havana - I know you can handle it - I wish you had the same confidence in yourself. :)
When I feel completely useless and out-of-control my life-falling-apart, I make a mental to-do list. Then I break down one thing into a lot of little manageable pieces.
If my kitchen is a mess, I might be thinking "I am so lazy, useless, broken, I can't even take care of washing the dishes. [SO] is going to be annoyed with me when he gets home ..." And it goes on and on.
When I noticed that, I can grab my notebook and write:
- Clear dishes off of kitchen table
- Stack dishes
- Wipe off counter and stove
- Wipe out sink
I may not even wash the dishes, but I gain confidence in myself and a sense of accomplishment. Feeling like you DID something can soothe that empty lonely feeling. I usually end up feeling a lot better and doing more than what I put on my list. But sometimes, I'll have a total meltdown and spend the rest of the day in bed.*
*correction: before I got on a healthy diet, I haven't had anxiety or mood problems when eating well and taking care of myself.
Some advice I've given on this board before, but in case you haven't read it...
Stress is a conflict between two thoughts, a want and a need, or between an ideal and a situation. (There are others.)
If you think of stress that way, you can get rid of a vague bad/anxious feeling. You can IDENTIFY what is stressing you out (you might be surprised) and then do something about it.
I just did this today. It took me about 2 hours to get my stress resolved. But if I didn't do it, I would have felt bad, sat at the computer, felt lonely, not accomplished anything, SO would be annoyed, I would feel guilty, I would skip lunch to avoid being with SO and feeling the guilt, my blood sugar would drop, I'd fall into a depression ... see where this is going? Using this technique gave me a good day.
So here it is:
"I am stressed out because I want ______ , but I need to _______."
Here are a couple I wrote this morning. Mine have gotten long, specific and don't necessarily follow the fill-in=the-blank above.
I am excited, yet stressed out, about going to [dog training field] to train [the dog] this afternoon. I am stressed because I don't have a training plan or a clear direction, and know that feeling frustrated with lack of direction tends to yield a long, stressful, and unproductive training session. I am thankful that it gives me an "anchor" to schedule around.
I am stressed out about going to the post office because feeling guilty about not having done it already. I am stressed out thinking about it constantly and not having a plan to get it done.
Here are a few ideas for you - not sure if any of these are true for you. :)
I feel stressed out because I have an overwhelming sensation of loneliness, even while I am with other people.
I feel stressed out because I feel obligated to attend graduate school, yet I am not comfortable with the technology that is required.
I feel stressed out because I feel obligated to attend graduate school, but I have not been healthy enough to succeed in graduate school.
I feel stressed out because I feel that I have a deadline to become well, and I don't believe I can be healthy by that time.
I feel stressed out because I am feeling unwanted side effects of a medication, and I am hestitant to try more medications because of potential side effects.
My advice - write it out. Everything! From family, employment, health, "little" stressors, schedule, meds, cleaning, self-image. Write it all out. I bet you will find a couple things you CAN fix.
Many times I will discover that I am hungry and tired. I was to emotionally unstable to feel it. Once I started writing, using the left (logical) part of my brain, and taking emotion out of it, I was able to identify those physical needs.
Those are usually easy things to resolve and build your confidence to conquer those stressors.
DON'T be afraid of major life changes. I didn't sit around and wait for stress to go away. I ACTED. (Can you say hypomania? lol) I withdrew from school, moved an hour from home and family to live with my SO, took my son out of daycare, placed a dog that was stressing me out, chose not to get a job (I was laid-off previously). My stress level is finally very low, for the first time in years.
This is part of my self-care, that along with major changes in my diet and keeping a strict diet, I am able to be well (remission?) without medication. But as soon as I slip up on my diet and/or self-care, I'm in the same BPII cycle all over again. It takes me about a month to get out of it and be well again!
Borderline Personality Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder