Thursday, September 6, 2007

Just Life Really,

It’s just that sometimes it feels like Boot Camp. But it’s ok because I have a Technique. Back to the old CBT method of reframing. Is that the term? If a picture is crap then it stays crap no matter how you frame it, but there I go being unhelpful, let’s just say there is one way of thinking about something – and then there’s another. So, for example, the world is not a dangerous place for me and those I hold dear: that’s just anxiety, and if you say something to yourself enough times you can make it feel sort of true. I really ought to have become a confirmed Positive Affirmationer, I could have Healed my Life ten times over by now. But anyway, I like the word “just” and think I will use it more often.

It is just M.E.
It is just my dysfunctional family.
It is just someone’s clinical psychosis.
It is just subsidence.
It is just a burst water pipe.
It is just weirdness.
It is just someone dying.

So basically it’s all fine and I have taken some Co-proxamol. In the old days it would have been whisky, cigarettes and possibly a spliff or two, but musn’t grumble.

This morning the weather had that first-day-of-holidays feeling, in spite of all the poor bleeders going back to school. I went out onto the forest. People think it’s just trees, but there is open heath land too, miles of it, and I can walk on any day of the year and find wide expanses of unpeopled places. So I walked and walked and walked to see if I could push through the barrier and slough off (slough? shrug?) the weirdness that is Other People’s Stuff, the better to focus on my own wonderful and winged stuff, but the barrier accompanied me and so did the Stuff.

And now I feel very weird and full of stuff, but my son is watching a video of old Fry and Laurie sketches and there is an apple crumble on the kitchen table. For the moment, these are the particulars that I choose to let be the ground beneath my feet. And prescription drugs.


Kahless said...

Apple pie - any custard to go with it?
If so please save some for me!

I love your subtle sarcasm my friend; I am not a fan of CBT personally, cos as a thinker I think I can out-think it. It is too simple for my liking and denies so many things without working through them.
I would love to hear the full sp of you views on it...

btw your clock on comments is wrong or have I just gained an hour?

fluttertongue said...

I have a friend who is forever trying to get me to think positive. I have always been a positive thinker though: I focus on the good things. But that doesn't blot out the bad things, or diminish them in any way. They are still there and they're still going to get you down. Dealing with crap, you see, is actually work. And the bad kind of work. Not work that makes you feel like you've acheived something. And you don't even get paid for it!

Perhaps some happy times for Signs are in order. I find a facial is rather a rather good way to take time off from crap. Or a new book or CD. Or a really good cup of tea. Chai tea to be precise. With lots of milk and honey.

Glad to hear you're vertical. I am about 70% horizontal these days and consider it to be entirely normal. The thought of being upright for a reasonable amount of time is simply delicious. As is the thought of apple crumble.


cusp said...

Funnily enough I've been thinking about CBT these past few days and what a waste of time it was. I did it because in some ways I'm good at doing what I'm told to do but somehow I always end up subverting it. The practitioner was sullen and whey faced. I'd like to have reframed her: box frame over the head preferably.

We've just been for a stroll through the forest too and collected more apples. Have you been copying me ? I shall lean down over my activities and shelter their sight with the crook of my arm.

Sometimes, it doesn't matter how far you walk and wander. The crap follows. You just have to wait for it to float away and in the meantime make the best of whatever else is to hand: like apple crumble. I like mine hot with Loselely vanilla ice cream please.

Reading the Signs said...

Hi Kahless,

Polished it off with thick cream - but thought of you.

(Thank you, one does what one can). I don't like CBT, but probably would like it more had it not been taken up in the way it has by the NHS. I'm not saying it doesn't "work" for some people, but real therapy is, I think, dependent on the relationship established between therapist and client rather than a box of tricks to practice. Also I detest the way that CBT insists on measuring - that before and after process and how many points out of 10. Humans are complex. But sometimes a simple thing like the right word in the right place can work where all other tricks have failed. Love is of the essence, though - I mean the kind that manifests in deep respect and courtesy (and all that the word implies). Without that, nothing. CBT does not sufficiently acknowledge that we often have good reasons for the phobias, anxieties and defences we have built, or it thinks to cut through them. Sometimes they will not be removed so.

At the moment my clock on almost everything is wrong. Will make adjustments.

