Thoughts on how I’ve embraced positive quotes

I’ve been quite open and honest with my mental health on here in the past, and with everything else in my life, I just go through phases of how much I tell people. At the moment I’m pretty quiet, which I’m not sure is better because do people assume I’m ‘cured’ because I’m not showing it as much? Does that even matter?

Even so, I may be screaming on the inside, just like others are, but I don’t feel like doing that on the outside.

This may be in relation of whether I allow my depression and anxiety to consume me or whether I’m fighting it more. Fighting in the sense of accepting when I feel crap but surrounding myself in happy things.

I have never been one for quotes, and more specifically positive quotes, they just felt.. fake. I hate fake and it felt like I was lying if I were to have something like that around me. I do like words, however, so I would hold onto thoughts I’ve had or things which would help – like ‘I’m okay’ or ‘One Day At A Time’, which I drew at the beginning of this year after therapy. Telling yourself just one day at a time works wonders!

(Which, past Emily, is a positive quote!) (Don’t tell her, she’d be mortified!)

Background

I think what’s changed is that I’ve allowed positive quotes to help me.

I don’t need more bad energy surrounding me, I’ve got enough of that in my brain. So what if it’s cheesy?! So what if these positive quotes isn’t how any of us are feeling?! It doesn’t mean it’s fake, it means your trying.

It’s the difference in someone telling you to just give up, life is hard, or to help yourself because it’s worth it.

There’s just too many dark paths to go down, all I can do is stick to a route that’s genuine to me but try and have that torch, that light to guide me.

Hold onto a crystal, re-read your favourite book, pray, listen to an album on repeat, cover your bedroom in fairy lights, go for long walks, cuddle your favourite teddy

or

embrace positive quotes.

Because you’ve just got to.

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Thoughts After Therapy #9

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Written after my CBT therapy

Thoughts 24/3/17

There’s a break in me. I’ve had the strange experience of thinking of things I’ve never thought about before, which is understandable because who in their spare time thinks of their own ‘rules’ of life? I actually love to analyse and I’m pretty aware of the reasons I am the way I am when it comes to mental health problems but I just assumed I was more free flowing. It doesn’t make sense that I would be that free, obviously everyone’s brains try to understand the world around them and therefore make decisions and rules. I understood the concept when it was explained to me in past sessions but I suppose it’s finally hit the nail on the head this time and in a loss of words; it’s broken a part of me. I hate control so maybe it’s the realisation that we are controlled by our environment. That I’m part of the system.

This is all negative thinking, which obviously goes in hand with what I’m feeling but it’s not all negative. My inner monologue isn’t moaning, she’s neutral. (This may actually be me being nicer to myself, which is something I’m practising) It’s more like I’ve lived in a room and believed I’m free then found out there was a secret door in the wall. A bit like the film ‘Divergent’ I suppose. And probably many other films. ‘Truman Show’. I’m tired right now.

Walking to work at 6am last week I had a bit of a revelation with my ‘rules’. I wrote it all down on my phone and we discussed it in therapy. I won’t go into much detail because there’s just no need, but it hit home how this rules cause conflict in my life. I have high standards. There I said it. These high standards form such a strong structure around me and restrict so much. This is where my guilt comes from, this is why I don’t try, there’s too much pressure for me to do good, so I just don’t. I give up. Unless it’s something separate from other people – I have secret hobbies that are untarnished from this rule. But these high standards can be anything from success to how people should live, and at the end of the day I’m the one feeling a pain when these standards aren’t met. My logic doesn’t really believe them but they still exist and control me. So at 6am I realised ‘I need to change my rules’.

It’s an unfamiliar feeling and slightly crushing but it also feels necessary. We tried to write out my rules in a full sentence but I couldn’t work it out, my brain went into over drive. It was just something that hadn’t crossed my mind, it feels like we are all brainwashed no matter what. Anyway, we got there and we worked out a more flexible rule to replace it with which shouldn’t cause as much distress if it was broken. I have to fill out the rest of the form before next session.

Positive

Like I said, it’s like a rock has loosened from my cave wall and suddenly there’s light. It’s interesting.

Negative

I came out feeling crap. Not be to too dramatic but I thought I was one thing but maybe I’m not? My brain keeps playing old memories to when I was confused at who I was as a child, and it’s making me question who I am now. This being said, I’ve met myself with no conflict before. I know Emily, I can’t use 6 year old Emily memories as a reference but I’m a bit disconnected at the moment.

Closing Thoughts

I need to continue the usual tools, which seem to be going okay. I’m also dealing with this negativity okay, I’m not freaking out. I’m just more quiet and contemplative.

Only problem is that next week should be my last session, but she has requested for a few more. Even if it is the last one, I’ve learnt a lot. It’s been so helpful.

