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I want to be normal

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  • #390876
    samy
    Participant

    Also, I forgot to respond to your last paragraph, anita – I will gladly continue communicating with you, it helps me a lot. Thank you.

    #390878
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    I am amazed by your recent replies to other members, you are very good at this, thank you!

    My only problem is I don’t think I realize my emotional state when I am in the moment. I will work on this” – working on what needs to be worked on is the best you can do. The same awkwardness and other uncomfortable emotions will continue while you practice emotion regulation. Key is to not give up on the practice just because you keep feeling these uncomfortable emotions. It is similar in a way to taking a psychiatric medication: the recommendation is to keep taking it even when there is no improvement, because it takes time.

    The practice we are talking about though, will eventually yield lifetime results that are not dependent on a medication.

    I do realize I can work on my appearance. There is some resistance there…” – you wrote that you left this part in your post so to come back to it later. Take your time and be back when you are ready. The best time to contemplate topics like this is when you happen to be calm. We think best when we are calm.

    I will gladly continue communicating with you, it helps me a lot. Thank you” – you are welcome, and same here: I will gladly continue to communicate with you!

    anita

    #390893
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    Thank you for appreciating me.

    I will create a mechanical series of steps or questions that I must go through when I feel emotions. This might help. I will formulate these questions after more research.

    #390897
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    I am looking forward to read what you come up with in regard to the mechanical series of steps or questions that you mentioned!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 11 months ago by anita.
    #390899
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    I will share it tonight, that’s Sunday morning for you, I think

    Girija

    #390900
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    I was able to come up with a plan sooner than I thought. Do give me your feedback on it.

    I have written out how I will handle emotions with questions at the bottom. A prerequisite for that is that I am not dismissive about genuine fears/flaws that I want to work on, in order to distinguish between things I can control and can’t. So first, a couple of things I need to work on:

    I’ve created one year goals and broken them down where possible –
    • Physical Health: I did lose weight in 2020 but gained some back. My 1 year goal will be to lose 10-12 kg. This will be 1 kg/month. Which is doable. This will involve diet and exercise. Gather courage to go to doctors about asthma and other issues. This will take longer but adding it to a checklist is a first step.
    • Mental health: I watched a video about daily routines for stress and anxiety. Suggestions include exercise to burn off stress physically. Having a checklist everyday for a todo list. Reducing caffeine. Not running away from anxiety i.e., ignoring it or going harder at whatever the anxiety points to. In my case it would be doing nothing about health or my job, or overdoing weight loss or interview preparation. I need to instead slow down. My questions might help with this.
    • Job: It is time for me to change my job. I have looked at other people’s interview experiences and there are tons of blogs highlighting what to prepare and practice. I need to factor in rejections as well. I will need to set a 3 month deadline for a major chunk of my prep. And start interviewing from month 4-5. Also, an update I never gave you. I was promoted once in 2020. And this year will go to a senior developer role. It is harder to switch at this level but not impossible.
    • Mom: My daily checklist will factor in ways in which I can help my mom out in the house as I feel guilty about not doing anything.
    • Finance: I need to look at investing to generate passive income and feel more financially secure. I will use a major portion of this year to learn. Job search will also contribute to this goal.

    My daily checklist will involve –
    • Exercise
    • Achieving/working towards one task my job requires
    • Interview preparation has multiple components. So I will have one checklist item for each of them
    • Helping my mom out – Lunch/dinner/laundry/cleaning the house
    • Stepping out of the house for groceries or other small tasks – I need to reinforce my confidence in social interactions and it helps to have small doable things on the checklist
    • Dedicated time to acknowledge that the day was good.

    Now, coming to how I will handle emotions:
    My triggers are typically –
    1. Feeling judged by someone else when I do something, like cause a problem or fail at some task. I could be the one judging myself. My questions will be
    • Question 1. What do I think or what does this person think I am? I will name it A. A could be I am not smart enough for a senior, I am silly, ugly, boring, etc.
    • Question 2. Why do I not want to be A? I will name it B. This is usually – I will get fired and won’t find another job. I won’t have good friends. I won’t find love, etc.
    So A is a cause and B is an effect. I recognize that it is the effect that is the trigger for me. If someone thought I was incompetent but I knew I won’t lose my job, I would be okay with being incompetent. Also being competent wouldn’t guarantee that I won’t lose my job. So I need to address the possibility of losing my job. I need to address B. Accept B is possible and create a plan if needed. So, accept I could lose my job at any time and prepare to be interview ready. Accept I may never find another job. And just accept it, there is nothing I can do if nobody wants to hire me. Even my inner voice found that possibility silly. If I am interview ready, it is likely that someone will hire me. Other things include accept I may not find love and so on. And decide, if there is no love, then what, what shall I do now? Socialize without the stress of finding love and live my life 🙂
    • Question 3: Am I doing something to address B. If yes, we are good. Take a deep breath and resolve the sensations. I am looking into grounding techniques for this.

    2. Untriggered ruminations over financial insecurity, my mom’s health, etc.
    I have guilt over whether we did everything we could to give her the best chance at beating C long term. And with finances, exaggerated fears over losing all my money.
    • Question 1: Can I do something about this now? Give my mom a hug. Help her out with something. Look at my bank balance. Take a deep breath and decide – Today, we are okay. We will see about tomorrow.
    • Question 2: Can I do something long term. If there is something it will go into my checklist. I need to then resolve the emotions physically. Like I mentioned earlier, I am looking at grounding for this.

