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May 11, 2014 | by  | in Being Well Opinion |
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This installment of CBT was brought to you by The Bad Thing.

CBT tells us that flashbacks of unsettling memories sometimes make us feel out of control.

CBT tells us that feeling out of control sometimes makes us feel emotionally vulnerable.

CBT tells us that regaining authority over unsettling flashbacks is sometimes more important than reliving them.

I’m watching a movie at the movies with my friends and my mouth is dry because I am eating popcorn. I’m laughing quietly. I’m watching a movie and eating popcorn and on the screen there is a girl and her parents and then my thoughts are like ha ha, hey – remember The Bad Thing? My mouth is now coated with The Bad Thing and The Bad Thing is vibrating in my intestines. My teeth – HEY IT’S ME I AM YOUR BAD THING – my teeth are – DO YOU REMEMBER A LACK OF CONTROL – my teeth are encrusted with popcorn husks and I’m getting up and walking to the bathroom and The Bad Thing is in my gait. It’s scorched on the insides of my fisted-up eyes and it’s in my ear’s wax and – I AM HERE IT’S BEEN TOO LONG YOU ARE ME I AM IN YOUR BONE MARROW.  I’m in the toilet cubicle and my thoughts are like is this you are not okay is this toilet what is the movie why do popcorn you say what happened? I am letting myself cry hot little tears. I am trying very hard to remember that sometimes I can feel in control without re-living Bad Things every time they infect me, in order to dispel them, so. So I stop. And I’m playing this game whereby I am naming the things I am noticing and this list of thoughts appears obediently in my head like the tile grout, the lock on the wooden door – STOP – the toilet-paper dispenser, the – STOP, the hook, the metal hook on the back of the door, the advertisement on the back of the door, the advertisement with the smiling woman and now I am back in the toilet cubicle and I am 21 with a salty corn mouth. I am remembering that sometimes resisting is creating and that I am good. I’m thinking that I am surprised because my thoughts back there were uncontrollable but kind of like Cher Lloyd in ‘Oath’ in that they were cutely committed to me and they slowly let me know that I was not allowed to go off forever, alone, with my Thing.

CBT tells us that gaining a sense of control over unsettling flashbacks is sometimes as important as reliving them.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talk therapy used to treat disruptive thinking as well as diagnosed mental illnesses. Each CBT client will use it in their own way, and students who think it could help them can visit Student Health.


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