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Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

For sharing your experiences and feelings about mental illness
andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Fri Sep 18, 2020 12:32 am

Diary Entry 18 September 2020

My thinking and my anger is moving over to the bullies among my childhood peers. This bullying, at school and in the neighbourhood, has had a much bigger impact on me than I have previously realised. Having been bullied by so many people is a hard thing for me to admit.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:03 am

Diary Entry 20 September 2020

So, over the last few weeks, I have been slowly slipping down the well of depression. Tonight, I am full of sadness and sorrow and a little jealousy.

I used to love living in a student area. At this time of year, the energy and excitement of the freshers is wonderful. This year, all I can think of is how I never enjoyed my youth. Too scared of others, too certain I was worthless, unlikable, sub-human. I know it is a first world problem but that doesn't lessen the pain, I am full of grief that the best of life has passed me by. Caught in flashback, the creeping, lying, depression, convincing me that I will be alone and unhappy for the rest of my days.

I overate earlier but at least I didn't drink. I am now sitting with these emotions, exporing them, trying to accept them. I am starting to feel a little better and I am sure I will be in a brighter mood after a sleep, but it is so hard to feel this way.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:07 pm

Diary entry 21 September

Been attacking my belief that acquaintances and strangers are dangerous via CBT today. On a break, this stuff is tough. Tackled the feeling where I didn't want to leave my home because there were people outside and the belief that I would be verbally and perhaps physically assaulted by staff and strangers in a coffee shop. I still go out, and still go into coffee shops anyway, so I know these beliefs are faulty, I need to convince my subconscious. I think I've made progress. Now to gird my loins for more CBT :)

Today was a useful but very tiring day. Maybe it was so good because the events were so fresh, I was in the coffee shop as I wrote about it. The last CBT analysis I attempted was on the core belief that acquaintances and strangers are dangerous bullies. I couldn't find the belief in my head, although it was clearly still operating to a small extent. Hopeful sign. I will work on this again next week.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:08 pm

Diary Entry 22 September 2020

Second to last counselling session today. It was really emotionally draining but also really productive.

Some weeks ago, I managed to get in touch with the emotions of very young me (somewhere between toddler and six) and I got as close to crying as I can, wet eyed and sobbing, demanding to know why my family didn't like me.

This week, I managed to get in touch with pre-teen and early teen emotions related to bullying at home, school, and in the neighbourhood. The sense of isolation, the sense of being different, the sense of being flawed, but most of all the fear and confusion that lasted for years. 'Crying' for myself felt good.

This is a good thing, it is the last deep emotional work that I was targeting. It will take a couple of weeks for the experience to percolate through and to create changes, but I am sure it will.

Next week is my final session, there is nothing more to address. I have really bonded with my counsellor, it is going to be a wrench to say goodbye.

Following that will be more self-help and re-parenting work that I must do alone. Continuing learning to value myself and learning to love and care about myself. Also creating self-discipline, in a caring and compassionate way, to create more healthy habits.

Very tired and emotionally battered right now, but it has been a very good day. :D

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:14 am

Diary Entry 25 September 2020

Been feeling strange the last couple of days. Not tired, just not tense.
Maybe this is what relaxed feels like? :)

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:39 pm

Diary entry 27 September 2020

Still feeling relaxed :).
My motivation has seriously slipped in recent weeks. Not been doing much walking, dieting or anything else. I put that down to the heavy MH work I've been doing, along with the loneliness and boredom of lockdown. Now it is past time to engage self-discipline and get stuff done.

Diary entry 27 September 2020

Lonely and bored this weekend. Messaged various friends to alleviate and went into my old emotional routine of being desperate for responses.

I control this desperation to avoid mithering my friends. Typically, I only message someone after a reasonable gap since last time and then I am on tenterhooks, waiting for a reply. I check my phone constantly, re-reading my messages to ensure not needy or demanding.

Been thinking about this behavior today and see it coming from a fear of isolation and an emotional flashback to my neglected, bullied, and rejected childhood.

Managed to self soothe by reminding myself that my friends still like me, even if they choose not to respond for whatever reason, by reminding myself that my healthy friendships cut both ways, by remembering the good times we have. My friends value me as I value them, this feeling is just a flashback and has no reality or relevance today. :)

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:03 pm

Diary Entry 30 September

Said goodbye to my counsellor of 18 months yesterday, I'll really miss her. Tears and hugs occurred. Was really nice that she didn't charge me for the session.

