to those meds, and my anxiety – though bad over the years has never been that bad. It was like I was in a state of being hyper-alert, no sitting still, no rest, no sleep. And even discussing anxiety today brought that all back – I felt it again, more than just a memory, and even though it was only for a short while, it was scary, it was draining and I would go a long way to avoid feeling like that again.
After the psychologist had finished her presentations for the day we then had a brief mindfulness session, which involved being in the moment, focusing on yourself, looking at your thoughts rather than ‘feeling them’ and having no judgment about your mind wandering (but coming back to the present if it did wander) and trying not to feel any emotion about the pain you are feeling at that time. It was difficult and I am not one to sit down and think about my body. In all honest I spend most of my time trying to disconnect my brain from my body so that my pain doesn’t feel as ‘bad’ and it allows me some days, to push it to the background, at least for a little while.
I know that I am going to be reluctant to go next week, because of how this weeks session was, but I am determined to go, and to go each week to get what I can out of the course. I must admit, I am finding this course a lot harder to manage than I thought I would, I am still hoping it will be worth it. That I will get something from it that is going to improve my ability to cope with the pain I have to live with.
You can see the rest of the posts I have written about my Fibromyalgia diagnosis here.