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Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

For sharing your experiences and feelings about mental illness
andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1370
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:08 pm

Hug caught and held.

Thanks Em, your message helped so much :)

Much love
xxx

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1370
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:01 pm

Diary entry

Recently begun to truly accept how much certain things influence my mood;
I feel so much better when my home is clean and tidy. Sitting amidst a dusty mess isn't pleasant and leads to guilt, shame.
Very excessive weight and lack of exercise leads to me feeling physically uncomfortable with lots of aches and pains all of the time. The lack of exercise also leaves me feeling weak and vulnerable.

While I have become good at accepting that keeping on top of these things is often beyond me, making the attempt is still worthwhile. Attempting to address these issues, within my means, are simple and effective ways of improving my mood. If I want to get better then they are good places to start. I won't unduly pressure myself or judge myself by the result. The attempt is what matters.

Another major influence on my mood is loneliness. I have made friends but I want more than friendship. I want someone to love and share life with. Losing weight and having a home fit to invite people into will also help with this. Admitting I am lonely and want a relationship is very hard for me. It raises the spectre of vulnerability and rejection. There is also the fear of humiliation, that attempting to value myself on a level with others, to imagine I have something worthwhile to give is ridiculous and will result in ridicule. It also raises the fear associated with family relationships and the sense of being trapped.

Doing something about my loneliness links in to my current desire to drop the last of my protective barriers which I habitually use to keep others at arms length, to stay safe. Ultimately my place of safety has become intolerable and I want to take the risk of being vulnerable. Easier said than done of course :lol:

All of this is connected to my wish to be able to act in my own interests. To risk hatred, conflict, rejection and humiliation by pushing through the almost tangible barrier of fear in my mind which warns me not to, which says the result of trying will be catastrophic. I WANT to push through this barrier and action is the only method of doing so.

I am also beginning to accept that as beneficial as exposure and acclimatisation are they alone are not enough for me. Nor is the understanding, balancing and good mental hygiene of CBT techniques. Nor is the unrepressing nature of analytical therapy. They have all helped me tremendously but they have not shifted the core beliefs and responses.

An illustration of this is the spike of fear, guilt and shame created by an unexpected knock at my door the other evening, don't know who it was because I chose not to answer. After spending almost 2 years developing a social life, making friends and being progressively more open, engaging in civilised conflict and similar triggering situations, my fear of others is still very strong.

I have built a solid foundation and now pushing through the fear barrier, observing my negative views of myself and others, observing my negative predictions, feeling the fear and taking the actions I WANT to take anyway is the next step. The way to do this is to focus on grounding myself in reality using ACT techniques, not to think about 'fixing' my brain. Instead to recognise that my thoughts and feelings are simply thoughts and feelings, not reality.

A good example of this is the old story of two religious philosophers. One stated the premise that all of reality is an illusion. The other said; 'I refute that thus.' as he deliberately stubbed his toe. This is similar to the lies I tell myself about not being able to do certain things because of my depression and anxiety. I clean my house when workmen are due in order to avoid shame so I am clearly capable of cleaning it at other times too. The reality is that I am physically capable of doing all I want to do so long as I do not allow myself to be distracted by the lies and negative predictions in my mind, so long as I focus on the reality.

All this is modified by my knowledge that there are no easy answers. Like much in life, the causes of depression and anxiety are too complex to imagine there is any one solution and it may be that my symptoms will remain in any case but trying something is always better than trying nothing. I have little to lose and lots to gain. It is time to take off the stabilisers, ride the bike down the hill and accept the consequences are beyond my control.

deb1960
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:14 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby deb1960 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:44 pm

Sorry I've not read your post as my phone is too wee to make it easy. What I do know is that you carry on fighting. That helps me cos my time has been pretty tough lately. I think that knowing others struggle makes you feel like you're in it together, Dunkirk spirit and all that

Take care
Deb x

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1370
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:02 pm

Hi Deb

Thanks. Responses are appreciated but it's also fine not to read this thread.

This thread is a diary, not a communication. It is here for me to get out what I need to and to read back at times when I either forget progress made, forget that I can enjoy myself or otherwise need to remind myself of something. I find it useful.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1370
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:22 am

Dairy Entry

Well that was interesting.

