I swear, we work through one issue and an even worse one takes its place. I guess in some respects that’s progress. It means we’ve dealt with or are dealing with the smaller ones and it’s time to start tackling bigger ones.
Today we talked about my constant state of borderline panic that’s tied to my job. My brain seems to be convinced that I’m going to screw something up and get fired. I’m terrified of letting my trainer down and screwing up something so badly that I get let go. I think it’s all rooted in my last lab job – I once inverted meaningless numbers in an email and got written up. I wish I were kidding. But that kind of thing has instilled this response in my head. Another piece of it is my fear of being not good enough or letting people down. So one part of this week’s homework is to being to acknowledge these thoughts, and come up with reasons why these thoughts are not valid or true. This is easier said than done – I typically try to push these thoughts far away, tamp them down into the back of my brain and try to ignore them.
I mentioned today that as an act of self-preservation, I kind of…. dissociated from my own mind. I tend to refer to it as something that resides outside of myself, rather than as a part of me. That way when it’s decided to throw a bipolar or anxiety wrench into things, I don’t have to blame myself.
So here comes to second part of the homework. We worked while ago about identifying feelings, giving them a name, and letting them be rather than shoving them down into my emotional dumpster where they were just building and building and building until they finally exploded out. This time, we’re going to identify those feelings, name them, and then take stock of how I feel physically, what I feel/touch/smell/taste. Then we’re going to name that feeling as either valid or invalid, if that makes sense.
Now, I’m not a feelings person. I had a therapist years ago that insisted on asking “how does that make you feel?” She refused to get the idea that asking me to identify feelings was not my bag. Since then, I have found that I respond much better to questions like “what do you think about that?”
It’s time to bring those two parts of my person back together. Maybe that will help stop the war that goes on in my head.