On Friday I met with a therapist to talk about the dark cloud that follows me around like a certain wiener I know. I had my assessment on Thursday and thanks to some angel’s last-minute cancellation, they squeezed me in for therapy on Friday morning. As it turns out, I have a bit of a cognitive disorder. Which I find fascinating, honestly. At the end of the session, the therapist (I’ll call her Dr. Z even though I am not sure whether or not she is actually a doctor, it’s totally possible that she has a PhD, I didn’t think to ask) handed me this print-out of a list of ten cognitive distortions.
“Most people recognize three or four of these in themselves. Take a look at this and see which of these sound familiar to you.”
You guys, all but one of them hit the nail on the head. What a freaking wake-up call. It’s kind of been blowing my mind. Here’s a few:
All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
Mental Filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.
(Oh… that drop of ink. That awful, awful drop of ink. I know it well)
Emotional Reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”
Personalization: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event for which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible.
So wait. Is this not how everyone feels all the time?
P.S. I sucked at NaBloPoMoFo (12/30 – hilarious), but it got me posting again and that was the point. For once, I’m not even torturing myself for my small failure. I have realized that I simply cannot do everything. Work full time, keep up our little home, study tort law, play with the dogs, play with my husband, spend time with friends and family, get enough exercise, and update a blog every day. I just can’t do it. Maybe some people can, and bless them. I don’t want to try and do it all every day anymore. I just want to find some balance.