You know what the hardest part of having a mental issue is? The fighting your own feelings. First, I have to realize that how I feeling and reacting is not rational. Then, I have to pull myself back, make a rational and healthy way to react while ignoring how I really feel. The way I really feel is most likely an unhealthy way to deal with whatever is going on.
For example, today my husband snapped at me. My instinct was to run to my bedroom and cry until he apologized or I could suck it up and decide that I deserved to be snapped at. Instead, I realized that was not the correct way to deal with the situation and I went in my room and wrote. I wrote 3 pages. I broke down how I felt and the situation. I then detached myself and took my emotions out of how I should react. I ended up with 1 page of a compromise between what he was upset about and how I would do my best to step outside of my comfort zone.
In a completely normal situation that people deal with every day, I had to write 3 pages to dissect how I felt and how unhealthy it was and then write another page about how I would resolve the issues.
Eventually, this will happen internally, hopefully. Until then, I am going to be doing ALOT of writing. I am going to be picking apart and ignoring my own feelings. I am going to be constantly fighting my instinct to run or panic. I am going to have to stuff that panic and anxiety and sadness down to think about a healthy way of dealing.
I know it won’t always work. I am going to have slip ups. Until then, I have pretty colored pens, notebooks and journals spread throughout my purses and apartments, and a goal of examining my reactions and coping methods.
I am fighting my natural reactions to the world. I am attempting to change my basic cognitive functions. It is exhausting and hard. Just from that half hour of me writing furiously and pouring everything out on paper to examine, I feel like somebody took what little energy I had and then gave me sleeping pills. The downside to that? After I do this, I still have to continue with my day with making healthy coping methods to deal with my irritability and tiredness from my earlier issue. I have to consciously go against what I want to do, what is ingrained into my mind as the correct behavior, but it is wrong.
I can’t go to sleep. I can’t drug or drink myself to numbness.
I am going to take a long bath, watch some Criminal Minds, and curl up on my super comfy couch. Then, I am going to go to sleep at a decent hour and get up and do this all over again.
It will be worth it eventually, but until then, it is going to be a hard road. Fight or flight is an evolutionary response to a threat, and I perceive just about anything as a threat and I’m always ready, at least physically, for a flight.
This is for the long haul.
This will be worth it in the future.