Pet Peeve: Not Being Honest about Yourself

Nhan Fiction

Let’s get real here: everyone is different. It is tough enough that the world expects us to behave and act a certain way. If you do not conform, then something is wrong with you. Or so the world wants you to think.

Is there anything inherently wrong with wanting to be a special snowflake? A social outcast, even? Perhaps. Maybe. Or it all could be a matter of perception.

I think things would be a lot better if everyone could at least try to be “themselves” instead of putting up facades. Someone being fake is annoying to me.

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Re-parenting your Inner Child

Dr Nicholas Jenner

We have seen clearly in my previous set of posts how an inner critic is formed from the defense mechanisms used by the wounded, criticised child and how these can be taken forward into adulthood. Part of the process of dealing with the inner critic and the chaos it causes is to re-parent our inner child, showing it that it no-longer needs those mechanisms and the protection offered by its family of critics.

Try this: Before leaving home one morning, you took an extra effort in getting your living room cleaned, but when you return in the evening, you find it in a mess. What will your response be?
▶ Sigh and clean up again

▶ Shrug your shoulder and leave it as it is  or get upset and cry

▶ Shut out the person responsible

▶ Get frustrated but keep quiet

▶ Get angry and yell at the person

▶ Take it…

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“The Gap”: a self-help technique for addicts and depressives.

Between the two

Today I am going to share with you another technique I use. I call it “The Gap”. It is another tool from my kit which I find very useful.

It is based on my practice of Buddhist meditation. When one learns this one recognises that thoughts are like clouds. The aim of meditation is to simply observe the clouds (thoughts) and not be caught up in them or enter into an internal dialogue with them. “The chattering monkey”, as the Buddhists call it. So the eventual goal is to see nothing but blue sky.
In other words the clouds, which are our personality, disappear. We are then free of all the distractions that our mind imposes on us and then we (“the I”) disappears and we observe that we are part of the Universe. Ultimately this leads to what Buddhists call “Enlightenment”.

I noticed a few months ago that there was a small space between my thoughts, especially those related to addictions and moods. Fortunately I have never experienced serious addictions but I do still smoke about 10 cigarettes a day. When I am ready I will stop. I am not ready yet. That is another story.

If you have an addiction you will feel guilty, but also (strangely)  intent upon repeating it whether it be drink, cigarettes, or anything else. Without knowing about “the gap” you will just do it and then feel bad afterwards and then the cycle repeats itself.

You just go along with it, but if you can stop yourself in that split second between the painful physical appetite and taking whatever it is, you will see that there is a very tiny gap in your thought processes. This is your opportunity to question whether you really want to perpetuate the cycle. The more you think about it the more that gap lengthens and the more you are able to consider it rationally. The clouds are separating.

It is not something that can be learned quickly or easily but it is a habit that you can get into and eventually it gives you so much space to really decide whether you want to have that next cigarette or drink or snort of cocaine or whatever. This applies not just to drugs but to any destructive habit. The other benefit is, as I have discovered, that it also applies to moods. So when I am feeling that I am moving from a good mood to a bad mood I can use my “gap technique” to find out why my mind is shifting in a negative direction. I can then decide what I need to do, e.g. eat, sleep, take some exercise, etc. to prevent myself from slipping into a negative mood and possibly then into a depressive episode.

I have used this technique many times recently and it grows in strength each time. It’s a really wonderful way of controlling self-harm and unpleasant changes in mood. It takes practice and perseverance, but it works for me and that’s why I’m sharing it with you. I would love to know whether you are able to use the same technique and enjoy its benefits.

Acceptance Brings Peace

Journey Forward

As a counselor I hear varying points of view.  I don’t have to agree with my clients’ interests, world views or beliefs to connect with them.  I am not in the business of converting anyone to my way of life.  I’m in the business of accepting people where they are.  It’s not always easy for me, but it is what I choose to do.  I want to be careful this post doesn’t sound like I have it all together and if everyone was like me we wouldn’t have any problems.  I know I don’t have it all together, I know I make mistakes and I am certain I have judged people.  I simply want to place a challenge out there.  What if we just accept people as is?

I am not proposing that we agree with everyone.  That would be not only impossible as some beliefs contradict others but also…

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48 hours of hell

Hello Friends,

It’s been a hard time but I’m still here! I think the negativity/damage started when, on Monday, I came across some old photos. I’m clearing out my house ready for the sale. Moving homes is hard for me, and so is looking at old photos. So much washed up from the past.

Anyway, I hit a nerve with my lovely partner, whom I adore. The thought of losing her terrifies me. But I know I must be SO difficult to have a relationship with.

Then my partner, Rachel, was off to London on business. I am pleased for her. She does her own thing. But abandonment is for me a BIG THING. So many conflicting thoughts and emotions I can’t express them now without boring you all.

Today I felt so miserable. But, hey! I managed to avoid going to the off-licence to get some drink and went on a walk in the country instead. It was hellishly boring, but I knew I’d done the “right” thing. When I got back home I was so tired, but pleased that I’d punched that depressive thing in the face.

Then I picked Rachel up from the station. I admit I’d sent her some angry and inappropriate texts yesterday. After all, why did she have the right to go off enjoying herself with friends in London whilst I was left looking after her cat and her house? Did she love me? Or was she taking me for a fool?

Well, Rachel is not one to avoid difficult conversations so we had it out in a calm way – but it was so painful for me. Still, we cleared out a lot of gunk. I just wanted to get hammered, but Rachel explained to me that that was not the solution. How I love her!

Posting this just to show how living with twisty thoughts is so hard at times. Love is a great healer and a great motivator. Also to prove to you all that I fight (so far successfully) against my generational role models who taught me subliminally that if you have a life problem you either drink yourself into oblivion, or take your Life.

Well, it’s really tough, but I do neither. I keep going. I love Rachel, she is the Woman I’ve dreamed about. But I also love myself, even on days like today, when although the sky was wall to wall azure, inside me there was nothing but pitch black.