Frustration

Things don’t seem as pointless as they did a few days ago. I’m frustrated, though, because I’ve been setting small goals every day and haven’t been meeting them. I don’t feel like doing anything and I can’t get any momentum. I don’t know how I’m going to get any better if I can’t summon the motivation to work on mindfulness or practice coping skills or eat well. I don’t know how to get out of this rut.

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Everything is Pointless

It’s been a rough weekend. My mood has changed about 47 times. Now I feel as though everything is pointless and repetitive.

I need to do the same things I should’ve done last week (catch up on laundry, go grocery shopping, submit paperwork for my job, on and on) and the thought of doing them still makes me want to hide under the covers.

I have the same goals I’ve had for years–eat better, take care of myself physically, work on CBT and DBT skills, exercise, organize my living space–and I haven’t managed to accomplish them yet, so why should I believe I will now?

I put some photos on my computer that I took this weekend of my cats and new spring plants. It seems so tiring and meaningless. I’ll never be a really great photographer. No one cares about seeing my photos. I don’t even have much interest in learning to enhance them. Why do I even do it?

I looked at Pinterest for a few minutes, at my board of things I want to make, things I’ve wanted to make for months and still haven’t done. I’ll never do them, will I?

All my thoughts, feelings, and goals are the same thing over and over again. I’m not moving forward, and it’s only my fault. For some reason that thought doesn’t make me want to do anything about it. It just makes me want to give up and hide.

I’m so disgusted with myself and with life in general. I’m guessing this is major depressive disorder at work, but I don’t know how to get past it.

Self-Care Wheel, part 2

About ten days ago I posted a self-care wheel and chose something from each section of the wheel to work on for a few weeks. Here’s an update on the things I’ve been working on.

Professional–plan my next career move. I am going to an ABAI (Association for Behavior Analysis International) conference in May. It will be very good for my career and my employer will pay for it since it is an educational opportunity. I’m anxious about the travel, but I want to do it.

Physical–get enough sleep. This has happened about half the time. I like staying up late and have to get up early for work tomorrow. I have a hard time making my body settle and fall asleep early enough to get 8 hours a night most of the time. I’ll keep working on this.

Psychological–go to therapy and read a self-help book. I saw my therapist last week and will see him again Wednesday. I’m currently reading Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen.

Emotional–use affirmations. I have been reading over these a couple times a day and find them slightly more believable on a cognitive level, but I don’t feel them yet. I need to give this more effort.

Spiritual–go into nature. I have done this most days. I have also gotten a few houseplants and started a couple plants in the yard. I find it very fulfilling.

Personal–make a vision board. I’ve started cutting out/collecting pictures and words for this.

I’d definitely recommend this practice to others. You can pick things from the self-care wheel that won’t be too difficult for you so you don’t get overwhelmed. It feels good to do positive things like this.

Communication

Earlier this evening I got triggered by something small (welcome to BPD) and had a rough hour or so. I withdrew and cried. I hid in a closet and felt like I was in emotional hell. I wanted to scream, break things, and cut myself. But I held one of my cats, rocked back and forth, and told myself, “I’m on fire right now, but it will go out in a few minutes or hours.” I told myself over and over until the urge to put the fire out in a destructive way passed. IT was exhausting, but it worked.

Then I went outside and watched the trees moving in the breeze for about ten minutes. After that I had a very honest and wonderful conversation with my boyfriend.

It’s probably worth mentioning that my boyfriend also has depression. I’ll go into more detail about this in the future. It makes for unique and interesting challenges in a relationship. I mean, I know we’re not the only couple who both have mental illnesses, but it’s not something every couple deals with.

Anyway, I think it made a big difference that I waited until I de-escalated to have a conversation. I also tried to say things in a neutral and non-accusing way. A lot of things I’ve read about communication act like this is as simple as using “I” statements but it takes more than that. When I figure out how to quantify it, I’ll write a post on it. 🙂

My therapist told me that when we communicate with others we should treat it like a gift–we present it to people the best we can and let them take it. After that we have to let it go. If they don’t like it, if they don’t use it, if they react to it in an extreme way, we can’t take responsibility for it. We did our part.

That’s not easy, and it’s something my boyfriend and I both need to work on. We both feel awful when the other is hurt or reacts badly to our truths. I think this is especially painful for him because I react so extremely to things and am very sensitive. He hates to see me in pain and often feels guilty, like my reactions are his fault.

I am happy about the way we communicated tonight. We weren’t argumentative, emotional, or illogical. I felt closer to him after and he said the feeling was mutual. Success!!

 

Affirmations

So affirmations were one of the things I picked from the self-care wheel to work on over the next couple of weeks. I’ve read/heard a lot about affirmations, but I’ve never given them a real chance. I considered it silly and fake to tell myself things I didn’t believe at all. But the more I learn about brain plasticity and such the more I think I need to be telling myself positive things on a regular basis.

There are a ton of affirmations to choose from–affirmations for self-esteem, affirmations for strength, mindfulness affirmations, etc. I’ve picked 5 that I think will be a good place to start. A therapist told me once that it’s easier to start with affirmations you find more believable, which makes sense. So for me that means starting with something like “I have something to offer the world” and not “I am beautiful.”

I read several lists of affirmations online before choosing mine, and I saw some that said things like, “Money comes to me easily and effortlessly,” and “I am beautiful and smart and that’s how everyone sees me.” I don’t believe in telling myself things that are just not true. Money does not come to me easily and effortlessly and it probably never will. I’ll always have to work hard for it. And not everyone is going to see me as beautiful and smart. No amount of telling myself those things is going to alter those particular realities. I’d rather learn to be okay with the fact that some people might think bad things of me but that their opinions don’t change who I really am.

So I chose affirmations that I think are positive, uplifting, and realistic. These affirmations might not work for everyone, but they are a good fit for me. Here they are.

1. I am conquering my illness; I am defeating BPD a day at a time.

2. My future does not have to be a reflection of my past, and it won’t be.

3. I can stand it if I don’t get what I want or need all the time.

4. I have power over the way I react to things.

5. I have the strength to accept life as it is.

I am going to write these down and post them around my house so I can see them. I might write them on an index card and stick it somewhere in my car where I’ll see it when I’m on the way to work and such. I hope they help!