Monday, August 15, 2005

Dr T, I'm picking up what your laying down

Dr T. regularly challenges the way I word things. I think this is called cognitive therapy. She "pokes at" the words I am using to draw attention to the way I think about things. Very much the glass half full/half empty type of stuff.

Well it's working! The way I "speak" to myself has changed dramatically, and the way I see myself has too :) I have worked hard to replace that critical inner voice with an encouraging one. Today I came up with something. It is similar to Steven Covey's 7 habits of highly effective people (all people should read this book- its not a "self help" book, it is a book about living in a way that reflects your values, HIGHLY recommended) I decided today to record my values and strengths.

I had done this before, when I read the book. But the difference between then and now is I didn't know myself at all at the time. I was trying to shape myself into an "acceptable" person. I had no regard or respect for the person I already was. I had a perfect image of what I "should be" in my head, and I saw myself as unacceptable until I reached that perfect point. Of course, with that attitude, I would never be good enough, since perfect is impossible, so it is no wonder that years on that impossible path led to feeling suicidal.

Today I was able to narrow down some core values. I decided that since I value such things I can also call them my strengths. My house is very dirty. There is oil splatters on the wall next to the stove. My bedroom is often a pile of boxes and clothes that I have to walk over to reach my bed. Even though my house is in that condition I have the right to call "order" a strength. It is a strength because I care. Many people have messy homes, and while they usually don't like it, it's not something that is a priority for them. "Order" is a strength that I have, it matters to me and I work towards that goal.

Math might be a person's strength, but if they are faced with a very large, complex problem, they might take a long time to solve it. An incomplete problem is not proof that someone is bad at math, it just means it's a big problem. A person can work on a problem for years and get nowhere if they use an ineffective method over and over.
The reason my house is not yet orderly is, I am approaching my goal in the wrong way.
I repeatedly organize and clean my environment, but it remains "dirty" because I own too many things to keep maintained in a reasonable amount of time.

Another strength I have the right to claim is "Bravery." I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so my life is virtually ruled by fear, but I am still brave. If 75% of the time I choose not to do something, because I am afraid, I am still brave, because 25% of the time I am standing up to that fear. I may meet 24 men where I put up a front, because I am afraid of intimacy or of being rejected, but if I am myself with a twenty-fifth man, I am still brave. I value bravery, and so I am brave.

Ten years ago I would have scoffed at this blog. I would say "If I were soft on myself like that I would never accomplish a thing." I thought that way because I had no faith in myself and my abilities. I thought the only reason I got anything done was because I bullied myself, but now I see I would have gotten more done had I encouraged myself, since I held back to avoid failing, leading to further self-bullying.

These are the Values/Strengths I can recognize right now:

I value Kindness, and I am Kind
I value Ethics, and I am Ethical
I value Caring, and I am Caring
I value Humor, and I am Funny
I value Order, and I am Orderly
I value Creativity, and I am Creative
I value Music, and I am Musical
I value Aesthetics, I am Aesthetic
I value Intelligence, and I am Intelligent
I value Strength, and I am Physically Strong
I value Strength, and I am Emotionally Strong

I cannot put into words how good it feels to become aquainted with myself. It makes me feel more solid to learn who the person I am is. I have spent so many years of my life being a chameleon, trying to impress others so they would give me reassurance that I was acceptable. I wasted so much energy that I could have put into making myself happy. It makes me happy to learn that I am already acceptable. I have unique qualities and strengths (some more developed than others of course) and I now can spend my life developing them, instead of punishing myself for being the impossible...perfect.

Mood: very positive and warm, not to mention creative and bright :)

Oh, and pssssssst...now that I am using my very-well-developed strength of kindness on myself- I am starting to like this woman I am becoming acquainted with. ;)

62 comments:

Henry said...

Good for you DC!! I know what that constant anxiety will do to you. It will sap your strength and mind; it's hard to keep all that stuff swirling around inside the noggin. Putting it down on paper is a good start; always remember that it's not carved in stone. You can change it and adjust it as you see fit at anytime.

Since you are into computers (e.g. your blog), may I recommend a book that might help tremendously with some of this inventorying and clutter reduction in your life: American Mania. Dr. Whybrow is one of the world's leading experts in Depression and Bipolar Illness. There's a great section of the book on controling and organinzing some of the very things you are talking about. Take a look, I think we all can benefit from some of the insights.

Diana Crabtree said...

The term "swirling around inside your noggin" is exactly why I love the blog

The book sounds sounds like its MADE for me

Satan said...

YAY! : )

Diana Crabtree said...

:)

Diana Crabtree said...

Henry-

I just looked at the book link. I am really proud to say that the 4 rules on the website are ones I believe in and think about alot!

That looks like a really great book, I love my job because it frees me from that "American Mania" Thank you for drawing my attention to it!

Satan said...

;)

Diana Crabtree said...

