Starting tomorrow, my family and I are going on a 2 week holiday to Turkey. Although I enjoy family holidays, the massive amounts of free time combined with nothing particularly fast-paced/ immersive to do inevitably lead to my mood spiralling downwards as I over-think and over-analyse everything. Hopefully, trying to keep myself as busy as possible will help. I’ve also put 2 different ‘albums’ of meditation/ mindfulness practices on my ipod so that I can listen to those whenever I feel low and I’m not really doing anything. It’s something that I’ve never really looked into before but I’m willing to try anything that could potentially help me. I’ll give it a try and see how it goes.
Although I still have days when I feel terrible, my mood has generally been a lot better in the last couple of weeks. I’m not entirely sure why this is, but I’ve been making more of an effort to recognise my own negative ‘self-talk’. I try to refute the ever-present, critical ‘voice’ in my head and instead try talking to myself as if I were talking to someone I value/ care about/ love. By the way, here’s a question for anyone else who criticises their self constantly: If you had a friend who spoke to you in the way that you speak to yourself, how long would you remain friends with that person? Criticising oneself is a very difficult habit to break – it’s almost an addiction, actually – particularly if you do it as constantly and as automatically as I do. I think I have made some small progress with this though. Trying to make the way that you inwardly ‘talk’ to yourself similar to the way that you’d talk to a close friend/ loved one does seem to help.
Loneliness is – as always – something that I’m faced with every day. I can’t even talk to my online friends very often now because one is in Australia right and has very limited internet access for the time being, and the other is very busy right now/ hasn’t really been talking to me that much anyway. It can be very hard trying to deal with the loneliness sometimes. I’m lucky to have a family that I can talk to/ do things with, but most of the time, even that doesn’t help to take the loneliness away for very long. I crave friendship and love more than anything but – in addition to my social skills being poor – I’m too scared of rejection to ever let anyone in. This is something that I discussed in detail with the counsellor and may write more about in another post.
Another SA meetup was arranged for today but it turned out that I was the only person who showed up. I can obviously understand that people may be too anxious to go along – I didn’t want to go myself, because of how anxious I felt – but it would be nice if people could at least let everyone else know if they’re not going to bother. I was quite annoyed because it meant that I wasted about 4 hours of my day altogether and could’ve been doing other things like getting packed/ organised for the holiday. My SA still had a workout though. I went into the museum – which was nearby – and looked around for about 20 minutes. There were lots of people there but my anxiety was surprisingly low. Doing a lot of little exposure exercises like that has helped quite a lot. So I suppose it wasn’t a complete waste of time.
Anyway…sorry for the slightly random/ somewhat rushed post. I might do a bit of light blogging while I’m on holiday, if I find myself with nothing better to do, but I have a lot of long posts somewhere in the back of my mind that I want to write when I get back. TTFN.