Going to sleep.

What shall I do when I feel that I haven’t accomplished enough today to sleep?

This is the way my anxiety keeps me up, and maybe this is the way it does the same for you. Maybe I don’t deserve to sleep.

Maybe I won’t be a good person unless I am up too late suffering.

NO.

This is where the ‘thought-stopping’ is about to happen. This is where I will pull a new thought, a different thought, out of my back pocket and say instead,

I am a kind person, a capable, intelligent person worthy of love. Of my own love. Now it is 3:25 am and I am worried about myself, just as I would be of anyone dear to me, or really anyone at all, in my position.

Have a cup of warm milk, brush your teeth, set up your meditation playlist, and cuddle into bed, Catalina. Tomorrow is a beautiful other day.

Goodnight.

– C.

What drives your anxiety?

About a week ago I posted about an exercise I had to do outlining thought loops: https://anxietyandthegirl.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/anxiety-or-anger-or/

I did this, over and over, for a few days. I wasn’t sure where it had gotten me, until sitting in the therapist’s office waiting my turn, I felt the pull to write again. Each person may come to something different individually. However, this is what I wrote.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Is my anxiety always something that makes me avoid things that would be beneficial to do, a negative presence in my life, or is it ever something that keeps me away from things that are bad for me? Does my anxiety ever push me to do things that are hard and bad for me because I believe I deserve for my life to be hard?

I DESERVE FOR MY LIFE TO BE HARD. THAT’S THE ONLY WAY I’LL EVER BE GOOD. 

Is that true? I’m pretty sure that thought is anxiety fueled.

“You can do what is right or what is easy”, so the saying goes.

That doesn’t leave a lot of room for hope for a good life, does it? But that’s what I’m left with at my core. Do something hard, do something that destroys me, then I can finally be ‘good’. Then I can finally have relief – because that is all I think I deserve – relief, not joy. Then for once I haven’t been a bad person.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Alrighty. So here we finally have come to the crux of the issue. My brains make my life pretty hard because for so very long, I’ve believed I deserve to be unhappy, to be unhappy forever. There are reasons for this outside of myself that are not fair to discuss here, for fear of violating others’ privacy. But – my prison was built brick by brick, and now I will disassemble it the same way.

photo (3)

As you can see, she was not the first to recommend this. Sticky note pasted into the front of my diary by my boyfriend. I may not always believe it – but I am always grateful.

As sensuousamberville  advised (thank you!), I will repeat affirmations every single day to help myself reverse this harmful belief. 

I will continue taking my medicine (even if I must search for the rest of the day to find it in my room – oops.)

I have two ‘next orders of business’ in therapy – I’m supposed to do fun stuff. This is homework again, haha. I’m supposed to do what I want because I deserve to try to be happy, and this is hard to wrap my mind around. Hopefully those affirmations help!

Next…my therapist is going to hypnotize me. I KNOW I KNOW. This is strange new territory. Don’t worry, I will let you know how that goes.

Am I pursuing anything else by myself? Sure! I have three things I have put my mind to trying, neither of which I’m entirely sure will happen.

1. Create routines for myself. I have a huge amount of trouble with this and welcome any help.

2. Create a support group in my area. Perhaps this will help with point 1! 🙂

3. Get a doctor’s referral to…a neurofeedback clinic. Have you heard of this? How do you feel about it? Here is the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurofeedback

– C.

Anxiety or Anger or…?

Is this face anxious or angry. Okay it's angry. Run for your liiiiiiives!

Is this face anxious or angry? Okay it’s angry. Run for your liiiiiiives!

Anxiety or Anger? What is the difference?

Tonight I am wondering if maybe all my life I’ve been so angry it’s incapacitated me, instead of anxious. I know that it’s rarely that simple. Still, maybe anger is a big part of my anxiety. How will I get rid of it?

From what I’m learning, I won’t be getting rid of any part of me any time soon. There is a circuit set up in my brain, of neurons that extend their spindly dendrites all around, a circuit of…strong, unpleasant emotions. Anxiety, doubt, anger, whatever it is  – it’s a loop that’s been played over and over, most likely since I was a little girl.

Perhaps I only allowed all these feelings to manifest outwards as anxiety. Perhaps in a different life circumstance it would have manifested as anger, and then I would have become a skilled female UFC champion instead, haha.

But maybe allowing all the negativity out only as anxiety felt like the safest thing. Maybe I latched onto ‘anxious’, decided to put my feelings there, because then I could keep them safely around me, keep them from ever becoming anything else because to my mind, letting them out in any other way would hurt people around me.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying not to hurt people around me, but in doing that – I think I’ve hurt myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not violent. But that is the problem, isn’t it? I’m violent to myself, in this subtle way, in this anxiety.

I’m going to keep these loops in mind (do I have a choice? Haha).

Oh and as promised, here is one. *TRIGGER WARNING*

Oh, and for the love of God, don’t ever believe any of these things I say to myself! Even reading this makes me shake my head..at myself.

1. I woke up not anxious today – yay!

2. Maybe I’ve been faking anxiety all along, maybe I’m just using it to justify things I do wrong, to avoid responsibility

3. I’m only ever ‘doing it right’ if I’m miserable

4. I don’t deserve for things to go right so why would they?

5. I’m getting anxious

6. I’m wasting time!

7. I want to go to yoga/the gym it would probably help!

8. I can’t, I’m not working hard enough

9. I don’t deserve it

10. I’m going to read some articles on the internet, make my brain go numb awhile, this is a relief

11. I’m wasting time and I can’t stop!

fin.

Into the Jaws of Self-Doubt Doom…

Image

To me, doom is the sketchy area under my sink where all the water from the counter drains. It has probably become a subterranean swamp by now, but its too dark to see or I’m too chicken to properly investigate. Call me back please landlord….

“You learned your anxiety like riding a bike, like…learning to type. You learned it and the connections got stronger and stronger. One thought to the next to the next to DOOM. Now, you have to learn something different. When you’re having an anxiety moment, you’re going to have to stop and pull out a different thought from your back pocket. Stop and say, thinking this way is not helping me right now.”

The nice psychologist explains, and I swallow the lump in my throat.

I do, I do get the gist. But friends, do you know what I focused on in that sentence? Haha.

I don’t know how to type. Or ride a bike. I’m afraid to try because it’s been so long that I haven’t learned to do it that I feel like it will never get done. Kind of like my coursework that’s long overdue…

And suddenly, see, I was having an anxiety moment. But how could I interrupt? This lady was imparting her wisdom to me (for a fee..one arm plus one leg).

Before she turns to make the next appointment, she stops and looks at me.

“Does this sound too overwhelming? You look a little unwell.” She asks.

“No it’s just..some of the things you were saying sort of…made me a bit anxious..” I shot her a weak grin.

And of course, that was all the time we had for today, haha.

If you were wondering about my therapy homework, it was gym, yoga, and reconnecting with friends essentially, last week. This week I’ve got something innnnteresting – mapping out those automatic thoughts that I jump through like a frog on lilypads before hopping directly into the snake’s jaws of self-doubting doom. I’m curious, would anyone like to know about mine and how the process of learning to interrupt them pans out? If no one answers I might keep it to myself – I don’t want to be oversharing and making anyone uncomfortable!

– C.