Chipping Away at Distortions

I wrote this weekend while in the midst of a breakdown. I don’t feel ambivalent about it. I’m here for the first few baby steps toward getting myself righted from that lean in the wrong direction. I don’t often write when I’m having an episode where I feel… out of options. I can’t say I was suicidal because I wasn’t. I just wanted to fade away and not exist anymore or never have existed. I know the difference because my intrusive thoughts are specific and repetitive. This is part of having had obsessive compulsive disorder. I still have obsessive thoughts. Not neurosis, where one thinks things need to be even or neat. That isn’t OCD, where people cannot move thoughts out of their head and it causes them to behave in a compulsive manner. My doctor once said that I make everything neat on the outside so you can’t see how messy it is on the inside. That’s kind of the best way I can explain it. I took a picture this morning since I changed my hair, but also because I was feeling like I look much better when I’m not crying:

Not crying. Fully clothed.

What am I doing to help myself through the distorted thinking?

I’m identifying the thoughts that I’m having and matching them with a cognitive distortion. There’s actually a really helpful article I’ve used before and I have bookmarked as “first aid.” The Article Is: 10 Proven Methods for Fixing Cognitive Distortions. Using notes from when I was using Noom, but having learned them in therapy and in psych class, the most common distortions are:

  • All or nothing [Black\white] Thinking: classifying things in only 1 of 2 categories
  • Mind reading: predicting what others think or will think
  • Unhelpful rules: Adhering to strict rules that disturb progress
  • Justification: Linking two unrelated ideas to justify an idea
  • Delusional thinking: Convince yourself of something you don’t believe to justify decisions
  • Exaggerating thinking: Making a situation bigger than it is.

Now I identify what is inarguably true, and what is based in opinion about and reframe it. Obviously, my thoughts on either being fat or skinny are black and white thinking. I can be healthy without looking the way I think I should because that idea is an unhelpful rule. My thinking is exaggerated in that I gained weight, but my clothes actually do fit the same. I need to think on a scale of 1-100 how likely it is that I gain back over 40 pounds from a slight gain over a few weeks. That’s probably not over the 10’s in how realistic I’m being. I can also point out that my fear of regaining all of the weight is irrational since everyone tends to fluctuate especially women at certain times of the month [and it was that time last week]. I am trying to find different ways to say things to myself. I need to stop “shoulding” myself and work with “I would like to.” I’ve asked myself if I would be so hard on a friend if s/he came to me with similar issues and I know for a fact I would not. That’s a clear doubt standard and I need to be as kind or harsh to myself as I would be to someone else. Finally, I am asking myself: “how will these thoughts benefit me versus how will they harm me?” It is pretty easy to see that believing I won’t progress could hurt my progress more than help.

There are some other methods I intend to apply to this, but this is so far much of where I’ve gone with the most recent emotional reaction to my own thoughts.

What am I doing to help the situation right now?

My husband took my scale away and the battery out of it, so even when I found it, I can’t use it. This morning, I was not amused. I even took a picture because I was feeling lost without it.

My scale is noticeably missing.

I’m going to work through what happened and try to prevent future occurrences the best I can. I wanted to share that I’ve not given up or given in to my negative thinking. I definitely let myself go too far into the negative this time. I intend to use affirmations to help myself out.

  • I am proud of myself
  • I am doing my best
  • I am successful
  • I am strong
  • I choose to be happy
  • My thoughts become my reality
  • I am healthy will make healthy choices

I know people say it’s ok to break down once in awhile, just don’t stay there long. It’s true. I just didn’t want to have when I felt was a complete meltdown.

I’ll check in again soon. Thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “Chipping Away at Distortions

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