There is always something to be thankful for!

A page from my relapse prevention

It can be really difficult to have any outside perspective on life if you are feeling low. It’s so easy to get really stuck on your failings, how bad you’re feeling or all of the little details with inadvertently keep you really stuck and trapped. If you’re feeling bad physically or emotionally it’s so easy to end up in this trap and the prospect of it ever being any different can be unimaginable.

I’ve recently been doing a lot of work in a couple of areas that I have found really helpful and empowering; gratitude and personal values. I think both of these kind of fit in with this idea and are kind of the antidotes to think internally and getting really stuck in the moment with how you are feeling. In my relapse prevention, I’ve tried to think about all of the things I’m grateful for, and unsurprisingly (…well now I’ve done it!) there’s a hell of a lot I have to be thankful for. The key for me now, is to look at it as a positive and not as another means of beating myself up and thinking… well look at what I’ve got, I need to buck up my ideas and fix the rest of me. I think it has been really helpful to be able to refer back to my list on days where I feel a bit low and hopeless and like everything feels really difficult, these are the things I already have that are amazing and can’t be taken away from me. It’s such an empowering thing to do and once you get started you really can get carried away with all of the different things you have to be thankful for.
And some more relapse prevention

Then… values! In our Core CBT group, we looked at KellyWilson’s values worksheet. I’ve attached the link to the worksheet because it’s a really awesome tool to help focus you and work out what you want in your life and think about how successful you are being at fulfilling that value. You start by looking at the value ideas given on the sheet and rating them in their importance to you, I obviously added in pets/animals to the end of my list too. Then you think about the type of person you would like to be in each of the relevant areas, next you think about your success in each relevant area and finally you rank the values in the order of their importance of working on them at the present moment. You end up with a really focused idea of what’s important to you and what you’re neglecting at the moment. My values have really guided my relapse prevention and I’ve gone on to think about what the immediate steps you need to take to be working towards those goals. It’s really interesting because sometimes you have to work on different values before you can get to others, for example a lot of my values need to come second to me sorting out my health and mental health; without a healthy body, I can’t work on my family values and goal to have children.

More relapse prevention

The beauty of these two areas is that they can give you a real focus and kind of grounding to help you get back on track and work out where you want to go next and what that might look like. You can see what you have got and realise how fortunate you are and then think about the values that you want to guide your life and help think about yourself as a person. See recovery really is that simple… well possibly not but I think this definitely could help. I think the next step for me will be to think about my gratitude for my body and then perhaps tie all these into my positive data log and positive qualities work… all for another day!

My self-critical voice is looking at this post with an air of despair at the quality of my writing… and art work at the moment! My anxiety and self-doubt looks at different areas where I could have written better or more coherently or just differently, but my goal for today is to use the ‘good enough’ principle and think… sod it, it’s fine!! My perfectionist nature is trying to stifle me and I want to, for now at least, try and ignore it and post this piece anyway without judgement or regret.

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