Monday, November 06, 2006

Navel-gazing

Today's goal: Deal with my anxiety without meds.*

Today is my first day of outpatient therapy. We come every day to continue the work we becan during our hospital stay. I was a little reluctant to come - I wasn't sure how much it would really help me. Everyone seems really nice and welcoming - a lot less crazy than the inpatient program. We'll see how it works out.

I called my boss and took a leave of absence from work. I told her I was going to take my 12 weeks of FMLA, but in reality I'm going to reevaluate at Christmas break. Maybe I'll go back - maybe I'll make a career change.

Today's self-reflection exercise goes like this:

1. One thing I would like others to know about me is that sometimes I put up a tough facade to cover the fact that my feelings are very easily hurt.

2. Ways my future will be different than my past - I will not direct my anger at my children, or at other innocent people. I will try to express anger at *situations* instead, and try to deal with it in a healthy, productive way.

3. My definition of morality is to act in the way that is most beneficial and least desructive to myself and others.

4. The best decision I ever made was to marry my husband.

5. My greatest fear is that nobody likes me.

6. A time in my life when I felt safe was when I lived alone in Chicago.

7. My definition of resilience is coming out of a situation stronger than when you went in.

8. A part of my past I want to put to rest is my compulsive lying from childhood, and my feelings of being an outsider after my move.

9. I am worthy of love because I try to be caring toward others.

10. Ways others are wrong about me: they think I don't care about others or about what they think of me.

11. I am not "damaged goods" because I am not a disease - I am a *person* who has a disease.

12. An alternative to self-blame and shame is learning to release negative thoughts and feelings.

13. My life isn't over yet because I need to raise my daughters to be strong, intelligent, independent women.

14. The forms of my creativity are very limited - I express them mostly through writing or baking.

15. My goals for the next 6 months to 1 year are to find satisfaction at work and to focus more on myself and making myself whole again.

16. I am not my mother; I am someone who admits my troubles, who seeks help for them, and who doesn't repress my emotions.

17. What defines who I am: I am a wife, mother, friend, avid reader, and queen of all trivial knowledge.

18. Compared to one year ago, my life is more unstable, but is on a positive trend instead of a negative trend.

19. It is my choice whether or not to forgive myself for hurting myself and my family.

20. The past does not control me because I can choose how I act and react in situations.

21. The next step after surviving is thriving.

22. I am addicted to routine.

23. One person who seems to understand me is my husband.

24. At this moment in my life, I want to learn to like myself.

25. I am allowed to make mistakes because I'm only human.

We talked a lot about false self vs. true self today, false self being the face we show to the world, and the true self being who we truly are. I made a poster contrasting the two, but I truly can't tell anymore which traits are really me and which are the ones I show to the world. I don't know who I am anymore, and that's sad to me. I wish I knew, or knew how to find out.


*Yeah. Not today. Vaunting ambition and all that, but, yeah. No.

2 comments:

Ninotchka said...

I can identify with so many of these. You know, reading this I can't help but think what a wonderful journey of self-discovery you're on. It may not feel wonderful right now but just think of all the people out there who go through life being miserable to themselves and others because they have never put in the work. That's what you're doing right now, you're putting in the work that is necessary for your personal, emotional and spiritual evolution. What a worthy project! Thanks for letting us come along. I applaud your courage, my friend. xxoo

Jane said...

Thanks for the pick-me-up. I need it...