Thoughts After Therapy #8

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Written after my CBT therapy

Thoughts 17/3/17

Two weeks apart from my therapist and in that time my health anxiety didn’t go over board too much and other than feeling really low at points, I am pretty damn good. Like, my pretty damn good meant I did house work for the first time in (lets be honest here, no point lying) years. Years I’ve neglected doing anything remotely mature and responsible, but suddenly I understand cleaning. I even understand why some people like it. Well, now I sound like an expert cleaner and my surroundings are spotless. No. I’m still lazy. I’m still in a routine of not doing it, a horrible habit, but I’m starting and I’m training myself.

I discovered a lot in those two weeks that I hadn’t thought about before. I also almost came to a clarity of acceptance of things that cause me conflict. I don’t really want to go into it.

I think pretty low of myself, as became apparent when the therapist told me I’m important and I started to well up. Could that be any more dramatic? Oh well, I know the importance of being happy in myself and self love. That is actually one thing I keep thinking about recently, the importance in not placing your happiness onto other people and relying on them for joy. It was something I wasn’t aware of doing but now I am It Sucks, it’s not what I preach at all.

We spoke about my ‘rules’ and maybe they are too ridged. For instance I hate lying, I think everyone should be honest and live an open lifestyle. She asked if that’s a high standard for others and I said I don’t know because I do it naturally. Obviously others weren’t brought up like me and people are different anyway, so we are going to work on giving my rules some flexibility. I’ve always been a stubborn fuck.

I have a self compassion diary to do this week. I have to start with just being neutral (because being nice is too hard straight away) with myself, just in general. For example; I painted one wall in my room dark green and I know my parents are going to hate it, and it fills me with guilt. But it’s okay, I’m being myself and that’s okay. I’m being neutral. One day I’ll be like ‘I painted it green and I’m amazing!’ That’s what she meant right? Right?!

This actually got tested straight away, as I got out the car from therapy I dropped my phone and broke it. I cried for ages, I was so angry at myself. Perfect timing. I don’t break anything, but that’s always been one of my rules and one I’ve grown up with. Don’t break things. Take care of your belongings. I have such a strong memory of when I was really young, probably like 7, and I was really angry so I snapped a pencil in half. Then I was so upset because I couldn’t believe I broke something and I felt so bad and guilty and tried to stick it back together with cello tap. It was an accident though (the phone, not the pencil), obviously I didn’t want it broken, and it’s only a phone. I need to work on being neutral.

Positive

Therapy was on my wave length of thinking this week. Is most weeks to be honest, or every week, but it’s like seeing the clarity in the foggy thoughts.

Negative

I only have two sessions left.

Closing Thoughts

I really want to think more positively about myself. The thing is I really like myself, I do, so why do I think so low of myself? The guilt of being who I am is overwhelming sometimes but I gotta keep on keeping on.

Thoughts After Therapy #7

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Written after my CBT therapy

Thoughts 3/3/17

I helped a friend with stripping their walls, I also tidied my bedroom a little bit more. That was my week. Like a rock star. I’m doing that ‘try to be busy all the time’ thing, except when it’s not realistic and my brain is like ‘NO! I don’t wanna!’, but that’s going fine. Why can’t people say ‘fine’ without it sounding like a tantrum. It was fine, it was okay. I’m pretty neutral most of the time at the moment – and I prefer that to being overly happy or sad. I checked for reassurance that I wasn’t ill a few times, then after realised and told myself off. BIG side note from this weeks therapy: don’t tell yourself off. Be kind to yourself.

I wrote down some of my random positive and negative thoughts this week, to analyse them and find out why some effect me negatively. I mean apart from it almost being an impossibly task so hard to judge, it would appear that my general life ponderings don’t harm me, but the ones focused on myself stab me in my mind and trigger low mood. An example, without giving an actual example, would be like about how I don’t remember anything from school and you’re always told school dictates the rest of your life – although I don’t believe it, others do, so does that make it true..?

We worked out the cycles my brain go in with thinking I’m a failure, which is why I feel hopeless and like it’s never ending. She then asked me what I deem as successful and failure. I have conflict with this, because I feel like society thinks failing is when you have a shitty job, live at home etc, but I think it’s when you have no dreams, no ambitions and no plans – so these two things argue all the time. Same with success, I think it is when you try, you don’t give up, you follow your ideas, but ‘normal’ success is having a good job in London, getting married etc. I find this conflict very confusing, and she just explained that it’s what we are taught vs what you believe. Phew, I assumed this but it’s nice when a professional confirms it.

We didn’t have time to go through the tools which will help me, so till next therapy I just have to be more kind to myself (and all the other things I’ve been taught). Like people have bitchy thoughts about others, mine are generally aimed at myself. It was good though this week. I do believe I say that every week. I always find it fascinating, plus it’s helping me.

