I struggle with life a bit. Who am I kidding? I struggle with life a lot.
And this year has been a bit epic for me. So many things did not go as planned, so many things got totally out of control. Mainly in my head. Then in my life.
I seem to have got a handle on my obsessive compulsive stroke panic and anxiety stuff - which had totally overtaken my life this year.
Can you say freak out?
I can’t say whether it was an “attack” or a series of “attacks” or an “episode.” It has been pretty hellish. Like a roller coaster, but without the aid of tracks and a seat belt.
Either way it left me shattered and clinging on to reality though clenched teeth, and bleeding finger nails.
Now? I am not best, but I am better than I was. My grasp is tentative at best, but I really do feel as if I am at least aiming in the right direction.
I am seeing a psychologist who specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy. I also see a psychiatrist who keeps me medicated up to my gills. I believe this will reduce as my coping mechanism kicks in.
CBT is really hard work.
It is much easier to lie on the couch and blame my mother and life, but CBT really holds a mirror/magnifying glass up to your stuff and makes you questions every aspect.
It doesn’t deal with the “past” it deals with “today” and what you are doing “today” and how you can alter your thought processes about “today.”
It is not a quick fix. It is not as simplem as I am suggesting here. Dr CBT is pretty good, and I try to see him every week.
The longer the gaps between my visits, the further I notice I drift off into the abyss. Yes, a somewhat co-dependant relationship if there ever was one.
It is a bit alarming as you drill down to the root cause of stuff, and sometimes you realise, that actually you are a bit sad and stupid, when you sort of thought you were a bit awesome.
There are many things I need to let go or change – and these are some of them:
1. Internet and Social Media Dependence. I have spent much too much time trying to find validation in cyberspace, when in reality, I need to find it with me first before I can even think of standing in cyberspace. I have been the instigator, and in some cases the victim of so much crap. It makes me all shaky and sweaty just thinking about it. Having bad judgement and trying to operate in cyber space has not been a great combination. <palm slap with hand>. Right now I am pretty much off most/all social media, and lurk around only really on my blog.
2. It is not always my responsibility. I can live life without it being “if I do not do it, no one will” mentality or “it happened because I did or did not do something”. So what if no one does it? So what if you stand back and let it happen? So what? Leave it. It is not always your problem to fix it. You cannot fix the world. Right now you are stuggling to button your shirt, leave the world’s probelms to someone else.
3. I am not as important as I think I am. When I walk in to a room, people do not actually stop what they are doing and look at me and make a judgement. Really I am not that important to them. No one gives a shit. Even those who do make a judgement – really does it matter, and really in a group how many people are there that truly judge you negatively? And how many people think about the stuff I do or say as much as I think they do. Trust me, hardly anyone. No one gives a fig. Except you.
4. Name the emotion and deal with it individually. I paint my fears with a big brush. I paint all my crap with a big brush. Much easier to have a blanket description and then sit and tremble in the corner. I can’t do that because it makes me feel anxious. I don’t want do that because I am afraid. Does it really make you feel anxious only, or are there other emotions there? Well, actually yes, I am nervous, I am a bit anxious, I am scared and I am afraid. Okay, so that is four different emotions, let’s work through each of those instead of thinking that it is all anxiety. Makes it easier if you break something down to work through it. See what each emotion is about, and deal with it. A bit like eating an elephant ……
5. Stop putting pressure on yourself to always feel a certain way. I feel I am meant to always enjoy being with my children. So when I am with them, and I am not enjoying it, then I feel guilty and I start a bit of self-flagellation because I should love it. And that is pretty much the cycle for a lot of things. I need to stop telling myself I “should feel anything” and just feel it as it is, and accept it. Not just about my kids, about so many aspects of my life. Stop dictating to yourself you are meant to be or feel a certain way. Who decides this? Why are you dictating to yourself. Stop!
6. You cannot change anyone, so deal with it. It drive me crazy when so-and-so does such-and-such. It drives me totally off my rocker. Ask yourself, can you change them? Generally the answer is no. If they do it all the time, then accept that it is the way they do things. Having a shit fit every time, is only making you more insane. Does it really matter that so-and-so does such-and-such? Really? Like in the bigger scheme of things? Probably not so much. Well, then do not get so worked up by it, as you cannot change it and you have no influence.
7. If you don’t like something or don’t want to do something, why do you force yourself to do it? Well that one is sort of self-explanatory.
8. What is the worst that can happen? Really if you say something and someone feels bad, can you control how they feel or what they think? No, so why constantly bereit yourself. So what if it happens that way, so what? Is it really that bad? No. Do you consciously set out to hurt people? No. Can you control what people feel or think? No. Then stop sitting there taking responsibility for it.
9. Spend more time in the present and less time in the “what if it does happen” future and “oh god it happened like this last time, I am sure it will happen like this now” past. Just BE. Just BE. You are missing out on so much running around in your head. Sit in the sun, sip your wine, smell the lavendar. That is all. Feel the sun on your face.
10. Stop having this insane dialogue with yourself over every possible issue. It’s done. It’s over. You do not have to relive the conversation over and over again and persecute yourself. You can’t go back. You can’t do it differently.
11. Why judge yourself in the worse possible light? You cannot actually be as sh*t as you think you are. Really, you can’t. More people like you and more people understand you than you think. Stop being so harsh on yourself.
12. Just let life live. Don’t plan so much. Don’t run it over and over in your head so much. Stop with the fkn lists. Don’t try to predict so much. Don’t try to work in every possible eventuality. It’s life, it happens, and then you adjust. It just is.
13. Drink less wi…….. actually no, stop at 12. 13 is such an unlucky number.