Archive for October, 2009


Posted October 15, 2009 By kmarrs

So in therapy today my therapist and I talked about how much I worry. It’s a subject we also discussed last time. Cindy, my therapist, is really starting to realize how much time I dedicate to worrying. She is also realizing exactly how energy draining that can be.

I just recently went off my anxiety meds. Not because I don’t need them, but because they weren’t working. I don’t think anything can really fix how much I worry and the amount of anxiety all those worries bring me.

A classic example is money. I’m currently stressing over money. I always stress over money. Branching out from that topic I’m stressing about is, in no certain order, the following:

  1. The size of the paycheck I’m receiving Friday. The paycheck will be from the week I was sick and it’ll only have 3 days on it. So it isn’t a matter of will it be big enough, I’ve already accepted that it won’t.
  2. The cable bill is due Friday. I already know my mom is paying it for us because my check won’t cover it. But now I’m worried that I’m taking advantage of my mom. I can be very manipulative, to the point that I obsess that if anyone does anything for me, that I accidentally manipulated them into doing so. I don’t mean to be manipulative, I just am.
  3. Costumes. How can we afford them and when. I’ve already accepted that Luke won’t get one this year. And I’m really ok with that. He’s too little to care and it’ll be so cold that he’ll be bundled up anyways. I wasn’t planning on him collecting candy this year aside from the occasional lollipop I’ll share with him. But we still owe the 6-year-old a superman costume.
  4. Coat. Thomas needs one. He’s been wearing a hoodie for the past month (though the zipper did break on it today). And it’s been ok so far. It’s has been chilly but not downright cold. That however, is fast changing. It’s getting colder and he will need a winter coat soon. And that’s not exactly something we can put off. My dad keeps hinting at buying Thomas his coat this year, but it has yet to actually happen. I’m not saying he won’t I’m just saying I’ll stress over it until it is bought by whoever buys it.
  5. Shirts. I went through all of Luke’s 2t clothing handed down by his brother and he has plenty of warm jammies and pants, but all of 2 shirts that will fit him through the season. There are a couple of 24mon shirts that he can wear for the next month, but not much past that. Fact is he’s a big boy and growing fast. This might be able to wait until Christmas. He’s too little to care if he gets clothes for Christmas and his birthday is about a month later so there will be plenty of new toys in the months to come. But I’m still stressing over getting the kid shirts. Clothes are kind of a necessity.
  6. Pants. I need work pants. The ones I have aren’t fitting me as well as they use to. I’ve gained just enough weight (thanks meds) that while I can zip them, they are a little tight. This one will have to wait until the tax return.
  7. Tax return. Will it be big enough to cover all that we need it to cover? Will there be any left to have fun with? I have my eye on a nice shiny blue point and shoot digi. It’s at the very bottom of the things to buy list, but I want to have a little fun with my hard earned money. Mostly I need clothes. Desperately. I’m working towards building a wardrobe one tax return at a time, but plus size clothing is expensive.
  8. School. I need to pay for a quarter, if not two, of school out of pocket before I get my financial aid back. This is the first priority on the tax return money list.
  9. Job. Will the company I work for survive the economic crisis? We’ve had to fight like hell to stay open and so far things are looking ok, but I’m afraid if this holiday season doesn’t bring in the money, we won’t survive much past it. Needless to say, we can’t afford me being unemployed for even a week, and I have a feeling it would last much longer what with the current job market.

As you can see, money is a big stressor for me. Nothing gets me worked up more.

Quick note to above: I just called my mom and asked her if I manipulated her and she assured me I didn’t. She is also planning to check out K-mart to see if they have a superman costume she can pick up for Thomas.

I worry too much.

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DBT Week 3 – Core Mindfulness

Posted October 14, 2009 By kmarrs

Types of Cognitice (Thinking) Distortions

  1. All or nothing thinhking – You see things in black-and-white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
  2. Overgeneralization – You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  3. Magnifying the negative – You exaggerate the importance of a negative thins (such as your goof-up), or you pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire pitcher of water.
  4. Minimizing the positive – You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. In this way you can maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences. Or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities).
  5. Jumping to conclusions – You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion. There are two types. Mind reading is when you arbitrarily conclude that someon is reacting negatively to you, and you don’t bother to check this out. Fortune teller error is when you anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.
  6. Should statements – You try to motivate yourself with “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”, as if you had been whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct “should” statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment. It is important to note that this isn’t talking able basic “shoulds” like “I should brush my teeth”. This is instead talking about taking “shoulds” to the extreme.
  7. Labeling and mislabeling i This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself, such as “I’m a loser”. When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him or her like “s/he’s a louse”. Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
  8. Personalization – You see yourslef as the cause of some negative external event which in fact you were not primarily responsible for.
  9. Emotional Reasoning – “Because I feel it, it must be true.” without any other supporting evidence.
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This Just In…

