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  1. #681
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Have you tried a self-help book on self-esteem or self-acceptance?

  2. #682
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    I'm even less of a fan of the DBT terms. They just seem insulting to me.
    And you have an engineering degree. I was originally a liberal arts major at a party school
    Last edited by Daniel; October 26th, 2020 at 09:18 AM.

  3. #683
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    The website of David D. Burns, MD | Secrets of Self-Esteem, Part 1 | Feeling Good

    ...When you’re experiencing low self-esteem, the culprit is always your thoughts. You are giving yourself negative messages, like

    • “I should be better than I am,” or
    • “I shouldn’t have made that mistake,” or
    • “I’m inferior-–there’s really nothing special about me.”

    You may even tell yourself that you’re defective.

    Although you probably believe these painful thoughts with all your heart, they are, in fact, distorted and illogical. You’re telling yourself things that aren’t really true. Depression is the world’s oldest con. You’re probably involved in All-or-Nothing Thinking, Mental Filtering, Discounting the Positive, Emotional Reasoning, Should Statements, and Self-Blame, to name just a few of the “cognitive distortions” that trigger depression and anxiety.


    Secrets of Self-Esteem #2 | Feeling Good

    All-or-Nothing Thinking. You think about yourself or the world in black-or-white, all-or-nothing categories. Shades of gray do not exist.

    Overgeneralization. You think about a negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat or a positive event as a never-ending pattern of success.

    Mental Filter. You think exclusively about your shortcomings and ignore your positive qualities and accomplishments. Or, you dwell on the positives and overlook the negatives.

    Discounting the Facts. You tell yourself that negative or positive facts don’t count, so as to maintain a universally negative or positive self-image.

    Jumping to Conclusions. You jump to conclusions that aren’t warranted by the facts. There are two common forms that are called Mind-Reading and Fortune-Telling.

    Mind-Reading, you make assumptions about how other people are thinking and feeling.

    Fortune-Telling, you make dogmatic negative or positive predictions about the future.

    Magnification and Minimization. You blow things out of proportion or shrink their importance inappropriately. This is also called the “binocular trick” because it’s like looking through the ends of a pair of binoculars, so things either look much bigger, or much smaller, than they are in reality.

    Emotional Reasoning. You reason from how you feel. In point of fact, your feelings result from your thoughts, and not from what’s actually happening. If your thoughts are distorted, your feelings will be as misleading as the grotesque images you see in curved fun-house mirrors.

    Should Statements. You make yourself (or others) miserable with “shoulds,” “musts” or”ought to’s.” Hidden Shoulds are sometimes implied by negative thoughts.

    Self-Directed Shoulds cause feelings of guilt, shame, depression, and worthlessness.

    Other-Directed Shoulds trigger feelings of anger and relationship problems.

    World-Directed Shoulds cause feelings of frustration and entitlement.

    Labeling. You label yourself or others instead. Labeling is actually an extreme form of overgeneralization, because you see your entire self or essence as defective and globally bad, or superior.

    Blame. You find fault with yourself (Self-Blame) or others (Other Blame).

    Self-blame. If you’re depressed, you may beat up on yourself constantly and mercilessly, blaming yourself for every error and shortcoming instead of using your energy to find creative solutions to your problems.

    Other-blame. During an argument, you may tell yourself that the other person is to blame for the conflict. Then you feel like an innocent victim and overlook your own role in the problem.

    Secrets of Self-Esteem, #3 - Feeling Good

    ...These ideas may seem overly obvious to many people, and may even sound trite. But I have treated many people, including some who were severely depressed and suicidal, who were trapped by All-or-Nothing Thinking, and challenging this distortion can sometimes be one very useful focus for the therapy. Letting go of All-or-Nothing Thinking can accelerate recovery, and can even lead to feelings of enlightenment and great joy.
    Last edited by Daniel; October 26th, 2020 at 09:27 AM.

  4. #684
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”

    ~ Mark Twain


    "Self-acceptance means you refuse to buy into the judgments your mind makes about you, whether they're good judgments or bad ones. Instead of judging yourself, recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and you can do what you can to be the person you want to be."

    "Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand. In fact, your level of self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you’ll allow yourself to accept, receive and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you’re worthy of."

    ~ Russ Harris, The Happiness Trap


    “Negative emotions generally involve more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones. Thus, we tend to ruminate more about unpleasant events — and use stronger words to describe them — than happy ones."

    ~ Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall


    "We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths.”

    ~ Ryan Howes


    “Imperfection is not our personal problem –- it is a natural part of existing. The boundary to what we can accept is the boundary to our freedom.”

    ~ Tara Brach
    Last edited by Daniel; October 26th, 2020 at 10:36 AM.

  5. #685
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    I especially like this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    “The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself.”

