It’s my nature (well, my OCD-personality!) to apologize & explain when I disappear for a while, so sorry I have not posted in awhile! While I’ve been gone, I’ve been jotting down notes of things to post over the last few months. Rather than make 1 mega long post, I plan to write this post, & then post about 6 shorter posts in the next few days…
As for a brief explanation of what has been going on: 1st, I was fighting depression (I just had too much going on, so when I crashed, I really crashed)! Then I was sick (& STAYED sick for like 3 weeks)! & I have been incredibly busy (I was recently asked to be the primary secretary at church, so I now assist those who help & teach the kids who are 3-12 years old)
I have also been gone…Over President’s Day weekend, we went on a Carnival Cruise. Carnival cruises are very “red-neck”¸ so I feel very out of place on them: I am like Rose on the Titanic, visiting the lower decks–she kinda doesn’t fit, but enjoys the people, ya’ know? The entertainment on Carnival cruises suck, but I enjoyed every minute in my room—whether I was playing cards or having family scripture/prayer with the relatives who were on board, or whether I was alone in my room letting Mark rest.
A while ago, to help me deal with my depression, I began reading a book that Mark had introduced to me, called “Feeling Good”, by Dr. Burns. Dr. Burns mentions 12 Cognitive Distortions. If we can change them, it helps depression, anxiety, OCD, & more. So, in an attempt to really learn them, I began “fasting” from one each week (instead of no food, each week I would focus on a cognitive distortion): I had read something about an alternative approach to fasting–rather than giving up food or TV, it suggested ;
- Fast from anger & hatred (love more)
- Fast from judging others (overlook faults)
- Fast from discouragement (hold onto God’s promises)
- Fast from complaining (remember blessings)
- Fast from resentment or bitterness (be forgiving)
- Fast from spending too much money (save 10%, & give to the poor)
I liked that concept, so I tried to fast from these cognitive distortions. But that wasn’t working, because I need to learn to identify them, before I can “fast” from them…so, since I’d obviously been focusing on cognitive distortions of late, my OCD came into play as I did it…however, I got tired of writing the same stuff, & looking up meanings, so I made a template to fill out. (Mark gave me 4 more distortions that I added to it, as well!) In case u are curious, here’s my template:
Cognitive Distortions/Rational Thoughts:
Filtering (Mental Filter)
Good and bad things are happening simultaneously but you only focus on the bad
Disqualifying The Positive
When good things happen, you reject it by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other, thereby thinking that nothing good happens
Global Labeling (and Mislabeling)
Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded—it is an extreme forn of overgeneralization: Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself
“Black and White” Thinking (All-Or-Nothing Thinking)
If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure–when something has to be one way or it is ruined
You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat
Jumping to Conclusions—Mind Reading, The Fortune Teller Error.
You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out, or you anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an established fact
Catastrophizing (Magnification) or Minimization
You exaggerate the importance of things, or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny
a person believes that everything others do or say is some kind of direct, personal reaction to the person. May also see themselves as the cause of some unhealthy external event that they were not responsible for & we also compare ourselves to others
If we feel externally controlled, we see ourselves as helpless a victim of fate, but if we feel internal control we assume responsibility for the pain and happiness of everyone around us.
Fallacy of Fairness
We feel resentful because we think we know what is fair, but other people won’t agree with us
We hold other people responsible for our pain, or take the other track and blame ourselves for every problem
You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
We believe that what we feel must be true automatically
Fallacy of Change
We expect that other people will change to suit us if we just pressure or cajole them enough
Always Being Right
Being wrong is unthinkable and we will go to any length to demonstrate our rightness
Heaven’s Reward Fallacy
We feel bitter when the reward doesn’t come.
HI JENNY! I’M SORRY 2 HEAR THAT U HAVE BEEN SICK AND DEPRESSED – I GUESS WE’RE TWINS – SO HAVE I! AM DOING BETTER NOW AND HOPE U R 2. THANKS 4 SHARING THIS – I DID SOME PERSONAL COUNSELING ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF AGO AND LEARNED ABOUT COGNITIVE DISTORTIONS THEN. SOOOO HELPFUL!!! BUT I HAD FORGOTTEN ALL ABOUT THEM SO THANKS FOR THE REMINDER! GLAD U HAD A GOOD CRUISE. I WAS IN AUSTIN FOR A QUICK WEEKEND JUST RECENTLY 4 MY NIECE CHELSEA’S WEDDING AND I SAW UR DAD THERE! TOLD HIM 2 TELL U HI BUT DON’T KNOW IF HE REMEMBERED. IF UR STILL FEELING DEPRESSED, FEEL FREE 2 EMAIL ME – WE WERE ALWAYS GOOD LISTENERS 4 EACH OTHER. TAKE CARE, MY FRIEND. LOVE, CARA
God bless you for posting this. Not only could I use this book, I have a friend who is sinking fast. Thank you for your candor about your own struggles so you can help others. Hugs!
You are so brave to post this my friend. I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling this way. For whatever reason those months between November and March are harder on me as well
. One program that really helped me along with books like you are reading is attacking anxiety and depression by Lucinda Bassett. It’s a program you can purchase and do at home. It was hard but so worth it! It’s on my blog on the side under my favorite groups and charities.
Take care. So sorry it’s been hard.
I always enjoy reading your blog! Your insight and life experiences are always thought provoking and invite me organically to introspect. I really like your template list of cognitive distortions. I see that I have my own distortions, reality check, I’m not perfect. Lol! Things to work on, boo. 😂
I couldn’t help but think as I read your blog; isn’t it great to have spouses that help us be more, deserve more, love us enough to help us see/reach our potential? I think you have a keeper.😉