Overcoming the negative

As I’ve been returning to myself I’ve put a lot of thought into who I am, how my thoughts affect my behavior, my sense of wellness, as well as the root of the debilitating thoughts. I’ve kind of started seeing a therapist that isn’t convinced she’ll be able to help me, in the meantime she’s been pretty helpful. Yesterday we talked about staying in the moment during conversations, not allowing the internal conversation to distract me from the task at hand. This is way more difficult than it sounds, but an important skill to master. Trying to figure out what to write today I came across this article on Psych Central that struck a chord with me. Sometimes the person you need to ignore for positive mental health is yourself. Here is my list for the negative self talk that needs to be avoided.

  1. All your problems are made up / used for attention.
  2. You’ll never be happy again.
  3. Not only are you always the third wheel, you’re the wheel no one wants.
  4. Your friends and family would be much better off if you are gone.
  5. You can never trust anyone that tries to correct any of the previous statements.

There are a few ways I try to turn these thoughts around. First, I know for a fact that my “problems”, meaning my illness, is not in my head. Too many times I stopped taking my medication and proved to myself this is not imaginary. When shit really hits the fan I become an introvert, kind of hard to be begging for attention when you really want no one to notice how terrible you feel on the inside. Second, I’ve been through hell and back over and over again. I know there is happiness on the other side, I just have to push through and get there.

The last three are much more difficult for me to navigate. Over the last decade or so I have developed a very specific type of relationship with my friends. It’s difficult, but I have been with my friends for so long I just trust them. Even when I don’t want to, I trust. These are people who have been with me in the worst, gotten a glimpse of the horrors underneath. I trust them to tell me the truth no matter what, even about stupid things, and they do. Because once that trust is broken it takes a long time to get it back, they’ve seen the struggle and heard the heartbreak. Even when my heart and head are telling me I’m not enough, I’m not wanted, I’m not needed, if they tell me I am that will be enough. It’s not pretty, it’s guarded and the negative talk is constantly there, but I take their word because if I don’t the whole house of cards falls.

After talking to my new (kind of) therapist I need to start making pro and con lists. All the negative self talk will go on the con side, all of the reasons against will go on the pro side. Eventually when I get brave enough I’ll give the con lists to the few people I trust enough to always tell me the truth. I’ll do my best to trust them and use their words to build me up when I’m not strong enough to do it myself.

Dear Husband

When I read this article on The Mighty this morning it really struck a chord with me. After my horrific experience being engaged to my ex-boyfriend I had a long list of needs my new significant other had to fulfill. Since my previous engagement ended I have never been afraid to come right out and tell someone that I’m bat-shit crazy, it may have been one of the first things I told my husband after letting him know how much I loved Sweeny Todd. I’ve long thought if you can’t handle my shit I don’t want you around. I thought the same thing when I “lost” a job opportunity over a piercing last year, if you don’t want me unedited you don’t want me at all. I now have a great job, work with amazing people, am learning so much, and you know what? If I have a really shitty time like I did last week that’s allowed. I don’t have to tell them anything I don’t want to, no one tried to make it better, I just got to be me. Everyone should be allowed to be their own true self in their whole world, not just in part of it. I will probably always call in with some sort of physical ailment when I mentally can’t handle the weight of my pain, but that’s my choice. If I chose to tell the truth the result would be the same level of support and caring, and I get to be my authentic self. I may get there some day.

This list is my version of the “Dear Future Boyfriend” for the man who loves Sweeny Todd, Monty Python, random road trips, and being completely ridiculous just as much as I do.

1. You know when I’m struggling before I do, and instead of “fixing” me you wait for me to figure out what’s wrong. There is no level of “fixing” from another person that is more valuable than learning to take care of myself.

2. You put up with more than any other human should, and yet you continue to let me be my authentic self. You know how to take those psycho moments and turn me back into the person I want to be.

3. My dreams are beyond awful. If there are seven levels of hell each dream takes me to the deepest depths. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t slept in months. You hold me, stroke my hair, and remind me that I’m loved, all the while reminding me I don’t belong in the depths of hell.

4. Thank you for telling me when I hurt your feelings. Trusting others is not easy for me, knowing you will let me know when I screw up makes me trust you more than I thought possible.

5. You’ve never once looked at me with anything other than love and compassion. I look into your eyes and I can see the hurt my brain causes, but more than that I can see your love and that does more for me than you will ever realize.

6. When it’s really difficult for me to see your life as anything but better when I’m gone, you help remind me that I’m wrong. Always so matter-of-fact, never betraying the sadness you say you feel. It’s taken a long time to figure out how to handle each episode and even with my brain creating problems you still manage to come out on top.

7. Thank you for reminding me to do things I love. Life gets in my way more often than I like to admit and every time you remind me to slow down and just do things I love.

8. You are my rock, without that I would not be the person I am today. I would still be floating around, angry with the world, depressed that I screwed up so much in the past I was stuck with this lot in life. You challenge me, making me want to be better, because of you I know I am good enough. That this life isn’t punishment, but a journey I’m on because it gives me strength and compassion.

 

I love you.

Connecting Again

I have been making a real effort to connect with the people I love again. It began a week ago when I finally reached out, I don’t think that process ever gets easier. My brain automatically shuts my social life down. Even when my friend got to my house last week I was upstairs bawling my eyes out. My world is really depressing without people to tell me about their lives. Candy Crush and Etsy do not make me a well-rounded person, I definitely do not fault anyone for being bored with me.

I’m making baby steps to where I need to be, a few days ago I had an awesome conversation with another friend I love dearly. She was telling me about trying to come up with a morning routine. She’s reading a book by Tsh Oxenreider that recommends creating a morning routine, 5 things just for you – cleaning and getting the kids ready doesn’t count – with the recommendation of no screens. I am anything but a morning person, but I think a positive routine may help drag me from this black hole I live in right now so I’m going to give it a try as a daily thing.

My phone is basically my life so I won’t be going screen-free, but I have started listening to podcasts again. Right now my new favorite is Guys We F****d, it’s two comediennes in New York with this fabulous sex-positive attitude. They are hysterical, and I love listening to them. So that’s first on my list. I have put on 40 lbs over the last 6 months. That has to stop, so going to the gym is second on my list. My eyebrows are a forest and my skin is an oil well. Third is grooming and self-care. Coloring is going to be on the list. I got some really sweet coloring books for Christmas that require attention, so that’s fourth. Last, but not least, I really love making graphics, like, a lot. I’m going to go through my photos, maybe take some new photos, and create wonderful things with them. In fact, yesterday I bought some really sexy shoes and now my own damn feet are my screen saver. Nothing conceited about that, right?

Screenshot_2016-02-03-12-56-06

What are your 5 things to do, just for you?