Monday, 4 January 2016

In With The New

2015 was a year of ups and downs. Many bad things happened, both personally and globally. At the same time, many great things happened, too.

More often than not, when something good happens, I find my brain overriding and thinking, “Well, it can't be this good forever. Something bad has to happen soon. I wonder what it'll be?”. It's a thought cycle that I've been trapped in for a long and one that, over the past year, I've been trying to combat.

Some of these thought processes are a result of the medication being withdrawn. I've found myself in a world that I'm not sure how to deal with and the snap reactions have become an instant way of responding to how I'm feeling at that moment.

One of the things I'll be doing throughout 2016 is trying to focus more on the positive than the negative. To help me, I've devised a number of ways in which combat those thoughts that crop up the moment something good happens. The list includes:

  • Keeping a journal of the positive things that happen in a day. It can be as small as a good cup of tea or something as large as a new contract.
  • Doing things I enjoy rather than putting them off until a later date. That's something I'm guilty of. I'll keep pushing myself to work all the while telling myself that I'll read that book, make that call, or take that walk another day. Now I'm actively taking time out to do something I like doing.
  • Spending time with people whose company I enjoy and avoiding those I don't.
  • Spending a few moments every day reminding myself that I am a good person.
  • Focusing on the bigger picture of what I want to do with my life.
  • Journaling about my fears and self doubts. I've found that writing them down is a way of diminishing their impact on my life.
  • Enlisting a professional to help me organise my thoughts and see around the darkness in my mind.
  • Reminding myself to think “What's the best that can happen?” instead of “What's the worst that can happen?”.
  • Recognising when these thoughts are going to arise and saying, “I don't need you any more. You are no longer a part of my life.” Which leads me on to:
  • Website blockers to lock access to the sites I find myself becoming angry at (yet can't seem to stop reading). I use LeechBlock on Firefox and StayFocusd on Google Chrome. StayFocusd is so good that it even blocks search results that contain your words from your forbidden URLs! On my phone, I use Apple's own blocker which can be found in the settings. It allows you to block certain sites and, while it is easy to navigate around, the reminder that you need to put in your passcode to access the website is a good reminder that you don't want to go there.

Breaking this cycle has been notoriously difficult for me and one that has been a long time coming. Oddly, I enjoyed the feeling of the negative thoughts that pulsed through me. They made me feel good in a strange kind of way. But, as I've grown, I've realised that I don't need them and that they, and I when I'm in that state, are contributing nothing good to the world. I want to be putting something positive in to the world and the person that I was twelve months ago is no longer the person I want to be. It's time to walk the path of my own creation.

May your 2016 be beautiful, peaceful, and filled with all that you desire.

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