    This is what I have for now.
     

    #390904
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    Belated congratulations for your 2020 promotion and thumbs up for your expected promotion this year (if I understood correctly) to a senior developer role!

    Summarized and organized, your one-year list of goals:

    1) Lose 10-12 kg, 1 kg per month by diet and exercise.

    2) Seek medical treatment for health issues, including asthma. Reduce caffein.

    3) Look for a new job.

    4) Look into generating passive income through investing.

    5) Ever day, prepare a to-do list, which will include * Doing exercise, *Spending some time outside the house, socializing, *Doing work related to your current job, * Doing interview preparation work for your next job, *Helping your mother with cooking, laundry, cleaning and shopping.

    6) Prepare a worksheet to read and work through at times when you get overwhelmed by triggered emotions, for the purpose of emotional regulation.

    In the worksheet, you will * List triggers/ worries (ex., losing your job), *For each trigger, list questions to ask yourself for the purpose of correcting the incorrect thinking that is involved with each trigger, and for the purpose of figuring what to do about each trigger short term (ex., give your mother a hug), and long term.

    *List grounding practices (ex., take deep breaths) that will apply to all of the listed triggers.

    Did I get it correctly, Girija?

    anita

    #390910
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    Belated congratulations for your 2020 promotion and thumbs up for your expected promotion this year (if I understood correctly) to a senior developer role! – you have understood that correctly. Thank you for congratulating me.

    Thanks for organizing my novel of a plan, you asked if you got that correct, and you did.

    Girija

    #390916
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    You are welcome. You can start filling in the skeletal plan I presented in my last post with some flesh, so to speak. Make your language specific, concise and personal, if you will.

    anita

    #390918
    samy
    Participant

    Thanks, Anita. I will.

    You can choose not to answer this. I can understand it might be too personal. But could you tell me how you reduced your anxiety and went from the figurative gas to liquid? What tools and techniques you used?

    Girija

    #390930
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    You are welcome. I am fine answering you: (1) Having a daily routine, part of which is taking an hour long walk outside. At times of elevated stress, I take another, shorter walk, or just get out of the chair and move around, do something, (2) I intentionally slow down, avoid rushing. I particularly avoid rushing in between my ears. Mindfulness is about slowing down and paying attention to the body, and to the here-and-now. It is like taking a figurative elevator down from the abstract, overthinking brain to the concrete, sensing body, (3) I finally managed to adequately control some impulsive behaviors like binge eating, a behavior that made me feel very out of control, and therefore, very distressed.

    How is all this, for now, as an answer?

    anita

    #390953
    samy
    Participant

    Thanks for sharing, anita.

    I read your message a while ago. I was going to ask you permission to ask specific questions about your techniques as I could apply some. But I couldn’t respond. I was in the middle of feeling very anxious. I laid down in my bed. I have had 4 bouts since. I don’t know what caused them though. I feel them in my chest and stomach. I tried being mindful but it got more intense. I don’t know the cause. How am I supposed to handle this? They went away on their own. I became more sensitive to the sounds around me during that time.

    Girija

    #390981
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    I was in the middle of feeling very anxious. I laid down in my bed. I have had 4 bouts since… I feel them in my chest and stomach. I tried being mindful, but it got more intense. I don’t know the cause… I became more sensitive to the sounds around me during that time” –

    – Likely, the cause is the chemical/ physiological habit of your adrenal glands (two small structures attached to the top of each one of your kidneys), a habit of producing hormones and releasing them into your bloodstream. These hormones travel from your adrenal glands to your brain (increasing your sensitivity to sounds), to your chest (increasing the blood output by your heart) and to your stomach (interfering with digestion, pausing it).

    The purpose of the hormones: to prepare your body to either run away from danger, like a predator, or to fight danger (the Flight/Fight Response), by causing you (1) To better detect the sounds of an approaching predator, (2) To have more blood reach your legs, so that you can run fast; more blood to reach your arms, so that you can fight; and less blood to reach your digestive tract, because all the blood is needed to go to your legs and arms.

    Of course, no predator was chasing you. Thing is: because you experienced so much anxiety over the years, without a predator, or real-life danger present, that your body is in the habit of releasing these hormones.

    This habit started when as a child, your brain instinctively believed that you were in danger, and it believed so repeatedly. Having repeatedly witnessed those “really horrible fights” caused by your grandmother, was enough to start and establish this habit.

    How am I supposed to handle this?” – little by little, patiently. To change his chemical/ physiological habit, it will take months of persistent practice of the 1-3 items that I listed in my previous post to you. No fast results. It will take you overcoming your discomfort in regard mindfulness practices, enough so that you will give it a better chance to benefit you.

    anita

     

    #391012
    samy
    Participant

    Hi anita

    Thanks for the detailed response. I will practice to better deal with this.

    Girija

     

     

    #391015
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Girija:

    You are welcome. I hope you do “practice to better  deal with this”- it will not be easy, it will be far from easy.  Most people give up and quit trying. Will you be the exception, will you be different…Will you make a difference in your own life?

    anita

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