Demeter

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Posts tagged inner critic

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Me and my Inner Critic, part four

Demeter:
I am miserable and cold and hot and bleh.
Critic:
You are such a baby about this kind of thing. Suck it up and deal.
Demeter:
That's not a very helpful thing to say to a person. It's really true that I'm uncomfortable right now, and it doesn't say anything about my character to admit it.
Critic:
Complaining solves nothing.
Demeter:
Maybe, but I don't think I'm going overboard here. I'm not gnashing my teeth and rending my garments, I'm just saying how I feel. And that's helping me to process it.
Critic:
"Process it?" You talk like you know all this psychiatric mumbo-jumbo but you're just freaked out and grasping at straws.
Demeter:
Well it's true that I'm off balance right now. But using words like that helps me to accept that the way I'm feeling doesn't have to say anything bad about me. And really there's only so much "dealing" that a person can be expected to do. I am glad that this time the effects don't seem to be quite as severe, though we'll see how long that lasts.
Critic:
You should feel bad about this, though! Look at you, lying around like an invalid when it's all in your head.
Demeter:
My head is as real a body part as any other. And I wouldn't tell a stranger who felt this way that they should "just deal." I'd offer them a blanket or ask if they had a favorite food I could get them or something. Misery doesn't have to be from a broken bone to be real - or to be treatable.
Critic:
There's no cure for being a lazy person.
Demeter:
That's why I've got the CBT thing going on. Just yesterday, when I was feeling better, I cleaned out my whole car! I'm doing laundry even though I want to find a safe warm spot and sleep and hide. I can do two things at once, and when I'm feeling better, I'll be able to do even more.
Critic:
There's no evidence at all that you're going to ever feel better.
Demeter:
There's lots of evidence to suggest it's possible, and no real evidence that proves it's impossible. And hope and trying is better than the bleak "we're all doomed, I'm a terrible person forever" path you seem to be so into me taking.
Critic:
You're still a wimp.
Demeter:
Have you noticed how much less productive these conversations are now that I've been to so much therapy? Yeah, me too. I think you need better evidence to prove that I'm a wimp before I start accepting it just like that. Talk to you later.

Filed under inner critic CBT depression self esteem therapy bipolar discontinuation discontinuation syndrome

3 notes

Me and my Inner Critic, part 3

Demeter:
I feel lousy today.
Critic:
That's because you're weak and useless. You should be pulling yourself by your bootstraps and getting on with things. Feeling better is a choice.
Demeter:
I don't even have boots. And I don't think feeling better is something I can just choose to be. These are chemicals in my brain that are messing me up right now.
Critic:
You wouldn't need to be on drugs if you'd just work harder, and you know it.
Demeter:
I don't know it, not really. Trying to get myself to work harder without drugs has never worked for very long, and you know that.
Critic:
Again, weak and useless. You're always feeling lousy or unable to do things. The only constant here is you, have you noticed that yet?
Demeter:
Well, that's because this is my body, and my life, and my perspective. Of course I'm the only constant. And look at everyone else in the program - they have lots of troubles too.
Critic:
None of them skipped today.
Demeter:
Oh, we don't know that at all. Come on. Besides, I stopped a drug known for having serious side effects when attempting discontinuation. This isn't a huge mystery.
Critic:
You should be handling it better, though. You're too sensitive.
Demeter:
Maybe I am, but I'm trying to deal with what I've been handed here. I got out of bed and made lunch and updated my anti-virus software and stuff. That counts for something.
Critic:
Not much. Not what you should be doing.
Demeter:
Hey, remember yesterday? I must do the things I have agreed to do, provided they do no harm to me or others. I agreed to stay home and take care of myself today.
Critic:
You just made that up to look good in class.
Demeter:
I don't know. The counselor said he was proud of me. I think maybe that's real.
Critic:
You also said you didn't know if you believed it.
Demeter:
Yeah, well, I can choose to believe in what I want to. It's up to me.
Critic:
You're just making excuses for your own inadequacies.
Demeter:
I don't think so. I think I'm doing what I can do today, what I agreed to do, what I was asked to do. I think that has to be enough. And I think I've had enough of this for now.

Filed under inner critic discontinuation discontinuation syndrome weakness feeling lousy

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All That Inner Critic Stuff

I realized that there’s enough of a separation between all the inner critic posts that it’s probably confusing.  So here they all are.  I’m going to try and figure out how to add a link to just this tag on my sidebar, because this is an ongoing project, I think.

