Diary Entry 12/09/21
Been off the meds for a couple of months now, gradually reduced the dose over two months prior to that. The main reasons are that I felt they were getting in the way of some emotional work and I felt my motivation may improve without them.
Current items on my agenda are,
Valuing and looking after myself myself emotionally, physically and financially. Valuing my life, putting myself first. This is rocky but I can see a way forward. Recognising I have value to other people is a related problem to be solved. I think this will be very hard but again, I see a way forward. A victory in the same area is that I have found that I am valuing myself much more intellectually, emotions are a much stranger set of beasts.
Currently reading a book by Albert Ellis, he makes a lot of sense when it comes to valuing yourself. I feel some of his philosophy filtering into my mind and making small but positive changes
At work, I have found myself processing emotion in the moment and responding appropriately in the moment. ie. I was offended by something a colleague said, I immediately (and without having to think about it) challenged their statement in a proportionate and professional manner and only realised afterwards. Really pleased about that, a damn good start!
A lot more work to do on this is social settings, so much harder there, perhaps because I feel more vulnerable in social settings, I know I have value at work. I am beating myself up because I didn't follow up on opportunities to, perhaps, get closer to someone. Why didn't I follow up? Because I couldn't imagine they would want to be close to me, I had already convinced myself that I had lost before the dice were rolled.
I've discovered that I convinced myself a long time ago that I did not want to compete socially as a defence against bullies. I adopted an attitude of aloofness and even convinced myself that I do not want to compete in any part of life. This is a lie I tell myself.
I also signal this madly to others, though being scruffy, people pleasing, etc. It's a massive part of my persona and a real shock to realise this isn't actually a part of me. It's an emotional defence against - not just the humiliation and violence that would be aimed at child me for failure, but the humiliation and violence I would often receive if I tried to join in or compete with others. Stay small and unthreatening, fly under the radar, don't upset anyone, stay safe. Perfectly understandable why I developed this defence, but perfectly crazy to persist with it now. This element of my persona is absolutely self defeating and I am working on dismantling it.
Identifying and addressing my urges to punish myself if things go well (or not!) I wonder how much of that is related to the preceding about the perceived importance of not upsetting anyone, about me being undeserving of anything?
Learned Helplessness. Recognising I have choices and have the ability to take action is hard. Taking action is even harder. This is a toughie, I'm posting this as a procrastination
, but I'm actively working on it and seeing progress.
Simple example is keeping my home cleaner, if I see something that needs doing, I choose to do it then. A bigger example is that I was sick of my job so changed it. Long way to go, but Yay! for kicking learned helplessness up the backside. Don't particularly like new job but I'm working on getting what I need from it to move on again. Yay for putting myself first!
Existential dread and despair. Wow, that's a biggie
The book by Albert Ellis and the ideas behind ACT are helping with this, a philosophical approach to a philosophical problem.
Nothing else to write about today.