Crisis of Confidence

I hurt my back about a week and a half ago, and wasn’t able to do much other than watch TV or read for a good week of that time.  I’m feeling better now; not perfect, but better.  I only mention this, because it feels like, during that time I was down, my self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, whatever you want to call it, took a serious nose dive.

Everything is going as it should be in my life right now, or rather, as I want it to be.  DSB is starting to feel better and is working up in the shop again.  I’m liking my job, feel useful, have a pretty good time.  My house is all sorts of trashed out from being down a week, but it’s fixable.  Overall, I should be feeling pretty good.

But I’m not.  And that is the bitch that is bipolar disorder.  Screwy chemicals in my brain and past environmental influence telling me that life is not what it appears.  That there is no hope of having a better life, of being a better person.  That things will always be the way they are now and I will never move forward into a happier place.  That I’m a failure when it comes to keeping my house clean and taking care of daily responsibilities.

While my heart knows this not to be true, it’s still ringing in my ears.  And it’s convincing, not that I’ve ever needed a lot of  help to convince myself that everything about me is shit.  I am having a serious crisis in confidence.

To counter-act that crisis, I have been trying to put my DBT skills to use.  The main skill I have been using to build my confidence is called “building mastery.”  Building mastery is basically challenging yourself to learn and try new (and old) things that can help you in feeling better about yourself.

For example, something I do for “building mastery” is take on something in the kitchen that I have never tried before.  For others, it might be being direct with someone when it really matters or learning a new game/sport.  It can really be anything that you learn to do or that increases your skillset, making you feel better about yourself.

Building mastery has been improving things for me, but not at the rate I would like to see them improve.  I am still going to work, feeling good, doing well, and then coming home and feeling like life is hopeless.  My moods have been very up and down, I have no confidence in myself, and my approach to life at this point has become very passive.

That’s not me, I realize.  That’s not who I am.  That is a mood disorder speaking and I need to tell it to shut the hell up.  How many times can I tell it to shut up before it will listen?  I haven’t found out yet.

I think part of the issue is that we have been having very gloomy weather, and even when it has been nice, I have been inside.  I need to do more to be 0utside more.

I’m also having a bit of a crisis of confidence in blogging.  It seemed like I was doing really well there for a little bit, and now all I can come up with is stuff that I deem “unpublishable” and what I do publish, it seems like extremely few people read it.  The decrease in foot traffic on my stats page is somewhat alarming.  While I’m not doing this solely for other people to read what I write, I still DO want people to read it.

I need to find some prompts that I like, because it seems like I always do well with that, because no one wants to read the ramblings of someone who feels like shit and is bemoaning that fact in every paragraph.  The Daily Post has a Daily Prompt, but I often feel they don’t apply to me.

What I’m thinking of doing is joining “postaday” and posting every day for the rest of the year, or as close to that as I can maintain.  Is it okay to jump in mid-way through?  I don’t know, and I don’t really care.  I know that, when I was doing NaBloPoMo in November, posting every day, I had more to write about and felt more creative and productive.

On a day that I don’t post, I don’t feel very good about that.  I guess you could say that, for me, postaday would satisfy the “building mastery”  component of DBT, as well as the “building structure” component.  And probably some other components as well.

So there you have it, I’m going to do postaday (I think) and hope for better feelings about this blog and myself in general.

Any comment or suggestion for prompts or post inspiration is appreciated!

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13 thoughts on “Crisis of Confidence

  1. The post police aren’t go to come after you for jumping into postaday late. I’m kinda in the same boat and that’s why I post every day…even if it is dreck. I have written plenty of “i hate today” posts in a row too. It’s accountability on so many levels for me right now, just doing SOMETHING. The wp challenge page has different prompts you can try, even if you don’t do them every week.

    I also think numbers are down this time of year anyway now that might actually be spring.

    I am glad everything else is settling back into the routine. I also get ya on the should be feeling good but not. I am not depressed, but I am not happy either. I’m just “eh”.

    Did I say “I” and “also” enough? Lol ((hugs)) reach out if you need anything

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    • Sheena, I totally think there are post police. Are there not? 🙂

      I totally get where you’re coming from on accountability and just doing something, even if it’s not a big something. I’ve always admired your weekly accountability post. You just put yourself out there and you’re like, “so what?” I love that about you.

      Thank you so much for your continued support and reading. I really feel like part of your gang, and that’s a great feeling for me, to belong.

