Thursday, August 15, 2013

opposite action

here i am. sitting in bed in my grandparents' home on trip 2 this month. and when the dust settles from all the trips i will write a good long post - with pictures - about highlights from each trip and how i feel i handled potentially anxiety provoking situations in a skillful way .... kind of like i did with my girls' trip but now with a more dbt tone.

tonight, though, i want to focus on a specific situation that happened today and how i feel i handled it. it happened later in the day. about 6 in the evening. the feelings and emotions that led up to this one word had been slowly building all day. i was very tired, hungry for good food (fruits and veggies instead of the sugar i'd had all day), and was anxious about my perceptions of myself and how others think of me. (free advice : it's never productive to think about what others are thinking about you .... it . just . isn't . )

and here's the word that hit me : UGLY. once it hit i was thrashed with thoughts : "you are so ugly" "you are so fat" "look at that acne" "your face is so red and discolored" "no one will like you" "you are disgusting and revolting" "how do people stand looking at you" and on and on it went with UGLY cycling over and over.

i felt ill. i could feel myself slipping. wanting to hurt myself so badly. to stop the onset of pain. to maybe in prove that i was as ugly as i felt. depression has been leering in the corners of the room i've been staying in. i know the medication has been keeping it at bay - and i know with no doubt in my mind, that god has been my strength and is literally pulling me through situations i could not do on my own - but i began to feel depression rising as well as anxiety and fear. 

then a thought occurred to me. susan has taught me a skill to use - opposite action. it's where you act in opposition to how you are feeling. you do not suppress your feelings, rather you channel them into a different action that has a more positive tone to it. it's a hard one. because when you're angry, depressed, sad, or in my case, feeling ugly, the opposite of all of those seem a little too 'peppy.' but i thought 'what the hell' and decided i would do something to make myself feel pretty.

i did it mindfully. meaning i was in the moment and aware of my actions. i was purposefully choosing to change my ugly self feelings into pretty self feelings and the best way i thought i could do that was by getting a hair cut. (it was also nice that it needed to be done :) there was a rise, rise, rise of anxiety before it was my turn but i talked myself through it and all turned out well. my hair feels great and i felt better.

i was not out of the woods yet as i was left with a lingering feeling of anxiety. so i took some ativan and then participated in a movie night with my cousin and aunt. i have to say, i was very proud of myself. and am glad i had this learning opportunity that turned out well for me. as s and i say HOOHAA! :)


  1. I am proud of you too. You rock! Plus, you're pretty cute:)