Hi Fluttertongue,

Me too, I'm a positive thinker. And part of that is saying how it is at any given time. I have happy times and am not depressed - just carrying a few things, as we all do. I can't imagine enjoying having a facial, though my friend swears she can't imagine living without them - each to her own, I suppose. Funny you should say Chai - my son makes a good brew and I had a cup yesterday with milk and honey. Lovely.

Hi Cusp,

See words to Kahless above. I like your idea of reframing the therapist. Mine was nice enough but in the end a bit pointless. And yes, one does end up subverting it because the process does not meet deep underlying wounds/needs/fears that cause the malfunctioning behaviour in the first place.

The apples are from my garden. I'm using up the last of them as they fall, as you are too, no doubt, strength allowing. Ha!

Anonymous said...

I love the "just" thought. I think it is worth trying. If I use in conversation, I will (just) simply pause and insert in non-verbally and then (just) continue on.

I like the perspecitive it lends.

Kahless said...

Thank-you for taking the trouble to give me your views; I concur completely!

Hope you have a fab weekend.

And hello Cusp, what a lovely thought .. reframing the therapist!


That's so pants said...

Hi Signs

Sorry you're having a crap time. Many of the things that need to change to make our lives better are out of our control. I agree with Kahless. Thinking things better makes no substantive difference to the way things actually are. it sometimes makes a difference to how much sleep you get though.



Anna MR said...

Signs honey, I too am a fan of that "just" list. I find taking that sort of an attitude miles more helpful than trying to pretend shite isn't shite and crap isn't crap (sorry, although I have been meaning to look it up more, my views on CBT are rather based on rumours, hearsay, and a bad attitude on my part - there is a dude in Finland, very up at the moment, who advocates this sort of thing. His hit book was called "It's Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood" - I mean really. Doesn't it just make you want to punch the man? I would find that immensely therapeutic, even though I am not generally an advocate of physical violence). I hope that, well, all is well within your immediate unit in the world, and wish you more apple crumble and Fry and Laurie moments. Mwahs and hugs are on their way, too.


qhsuf - quit her suffering
teyrum - tea room, said in a certain London way

Reading the Signs said...

Hi David,

I can truthfully tell you that you have just made me *smile* - I like the thought of you trying the *just*.

Hi Kahless,

I had a sense that these thoughts might resonate with you. Have a fab weekend yourself.

Hi Pants,

I remember you once saying something like "it's ok, I quite like feeling miserable" and knowing what you meant. It's *just* another way of being, and sometimes it's an appropriate response.

Hi Anna,

Either you and the word vers are brilliant or I "quit my suffering" because they both lifted the corners of my mouth and I think I may even have laughed. "Teyrum" is a particular kind of lower middle class (from the 1950s) trying to be Posh. And I don't mean Spice.

And yes, authentic rules. Though masks can be good too. Oscar Wilde thought so, and he rules too.

xxs and Mwahs to Everybody.

Anna MR said...

Signs - brilliant thing to have made you smile or even laughish a little. This thing (in your reply to Pants, a quote from her) of being miserable being an appropriate thing sometimes - absolutely. There are few things that rile me as badly as people saying (usually with best intention and no bloody thought at all) "oh come on, it's not that bad, everything's alright really", in an attempt to lift my spirits when I am in my blackest moods. I think it's disrespectful and horrendous and just emotio/intellectually flat, and I give anyone leave to, I don't know, kill me or something if I tell people that when they are feeling down. Yes. So so much for "reframing".

escsnem - the science of s/m (sorry Signs, the googlehits you'll be getting now might be a tad hmm)

wnthilww - want hilarity world-wide

Reading the Signs said...

I know you are the expert, but - escaping s/m is what it surely is? And now I'll definitely be getting the hits. Hits - geddit? Cor lumme, that's a pun and a half!

I absolutely insist on hilarity world-wide. With red nose.

Kahless said...

Hei Anna
I have never been physically violent in any way and abhor violence. But I like to fantasise that I could be if the need ever arose. Baseball bat being weapon of choice.
I cant believe that this dude has a hit book called "it's never to late to have a Happy Childhood."
Some people. It does make me want to wield the baseball bat in his direction!!

Hi Signs btw changing the number of posts visible on my blog (in settings) is a trick I employ from time to time to hide previously published posts.

fluttertongue said...

My idea of heaven is an endless facial massage. Though I do know quite a few people for whom having their face touched is the equivalent of stepping in dog doodoo in terms of indesirability. In that case I hope things are looking up and I'm glad your son has good taste in tea.