But I finally remembered that I wanted to eat dinner.
I think this means I may have actually accomplished all three of the goals I wrote out this morning, but I won’t be sure till tomorrow because I wrote them on our daily check-in sheets and you have to turn them in each day. Hopefully they’ll give me the photocopy tomorrow, anyway.
• Ecstatic • Marvelous • Pained • Infuriated • Ravenous • Alive • Wicked • Blissful • Wary • Turning • Exuberant • Quaking • Accused • Underestimated • Clever • Wise • Transformed • Embarrassed •…
This is the list of words with emotional content that I put together for my therapy binder. Not all of them are a particular mood, emotion, etc.; I’m using it to get myself thinking about my feelings and finding ways to express them at times when it’s hard for me.
Admittedly, it may also come in handy when working on my next NaNoWriMo project.
(Some of them are extremely similar to one another; that’s because the list prints out on like six pages and I didn’t want to have huge gaps between some of the more important ones when I randomized it. There shouldn’t be any exact duplicates, however.)
So, good things that happened:
- I picked up my printouts from Kinko’s, and organized my therapy binders.
- I ate lunch.
- I ate breakfast and took my meds before the end of the first hour of the program today.
- I got there less than 15 minutes late.
- I know for sure that at least one person got something good from the stuff I said today.
- I am still trying.
I updated my rules for life, adding all of the following:
- Take your long-acting asthma meds every day even though you feel fine. Take your antidepressants every day even though you feel fine. Take your mood stabilizers every day even though you feel fine. Notice the trend here.
- Always keep the following things on hand: Ativan, Pepto Bismol, Advil, Zofran, Neosporin, Aquaphor.
- Make things that are hard for you, easier for you. Solutions, not self-flagellation.
- If you’re upset about something, you can do lots of things to deal with the “upset” even when you can’t do anything about the thing itself.
- Avoidance isn’t the worst tactic, but you should try other things first.
- If you’re bad at something, try to get a little better at it. Especially when that’s really unpleasant to contemplate.
- Sometimes your reasons for doing something don’t make sense. Better to admit that and start over than to get defensive.
- Wanting to be a good person means that you are, at least a little bit, a good person.
- There’s no such thing as “we’ve tried everything and know that nothing can possibly work.” There are always options.
- When was the last time you reviewed your list of logical fallacies? Go and do it now, please.
- There was a rule up there about drinking water. You probably didn’t drink water when you read it. Come on, go and do it. Really.
- "Small" doesn’t mean "insignificant;" don’t give in to thinking that it does.
- Making yourself feel bad never makes you feel better. It’s also ineffective in making yourself be a better person, do things better., etc. It’s almost like “bad” is the opposite of “good,” or something.
- Preparing for zombie apocalypse is actually practical, because it keeps you interested and because practically every disaster or inconvenience will probably happen at some point during a zombie apocalypse.
- Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.
- There are other people in the world who can be trusted.
- You are a good bet.
- Therapists don’t have to be brilliant, don’t have to have all the answers, don’t have to be masters of their domain… which is good, because, well, ahem.
- People usually don’t mean it when they ask “how are you doing.” When you’re good friends with someone, or their patient, you can ask if they really want to know - otherwise, “I’m fine, how are you” is the right answer.
- Most people aren’t paying attention, don’t care, and couldn’t possibly mind. The worst case scenario is either that you’ve already impressed them by not being awful, or that they themselves are awful and you should get away from them ASAP. So chill.
- A person who is mean to you is teaching you about themselves, not about you. Take their lesson to heart, and act accordingly.
- Kindness begins with me.
- You don’t have to feel like something is true to know that it’s true.
- Progress is often painful, but pain doesn’t always mean that you’re making progress.
- Different situations are different. Different people are different. The word “different” is one of those important, useful ones.
- Smart, kind, generous, awesome, accomplished people can still be spectacularly wrong.
- It’s better to be a good man than a great man.
- Make sure you know what dictionary the teacher/author/etc. is using.
Completed as of 1:30pm:
- Get up, take a shower, and eat breakfast with my little sister well before noon
- Watch the Music & The Spoken Word morning broadcast on BYUtv
- Email one of the people from the partial hospitalization program about some paperwork I promised I’d help her with
- Email someone at work about my disability paperwork, which they need to finish filling out
- Share my “should yourself” thoughts from yesterday
Still to achieve, if I can:
- Email my therapist about the stuff that’s gone on in the last few days, discuss some of my major worries/thoughts/etc., and in general reconnect there.