Met up with an old work friend yesterday evening. He was criticising various people for not much reason other than they didn't act in a way he saw as normal.

He began criticising every little thing about me too. Earlier points were fairly valid and constructive but when he continued it felt like he was trying to make me feel small, trying to humiliate in an understated but nasty way. In hindsight I am quite pleased that I was able to say that it felt like he was having a go without my emotions going all 'kill or be killed'. That I was able to say it without planning it out it advance. I got annoyed, I identified what was annoying me and I did something constructive about it. That is massive for me. I was pleased too that when he tried to make out that I was being unreasonable and had misunderstood I stuck to my guns and he admitted what he was doing and stopped (still tried to blame me for it though but the gig was up ;) ) I was pleased that I saw out the evening discussing other things, again no extreme emotional response.

On reflection I realise he was always like that, I just used to let him get away with it, allow myself to be chipped away at. Still fell into the pattern of agreeing with the criticism at first but quite pleased that I didn't accept it for long. Maybe in future I will remember to ask myself why someone is criticising, is it really constructive or do they just get their jollies that way.

Still a little wound up about it but why should I feel bad about someone else's actions?
Needless to say, I won't be spending time with him again unless we are both invited by mutual friends.

deb1960
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:14 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby deb1960 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:05 pm

Good for you. It's great when you handle something like that in a positive way. He obviously has his insecurities but it seems that lots of people don't become ill even though they're screwed up

Take care
Deb x

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1370
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:35 am

Thanks Deb.

I think having issues take us all in different ways. For me, it comes down to are one or more of your thoughts, feelings or behaviours having a persistent negative effect on your life, have you recognised this and are unable to change those thoughts, feelings or behaviours? If so, it is an illness.

I'm glad I am no longer immediately accepting blame in these situations and I am glad I no longer feel responsible for the other party. Maybe one day I will find the self validation you have spoken of in the past and I will stop taking this sort of thing to heart.

deb1960
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:14 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby deb1960 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:34 am

Hi andthistoo

I have persistent catastrophic thoughts. If I'm keeping well (last Summer) I can easily get rid of these thoughts but when I'm ill I believe my life can never improve. Although I know that is catastrophic thinking it doesn't take the fear away.

I think this is a battle for all of us here

Deb x

Isap
Posts: 1592
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby Isap » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:54 pm

Hi ATTMP

I find that really weird behaviour on his part. He's the one screwed up as Deb said but too insensitive to get I'll or affected by it.

I like the technique I mentioned recently where you stare blankly without saying a word. If he doesn't get the message, just walk away without appearing angry. I can't think of any stronger way of showing what you think without actually getting angry.

Here in jail, guards and occasionally inmates are rude to me. I smile and say nothing and, if necessary, play along with their nonsense. I can honestly say that I can now take rudeness and criticism without getting upset by it. I think mindfulness has helped actually, something which happened s .minute ago is no longer relevant now. Plus the fact that losing my temper as I was once able to would only land me in worse trouble.

Hope this helps. Ideally we should never feel the need to defend ourselves from criticism. So what. Doesn't change anything, unless it is helpful and we choose to take on board


Isap
Last edited by Isap on Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Isap
Posts: 1592
Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby Isap » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:11 am

Wasn't sure where to post this but was reminded of the criticizing work colleague and what makes him tick. The following passage was taken from the self help book Feeling Good by David Burns which I am reading. I believe the insight will be helpful to all of us.

"Then how can I develop a sense of self esteem" you may ask. The answer is - you don't have to! You don't have to do anything especially worthy to create or deserve self esteem; all you have to do is turn off that critical, haranguing inner voice. Why? Because that critical inner voice is wrong! Your internal self-abuse springs from illogical, distorted thinking. Your sense of worthlessness is not based on truth, it is just the abscess which lies at the core of depressive illness.

So back to the work colleague. His behavior shows many of the typical distorted thinking patterns which lead to depression (we don't know if he has it) but unless he is truly narcissistic, he is almost certainly self-critical too and does not love himself. He deserves pity more than scorn. Forgive him and let him run.

Isap


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