Posted October 13, 2009 By kmarrs

I’m getting fan mail and people asking me for advice (about BPD). It’s really kinda cool! The fan mail is awesome and all but the requests for advice really rocks my socks! That is, after all, why I do this. To help people.

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DBT Week 2 – Core Mindfulness

Posted October 11, 2009 By kmarrs

Emotional Mind – Thinking is impaired, thinking distortions are common, distances from others, impaired decisions

Wise Mind – Ideal for relationships and decision making. It’s half way in between emotional and reasonable mind.

Reasonable Mind – Impaired decisions and distances from others

To differentiate a feeling from a thought” Only a feeling can fit in the sentence stem “I’m ________”.

Many people think that an activating event causes an emotional consequence, like this:
Activating event: phone rings at 2 AM —-> Consequence: panic or anxiety

If this was true then the activating event would always cause panic or anxiety. However, someone who thinks the phone is a wrong number would likely feel irritation as opposed to panic or anxiety.

So, there is an important mediating factor that determines someone’s emotional consequence, which is that person’s belief (or thought) about the event, like this:

Activating event: Phone rings at 2 AM –> Belief: Somebody’s hurt –> Consequence: Anxiety/Panic
Activating event: Phone rings at 2 AM –> Belief: Wrong Number –> Consequence: Irritation

Sometimes our thoughts can be distorted or even downright false and the more we are in our emotional mind, the more likely that our thoughts can be distorted. So, it is important to separate our feelings from o0ur thoughts to determine if there are any distortions or falsehoods, and if so, to reframe our thinking to more accurately reflect reality.

How to Reframe Your Thinking

1. Work backwards from your feelings to ID your thoughts. Ask yourself: What am I thinking that is contributing to the way I feel.

2. Examine your thoughts using a filter.

  1. What is the evidence for this thoguht?
  2. Is this always true?
  3. Is this thought helpful or harmful to me?
  4. Did I inherit this thinking from my family-of-origin, or is it something I chose

If your thinking does not pass this test, then it is probably distorted and you need to reframe your thought.

3. Reframe your thinking

  1. Use a positive statement and avoid negatives.
  2. Use the proper tense
  3. Use I statements whenever possible. For example, “I can”, “I am becoming”, “I am willing to”
  4. Use statement which you have some belief in. It is ok if you are not 100% convinced of the statement, but it needs to be a little bit believable to you.

4. Use these statements and talk back to the automatic voice that can sabotage you!

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DBT Week 1 – Core Mindfulness

Posted October 11, 2009 By kmarrs

There are 3 states of mind: reasonable mind, emotional mind, and wise mind.

Reasonable mind is intellectual, rational and logical. It attends to facts. It is planful in behavior and focused in attention. Reasonable mind is “cool” in it’s approach to problems.

Emotional mind is behavior and thinking controlled by emotions. Reasonable thinking is difficult and facts are amplified or distorted to match emotions.

Wise mind is the integration of emotional experiencing and logical analysis. It includes intuition. It is a very centered point.

Mindfulness skills are skills that help balance emotional mind and reasonable mind. It helps bring you to wise mind. There are three “what” skills: observing, describing, and participating. There are also three “how” skills: taking a nonjudgmental stance, focusing on one thing in the moment, and being effective. The goal is to develop a lifestyle of participating with awareness.

Observe – feelings, thoughts and behavior without trying to terminate them when painful or prolong them when plesent.

Describe – in words. Putting labels on behavior and events is essential to communication and self control. Many confuse emotions with precipitating events. Requires not to take thoughts and emotions literally; ie, feeling afriad does not mean that a situation is threatening.

Participate – without self consciousness. Examples of mindful verses mindless participation.

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Posted October 10, 2009 By kmarrs

I have worked retail in some shape or form for the past 10 years of my life. While I don’t always enjoy it, it does have it’s perks. Helping me to enjoy this is one of those perks. Enjoy, lord knows I’ve lost hours to it.

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