Filed under inner critic

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Me and my Inner Critic, part 2

Critic:
You are such a loser. Can't even stay awake, can't think straight, can't do anything.
Demeter:
I have a disease and I'm being as responsible as I can be, asking for help, doing what I can to stay awake, and taking care of business. It doesn't do any good to feel bad about being sick.
Critic:
You're lame and you know it. Plus you're a mega sinner, getting breakfast out. You wouldn't have to worry about staying awake if you just stayed home.
Demeter:
In retrospect the breakfast thing was a bad idea on several levels. And there's no such thing as a "mega" sinner. I make wrong choices a lot, and need to do better and ask forgiveness. Who can't say the same thing?
Critic:
Even now you're thinking of doing bad things. You're irredeemable.
Demeter:
Oh, come on. Everyone gets tempted. I haven't made any bad decisions yet. More to the point, every decision is a choice amongst MANY options. I'm pretty sure Heavenly Father doesn't want me sleeping the day away. I have to try and be responsible and weigh competing goods. And do the best I can at it.
Critic:
You just want to have fun and stop caring.
Demeter:
I admit, it would be nice to not feel bad about anything. But I'm trying to live up to promises I've made. It's a struggle, and I'm not really enjoying that, but I feel like I'm growing.
Critic:
Meanwhile you harass the program people and demonstrate clearly that you're insane.
Demeter:
I tried really hard to make that email communicate what it needed to, and my brain isn't working all that well, so I think they'll understand if it's a little off. No one at the program has said anything bad about me sending emails since J, and that was a totally different situation. More to the point, they've never said I can't send them emails - it's a matter of what they can send back out.
Critic:
No one else sends them emails. You're a freak.
Demeter:
I'm definitely different! I'm not sure that's so bad, though, and your use of the word "freak" is excessively pessimistic and emotionally charged. Come on, can't we try not to judge?
Critic:
You hated that exercise because it's lame.
Demeter:
I admit, the CBT thing where you observe stuff and avoid assigning a value to it is really hard for me. You're not making it any easier, though. You're supposed to be on my side.
Critic:
What, you think you're going to get healthier with this nonsense?
Demeter:
I certainly hope so. Some really smart people have a lot of faith in it, and they say they have faith in me, which is more than you can say. I think we're done for now, but maybe you could work on being more supportive in the future?

Filed under inner critic CBT therapy sin

2 notes

Verbalizing

Not as much as I’d have thought a few weeks ago.  We talk a lot about subconscious fears and what, exactly we’re struggling with in my group therapy sessions and some of the classes.  And, of course, a lot of this isn’t that subconscious for me.  I can almost hear these things in my head like a person is saying them, my self-esteem is so low.  So it’s not so hard to know what it’s saying, especially once I get going.

butimstillgonnashine replied to your chat: Me and my Inner Critic
THANK YOU SO MUCH. I will give this a try as soon as I get time. I still haven’t identified my critic. Anxiety + senior year = very hard to set time aside for anything. Was it hard to think this way, to actually verbalize your subconscious fears…?

Filed under self esteem inner critic therapy cbt

6 notes

Me and my Inner Critic

Critic:
You have no friends and no boyfriend and are all alone because you're difficult, obnoxious, and irritating.
Demeter:
I am not all alone, though I don't have as many in-person friends as I'd like. And the reason for that is mostly that I've been too scared to go out and see people.
Critic:
You're scared of people because you're going to screw things up like you do every time.
Demeter:
It's true that I have made serious errors in the past, but that's not a guarantee of how the future is going to go. And calling it "screwing up" is a little harsh. If anyone else made the mistakes I made, I would say things like they were having a hard day, or they were pushed past their limit, or there were misunderstandings on both sides, or something like that.
Critic:
But you're not anybody else. You're supposed to be better than that.
Demeter:
Says who? All are equal in the eyes of God, remember? I'm on this earth to make mistakes and learn from them and try my best. Being perfect is a higher calling that hasn't been given to me, last I checked.
Critic:
You should still do better than other people. You have lots of potential that's being totally wasted.
Demeter:
Everyone has unused potential. And I'm working hard to get better every day.
Critic:
You don't work as hard as you say you do. You're a great big fraud, and people are going to figure that out someday.
Demeter:
Most of the time I probably could work harder. But I keep making some kind of an effort, and maybe that's just going to have to be OK for now. And lots of pretty smart people seem to think I'm doing all right. Remember that award I got?
Critic:
You should have done so much more for that award and you know it. You did a halfway job; their standards were just too low.
Demeter:
You know what? Maybe their standards were too low, but the work I did do was good enough to get an unusual award, so maybe it was enough even if I could have done more. No need to gild the lily.
Critic:
The point isn't to please other people. The point is to do the best job possible.
Demeter:
I was in the middle of an increasing depressive episode at the time. This was a side job - not the thing I was hired to do, but something I volunteered to do. Spending infinite resources on it would have been irresponsible and illogical.
Critic:
Just admit it, you want a free pass to do whatever you want.
Demeter:
Doesn't everybody? I did a good job on that stuff, and I did an OK job on the things I was hired to do in the first place. And like I said, I was in a depressive episode, so don't let's get started on all the things I was putting off. That's why I went to the hospital to work and get better.
Critic:
You shouldn't be there. You should just suck it up and work harder. You know that's all you really need to do.
Demeter:
We're out of time, so I'm going to have to stop this here. But I will say that psychiatric illnesses are real, and I think that if I could have just sucked it up and worked harder, I wouldn't be risking my career by going to the hospital. I didn't know what else to do and trying to make myself feel bad wasn't actually getting me to work harder. And it turns out they've been able to help me with a lot of things I didn't even know were issues that could be worked on. So I'm glad I went, and I think, given what they've written down, that they're glad I asked for help.