Made so many gains working together. The big dog is that I am now beginning to value myself and feel good about myself. The next one is I am feeling hopeful about life. For the first time in many years, I wouldn't press a button to immediately and painlessly end my life. Some other gains include the past receding in my mind, and that I'm far more comfortable with myself - plenty of the most destructive emotions have been teased out.

It was the right move for me to end counselling, I squeezed all I could out of each session and have addressed everything I want to. It will be a loss not to have that 50 minutes of being at the centre of caring, supportive, attention each week, but it is time for me to focus on practical application of my gains.

Spent yesterday evening with friends, shared that I would miss my counsellor and generally feel much better about my decision now :) . To both know and feel that it was the right decision is great.

Will continue with the self help work, but as a part of improving my experience of life and social experiences, not as a pre-requiste to that improvement :D.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:46 am

So, I'm trying to reconcile myself to probably never having a relationship.
I'm well into my forties, it has been fifteen years since I have dated.

These days, I am morbidly obese, food is my only coping mechanism, I cannot see myself losing significant weight anytime soon.

I find it hard to accept how unattractive that makes me. Yeah, yeah. At this point female friends will say that isn't true, that I'm a lovely guy, etc. but it's impossible to ignore the messaging. I have been much slimmer, albeit much younger too, and there is a very clear difference in how women speak to me. It is tough when I am out and get told things, such as the woman who said I was perfect, but personally she couldn't date someone unless she found them attractive. Another example is a woman at a social club who moaned to me that there were no suitable men in attendance, it didn't even cross her mind that I was a sexual being who might be insulted. Then there is the friend who told me she loves hugging me because there is no sexual element, like with a normal bloke.

The above are just a few examples, and I want to emphasize that none of them meant any insult. I am just too fat to be even thought of as an option. I can understand that, it's natural, but it doesn't make it hurt any less.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Sun Oct 04, 2020 1:16 pm

My above post illustrates my pessimism and despair. Remembering that I couldn't have imagined being who I am today a couple of years a go, reminds me that anything may happen.

Explored the pessimism and despair last night, saw them for what they are, a waste of head space. The pessimism is a learned attitude, not native to me. The despair an emotional flashback to the days when I trained myself to expect nothing from life to avoid being hurt when I got less.

Was useful to explore the despair and loneliness and how they make me feel empty, triggering overeating.

The pessimism is not my voice, and I am practicing angrily rejecting it.
My voice has always said, play your hand as best you can, if you don't try, your chances of success are zero. Adult experience tells me that trying can lead to good things.

The despair is the feeling of child me, not relevant to my life today.
The loneliness is real in part, but heavily magnified, a flashback to when I was a neglected, bullied, child. Resolved both by stepping back and thinking about both feelings.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1759
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Emotional resilience and the impact of its lack

Postby andthistoomustpass » Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:41 am

Diary Entry 10 October 2020

I seem to have found a cause to fight for, a goal to aim for, and it is me.

Diary Entry Monday, 12 October 2020

I have been feeling so much better since I finished drawing out so many emotions in counselling. I can now sit quietly at home and while not quite at ease with myself, I'm close to it. I'm no longer sat struggling to repress strong emotion :).

I was annoyed at myself for not being more productive, till a friend pointed out that I was bound to need downtime after all the recent, heavy, emotional work.

Diary Entry, Monday, 12 October 2020

Was doing some more emotional work this evening. re-read the chapter on grieving from CPTSD: From Surviving to Thriving.

When I was walking the couple of miles home, I thought about my first decent therapist. I started CBT in early 2014. In the first session, the therapist asked me about my social network. I was very proud to tell him that I was no longer isolated, that I had developed to the point that I was emailing two people (to say hello), at least once per month, whether I had heard from them or not. I remember the look on his face.

I cried for myself when I remembered that. I cried for how alone I have been for so much of my life, that (in my late 30's) emailing someone once per month felt like socialising. I cried because even maintaining those tenuous contacts took all the emotional strength I had, was such a victory.

I am glad I cried. I am glad I am accepting of my emotions. I am glad I was able to feel such empathy and self compassion for adult me. I'm glad I valued myself enough to be worth tears. This is another victory.

Ps.

I've developed friendships since and, although relationships escape me, I am very pleased to have friends.


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