:P

Satan said...

<.<

>.>

o.o

O.O

o.o

x.x

Diana Crabtree said...

^>

%H

.L.

g.g

@@

Satan said...

LMAO

().()

"_"

^+^

Diana Crabtree said...

I haven't been in the computer game long enough to know how to know what all of those face things mean

Satan said...

I have no idea either. They're just cute. Maybe we should assign then an emotion so as they're useful.

>.<

I think this should mean constipated.

Diana Crabtree said...

Is that an example or are you expressing something you feel right now?

Satan said...

Ha! No, just an example. wait... no... yes... no... yes, definately not - but know I have to go poop.

Satan said...

Sometimes I disturb even myself... : )

Diana Crabtree said...

/\
O

this is my emotional response to the poop talk

Satan said...

Is that some sort of round object falling out of a... a... 'opening'

Maybe I'm emotionally constipated, Unlike yourself. I liked your post a lot.

Diana Crabtree said...

That is the funniest interpretation I could imagine! It was supposed to be a face saying "oh!" in response to a gross-out joke, with the eyes closed and tortured. (I like yours better shhhh!)

BTW thanks for the compliment on my post! Therapy is SOOOO worth it! (and I'm not the one who thinks anything under $500 is negligable)

Satan said...

What's that meant to mean? Are you saying I should seek therapy?

Diana Crabtree said...

Hee hee,

Sorry, you can't turn that into an insult, because then you are insulting me! Ha ha

I think anyone can benefit from therapy. But especially anyone who tortures souls while surrounded by flames and molten lava for eternity.

Satan said...

I wasn't trying to seem offended, I was genuinely interested : )

Living comfortably and being able to afford something doesn't necessarily indicates somethings worth. Not that you don't know that. I think my e-abode/job is a lot more realistic than the facade many people try to project. : )

Henry said...

Glad you like the book!

Look around on the Internet to find out more about emoticons.

Diana Crabtree said...

Hey Mr. Defensive...

Stop being defensive about the money thing. I was just teasing you, but I will ease up if you prefer.

If you are genuinely interested if I think you should seek therapy, my answer is you should if you want to.

And metathinking is cool

Diana Crabtree said...

A pilot wants to use the computer (i'm in tulsa)

ILL BE BAHCK!

Mr Defensive said...

You brought up the money thing!! He he! I wasn't being defensive, I thought I was using it as an example to broaching the subject matter of something's worth.

As far as Therapy goes, it'd be atypical of an Aussie to use something like that unless there were some serious issues in your life. My most serious issue is how to spend my fabulous wealth. ; ) If there are minor issues, that's what mates and a pub are for.

Satan said...

Oops forgot to add at the end of the first paragraph. I was broaching that subject in order to talk about some of the things in your post and the type of 'things' you're finding of worth.

Diana Crabtree said...

It is atypical of most Americans to go unless they really need it, hell alot of people won't go and they really do need it! But there is alot about the US that makes you need therapy (see Henry's book suggestion) ha ha

I love the topic you were bringing up Mr. Defen, eh, Satan. The whole "acceptable" character I expected myself to be just HAD to be wealthy. One must be wealthy to have all of the necessary "props" that lead to a happy existence. This is a line that has been fed to America since the 50's, and it of course has spread.

Diana Crabtree said...

I am loving therapy, so much of what I am learning, turns out to be, after so many years, quite cliche!

Satan said...

Sorry, I wandered away for a while...

Yeah, the wealthy thing is a huge part of our society as well. It used to be touted that the Aussie dream was to own your own home on a quarter acre block. Now you need investment properties as well, or so I'm told. I come from a pretty 'poor' background, but we were always happy. It doesn't take much to join the dots and know the wealth dream isn't real, damn consumerists that we are : )

Diana Crabtree said...

The "Aussie Dream" heh! I love it!

My favorite aunt and uncle used to have an outhouse and no running water. I liked water and toilets, but I used to prefer to be there than any other place in the world :)

Satan said...

Ask any Aussie about the 'Aussie Dream'. They'll tell you!

My strawberry farm owning grandmother used to have an outhouse. We call them 'Long Drop'. Yay! back to poop humour : ) Except for the strawberries I hated it there, not only for the loo but that played a big part. Red-Back spiders and putrescent smell everywhere. Ewww

Diana Crabtree said...

I don't know what putrescent means! I sure do hope its poop related!

(I mean I sure DOO hope...) Ha ha ha

Satan said...

So DOO I! LMAO - u's is funny

Becoming putrid; putrefying.... pootrescent...

Diana Crabtree said...

We have our "American Dream" too, thats why "Aussie Dream: sounds so funny to me.

Ours was also to own a home, for some it is now a home, a car for each member of the family and a plasma HDTV set, and for some the "American Dream" is to have health insurance.

Satan said...

I thought the great "American Dream" was to take over other countries for the natural resources...

