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Emails to my Therapist

Self Defeating Thoughts 3

It’s the first weekend since I’ve been writing down self-defeating thoughts–as a way to get rid of them. This process of “therapeutic homework” continues to be an education.

Obviously, I don’t have a big enough sample to claim I’ve discovered a pattern. But I do notice that I’ve written down many more of them today Saturday –and it’s only 4 o’clock–than in several weekdays combined. What’s different: I’m not at work today. I’m guessing that without the tight focus of work my mind can stir up more trouble. (And I just recently ran across the term “leisure illness,” referring to getting headaches, colds, etc., on taking time off.)

What also interests me is the fact that I’m having a good day. If I weren’t keeping tabs, I’d barely have registered most of the bits of self-sabotage. But I suspect that they have a cumulative effect anyway.

Another finding that surprises me: these thoughts are very diverse. Ranging from telling myself that I won’t get a grant I’ve applied for, to remembering saying the wrong thing to someone about 15 years ago, to grandiose expectations of myself and what I should be doing. Also, a couple of times I’ve imagined someone doing something to make me mad, and then had an imaginary argument about it, the entire scenario a fabrication. I have to ask myself why I would take the trouble to manufacture that last one.

Just had another S.D. Thought–“What am I doing blogging about my mental health when I should be helping Haitians?”

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Categories: guilt, self-management, strategy

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