For many of us, each day is a struggle. Getting out of bed may be the greatest accomplishment. Or it might be going to the letterbox or walking down the street.
For me, my struggle is the constant fighting of my mind from going blank.
My Psychologist has done the disassociating test with me and it was discovered that I do this everyday for the majority of the day – constantly trying to escape this reality.
When I was a kid, probably about seven or eight, I was getting horrible thoughts about all sorts of things. One thought which was constant(mostly at night) and extremely terrifying was that of being buried alive.Following this thought would be this profound feeling of dread as the reality of my mortality sunk into my stomach. So, I developed this survival technique where I push all my thoughts away so they’re blocked out. I know they’re there because I can feel them (and for the fact that we never stop thinking) at the surface trying to come out but I can’t hear what they are. Usually, when I had these thoughts prior to this technique, I would climb into bed with my first sister and eventually fall asleep. As I got older, this survival tool came into play.
Today, I find myself having to constantly try to keep my mind in the moment instead of drifting away while I’m trying to explain something to someone. I know, lots of people do this, but believe me, if it was the normal “I forgot what I was talking about” then it wouldn’t be a problem.But this is mid-sentence multiple times in the one conversation regardless of its length and not having a “tangent” to come back from to re-start the original topic.Sometimes, I’ll pause and close my eyes to try and keep the last couple of words upfront in my mind so they don’t disappear. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Before I knew that any of this stuff was happening to me, or that it was even a thing, I just thought it was normal and it happened to everyone. Sometimes it feels like it’s gotten worse over the last few years but in reality, it hasn’t changed at all. It’s because I know what it is now and I’m able to recognise it happening so I can take action against it.
This is also true for the OCD, Bipolar type II and other issues I deal with on a daily basis.
The good thing for me to take from all of this is that I have made progress in diagnosis, treatment, how I cope with these things when they crop up, and how they affect my life and those around me. I’ve also learnt some of my triggers and what the signs are for when I’m not going so well and headed for an episode so I can take action to help prevent it or lessen the severity.
The other day, I was going through some quotes which I’ve had sitting on my computer for some time. One I came across which struck a note with me was…..
“Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. On what’s right in your world instead of what’s wrong. On where you’re going instead of what you’ve been through.” – Billy Cox.
When I read this quote, besides being inspired to look at life differently, it transported me into a place of thankfulness, appreciation and pride.
I have come a long way in this journey we call life. The traumas I’ve survived have shaped me into the person I am now. There’s plenty of things I could chose to focus on from everything.
I could sit and grieve a lost childhood or the destruction of my personality. I could dwell on the things I didn’t get to do because myself-confidence and self-esteem were thrashed by bullying. I could keep looking back at what others have done to me and blame them for everything I’m lacking in life or places I could have gone if none of my traumas had happened.
But what is the point of that? What will it achieve? How will it improve my life? The answer is…..there is no point because it will achieve nothing except to send my life down the gurgler.
Well, that sounds just dandy, doesn’t it? NOT!
No, I’m grateful for all the traumas in my life and all who have had a part in helping me to become the person I am today. I wouldn’t want to repeat any of it, or wish it onto anyone, but I wouldn’t be me if none of it happened.
So, I choose to focus on what I have in my life (wonderful family, friends, and support network), what’s right in it (my mental health is being managed and treated correctly), and where I’m headed from here (to best-seller status of course!). The rest is history – acknowledge and move on.
Now, let me ask you……..Where is your focus? Has it got you headed up or down?
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