Satan said...

He he - I'm running away... I'll be back in Ten.

Diana Crabtree said...

Well after a few years my aunt and uncle got a compost toilet- which meant the poo stayed in the house!

It was never poo-ey smelling in the house and there were never flies, (becuase of an enzyme or somehting that they put in there) but there was always a strong organic smell in that house, and using the pot was pretty eww-ey

Diana Crabtree said...

If I am gone too it's because a pilot needed to use it

Diana Crabtree said...

...the computer, not the toilet

Satan said...

I glad you clarified, I got one hell of an image.

Diana Crabtree said...

To the shitter for you spam!

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Satan said...

Mmmm, the worst thing about the farm was that my grandmother had a perfectly functioning toilet inside the house, which was clean and flushed and stuff, but she wouldn't let us grotty little kids use it. No! out to the spider infested hole in the ground with you!

Satan said...

More fodder for the Poop-shute.

Diana Crabtree said...

I have to leave up that spam because it quotes Elenor Roosevelt and then advertizes brazilian bikini waxes, too bizarre!

Diana Crabtree said...

I would be SOOO mad! Were the red-back spiders poisonous?

Satan said...

They are the 3rd most poisonous spiders in the world (you have to love Oz wildlife). We also have the number 1. spider here in sydney and the most poisonous snakes, and the most poisonous thing on earth, a tiny little jelly fish you can't even see in the water bacuse it's see-through.

Diana Crabtree said...

Thats what I think of when I think of Australia, the dangerous animals.

My Aussi-phile stepmother told a story when I was around 9 or 10 about finding a really poisonous spider in her shoe or something, I remembered being facinated (and freaked out) for ages. (and she had a snake phobia, cant imagine why after living in Australia)

Satan said...

I don't mind snakes at all, most snakes are really frightened of you, (no-one else just you, ha-ha, sorry, I'll stop now) and if you give them a little room the take off really fast. Chances are it was a red-back in the shoe, they love shoes.

Satan said...

I prefer red-backs to my grandother any day!

Diana Crabtree said...

Blech! (To the poisonous part)

I love snakes. You think I am wierd now...I used to own a snake!

I don't like them for the shock value I like them because they are beautiful and interesting. Their musculature is facinating (how they stand up is so cool to me)

I loved the snake but was having a hard time with the feeder mice. I refused to give her rats because they were too smart (they knew what was coming) and frozen were SO DISGUSTING! You had to HEAT Them! (I can still visualize the smell- uch!) When it got hard to get feeder mice regularly I sold her so she could have a happy snake life :)

Her name was Orangeboy

Satan said...

That's a great snake name... I don't think owning a snake is weird, if you danced naked with her in a night club then I'd start to get worried, then I'd ask if you had it on video.

Warming dead rats, that's F'ing gross man. You must have really loved that snake.

I don't particularly like to see snakes standing up. With wild snakes, it usually means you're way to close and scaring the hell out of them. That's when you get bitten. Not good when the most common snakes around are some of the worlds deadliest. I was swimming with a girl fiend (Yes she was)once and a snake swam right past us. She thought it was a swan because it had its head so far out of the water. Ha ha, luckily no-one could see her piss herself.

Diana Crabtree said...

The rat warming only happened twice, the first time was mice warming, so unpleasant that I quit and went for live, and then a few years later was the "Rat incident"

It involved the rat falling into the cage with the skin from its tail still in my hand. Uhh! I shudder just remembering it- THERAPY!

That "swan" story is FREAKY!

Satan said...

Yeah, I can believe I used to date her.




Um, OK, that's even worse than I imagined. YUCK! I think it would be the sensation of it slothing away in the hand that would get me. *shudders* Can I join you in therapy?

Satan said...

I ruined my own joke, "I can't believe I dated her" as in that's the freaky part of the story. *Satan slowly shakes head*

Diana Crabtree said...

It was as gross as you can imagine (just add the cooked rat smell)

ughllllgh

Back to the excrement topic (something more pleasant)

SHIT! It's 11:00! I have a 5:55 AM van tomorrow morning AHHH!

Goodnight

Diana Crabtree said...

I got your joke

Satan said...

Nighty nighty nighty, Have nice dreams after that conversation.

He he he

Make sure you catch your van - take care.

Satan said...

Blogger is trying to kill the 7th Rim.... Arrrgggghhhh.... no.....

My comments, my comments, my beautiful comments. *Satan breaks down weeping*.

OK over it now... kinda...

Satan said...

My comments are back... blogger should know better than to screw with Satan.

Jay said...

It can take people an awfully long time to start to like themselves, but once you've got that down pat, you're on your way.

Drake said...

Hello Diana,

It's been awhile since I've read your blog - I'm happy to read your positive post. I'm pondering what you've written - Lots to contemplate.

Hope you continue to do well!
Your friend,
Drake :)