Change Your Thoughts

“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” -Norman Vincent Peale

I found this quote the other day, and immediately fell in love with it because I believe it to be absolutely true! I recently posted the quote on our Facebook page, and here’s what one of our page’s members had to say:

“It doesn’t matter what thought you start with. As to how I challenge mine– for example, one thing I’m always having to challenge is the idea that if someone’s mad at me, it means they’re going to walk out of my life and that they don’t like me. So I challenge myself by reminding myself that this isn’t fact (even if it has been my experience in the past, it’s not a predetermined fact of what will happen in the future). And then, if I can, I find examples of people who’ve been mad at me before and are still in my life, or times I’ve been angry at someone I love (and haven’t left).”

After I found the quote, I knew that I wanted to write a blog post on the topic of changing your thoughts. As I was searching the internet for possible points to add, I found a good article by Steven Aitchison called “8 Destructive Thinking Patterns and How to Change Them.” In the article, he describes the eight limiting patterns of thinking, which are:

  • “Life is shit” thinking pattern
  • “Unsubstantiated conclusive” thinking pattern
  • “Never to me” thinking pattern
  • “The negative psychic” thinking pattern
  • “Should, would, could” thinking pattern
  • “Emotion based” thinking pattern
  • “It’s all my fault” thinking pattern
  • “They’re all wrong” thinking pattern

I won’t go into detail describing them here, so definitely check out the article to learn about them!

The article goes on to tell you the stages to change the destructive thinking patterns:

  1. Recognize the problem
  2. Be aware of when you are using destructive thinking patterns
  3. Replace the bad with the good

I highly recommend this article, so check it out! I know that changing the way that I thought helped me out a lot in life, and I hope it helps you, too!

Let’s Discuss:

How does the quote above pertain to your life? Have you changed any of your thoughts in a positive way? If so, how did you do it?

Now What?

And so, someone got it right… somehow medications I have been given have lifted the pain inside, yet I continue to stay in bed.  Having had this pain my whole life I am unsure now who Fia is?  She was sick, always crying, emotions ruled her, but now the crying is different, for she doesn’t know how to rebuild her life, where to start, where to go, who to be.  Decisions have always been made for her, so she is incapable of making one afraid of taking a risk for hapiness, not even knowing what will make her happy.  I’ve been given the life preserver I’ve always wanted, yet I don’t know how to swim… I don’t know if this is temporary or if I have found the magic cure through medication, but I do know that it is even more confusing now, because there is hope to live without torture.  So, this blog wil be short because I’m not even sure whatto write without pain, but it’s ironic wth it I was fighting for a better life, without it I don’t know what that entails….

Have I Surrendered?

Something has changed.  Through my life, regardless of what I felt, I was always very active… danced, ran, went to the gym, I was always trying to perfect my outside.  Yes, I also went to therapy, tried to be happy, and I had my moments.  I actually feel guilty right now as I write this.  To have all of you perhaps lose hope in what I am going to say.  Regardless of my emotional state, there was always a little flicker of light inside, hoping things would change, hoping my dreams would come true.  I don’t feel  it anymore, I think it has been extinguished.  I don’t feel lke trying anymore.  The sun has always made me feel better, tomorrow will be 88 degrees, I don’t care, I am happy here under my covers.  I know that last month I was happy, truly happy, to have that taken away again, robbed doesn’t seem to be worth the risk.  I don’t have much to say, as I am afraid of how it will affect you, but I think I’ve lost my spirit, my will, my motivation, my light.  There is no more running, no more dancing, no more dreams, perhaps dreams are just that, an illusion to keep us going. Perhaps, I will feel differently, but for now and it is a very long, “for now,”  I surrender.  You win….

I’m Not Just a Subject…

As you may know, I am involved in a research study.  The study involves two randomized groups, one receiveng just medication, in this case Prozac, and the other just DBT therapy no medication allowed.  If you have followed my blogs at all, you may have noticed the struggle I have been experiencing the last month.  I have been incapacitated in pain, emtoiona suffering to the point of vomitting.  Yet, was told I can do things to alleviate the depression I was sufering by my DBT therapist.  Needless to say, I was unable to go last week and somehow managed to get myself there today, though everything inside wanted to go home and sleep away the pain.  My therapist began talking and asked me what I had done differently.  “Well, I haven’t overdosed.”  “Somehow, I havemanaged to stay alive when my soul was bleeding.  I didn’t go to the hospital this time.  However, the session was spent with her trying to convince me that the depression I am in can be solved through skills.  I looked at her and asked her if she has ever wanted to die because of the intense pain she felt.  “What could you have done to alleviate the pain?”  I almost laughed. “There is more here in front of you than a randomized subject..” I stated I tried to explain to her that there MUST be something CHEMICALLY wrong besides the BPD and I was in desparate need of medication to help my brain function properly.  “Well”, she said if you take medication you will not recieve DBT.  So there I was faced with a choice.  Walk out the door and get to a hospital to save my life, or continue with learning skills to cope with this pain.  Everything in me said run.  Run and get the help you need.  Obvioulsy, I am suffering from a major depressive disorder and though I have been on tons of medication, I knew my brain needed another try.  I began to sob.  “This was my last hope..” I said to her.  “I cannot focus on your skills, when I am hovered over in pain, something is chemically wrong.”  Her reply was “Well if you wan to give up, that is your choice, but again you cannot be on medication.”  I felt betrayed, I felt like just a mere subject in their study.  I knew I had to leave and told her  so.  She left the room, came back and told me they may consider giving you medication as well as the DBT.  A RAY OF HOPE.  Endng with we will call you Monday to let you know, we went off to group therapy.  Nothing made sense, my body wanted to go into the corner of the room and sob.  I could not hear her.  All,  I could hear was the pain all I could hear was a voice telling me to “Hold on…” and I am waiting for their response to this “Subjects” request at relief and then maybe I can  learn what they are trying to teach me….