- Read some scriptures, do some scripture study, etc. (deliberately leaving this one vague so that I can stop when I need to without feeling worse)
- Cook and eat something for lunch.
- Cook and eat something for dinner.
- Stand or sit outside on the patio for at least five minutes.
- Email my bishop to let him know what’s going on with me, including that I’m off work again, seriously depressed, don’t have a home teacher, am going to have my sister move in, etc.
- Email my supervisor with my weekly “I still exist, I still want to come back to work” email (you can get fired if you don’t send them every 14 days; I’m trying to send them each week so that one ill-timed bad day doesn’t create a disaster.)
- Organize my mood tracker app categories and start using the app again, or come up with another mood tracking app to use.
- Send my print job to Kinko’s so I can pick it up on the way home tomorrow. Make sure that it’s all organized in a way that makes sense to me (i.e., so that I know what I’ve already printed and don’t get it printed again.)
- Punch holes in all my therapy notes, etc., from the last few days so that my notebook is organized and useful. Remove unnecessary items, including duplicates, from the notebook.
I’ve already succeeded today, and even if I don’t get any of the rest of that stuff done, it’s been a much better “day off” than the last two Sundays were. It really, really helps that my sister kind of dragged me out of bed, and extracted a semi-promise from me that I wouldn’t go back to bed. She also reminded me to take my meds in the morning, and made breakfast and put it right in front of me, which was… why I’m out of bed at all, honestly.
I was annoyed yesterday during the part of “family day” where they talk a lot about substance abuse (I have lots of problems, but that isn’t one of them, and sometimes it feels like they just plain don’t believe you when you say it’s not one of your problems.)
Anyway, rather than pointlessly focus on what I was annoyed by but couldn’t change, I decided to make a list of phrases that are healthier and more accurate/realistic than the “should” version.
That is, instead of saying “I should have been nicer,” you could try:
- It would have been better/best if I had been nicer
- I would be more pleased now if I had been nicer
- It would have been awesome if I had been nicer
- I wish I would have been nicer
- I hope that I’ll learn to be nicer
- I’d like to start being nicer
- I’m trying to start being nicer
You get bonus points if you can replace the other parts of the phrase with something that’s healthier/realistic/etc. Platinum-medal phrases are the ones that take specificity, self-compassion, common sense, etc., up to 11; one way to know if you’re doing it right is to use as many words and details as humanly possible.
I think I would be happier right this second if I had used kind words, like “please” and “I love you,” last Tuesday, when my little sister was saying things that led me to feeling really defensive and behave in ways I’m not proud of that are, honestly, things that really can be fixed in healthy ways that won’t mess me up more. It’d be both effective in the moment and a boon to my self-esteem when I can pull that thing off, and that’s not bad.
Which is why I’m making a concrete action plan to remind myself of specific words that I want to use in those situations, and to make it easier to take action in the moments where I’ve been having trouble with that. So, I’ve been making little reminder cards to carry around with me, and I’m going to hold the cards in my hand whenever I begin to feel annoyed with someone.
Admittedly, I might also be unhappy right now because several of the medications I’m on have side effects that mess with my mood, and my self-concept was targeted multiple times by my sister that day and her words have really stuck with me, so I’m trying to come up with some good coping strategies and reframing techniques for that stuff, too. It’d also be good to maybe talk more about how I feel about who I am and what I’m going to do with my life.
Anyone else feel like a spontaneous mindfulness exercise?
(If you can start saying that kind of thing naturally, some therapists will deem you cured. They will be wrong, but you really will be a lot healthier and more effective in at least eight or nine areas and then it’ll probably easier to address the harder stuff.)
I hate having known it was coming and not having been able to stop it.
I hate feeling it get worse and not being able to stop it.
And I’m trying hard to pretend I’ll let the future take care of itself when I have every reason to know how bad it’ll probably get.
(I’m also doing a remarkably poor job of keeping my mind off of just how bad it *could* get.)
Thinking that everyone would be better off if you were dead is a really serious and bad sign.
But thinking that in kindergarten is like, significantly worse. Which is really saying something.
My tablet/pen is working now. I can sign things without printing them out!