Monday, May 25, 2015

More Choices

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.
Change your attitude.
Change your actions.
Change your life.
If I think differently but don't do differently I will remain the same place.   

 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.

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