I went back to IAPT

I bit the bullet, guys.



I've said it and thought about it and put it aside to deal with later, but I've finally arranged to start up my therapy with IAPT again. I've had my first session, and as nerve-wracking as it was I have that feeling that this is important and good for me. I'm slightly more cautious than last time, because I have a lot of anxious worries and predictions going on in my mind (what if they decide I don't need help even though I feel like I do? What if I'm on my own from now on? What if what if what if...). However, I know better to listen to my brain when it's in that kind of frantic thinking space.

What I want to make clear in today's blog is this: I waited too long to go back, please don't make the same mistakes I do. That's why I make them: so you all don't have to!

I messaged IAPT because I had fallen into this low mood rut, somewhere around September, and it had just been growing over me like vines and pinning me into place. I don't know how obvious it was to those around me, but needless to say that's why I haven't updated in a little while. Everything felt really dark and overwhelming. 

I'm sure you all have goals of some kind, right? Think about one of them, a fairly large one. Picture it in front of you, and as many steps as you can think of in order to get to that goal.

Now, what if there was suddenly a wall? Just this one thing in between you and those steps towards your goal. What if the wall is of your own creation? What if the wall is so tall and so wide that suddenly you can't see anything other than it and yourself?

If you're me, you freak out. You start to turn your frustration inwards and hate yourself, or you give up because the wall looks so imposing and impenetrable. You would rather shrivel up than even try and be hurt.

Getting in contact with IAPT, writing this, and trying to create my own inspirations, is my attempt at punching through the wall.

 The night I referred myself, I was scared. I had been really low for a frustrating amount of time, and it felt like I had been sitting in darkness for days. Anyone would begin to think in ways that didn't suit them, made them uncomfortable. I had scared myself with the way I was thinking, so I pulled myself out of it for long enough to finally do something about it.

I went from sad to mad at myself after that. I was furious that I had waited as long as I did, put myself through so much stress, but I'm understanding now how ultimately unhelpful that is. I reached out when I felt I was ready, and with hindsight I understand that there were signs I was ready earlier, but at the time I wanted to try and do it all myself.

I'm not here to yell at you guys, so why should I yell at myself? We're all here for the same reason - self-care, and because we want to love ourselves better. What I will say is this: make your best effort to listen to the sounds your body gives you. If you feel low at all, and feel like you can't deal with it yourself, then always remember that you don't have to. Whether it's self-referral for therapy, talking to your GP, or leaning on a friend, don't force yourself to suffer alone


.The process was similar to last time - a phone call interview assessing the kind of treatment I need, then I'm given a date for my first session and a form to fill out before I get there that shows what kind of issues I'm dealing with predominantly. I would have thought the familiarity would make it okay, but I was much, much more nervous than last time. From the moment I got my letter to sitting in the waiting room in this new building, and meeting my new therapist, I was nervous and fumbling words and panicking about where to go and what to do.

Then I realised I was kind of doing this on my own.


The last time I did this I had someone with me through almost all of the steps. This time, I made the decision on my own and took myself through it all on my own. For someone who has a complex about depending on others...I should be proud of myself! This is a pretty decent victory. 

This has been a bit of a ramblefest, but hey it's a new post! I think my point here, apart from listening to what your body tells you, is to give yourself credit! This will be a topic for a later post, but it's really important to count up all your victories throughout the day/week/month/year and congratulate yourself for everything you've done that you didn't think you could. Positivity is the key to mindfulness, to peace, positivity, and all the wonderful things thereafter.

Jacqueline Atta-Hayford