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Recently in Cognitive Analytical Therapy, my psychologist got me to fill out a sheet, which got me to consider how distorted my thinking and feeling is, as well as how I would actually like my life to feel.
1. I would like to be more open with people, especially my partner. I tend to bottle things up, especially as many, including my partner, struggle to understand my battle with physical and mental health problems.
People tend to be either completely ignorant, or so afraid of saying the wrong thing that they say nothing, or avoid me. My partner is one of the few who really worries about what these problems mean for me, he sees it as a real possibility that he could lose me as a result of these difficulties, especially my mental health, and so he fears it. He emotionally blackmails me, in an attempt to keep me safe, as though that’s the opposite of what I want. I love him and my friends dearly, but sometimes I wish people would ask more questions, instead of just making assumptions.
It’s also hard when friends make plans that don’t take into account my disabilities. It’s nice that they see me as ‘one of them’ , ‘normal’ , but the fact is that I am different and I would love it if more often that difference was embraced, rather than forgotten. Especially as it’s a difference that I have to live with every day of my life.
2. I would like to feel less angry and more forgiving about my past with my family. I hold onto so much from the past and it is time that I started to let go. To do this I need to continue engaging with therapy and writing.
What makes me angry? That my family hardly ever call, that I always have to call them, that even Skype is too much of an effort for my computer literate sister, that my niece will probably grow up not knowing me as her aunt, that I am still ,and probably always will be, the black sheep of the family, That even when I was in hospital there were hardly any phone calls, and none of them contacted, or visited the hospital. Finally without the disruption of my childhood home life, I may have been more successful in my education.
Looking at it differently though, their lack of support has made me more independent, and even if I did have an amazing education behind me, my disabilities would probably still get in the way of me achieving, and my family are not responsible for my disabilities.
3. I would like to feel happier. I want to finally win my long-running battle with depression. To do this I need to spend more of my days doing the things that make me happy as well as facing up to my worries.
The things that make me happy include blogging, creative writing, scrapbooking and being creative. The things that worry me are debts, health problems and my partner’s parole. As well as facing up to these problems I need to find time to have some fun.
4. I would like to feel less afraid of criticism, as I feel that this holds me back a great deal. To do this I need to continue to fight back by blogging, even if not everybody likes me. Instead of attempting to be a people pleaser, I need to focus on being honest, even if people don’t want to hear it.
5. I would like to feel more confident to follow my dreams, without constantly worrying about the barriers that I need to overcome to achieve them. To do this I need help to overcome these barriers, like my mobility problems, pain and fatigue. If, at my next appointment with the rheumatologist, he is still unwilling to do a great deal to help me, I will be finally requesting a second opinion.
6. As I mentioned before, I want to be less of a people pleaser, as this causes me to hideaway a great deal. I want to be less worried about how people will react if I just be myself. To do that I need to actually start being myself.
One example is my drinking, I usually only drink when I want to fit in, but I need to recognise that if I am going to show my real self, then masking it with booze every time I’m with friends, will not help me. On top of that, for health reasons, I shouldn’t be drinking anyway.
7. I would like to feel less anxious as I feel that this would help me to become more independent and less socially isolated.
A big part of me facing up to this is the possibility of me getting a mobility scooter or powered wheelchair through the Motability scheme. The thought of being more self-reliant makes me feel very nervous and excited. It would be great to get involved in community courses and activities and just to get some fresh air. Does anyone else have a Motability vehicle?
8. I would like to have better self-esteem, instead of constantly putting myself down. I’d like to start believing in myself. I could start this by praising myself for the things that I do well – however small, from getting more organised to posting on my blog.
9. I would like to feel more stable and in control of my mind. The only way I feel that I can do this is by persisting with medication and engaging with my care team. This includes attending and engaging with therapy sessions as well as my social worker and Community Psychiatric Nurse.
My dream to be confident, happy, organised and independent, seems so far away, but with the right steps I may be able to realise that dream sooner than I think.
Does anyone have any goals about how they would like to feel? What steps are you going to take to achieve them? Feel free to comment below or tweet @spursbythebeach .
For each of the top 5 things that you identified [in the last task] https://brokenglassshimmers.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/journalling-for-self-expression-day-4/ , list 10 things that you can do to gain control of the situation. Pick the top 3 things from each list:
Part 2: Frustration over not being able to look after myself properly (due to physical and mental illness).
I will now list 10 things I can do to gain control of my frustration and I will then underline the 3 I believe to be the most helpful.
1. Accept the things that I can’t change and change the things that I can.
The things I can’t change are:
-The fact that I have disabilities
-The fact that due to my pain and mobility problems, I can’t travel far and need help with things that other people take for granted.
The things I can change are:
-How informed those around me are about my condition.
-The people I choose to spend my time with.
2. Fight back for better pain management.
When I next see the rheumatologist, explain how important that I feel it is that I have a medication that is fighting the condition and that I feel that instead he has given up on me. Poor pain management only serves to increase my levels of anger, depression and negativity.
3. Ignore ignorant attitudes surrounding my physical and mental health, especially those which come from my family.
They’ve had plenty of time to ask me/research my conditions and they still show no interest whatsoever. No matter how painful it is, it’s time to move away from them.
4. Start being kinder to myself and accept that I am deserving of help.
This has been a complete battle for me since I was a teenager and it would be nice if things started to change.
5. Start a friend shortlist where I remove from my life or lessen the involvement of, friends who aren’t really interested. I’m tired of these one-way friendships.
This is one of the things that I will find the hardest to do, as once they are in my life, I hate letting go of people. The way I’m now looking at it is, the more unnecessary friendships I let go of, the more I make room for constructive new friendships, painful though it may be to say goodbye. Friends I am keeping in my life, at least short-term, I need to make more of an effort with, at least over the phone, by letter or email, to see if that effort is reciprocated.
6. Look at equipment that I could get that will make my life easier and more productive.
This could include a new, specialist built laptop which includes suitable hardware and software as well as aids and adaptations around the home and out and about.
7. Research the help and support that I can get now that I am staying in Swansea .
(I’m pleased to announce that I am being care managed!)
8. Start trying out different self-help strategies to improve my physical and mental health.
This could mean light physiotherapy exercises, heat and cold packs, a tens machine, online support websites and other strategies and techniques to better manage my physical and mental health.
9. Join forums and Twitter chats for people with mental illness and physical disabilities. If none are available then create some.
10.Be honest with people about what my struggle is actually like and what will help.
I could finally write that book that I’ve been talking about for years (I’ll keep you posted!).
If you noticed that some points were underlined as you went along, those are the key points that I will be trying to work on from now on.
- The October update – my struggle with anxiety and mood swings October 25, 2015
- Safety in self-knowledge – part 3 October 25, 2015
- Safety in self-knowledge – part 2 October 24, 2015
- Safety in self-knowledge part 1 October 22, 2015
- Life after a crisis July 8, 2015
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