Positive

She said something this week that really resonated with me – she may have said it before to be honest. It was something along the lines of all humans have positive and negative emotions in us, we were made that way. You have to feel them, our bodies wouldn’t be doing its correct job otherwise.

Negative

I’m a bit apprehensive for the next session in two weeks. Only because I haven’t analysed this part of myself much, only recently, so I don’t know everything. It’s not like there is one big thing that triggered it and it just snowballed from there, it seems to be lots of little bits from everywhere and we will be piecing it together. I suppose like I said in past posts, I think this part of me makes me vulnerable, more so than my health anxiety.

Closing Thoughts

Although I’m worried, I have no need to be. Anxious thoughts, I’ll write it all out like I’m meant to for my hypothetical worries. It’s a good feeling still, knowing I’m going in the right direction and I wouldn’t have been able to get here without therapy. I feel very passionate at the moment in not making mental health a taboo subject – people just don’t want to talk about it. So many people hesitate in going to therapy and it makes me sad and even frustrated. My life is already so much better, so much so that other people are noticing. I know it’s hard to just do it, I hesitated, but just think that with these tools my life will be so much better! I could have been the same for years otherwise, maybe forever. Like I said, I would not have gotten here by myself and I wish others saw themselves as important enough to make that step.

Thoughts After Therapy #6

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Written after my CBT therapy

Thoughts 24/2/17

When one thing is seemly cured and another thing rears its ugly head. That’ll be the title of my biography.. nah, I’m being dramatic. For a start I’m not cured obviously – even though after every session my boyfriend asks ‘cured?’, and every time I lol. Like a broken record, like a dad joke, and I love it. I feel good that my health anxiety is getting better even if other anxieties or whatever are coming out. It’s confusing I suppose, but I see it as one thing is being dealt with so lets look at this problem now, and it’s better if all these shit storms come out now rather than when therapy is ended and I feel like a lost puppy unable to deal with the rottweiler of the world.

The therapist has said she will teach me how to deal with any problems myself for when I finish CBT altogether, which is really good to know.

Although I primarily write these for me, I am aware of the difficulty in not wanting to share too much of my current problems in my blog. It’s quite interesting really, because it shows what I deem personal or what makes me feel vulnerable. I’d happily talk about my health anxiety like there’s no tomorrow. You can know that I convince myself I’ve got cancer (the norovirus, having a heart attack, an unheard of rare disease etc) every day but the truth about me being a failure..? Hmm, it’s something I can’t easily discuss. Maybe in the future.

To analyse myself more, its probably because there is no evidence I have cancer, and my logic knows I don’t have it even if I’m having a panic attack, but there’s no evidence of me not being a failure. Everything currently in my brain points in that direction. Anyway, you can get the gist with out me needing to go that far into it.

So this week there were tears again. Almost like going back to the beginning when I felt hopeless and confused. I said to the lady that because my anxiety is getting better I’m more myself again (from what I wear to how I am currently decorating my bedroom), and I think that’s why this ‘failure’ thing is coming out. Feeling like I shouldn’t be myself, it’s not good enough. I so want to delete those last lines. I do have different opinions/style/ideas than those around me, and I’m aware that’s okay, but there’s a repression that I need to push though – and that I most likely put on myself.

She explained that growing up we learn rules of life, and when things oppose those rules we get confused – her example, you could be taught to always be nice to people and then someone is horrible to you and you feel bad, but that person could have been taught something different to you. I can’t remember how she worded it exactly, but I took it as we are told how to live by our environment and parents/family, and when you grow up you realise your rules/morals/how to live might not be the same as anyone else’s, not even your families. I assume everyone goes through this so I’ll be interested to know how I can stop this effecting me negatively.

Positive

My health anxiety is doing fantastic. I didn’t google any symptoms for two weeks, and I don’t think I asked for reassurance. My score sheets are getting lower. High five me. People have noticed how much happier I am too.

Negative

I didn’t get tools for this latest blip, but I’m really clutching at straws here trying to find a negative – I know you need more time to learn tools to deal with your shit, 50 minutes won’t do. The truth is I really like therapy.

Closing thoughts

After a somewhat negative word vomit, therapy is going well. It’s made me sort my room out (and now I’m reading The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying by Marie Kondo, and thrown out so much stuff – this is massive for me). I did voice my concerns that I’m worried that once my room is finished my health anxiety will get worse again because I’m not so busy, but she simply pointed out that I want to do lots of stuff so I’ll be doing that next. Like dur, right?! I was scared that I’ll have to keep busy for the rest of my life just to keep my anxiety at bay, but after she said that I realised is that such a bad thing?