I looked at my WRAP this morning and noticed something missing – one of my biggest triggers. I have a lengthy list, we already know that, so what’s one more? It’s a doozie, and one that is guaranteed to send me into a tailspin – believing I’ve pissed someone off. I cannot stand to think that someone is angry with me, it makes me sick to my stomach. I will move heaven and earth to make things right if I believe someone is pissed off with me, to such an extent that if they weren’t actually in the first place and I was just misunderstanding the situation, they probably would be by the time I was done checking things are ok/trying to make amends. At this point, the truth of whether or not they are pissed off is immaterial – it’s how I’m feeling about it that’s getting out of hand. This is why I went looking at WRAP in the first place. I wanted to check what my early warning signs are and what it was I decided I should do when I start to lose my grip on perspective.
Early warning signs (the ones in red are the ones I’ve noticed this morning)
- I feel the need to contact Therapist 1.0 which will become a compulsion if things get worse
- thoughts of self harm and suicide come to mind too easily
- I think about stopping my medication
- my breathing is very shallow and I find it hard to take a deep breath
- there’s a lump in my throat
- I find it hard to make eye contact
- I avoid people, and if I can’t, will make excuses to get away as quickly as possible
- my mind is very busy, thoughts are racing
- I want to be left alone
- I’m easily overwhelmed
- I’m irritable, snappy, prone to catastrophising
- I can’t stay in the moment – I’m panicking about the future or dwelling on the past
- I don’t want to do yoga
- I drink too much, eat rubbish
That’s quite a few. The next stage is looking at what I decided has to happen now.
‘I have got to talk to Hubby and let him know what’s going on. I absolutely must not make any major decisions!!!! I need to get out to the sea or the lake, somewhere that I can be completely alone, preferably with the camera. There’s something about water that I find incredibly soothing, and if I’m taking photos, I’m concentrating on what I’m seeing rather than what I’m feeling. It won’t necessarily make everything better, but for the length of time that I’m there it will give me breathing room. I need to keep things simple, go right back to basics – don’t expect too much of myself, don’t line up a long to do list. I need to do my soothing rhythm breathing. I’ll need to know my friends are available, even a text every now and then. They don’t need to try and fix me, or feel obliged to come and see me. Chances are I wouldn’t answer the door anyway! But knowing they’re there is huge. Sleep. Above all else I need sleep, because when I’m tired my ability to keep things in perspective and do what I know I have to do goes right out the window.’
I can see why it was recommended that we do this on a good day, because straight away I’m fighting with it. I don’t want to tell Hubby because it feels like a massive backwards step after the progress of the last few weeks and I don’t want to let him down. I can’t expect my friends to be available because I haven’t yet told them that this is what I might need from time to time. I’ve already had a walk by the river, I’ve done some yoga, and I got a relatively decent night’s sleep so that’s 3 big pieces checked off. The only good thing so far is that I was tempted to make a ridiculously big decision that absolutely must not happen on the spur of the moment, so at least I’ve caught that and managed to shelve it.
I’ve looked at my wellness toolbox (I cannot begin to describe how much those two words are grating on me right now) and apart from the fact that I’ve already done a few of them, there’s nothing else there that I feel able to do right now, because I’m already struggling with massive guilt over taking too much time to myself. I’m going to go clean my house. If I can bring order out of the chaos around me, then maybe it will help calm my mind down. I should probably add that to my list.