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 Post subject: Feeling like I can't cope! Exploring this.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:45 am 
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For the past couple of months, I've been feeling like I can't cope, like no matter how hard I try, I can't keep my head above water. Like this --> :helpme My eating's messed up, my trich is bad again, I'm having panic attacks and taking it out on my partner. I feel happy, even excited most of the time - I love being my own boss and working from home - but when something goes wrong, no matter how small, I get this tidal wave of negative emotions and I can't handle them. Classic borderline stuff, really. :/

I knew when I left my steady income (from a job I hated) for self-employment that I would have to let go of the idea of being perfectly in control of everything, and let what happens happens, with the faith that whatever life throws at me, I will handle it as best as I can. I guess I lost sight of that. I've been neglecting my self-care and failing to reach out for support because I wanted to invest all my time in making sure I can make ends meet. I need to keep reminding myself that's missing the point! Of course I want the books to balance, but I left my job because it was making me depressed, and I know from past experience the business can't succeed if I let myself spiral back into full-blown BPD and depression. I need to take care of myself first and foremost!

So, I'm trying to get myself back into that self-care mindset. I'm posting here. I'm emailing my T regularly (she says I can email as often as I want, which is totally new to me! I've never had between-sessions contact with a T before). I'm trying to treat myself as if I'm happy and healthy. I took today off work, though I need to get back to it tomorrow.

I've been really triggered lately by a problem with my optician. I had a contact lens split, and rang them (I'm entitled to a free replacement), only to be told they have no record of me! :o The man I spoke to wasn't at all helpful, but eventually said he'd look into it and ring me back, which never happened. This isn't the first problem I've had with them, so I want to switch to another optician. At first I thought I didn't have the energy to fight the situation, and I'd just cut my losses and make an appt elsewhere (which would mean paying for a sight test I should get free, and going without contact lenses for a couple of weeks). But I continued to feel really upset and angry about it, overwhelmingly so. And I decided today maybe the only way past this was to stand up for myself - to prove that I can cope with what life throws at me.

I went into the branch with some proof that I am a customer there. It was easy - the woman I spoke to found my record straight away, and didn't know what had happened before. I have my replacement lens and my free sight test booked for tomorrow, and then I can cancel my plan and go elsewhere.

I did have to take a PRN anxiety med, because I didn't want to start crying in the branch. And I treated myself to a chai latte and chocolate brownie afterwards. I seem to be spending a lot of time (and money) in caf├ęs at the moment - it's a really effective coping mechanism for me, but does have an effect on my wallet and my waistline!

Anyway... I'm quite proud of myself and feeling a lot better for it. :)

Lirael

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 Post subject: Re: Feeling like I can't cope! Exploring this.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:54 pm 
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Hey Lirael, your subject says you feel like you can't cope, but it sounds like you're actually coping pretty well -- maybe a few things need a little attention, like making sure you are eating well, and perhaps trying to come up with a few new coping strategies for your anxiety so the panic attacks and hair issues can be managed, but overall, you've managed to transition into this new employment gig, and you ultimately dealt appropriately with the optometrist, so I think you're doing pretty damned well.

E-mailing with your T is good, and I hope she's helping you. But mostly, just keep trying to move forward, the best you can. There will obviously be days (or weeks, or whatever) that don't go so well, but then you pick yourself up, try to figure out what you maybe could have done differently or better, and go on. It's called "fake it until you make it," or what my spiritual adviser says, "becoming who you already are." It's a process, and sometimes it's two steps forward and one back, but every experience can teach us something if we think about it, and so ultimately, as we go through life, we hopefully get better and managing stuff that would have freaked us out earlier.

Hang in there.

BTW, welcome to the board!

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I can take it in small doses, but as a lifestyle I found it too confining. -- Jane Wagner


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling like I can't cope! Exploring this.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:57 am 
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Hey there:

It is oftentimes when I feel like I can't cope, that I have to take a step back and look at my actions to determine if I really can cope in the situation. From what you have described, even though you feel like you can't cope, you ARE coping.

Take a moment and really realize how well you are doing and how strong you are! It is more than you think, I guess.

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"I can lose my hard-earned freedom if my fear defines my world. I declare my independence from the critics and the stones. I declare my revolution, I can learn to stand alone."


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling like I can't cope! Exploring this.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:32 am 
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Hi Lirael,(cool name change)
Great work in taking those little steps towards bringing you a better sense of control and competency. I read your post and could really relate to it as I have been feeling similarly lately. It does seem to me as though it is those little & big things that we do for ourselves that helps us reconnect. What a way to honor yourself around the optician! That's great and it sounded so self-empowering. I also e-mail my T regularly (which is new for me as well) and this has been a great source that has been helpful in me staying grounded. I am learning too, that if I give myself the room to be okay with where I am, embracing the feelings and experiences as they are and not passing judgement on myself, that too helps me to move forward a bit quicker. It sounds like you are moving along well and coping.


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 Post subject: Re: Feeling like I can't cope! Exploring this.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 4:48 am 
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Thanks everyone. :) I've been feeling a lot more stable over the past week, even when upsetting things have happened, like a client not being happy with my work and asking me to make lots of changes.

Fabulous things have happened too - I'm realising that running my own business comes with a lot more ups and downs than just going into work every day!

Sari wrote:
or what my spiritual adviser says, "becoming who you already are."

I love that. It's a great affirmation, thank you. :biggrin It appeals to me much more than "fake it till you make it" (I understand the concept, but have never much liked the idea of being fake).

What I'm learning is that the feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed when I think I can't cope are real, and usually a sign that something needs to change (or at least be tweaked), but I can still choose to cope in an effective manner. I have those skills!

I'm realising with the optician, I didn't think it was worth all the hassle just to get my free sight test and not to have to wait for lenses. It wasn't! But it was worth the hassle to boost my self-respect and self-belief by standing up for myself and getting what I was entitled to.

Lirael

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"All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming." - Helen Keller


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