Saturday, February 28, 2009

Self Validation

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My assignment this week in therapy is to start a self validation notebook. Ugh! Unfortunately, what I'm great at is beating myself up. How is that for self validation? Probably not what my therapist has in mind. This will be a difficult task for me, or at least it feels hard for me to get started. Maybe once I actually think of something, then more will come pouring out. I can only hope so anyway. For one thing, it makes me feel uncomfortable to give myself praise, recognition, or appreciation. I think that many of us feel like it is wrong or conceited, and therefore "bad" to do this, but I can see where only seeking validation from others can lead to trouble, so I'm going to try to work on this. Wish me luck!
This week my emotions have been all over the place. I cry a lot more than I used to. I seem to get angry over little things. Maybe that is to be expected. My emotions are coming to the surface, and I'm starting to let myself feel them. I also still do things to numb the feelings when it all becomes too painful. Drinking is something that I find myself doing to avoid my feelings, although it really doesn't seem to work as well as it used to. When we found out that Dave's tumor was growing again, I went out and bought some alcohol, but I found that although it may postpone the pain, it doesn't really make it go away. All of the things that I do to escape the feelings are only temporary, and eventually, I'm still going to have to feel them. You would think that wouldn't be so hard to figure out, and yet, I'm still working on it. My therapist is always reminding me that when we avoid the painful feelings, we also become immune to the joys of life. The thought of this always makes me so sad. I do not want to miss out on anymore joy.


PinkLady said...

Angela,I remember how dark it was before when I forced myself and my kids to start counting our blessings. It was so hard at first because we couldn't see anything to be thankful for. But looking back now, that opened the door to our healing.

Self validation is something we all must learn to do. We all must learn to love ourselves before we can truly love anyone else.

Good luck on this, Angela. Once you get used to this exercise, you will see all the reasons why you are a wonderful, worthy and loving person.

Much love,

Bing (",)

Angel said...

Much thanks, as always, Bing!

Anonymous said...

I think you are more comfortable with praise than you give yourself credit for. I think you crave the kudos, pats on the back and endless amounts of adoration that you get every time you post a new entry. You get a huge amount of attention from this blog so I think you are more comfortable with praise and recognition than you think. So you just need to redirect all of that attention into a validation notebook. Good luck!

Angel said...

Yes, praise and attention from others, but it is hard to give it to myself. I will be working on it though, so thanks for wishing me luck:)

John D said...

I know exactly what you mean. I'm sure I've wasted more time tearing myself down and dismissing everything positive than I've spent on any other kind of thinking. Affirmations worked for me only briefly. The way I finally got the better of this kind of thinking was to start telling that inner voice to shut up. I had heard it all, every day, every minute - it was pure obsessive thinking that came with depression. Imagining that voice as belonging to a depression character who wasn't really me helped enormously in shutting it off. Now when I start on that mental track - I face that character and think NO. It took years and years though before I could get to that point.

All my best to you - it's such a hard battle.


The Real Gal said...

Angela, all I can say is thank you for sharing! Thank you for continuing on your journey, although very hard, there is a reward at the end. Blessings dear one!