    ~ Mark Twain
    And these ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    "Self-acceptance means you refuse to buy into the judgments your mind makes about you, whether they're good judgments or bad ones. Instead of judging yourself, recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and you can do what you can to be the person you want to be."

    "Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand. In fact, your level of self-acceptance determines your level of happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you’ll allow yourself to accept, receive and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you’re worthy of."

    ~ Russ Harris, The Happiness Trap
    And this one:

    "We are much better collectors of our shortcomings than our strengths.”

    ~ Ryan Howes

  6. #686
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Thanks for your replies. Things kind of deteriorated but I realised I had to stop once it got to the point where I was considering self harming at my work desk. Even if I deserve punishment it's not ok to do that there. So I managed to stop thinking so much about the whole thing.

    Today I went for a bike ride to try and make up for the 2 days of commuting cycling I missed during the week due to rain. I get nervous about riding anywhere except for my commuting route but I wanted to try a different ride. I made two minor mistakes:

    1) I rode for about 10 metres on a walking path because the cycling path wasn't well marked so I missed it before realising there was a separate path. Pretty sure I did the same thing last time which was maybe 2 or 3 years ago. It would help if they painted a bicycle picture and maybe an arrow like they often do at other intersections like that.
    2) I had trouble overtaking 2 people riding side-by-side, finally got to a point where I could overtake them, but a bike coming the opposite way appeared out of nowhere, in a darkened tunnel, and so I had to stay on the wrong side (to avoid cutting off the people I was overtaking), while the opposite guy went through the middle, and then I had to zip back across to avoid the pedestrian who I had seen and wouldn't have had any problem with avoiding if the opposite-way-bike-guy hadn't been there.

    Not massively big deals but I'm still really struggling to not beat myself up about them and it's been a couple of hours now. Seems like I do one wrong thing and suddenly I'm judging myself as an awful, useless waste of oxygen. I'm really, really trying to tell myself that I did well for overcoming my not-usual-route anxiety, for riding when I knew there'd be a quite a few people on the route, for making it 6/7ths of the way to where I was hoping to go but because of confusing signage I decided to abandon the last 1/7th until I could check a map, for not going home after the first mistake, that it's ok to make mistakes and it doesn't make me a bad person, that I didn't hurt anyone or damage anything and no one will remember the mistakes, that if I practice taking that route again I'll be able to learn from those mistakes and do it better next time, that making mistakes is how people get better at things. It's not really helping.

    I have to go out and vote in the state election and am worried I'll somehow make a mistake with that too. I was considering going to a different polling centre than the one I normally go to so that it's more convenient for getting groceries at my preferred store on the way home. But that makes a greater likelihood of mistakes since I've never been there before. Also trying to tell myself that that's ridiculous because they always have signage which will probably be more extreme for COVID-safety and if I do accidentally go in the wrong direction IT DOESN'T MATTER. Someone will just tell me and I'll thank them and they'll move on with their lives until the next person goes the wrong way.
    Last edited by gooblax; October 30th, 2020 at 07:47 PM. Reason: typo

  7. #687
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by gooblax View Post
    Not massively big deals but I'm still really struggling to not beat myself up about them and it's been a couple of hours now.
    Reminds me of my OCD "just not right" experiences. To get rid of feeling guilty (a form of self-downing), I would replay in my head what happened again and again, to find where things were beyond my control. Like getting ready to be cross examined as a witness in court.

  8. #688
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    Reminds me of my OCD "just not right" experiences. To get rid of feeling guilty (a form of self-downing), I would replay in my head what happened again and again, to find where things were beyond my control. Like getting ready to be cross examined as a witness in court.
    I guess that'd be a mental compulsion? It sounds exhausting.

    I went and voted at the new place which was a primary school. It wasn't particularly obvious where to go. There were only like half a dozen people walking in all different directions, plus maybe 10 people at a sausage sizzle. I'd have expected one sign or something. But I found the open door manned by someone with hand sanitiser and successfully voted. Got sushi for lunch as a reward plus to help me use up the tuna in my fridge as an accompaniment to the sushi. I could only carry about half the groceries I needed to get, so I'll have to do another trip tomorrow.

  9. #689
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    I had a really good session on Thursday but it started out with a classic gooblax adventure situation.

    My sessions are an hour earlier during summer because of the timezone difference with daylight savings. It's pretty awkward leaving work so early but I told the team I had an appointment and left. Got to my bike and discovered that I'd got a flat in the morning which had gradually deflated during the day. I'd left a bit of buffer time so figured I could change the tube to my spare and still make it home in time for the appointment. There was a bit of wind which meant that the chain had slipped off the front gears by the time I was putting the wheel back on which made me very confused for a couple of minutes trying to figure out why the chain was just limply hanging out and the derailleur just sticking up rather than clicking into place. Eventually realised and figured I'd make up the extra lost time thanks to the tailwind. I couldn't pump the tyre up much because I only had a hand pump and I run out of energy pretty quickly trying to use it. But it's enough to get me home where I could use the floor pump for the next ride.

