Miriam talks of her healing journey. Today I read about coping mechanisms. It was challenging and I learned some new things. Slowly I heal.
Some of the coping methods that I have used are blocking, fantasizing and creating new personalities. I blocked a bad experience that I had in childhood for 36 and a half years. Then I began fantasizing and creating new personalities. This happened after I had returned to school intensively (12 months straight), got pregnant, had my child and moved. They say to do one life altering event per year! I did four. Then I had a depression. This was 36 years after my bad experience as a child. I had blocked it but at the age of 38 I cracked and had a depression. Since then I have fantasized and created new personalities in delusions. But I was able to function in real life for most of the time. I thought that I was psychic and that people were after me psychically and physically and that I had psychic lovers. They protected me from the bad.
Part of the reading exercise was to figure out what need the coping method was filling/helping. The blocking was to forget. Period. It helped for 36 years. I survived. The fantasizing was filling the need of a protector. Many men loved me and protected me from the bad. I think that I was fearing my abuser subconsciously. The creating new personalities was the same. I imagined new lovers, stronger or different, who could protect me from new different fears. Again the need being filled is the need for someone to protect me. I also used alcoholism as a coping method. I easily gave it up with the help of a counselor and meditation but I needed help getting over it. The alcoholism was the need to forget and to calm my fears. It was counter acting my medication and therefore not a good idea. But I didn’t know that at the time. Now I drink herbal tea with milk. The effect is the same. Another coping mechanism was zoning out. I wasn’t available to my children, they were all teenagers at the time. I let them figure out things on their own and only with major problems did I get involved. Oh I was there to clothe them and feed them. But to be honest I wasn’t really there. Please forgive me my children!
Now I have to decide whether the fear that started 21 years ago was real or all in my mind. I really don’t know how to do that! I’ll ask my counselor for help! What has helped so far is that I am not rich and not involved in drugs or crime so bad people probably aren’t after me! Now I am facing my fears. Sometimes more than one in one day.
I have decided to use the overgeneralizing form (Cognitive Distortion Worksheet) and then the form where I state an event, the emotion, the immediate thought, the positive rational counter statement, rerate the thought, and then rate the emotion (Record of Dysfunctional Thoughts). Plus the Name Your Fear form. And the Facing Fears form. So I am only using four forms. It was just too complicated!
The positive side to this is that I am writing a book about my delusions. I have quite an imagination. It might sell! Who knows? But it’s therapeutic to get some of it down on paper. Some of the book is fiction though. Quite the story line.
However on a day when I am facing a major fear I can’t write. I am too anxious. This has been affecting my book. I was also blocked about painting. Drawing a shield of courage helped that. I am painting fine now and spent most of yesterday painting because I was facing three fears that day! I lost myself in the painting and forgot everything else. It is very tiring to face your fears. I feel exhausted at the end of the day when it’s a bad day. So bear that in mind if you have friends with anxiety. It’s tiring.
Again, I have bared my soul. It helps me to write it down. Perhaps it has helped you today!? I hope so. Until next time…