Before 2016 ended, I told myself that 2017 would be the year for me to reset. January was my warm-up month. Last February 1, I started with my new job as a copywriter in one of the hotels here in Manila. And that signaled my fresh start.
Speaking of fresh start, Dr. G gave me a new format to follow for my therapy journal. I find it more helpful than the previous format I used to follow. In the new format, I process a negative thought by answering several questions. Here they are:
1. Identify your unhelpful thought. Is there any evidence that contradicts this thought?
2. Can you identify patterns of unhelpful thinking?
3. What would you say to a friend who had this thought in a similar situation?
4. a. Benefits of thinking this way
b. Costs of thinking this way
5. How will you feel about this in six months' time?
6. Is there another way of looking at this situation?
After answering all six questions, I am then asked to write down a balanced thought--a more rational thought after evaluating a negative thought. I find this helpful with dealing with my issues, especially my insecurity towards Z. It is a pattern of unhelpful thinking, something that has been causing me so much stress and anxiety since the latter part of 2015. With this new format, I feel like I am slowly building a solid armor against my insecurity. I am able to fight this negative thought by processing it instead of simply fighting it and willing it to go away.
Writing my answers to all these questions may be tedious, but I don't mind. I have my trusty journal with me all the time. When an unhelpful thought strikes, I'd sit down, take out my journal from my bag, and start writing. This is also how I establish my safe zone. When everything around me goes wrong, I am thankful that I have my pen and journal to keep me company and help me feel better.
However, this process is not perfect. I still find myself see-sawing between feeling insecure and feeling good about myself. It is a constant tug-of-war. But I think I'm getting better at it.
Now, I think that going off meds (or at least having one medicine removed from my daily doses) this year isn't so far-fetched. To paraphrase Dory's mantra, just keep going, just keep going.