I've spoken before on here about my extreme fear of needles, or trypanophobia - what I haven't shared is that, for the past few months, I have been having some counseling sessions to help me overcome my phobia. Mainly cognitive behavioural therapy, and exposure techniques.
I won't go into the specifics, but what I will say is that, pre-therapy, I:
- could not look at a photo of a syringe
- could not listen to someone talk about needles/blood tests etc
- could not stand to be in a room with a capped needle
- felt nauseous, shaky and panicked anytime I was faced with a scenario involving needles
And the list goes on
Thanks to my counselor, I have recently been able to look at photos of injections and blood tests, handle/touch needles and other needle-related paraphernalia, and, most exciting for me, have a vaccination done without any fuss or hysteria, without even a support person there to hold my hand! I even drove myself to and from the appointment. Sounds like no big deal but, for me, it was huge.
Meet Chubby, my mascot!
My counsellor gave me this highlighter a while back - and at the time, I could barely look at it without feeling ill, let alone play with it. What a difference a few months can make! Now Chubby goes everywhere with me, in my handbag (and does raise some interesting looks at times, which is fun)
I cannot emphasise enough how amazing this process has been for me, and how helpful I am finding it. We still have a way to go, but even if this were as good as its get for me, I would be thrilled with the results.
I know that some may consider this a strange/revealing/embarrassing type of post for a lighthearted little blog like mine - the truth is, I think that admitting you need help with a problem, reaching out to grab the hand that is outstretched to you, is such a beautiful thing, and something to be celebrated, not hidden. I would encourage anyone who suffers from a phobia to seek professional assistance in dealing with it.