Continuing to review the list of Early Maladaptive Schemas. I am exploring and learning how to take back my power, believe in myself, and embrace the future.
Change your thinking; Change your life is a popular meme. I add more parts....
Change your thinking.If I think differently but don't do differently I will remain the same place.
Change your attitude.
Change your actions.
Change your life.
4. DEFECTIVENESS / SHAME – The feeling that one is defective, bad, unwanted, inferior, or invalid in important respects; or that one would be unlovable to significant others if exposed.
For this one, my counselor encouraged me to do random acts of kindness with the 5/50 rule. The kindness can't take more than 5 minutes or cost more than 50 cents. I was to write down each one I did and the feeling I had afterwards. Adding one kind action daily started a shift in my thinking. It took more than a week....but now I try to do that everyday for several years. Kindness to others does wonders for me. I also use reframing. For a more detailed explanation follow the link below:
Change my perspective and my whole outlook has changed.
5. SOCIAL ISOLATION / ALIENATION – The feeling that one is isolated from the rest of the world, different from other people, and/or not part of any group or community.
This required a different approach. I changed my job and my friends. I also changed my level of contact with certain people. I was looking for my 'tribe' in all the wrong places. I worked hard to feel some level of comfort with other people. I learned to reach out to others with the guidance of my counselor. He worked to get me to see that my isolation was my choosing. I changed. I learned that I could share my burdens. I learned that I didn't have to protect the whole world from my past. During the summer months when I am off work, I choose times to visit family and friends. I also enjoy my friends online. I thought at one time that the only way I could function was being a hermit. I've since learned that I can interact with people by maintaining healthy boundaries. It is a cool slow process.
6. DEPENDENCE / INCOMPETENCE – Belief that one is unable to handle one’s everyday responsibilities in a competent manner, without considerable help from others.
I was told as a child often how incompetent and stupid I was. In high school I set out to prove them wrong. My mother told me after I graduated in the top 5% of my class that I wasn't as smart I just worked harder. The worked harder sounded like some sort of dirty trick. Then in my 30's I passed out everyday. Doctors had no idea what was wrong with me. It was before PTSD was a diagnosis. Since I didn't pass out in their office, most doctors didn't believe me. It is hard to feel competent when you spend most your life on a couch. I still pass out but not nearly as often. It reminds me that I have a certain amount of dependency exists but I am not incompetent. I can do things. I am really good at some things. I appreciate this quote:
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
I took my life back one moment at a time. It is possible.