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change of plans
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Truth #1 – Changing Plans

change of plans

As a perfectionist with OCD and a myriad of other diagnoses, I have trouble adjusting to change. I often feel that if I have to change the plan, I’ve failed. This thinking leaves no room for understanding and is the exact type of black and white thinking characteristic of borderline personality disorder.

As with all unhealthy thinking styles, it is a trap. But, there’s hope (always). With practice, you can begin to re-pattern your thoughts to benefit you rather than destroy you.

Here is a full list of unhealthy thinking types that screw with us.

Please note: I do not own the rights to this worksheet. I simply took a photograph of it to share with you. There is no author on the copy that was provided to me.

As I said above, the first step to changing anything is awareness. You have to be able to recognize what’s happening and be willing to question the validity of your thoughts. Because they will lie to you. They will blow things out of proportion. It’s going to happen. Make peace with that.

Step two is to accept the thought – not as the truth, but that it is present. It’s there. And it’s not going anywhere until you acknowledge it. So the inner dialogue might be something like: “Wow I’m feeling really bad I wonder what I’m thinking (feelings will always let you know you’re thinking a thought that argues with reality).” Instead of blaming yourself or someone else, just notice the thought, see it for what it is. And then…

Investigate. Is it true? For example, if you realize you’re thinking “everyone hates me.” Is it really true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? Probably not. Remind yourself that even if it were true, you can choose to love and accept yourself anyway. Besides, what other people think of you is none of your business (I think Wayne Dyer said that).

Final step: forgive yourself. It happens. And you’re going to get better at recognizing and redirecting your thoughts as you practice doing so.

It takes courage, it takes love and a great deal of faith. But you can do it.

I believe in you. 🙂

Aside: I find it ironic that this post was going to be about change and completely changed into something else. Here’s to being flexible! I’d love to hear how this post impacted you. Please do leave me your comments below. Thanks!

I’ll leave you with a video I made the other day that fits nicely with this post. Be sure to watch it all the way to the end to see my son make his cameo.

I also just found a more thorough list of negative thinking habits and possible solutions here.

mental illness becomes mental wellness
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[Day 21] Understanding Mental Illness

mental illness becomes mental wellness

It’s Day 21 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge. My topics to choose from are:

1) How does Invisible Illness affect your life and your business, whether it’s yours or someone in your family’s?

OR

2) How do you balance acknowledging Invisible Illness while still staying positive and not making your whole entire life about your disability?

As you know, I’ve been diagnosed with several mental illnesses. My chart would tell you I have:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Bi-polar disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
  • ADD (attention deficit disorder)

So I very intimately understand what life is like with an invisible illness. Undoubtedly the lack of understanding is what led me to self-harm (how else could someone know how much I was suffering?), which is why I’ve dedicated my life and this site to helping teens and their families understand, cope and thrive with mental illness.

Through journaling and the other alternative practices shared on this site, I am positive that you too can learn to appreciate these “illnesses” and the people afflicted with them (even if it’s you).

In everything I do I emphasize that those experiencing mental health challenges (or any challenge for that matter) are not their problems, but the person experiencing the challenge.

These are people who are just a little more sensitive, whose minds work a little different, but most of all who really need our help and understanding.

To me, saying I have borderline personality disorder sets me free. Not so I can use it as an excuse, but as a reminder that I process things differently, I react more strongly and must be gentler with myself.

We must learn to love and accept all parts of ourselves – especially those most difficult to love.

That’s when the healing happens.
That’s when you understand what the situation has taught you.
That’s when you won’t need the “disease” anymore.

It’s a process. And we are all works in progress.

Here are some images I found from mollysfund.org, a site dedicated to breaking down the stigma of invisible illnesses such as lupus, digestive disorders, mental illness, etc.

They act as a reminder to be compassionate not just towards others, but to ourselves as well.

10-Things-NOT-TO-SAY-Invisible-ilness-revised-4.14-400x72dpi-web

10-Things-TO-SAY-Invisible-Illness-revised-400-72dpio-web

You might also enjoy a very similar post I made here.

What are your thoughts on this? How has invisible illness affected you or someone you love? Leave me a comment below.

Also: For those who love journaling, sign up for my friend’s 30 Day Digital Journaling Challenge here.