Water, water, everywhere

Nor any drop to drink…

Samuel Taylor Coleridge writes in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, these 2 lines.  A crew of men on a long voyage run out of water.  Irony is they are surrounded by the sea, a body of water, which of course they cannot drink.  This is how I feel tonight, and how  have felt for most of my life.  I am surrounded by water, LIFE, but I am unable to drink it.  As I write, I am so thirsty, so thirsty to LIVE as that crew on the ship was, but I am at a loss .  Slowly, I am dehydrating, and want to dive into that body of water, swallow it, allow myself to breathe again, and unfortunately the water I am afraid will kill me.  You see, I have become helpless, helpless in my own suffering and like that crew of men I’m not sure how much longer I can sustain this suffering.   I am LOST at sea, but I am lost alone.  Surrounded by the very things I need to survive, I am so withered and beaten down, I cannot find my way back to safety, back to LIFE.  Everywhere, I look people are drinking, everywhere I look people are living, but Fia is in a corner of that ship, she cannot swim, all she can do is scream inside herself and pray to God, to save her.  I tonight am in so much pain, I have thought of jumping overboard, releasing myself from what I see as impending doom anyway.  Much of the crew has already done so, unable to withstand the torture, but I  am still here holding on waiting for that life preserver. I have been on this ship forever and tried to find salvation from dozens of means, nothing is working. So, do I drink that salt water for a moment of  feeling alive, do I keep waiting in the corner for that life preserver, or do I jump overboard?  I am yearning for water, every ounce of my body needs it for survival, noone is providing it.  To put it bluntly, DOCTORS nothing is working.  Nothing is freeing me from drying up, nothing is giving me the power to stand up, andfind my way, all your medications, all your talk are not helping me ride the waves and I am quickly losing any ounce of hope.  It is dark, I am scared, I am alone, and believe me I would sell my soul to the devil to have a fresh, sparkling, clean glass of water, but there doesn’t seem to be any, does there?  I’m not sure how much longer I can survive without the very substance needed to LIVE, yet I’m still here, waiting for a miracle, waiting to gather up the courage to turn that ship around and try in all different directions to find my way back home, back to my life and drink again….

Sometimes….(my feelings as a child)

Papa, My Father…

Leo Buscaglia wrote a book entitled “Papa, My Father”, many years ago.  I remember reading it and sobbing.  In this memoir of his father, he told of the struggles of his immmigrant father, and in  this memoir of his father I saw my father.  I don’t write much about him, because it seems in my BPD mind I can only write about negativity and hardship.  But tonight, I would like to tell you about my Daddy, my hero.  My Grandmother tells the story of my father a vagabond she calls him when he was young, always with a suitase in hand ready to travel to a new destination, how she disliked him, how she tortured my mother for falling in love with him, marrrying him, little did she know what a treasure my mother was recieving.  These stories of my father traveling, never wanting to work, alwys ready for a new adventure are not the man I’ve known.  Coming to America with a new bride and children made him do a 360.  He came with twenty five dollars in his pocket, he has endured discrimination, I remember as a child, teenagers up the block calling him a guinea, a geep whatever that means, throwing rocks at our window, shattering them, why they picked on him I’ll never know, people judged him, ridiculed him, but he laughs it off… he has dealt with an emotionally dysregulated wife and daughter, but something in this little man (he is my height, very skinny), has kept his outlook on life positive, kept him moving, happy with as he tells me reading the paper and watching his soccer games.  Today he is almost 69 and he is still working, partly to clean up my mess, and I also believe partly to escape from the turmoil.  As a little girl, every day before work there’d be an exchange, a dollar for a kiss.  But, at around 13 the kisses stopped, I think he thought I was too old to be kissed by him, but for me it was a loss.  I’d put my money in a piggy bank at night, he now the responsible, hardworking father, would always tell me to save.  I’d  trade all the dollars in the world to have another kiss.  My father was a dishwasher, later becoming a chef, once in awhile he comes home with blisters all over his hands, from cooking, yet never a complaint.  He has always been my hero, when my mother would “lash”out at me, I would stand on a chair and call him at work, he’d talk to her, somehow calming her down, soothing the pain inside her.  There were nights I was terrified to sleep alone, and I’d jump in bed with him, hearing his heartbeat lullaby me to sleep.  My love of the ocean came from my father, every weekend, he’d take us to Coney Island.  He’d swim far out into the distance as my fear ridden mother would yell for him to come back.  With Daddy it was learn or drown:), I remember him throwing my brother and I in the water , telling us how to swim, as my mother again screamed we wer going to drown.  He’d ignore her, laughing, watching us, guiding us as we struggled… but we knew we were safe and eventually survived our “swimming lessons.”    I have strived in life, through the pain, the hopelessness, the grief, for one reason, to make Daddy proud.. I go to work everyday with the monsters in my head for one reason, to make Daddy proud, to make sure his “American Dream” come true.  Yet, I’m afraid I’m not making him proud anymore.  He tells me “You have to be strong. in this world.”  “You live in a different universe, people are not like you and they will take advantage of you.”  He has told me that since I was a child, somehow he knew I was different and somehow his predicitions came true.  You’re right Daddy, I live in a different world, I am different… and I am sorry I have not fulfilled the dream of that young immigrant boy who came here in search of a good life for his family.  My father has suffered dysfunction enough that would drive any man away, yet he has always stood by his family, pushing us, pushing me to accomplish what I have, it is because of him I can say I finished graduate school, it is because of him I can say I want to get better, it is because of him I hold on, it is because of this man, my hero, I can say I am alive today.  I won’t dissapoint you anymore , my father, I will recover and you will have your “American Dream..”