Recovery, Day 4

I’m still on the right track but it’s hard. There’s a part of me that thinks I’m so comitted to this, why can’t it just be better now? There are enough people out there that believe you can just think yourself out of depression, why can’t they be right? Then and again I don’t think I’d be able to cope with the smug “I told you so” if they were.

I’m trying to keep myself busy so I don’t have too much time to think and over analyse where I’ve gone wrong. It’s too late to change the past now. . Yesterday I went and helped at my Dad’s school to get me out the house. Spent the afternoon building forts outside with reception and nursery children. Was great to be with my intellectual equals 😉 I was reminded just how delicate this state of mind is at lunch when I asked for 2 things you weren’t meant to have together and the dinner lady said I could have them but that I wasn’t meant to. I spent the next hour mentally berating myself and felt so guilty and then angry at myself at being guilty. Just ridiculous for something that they probably forgot as soon as it happened.

This brings me on to todays pseudo psychology lesson. I know nothing about this so please discount everything I say and seek opinion from a professional. I was reading yesterday about primary and secondary emotions. Primary emotions are unlearned, they’re a basic human response to an event. These come from a survival response and are useful and functional. For example, feeling joy when something good happens, feeling sorrow when someone you love dies, feeling suprised if someone jumps out on you. Secondary emotions are stupid and pretty pointless, as far as I can figure. They’re emotions about emotions and are learned behaviours, generally from your immediate family while young. For example, feeling worry about happiness ending, feeling angry about crying,  feeling anxious about feeling anxious.

It’s these secondary emotions I seem to have a problem with, they just get out of control. Like what I said above, it was fine to feel embarassed for ordering the wrong thing but then spending the next hour feeling ashamed and angry about it was irrational and served no purpose. Now I’ve just got to work out how to control them and I’ll be fine…! Why do I get the impression that’s going to be the difficult bit?

I’m starting to put right some of the things I’ve done wrong. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, and it’s easy to see now that I was so wrapped up in being in love and then in being ill that I forgot me and the things that are important to me. If it wasn’t for that, I could have started my nursing degree 18 months ago and be half way through it now rather than waiting to start. What’s happened is nobody’s fault and it’s to late to change it now anyway but it feels strange to look back and see where I made bad decisions with the best intentions and then where I stopped making decisionas at all. I’m trying to arrange to meet up with friends I’ve abandoned, get out, see people and do more. One thing I do know is I’d never make the same mistakes again, and I’m still hoping I’ll get the chance to try again and do things right this time.

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2 Responses to Recovery, Day 4

  1. cbtish says:

    The primary/secondary distinction sounds phoney to me. For example, shame has survival value if your survival depends on a social context, which for humans it does.

    I would guess that your feelings about ordering lunch linked in with other feelings that you have about yourself, and it was those other feelings that occupied you for an hour. In other words, it would not have taken an hour to get over it if you had not been there before.

    CBT theory is that a transient thought immediately precedes the feeling, so the first stage in understanding what’s going on is to try and capture that transient thought. Controlling your feelings is not possible — they wouldn’t be feelings any more.

  2. aims says:

    I have done and do exactly the same thing. Sometimes it can bother me for days. Later I wonder why.

    Ana – you have come a long way already in leaps and bounds. Being able to recognise these things is a major step. Feel good about that.

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