This is SO true for me! My life is ruled by fear. Yesterday someone on my inpatient alumni group posted this picture and it is now my desktop background. So, in an effort to see what happens when I ignore my unhelpful cognitions and behaviors, I am going to put myself back on a meal plan *shudders* with 3 meals and 3 snacks per day. Every time I catch a distorted thought like, “You’re fat”, “No one likes you”, “You’re a failure”, “Maybe you should quit law school and….”, “I’ll just do this one more thing online before starting homework *4 hours later* I’ll just do this one more…”, etc. I’m going to challenge the thought and change it, or if it is an anxiety provoking thought like quitting law school, I’ll just shut it down. I’m going to pass no judgment on my thoughts, just let them occur, but challenge the maladaptive thoughts. I’m going to wake up and go to sleep at normal times regardless of my class schedule. I’m also going to do homework/reading before the day of. Since I’m a few hundred pages behind, I may not be online much. Although, working 16 hours straight is an unreasonable expectation for law school. I think I’ll start off with a half hour of full concentration of school equals 15 minutes of free time.
If I cared more I would tell my parents or my treatment team about the increase in behaviors. Failing to heed warning signs is like letting my eating disorder come back, which could be self-sabotage. Technically, I make myself depressed. My depression is almost always a result of distorted thinking, as opposed to a random chemical imbalance. While thoughts can alter brain function (For example, brain imaging shows that Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which focuses on changing problematic thought patterns, can re-wire the brain), I can sort of control my thoughts or at least work harder to catch them, challenge them, and change them. Failing to try to change irrational thought patterns is similar to making myself depressed…except, it isn’t something I consciously do. Unlike with ED, I don’t consciously ignore thoughts, they just seem natural and pass under the radar.
and I don’t want to have an eating disorder (most days I don’t want ED). Often she says things like, “Ok you have an altered HPA access, what can we do to fix the behavior?” I know this is adaptive, focusing on the cause, when I can’t change the cause is pointless. However, the way she says that type of comment always comes off as blaming me for mental illness. Now, if a schizophrenic purposefully goes off their meds and has a psychotic break, can we blame them for the break? Assuming they did not go off their meds because of a thought distortion, perhaps we could blame them for a psychotic break because they knew the risk of relapse. However, I don’t think anyone should blame them for having schizophrenia. There is a difference between blaming someone for not following their treatment plan while not acutely ill (acute illness negates blaming them for not following their treatment plan because they’re not in full control) to minimize their symptoms and blaming someone for having a mental illness in the first place. Logically, when I take a step back, I know she means the former, but it always sounds like the latter.
On the subject of EDs, I got the “You need to be careful about loosing more weight; you’ll never see yourself as thin enough” lecture. Also, whenever my parents go out during dinner, she insists on making me dinner before they leave. *sigh* I knew the lies could only last so long. She wants to believe my lies and so she just looks at me with suspicion, but at the certain point the symptoms are undeniable. Plus, I swear she has superpowers; she can always tell if I’ve purged within the last week. I rarely wear makeup, so my eyes often look tired and puffy, but somehow she can always tell the difference between circles under my eyes from lack of sleep and circles under my eyes from burst blood vessels. The tiny red dots are indicative of purging, but they’re not always present.
Haha, my mom mentioned online dating today. I told her I had nothing against online dating. In fact, I’d already done it. However, I do not have the time to date right now, maybe I’ll consider it if next semester goes well. What I did not tell her was I feel I cannot date until I do a lot more soul searching. They know a little bit about my proclivities because when I was 13 I tried to meet men online and one of them introduced me to BDSM. As I mentioned in Masochism and Me, these thoughts have been in my head since before I can remember, but before that online chat, I did not know there was a name for people like me. Anyway, before handing my chat logs to detectives who investigate internet crimes against children, they read every word. As a result, they have known for years. Plus, when I was 16 I was caught on a Gor website. The only reason I was caught was because despite lying about my age (you were suppose to be 21), the only email address I owned was my school email address and some do-gooder admin took it upon themselves to email my school administration! Luckily, my high school was freaking amazing, but it was still embarrassing. My parents now knew it was more than a phase at age 13. *awkward* Also, they suspect I am bi or gay or something alternative. When I signed up for Pride at school they confronted me about it. They had these understanding looks in their eyes, as if all my issues (depression, eating disorder, etc.) made sense. I told them they were wrong. Pride was also PFLAG at my school.
I am not about to explain any of this to them. They might understand. When they found out about my continuing interest at 16, in an attempt to make me feel less awkward, one of them confided bondage fantasies. However, they’re religious and stressed it was “okay if I wanted my husband to tie me up in bed…” In other words, sex before marriage was not okay. I don’t know if it is possible to find my truth without surpassing oral sex. I know people engage in sexualized BDSM without literal sex, but I don’t know if that is enough to explore this anew.
I think it is unfair to enter a relationship without deciding who I am first. At the same time, I do not believe in vaginal penetration without love. This presents an obvious problem. *sigh*
The point is I am not ready to date anyone right now, especially a potentially vanilla person.
These are problems for another day though…
I’m going to try…No, I’m going to study today. To that end, I’m going to log-off and hopefully stay offline all day. I only have 5 days to study now; this is obviously my fault. Nonetheless, I am getting increasingly anxious.
I figured out there are 5 stages of procrastination. Perhaps if I get through this semester, I will explore their meaning and how to stop them like a Behavior Chain Analysis in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
One last thing: Darn it! I’m contributing to more stereotypes! For example, people who use online dating are crazy or weird or there is something wrong with them. 😦 Sorry universe! I swear there are normal, wonderful, kind, amazing people using online dating.
- A New Online Dating Algorithm Will Match You With Someone You Might Actually Have A Chance With (businessinsider.com)
- college dating & online dating (lifeattheuniversity.wordpress.com)
- Single & Lonely: Online “Dating” Apps for Young Adults (sinfullyglamorous.wordpress.com)
- online dating…Not for Everyone (fightforyourvoice.wordpress.com)
- Does Online Dating Makes Us Introvert? (360wit.wordpress.com)
- Being Successful Dating Online (findyourperfectdateonline.wordpress.com)
- What if …. (cupidgoesfishing.wordpress.com)