unico_love: (crystal ball)
There is something I have learned in Dialectical Behavior Therapy that is probably obvious to most other people, but it was a big revelation for me: We are not our emotions. We experience emotions, but we don't have to act on them -- we can even act opposite of them. We are not defined by our emotions and we are more than our emotions. I have always felt like my emotions were the best reflection of me and when I experienced negative emotions, other than perhaps compassionate sadness, I was a bad person. Likewise, we are not our thoughts. Our thoughts happen and have meaning, but they don't define us any more than our emotions do. Thoughts can change at any time. Like emotions, they pass. Our true self is more solid than our emotions or thoughts. We are something deeper than those things. When I feel despair I feel hopeless. I think that is the "real" me and allow it to define my life. My sense of self constantly changed depending on how my emotions changed. In some ways I have a well-defined sense of self, but in other ways I allow myself to be overwhelmed and control.ed by my emotions and, to a lesser extent, my thoughts. It's easier to like myself when I don't feel like my negative emotions or thoughts are the truest depiction of me. It's also easier for me to see I am still being honest and true to myself when deciding not to express or act on certain emotions. It also helps my relationships.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
From time to time I am still having negative feelings or judgments, but I am getting better at noticing those thoughts/feelings and reasoning with myself why I shouldn't act on them and how those thoughts/feelings will pass. They always do pass. I go back to feeling happy with my life and the people I know. I don't want to ruin a relationship to spout vitriol which temporarily relieves me. Just reminding myself those negative thoughts and feelings will pass usually works, though a few times I have been caught off-guard and have been unkind back. I get so afraid of being walked all over again. I need to continue working on expressing myself and how something affects me while still being respectful and kind, even if the other person isn't respectful or kind back. I'm still too sensitive about what others' impressions of me might be. Criticism and accusations still give me panic attacks. If someone said something awful about me I'd probably take them too seriously instead of assuming the person saying such negative things probably has a problem they are taking out on me.

Sometimes I still feel powerless, but knowing I can change my perspective of myself and the world and taking steps to live a different lifestyle makes me feel more in-charge of my life and happiness. And my medication helps, too, so the anxiety and bipolar don't rule my life so much and I can make wiser decisions and don't feel bad for no reason. I still have to work on my worrying or focusing on the past or future instead of on the present. I am getting better about worrying about the future, though, and keeping my thoughts more on the present or near-present. The past I'm starting to see as an unfolding story that led me to wear I am now, which is overall a pretty good place, so even the bad things that happened seem purposeful and less destructive. It was a state of great pain and wishing to die that made me want to turn around my communications and focus. Hopefully those incidents in March that made me so desperate and depressed won't repeat themselves. I may feel very negative feelings and have very negative thoughts again at some point, especially due to being bipolar, but hopefully I've learned how to better handle those situations when they arise.
unico_love: (Unico)
I wish I weren't so hypersensitive and didn't take things so personally. I tend to be an overthinker, and I assume other people think/feel like me, so little things people do I assume are planned out and exactly what the person wanted to do/say and it had a deep meaning. Sometimes this leads me to think people don't care much about me, like when friends don't do what they say or contact me less often than usual, etc. I'm working hard on being polite and respectful, no matter what happens (though in fights I will still be rude if someone comes on really strongly -- I hope that I change that). Just because I feel something doesn't make my feelings/thoughts about that topic based on fact. I need to just trust people will like me or do still like me and act naturally and considerately. I can't get too obsessed with people where their reaction to me or little actions that have nothing to do with me greatly impact my emotional state. I have to decide to be happy and not allow other people power over my mood because of what's going on in their life or what they feel toward me (though the latter is very difficult). With kindness and sincerity people I love probably won't abandon me. Sometimes people grow apart for awhile and I just have to accept that and be there for them if they want to be closer to me again.

I also have to think of life's good things existing in abundance and that there's plenty for me and everyone I know to be happy and reach our goals. There's no reason someone else has to have a hard time just because I'm happy or having an easy-ish time. My happiness can make other people happy and other people's happiness can be inspirational and help me be happy. Also there's no reason to compare myself to others -- we each follow our own path and things that are right for us will come along (though I'm usually only jealous/envious of other people if said people are closer to a loved one than I am).
unico_love: (Cat mask)
From The Emotional Toolkit by Darlene Mininni

Emotional Tools: 1. Thought-shifting (need to work on this -- I ruminate a lot)
2. The Meditative Arts (I'm bad at staying still and focusing my mind)
3. Communication (I think I do this pretty well, if I can open up, but sometimes I'm too harsh instead of stating something calmly)
4. Emotional Writing (This helps and it's what I use my paper journal for)
5. Physical Movement (Doesn't seem to help me, but I'm working on exercising more)
6. Connection (I'm slowly getting better at turning to people for help/support)
7. Psychotherapy (sometimes helps when I'm in a dire mental state, sometimes doesn't)

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unico_love

August 2013

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