Filed under inner critic cbt therapy depression bipolar intensive outpatient Partial Hospitalization iop php

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Introductions Are In Order
This is my current pictorial representation of my inner critic.  She’s the ideal me - the one who never screwed up, who is skinny and healthy and wears Brooks Brothers suits and never makes typos.  She’s a scientist and a lawyer and the heir apparent to one of the better Senator’s seats.  She cooks everything from scratch and eats sensible portions of new and interesting things practically every day.  She has four kids who can be difficult, but she always says the right things to them.  She never loses track of things or time or what she’s doing, she doesn’t waste or overspend. 
She’s adhered to every piece of good advice she’s ever had, and always does better on something every time she does it, not that anyone can ever find anything wrong with what she’s done.  Everyone wants to be her friend, and she never forgets any of their names.  She’s hiked long treks dozens of times, she rides her bike several times a week, she understands Yoga, she swims, she ice skates.  She saves half of what she earns and pays a full tithe and sings in the choir.  She is pretty and knows what to do with her hair; her teeth and her birthmark were handled way back when she was a teenager and she’s honestly mostly forgotten about them.  She doesn’t need medications, but she takes vitamins just to be safe.  She gets her flu shot and has always been a blood donor and fully up-to-date on her inoculations.  She’s not scared of needles and gets Pap smears and cholesterol tests done according to the current national guidelines.  She loves going to church and parties and knows what to say in every situation.
She is totally amazing and she has absolutely no patience for me.
(This was an assignment from my case manager at IOP, and anyone can steal it, as far as I know, because it’s a really common thing apparently.)

Introductions Are In Order

This is my current pictorial representation of my inner critic.  She’s the ideal me - the one who never screwed up, who is skinny and healthy and wears Brooks Brothers suits and never makes typos.  She’s a scientist and a lawyer and the heir apparent to one of the better Senator’s seats.  She cooks everything from scratch and eats sensible portions of new and interesting things practically every day.  She has four kids who can be difficult, but she always says the right things to them.  She never loses track of things or time or what she’s doing, she doesn’t waste or overspend. 

She’s adhered to every piece of good advice she’s ever had, and always does better on something every time she does it, not that anyone can ever find anything wrong with what she’s done.  Everyone wants to be her friend, and she never forgets any of their names.  She’s hiked long treks dozens of times, she rides her bike several times a week, she understands Yoga, she swims, she ice skates.  She saves half of what she earns and pays a full tithe and sings in the choir.  She is pretty and knows what to do with her hair; her teeth and her birthmark were handled way back when she was a teenager and she’s honestly mostly forgotten about them.  She doesn’t need medications, but she takes vitamins just to be safe.  She gets her flu shot and has always been a blood donor and fully up-to-date on her inoculations.  She’s not scared of needles and gets Pap smears and cholesterol tests done according to the current national guidelines.  She loves going to church and parties and knows what to say in every situation.

She is totally amazing and she has absolutely no patience for me.

(This was an assignment from my case manager at IOP, and anyone can steal it, as far as I know, because it’s a really common thing apparently.)

Filed under inner critic homework intensive outpatient IOP therapy CBT