I’m not sure why I’ve decided to write weekly updates about the mind-numbingly boring shenanigans I get up to each week, but decide it I have. Perhaps it’s because I hope it will help process emotions, identify achievements and allow me the opportunity to feel (a little) positive about the work I’ve been doing.
Last week, however screwed up my panic attack/book-fort building/capsaicin incidents were, they did provide me with both an epiphany (I need more happiness in my life) and an opportunity (to tackle a trigger in a way I’ve never had the confidence to do!)
So rather than looking back with my usual self-loathing, perhaps I should start looking back with a little self-love.
After all, last week was dominated with me dealing with things as I always have (avoid, avoid, disassociate, avoid, avoid, isolate, RUNAWAY!) whilst this week has seen me firmly venturing out of my comfort zone by seeking advice from multiple people about my most recent trigger; my support worker, a counsellor…
Was thinking about the trigger and just wanting to reiterate that this looks like a very useful opportunity to strategically deal with a trigger in a new way with (hopefully) immediate positive feedback. Of course the process will provoke some anxiety but it can be done in a safe, structured and supportive environment. You can plan preparation time beforehand and wind down time afterwards.. And you can decide if and when it happens at all.
~From an email my counsellor sent me after our appointment
…and my hearing voices support group…
Sensing my anxiety (and not wishing to see me make an ass of my self) Meadhbh began to whisper the words she thought I should say. Genuinely thankful for her help, I began to share my current state of exasperation over how mental health is my whole life (the phrase “mental health shenanigans” drew some laughs) before Meadhbh tricked me into talking about the trigger that is currently dominating my life.
I tried to explain how tired I am of avoidance being my primary coping mechanism and that I will never change if I keep isolating myself from the triggers.
This somewhat personal revelation (quite possibly my first in the group) drew several comments about how awesome this was and what a huge step it would be if I could succeed in facing my trigger. Which, truth be told, made me feel rather warm and fuzzy; a sensation that felt oddly wrong given how rarely I feel anything other than shame, guilt and worthlessness.
…all being advances I should be proud of given my (usual) complete inability to share anything with anyone!
This week, if I can share a blog post with my Acting Up group and, as I hope to do, formulate a plan of attack for dealing with my trigger and successfully attend a new group that begins this week (A.C.T for Anxiety) perhaps I will finally allow myself to see my current actions (and life) with the pride (and happiness) other people allegedly see.
Chances are I won’t…damn you, pesky self-loathing…but it’s a start! :)
Six things I’ve learned this week:
- Realisation #1: My entire life revolves around mental health. My support groups, social groups, blogging, thinking, reading and writing are all mental health focussed. Even the TV show I’ve watched most this week (Frasier) is about psychiatry and 99% of the articles I’ve read on blogs and websites have been about MH issues. This needs to change…and pronto…as it is an incredibly unhealthy way to live.
- I was the only person in my Mi Recovery group that couldn’t come up with any positive skills or attributes about myself. Do I even have any?
- A walrus’ gestation period is 15-16 months.
- Danny Wallace has written a novel! :D (Damn you abject poverty for preventing me from purchasing it!)
- My methods of distraction are not too dissimilar to other peoples.
- (Re)Realisation #2: I’m braver than I believe, stronger than I seem and smarter than I think. Cheers, Pooh bear! :)
Six things I wanted to do last week: (crossed off items are things I actually did!)
- To give myself permission to do something I enjoy and enjoy it! (i.e. to not allow my negative self-talk and fear of being perceived as lazy prevent me from doing it!)
- Share my trigger with my support worker, regardless of my insecurity over how insane, pathetic and weird this will make me look.
- Stop scaring people away from my blog with talk about voices, pain and badly written blog posts. It’s starting to look like a ghost town around here! :/
- Complete my Mi Recovery homework assignments; what are my beliefs about mental illness and how did I learn those beliefs?
- Catch-up on my favourite blogs as I’ve been incredibly slack of late, sorry! :)
- Brainstorm ideas of what I could do to bring some happiness, joy and relaxation back into my life.
Six things I want to do next week:
Being the two incomplete tasks from last week, and…
- Develop a plan with my support worker on how to manage dealing with my trigger.
- Find a way to pull myself back into my body and tackle my depersonalisation that doesn’t involve self-harm.
- Write a fictional short story (of any length, genre or style)
- Read Unsent Letter #7: A letter to my thirteen year old self during the Acting Up group on Monday.
Hope everyone has had a fantastic week and gearing up a magnificent weekend! :)