    As I was riding I saw a storm cloud, but it wasn't directly overhead and I thought I'd probably make it home before it hit. Other than the occasional spit of rain and having to hurry I thought everything would be fine. Then my pedaling became 'bouncy'. Not enough air in the rear tube. I kept going for a little while, deciding on a good place to stop to check out the situation. That was a mistake as the bounciness turned to the grinding feeling of the rim being in contact with the ground. No air in the rear tube. Halfway through the ride.

    Stopped in the grass and tried to pump it up but it wasn't holding any air. I thought maybe I'd broken the valve when doing my initial pumping, so I kept trying to re-attach the pump to no avail. Crap. I checked the time - if my bike was ready right then I could've juuuust made it home in time. But it was far from ready. I checked the bus timetable. If I chained my bike up somewhere and sprinted I could MAYBE make it to the bus stop in time (probably not), and then make it home... 20 minutes late for the appointment. That's not a good solution either. Reluctantly I found my therapist's mobile number, copied it to my phone and texted to tell him that I'd be late because of a flat tyre. Better to do that than stress about trying to get there on time when that clearly was no longer a possibility.

    Now back to the tyre situation. As I put my phone away I became aware that the gradual spitting rain had started to get a little bit more frequent, but I put that out of mind to focus on the task at hand. I'd pulled off my front and rear lights when I was still considering chaining the bike somewhere, and I'd also inadvertently relocated myself beneath a tree because it was a safer place to stuff around with a tyre than the more exposed spot that I'd first stopped. After a few more attempts at reseating the pump on the valve I decided to try re-pumping the original flat tube. It seemed to pump up a bit better and hold some air, so I figured I'd swap back to that one and ride home on the slow leaking tube. Had to get out the tyre levers and whatnot again, that I'd inelegantly and haphazardly stuffed into my backpack in a rush after changing the first tube. Really glad I didn't take the time to put them in neatly, given that it now meant emptying out half the contents of my backpack to try and find them again. Got to work changing the tube... just as the raincloud hit and started pissing down rain. Gooooooood. Very good. At least it was a cool rain on an otherwise hot afternoon. And at least being under the tree meant that the backpack wasn't going to get too wet. I still got soaked. The rain eased up at just about the same time as I'd got the tyre back on.

    I wasn't about to reattach my bike lights so I pumped the tyre up as best I could, stuffed the wet items into my backpack, and set off to try and make it home. I didn't even make it as far as the bus stop before I was 'bouncing' again. Now on the main road I had to be a little bit more wary of where I pulled over, so I got past the major intersection then onto the footpath under the bridge. It'd completely stopped raining and had become sunny again by that point. But it was still a 30min walk from here if this other tube couldn't hold any air either. I checked my phone and my therapist hadn't responded yet - it was about the time we normally start my session. I started writing a new message saying it was a lost cause and cancelling. Without finishing that message, I decided maybe I'd join the video chat from my phone (since he hadn't responded to the text) and let him know that I'm either cancelling or we can have a phone session while I'm walking home with the bike. I started the video but almost immediately closed it because that was a ridiculous idea. In the meantime he'd responded saying it was ok and to let him know when I'm ready.

    I decided "ok, one last shot with this tube" and got my pump back out to try and inflate it again. I lost the little black cap that goes over the top of the valve, but that's not a big deal. Put everything back in my backpack and hopped back on the road. It was obviously slower and harder work with less air in the tube than normal but I eventually got home. By the time I'd got upstairs and swapped my wet clothes for some dry-but-previously-worn clothes from the bathroom floor I was about 25mins late for the appointment.

    Texted my therapist to say I was ready, and once he'd joined the video I gave him a quick rundown of the two flats and cooling rain. He told me how he uses tubeless tyres on his mountain bike and explained how they worked (I'd heard of them but never investigated because it seems like more a mountain bike thing than for road bikes or hybrids) and said he could let the session run a bit later so I didn't lose quite so much time. So that was pretty cool of him.

    Almost makes up for getting a bill for a higher fee than we'd last discussed. I'm guessing that might be another clerical error, given that his last admin/receptionist left and perhaps he has a new one now... Dunno. But given the hole that was dug with this situation last time I'm just going to wait til the next session to ask.

    Oh, and I later discovered that I'd lost my rear bike light. That night I tried patching 3 separate tubes using a fairly old repair kit. All 3 of the patches failed. I had no more spare tubes. Had to ride to work the next day on my "old lady's" fixed-gear bike. This weekend I have to buy new tubes, a new rear light, and maybe some new tyres with greater puncture resistance. But all that seems overwhelming so I chickened out today.

  10. #690
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    Re: My ongoing therapy dilemma

    Hmmm... all's well that ends well? Sometimes all I have are cliches. Sorry.

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