      (hugs!)

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      • You are sweet, because in real life I am nothing like “yeah, so, and?” about those things. I feel safe in this environment so I figure why not. I worry about what would happen if I didn’t write something everyday, it’s too easy for me to retreat otherwise.

        And you have the last part wrong…I am happy to be part of YOUR gang of friends 🙂 ❤

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  2. So sorry you’ve been down and I’m very glad you do not believe your inner critic! [gah! hate that!!] When I’m really down I usually go internal and I don’t write as much. Inspiration can be really tough to find. All things considered, I wonder if you could work with less demanding targets with regard to building mastery. Conceptually, I am reminded of the learning mastery theories which simply boil down to beginning where the student is.

    Because you’re acting as your own teacher [I’m seeing a skit, with hats…switch hat, switch hat…LOL!] it could be difficult to be patient as the student. eek!

    re: traffic on your blog – I began to think about how we (the community) find each others’ blogs. We search by keywords and notice who makes compelling comments on others’ blog we come across…and we network around things that are important to us. Therefore, my thought is that people will find you, just as I did. What you are saying is damn important.

    And even if you were spouting nonsense, clearly there is no reason for anybody to see you as anything less than kick-a$$, seriously awesome.

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    • Dharma, you are just the best, especially for the last two paragraphs. I never looked at traffic (or myself) that way. I really do think postaday will be good for building mastery. I’m actually really excited about it. I’m doing some other stuff, much more mundane stuff for building mastery, too. I’ll have to do a post on just that. Thanks for all of your support, Dharma!

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  3. Writing is restorative, curative, special – any writing. Here is my suggestion – describe your writing space in as much detail as you can and tell us why you choose that particular spot. Good luck.

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    • Thanks for that, Francis. I think I’ll do that post sometime within the next few days, although there’s not much special about my writing place (I’m sure I can stir up a little magic). I really value your opinion, considering how much I enjoyed both of your books. I’m honored that you dropped by!

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  4. Ah yes, Rose, your shit resonates with me. Gray weather, scant traffic! I rarely advise, but if you’re looking for ideas, I’ve found writing “open” letters to be fruitful. An open letter to your house or to depression comes to mind. Anyway, I’m glad to be part of your tribe. Peace.

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    • I love that first line. I like the idea of open letters, having never even thought of that before. I can think of several I could write. And I am definitely glad you’re a part of the tribe, John. You’re always welcome here.

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  5. I generally have a rough time whenever the seasons change, sometimes to the point of needing a med adjustment. My advice – other than to keep working the skills – is to let your doc know if this doesn’t start to improve shortly. No sense letting what still sounds manageable turn into a full on issue.

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    • You know, I’m the ultimate blonde. I knew the weather had been crappy, but I didn’t even think about the change in the seasons. I am feeling a bit better today, with some much needed Mom QT, but you’re right — no sense letting things get out of control. I really appreciate all your support, Mama! (hugs)

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  6. It will never listen and it will never shut up – you need to be able to hear it but understand that it is not real, and I mean truly believe it. Mindfulness techniques work well – my husband has schizophrenia and suffers from auditory and visual hallucinations. His medication helps but it is knowing the what he sees and hears in not true, not reality that enables him to live his live around the symptoms.

    Mental health issues never go away they can however be managed, CBT and mindfulness tend to have more of a positive impact in Recovery based practice as opposed to some of the methods under the Medical Model.

    Once Michael took the idea of making his own mental health rather than flowing with the ebb and tide of symptoms and circumstance he found he was more capable than many had ever imagined. He’s written two books, is finishing his masters in Community Mental Health and Best Case Practice as well as working full-time with Queensland Health as a consumer consultant and liaison between clinicians and case managers.

    Here’s the thing – he still has symptoms EVERY SINGLE DAY of his life. As I said the meds help reduce the rate but do not remove them entirely so he has to go to meetings, provide training etc knowing that at any moment he’ll be hit with who knows what. If you asked anyone he worked with they wouldn’t have a clue that was the case.

    It isn’t easy at all but it is more than possible – but the hard part is to accept that you will be fighting it always and then you have to choose just how badly do you want to change your life, enough to accept that it will never be easy. Fulfilling, rewarding all of that yes but never ever easy.

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    • Thanks for your insights, Jenni. I really do value your opinion in these matters! I like your husband’s story. It’s hard to embrace your mental illness and come to terms with it, but I see it is doable!

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