Goodbye heartache, hello fear

I make grand statements about myself often. Sometimes they are true, open and real like I strive to be. Other times, they are generalizations, melodramatic gestures. I have labeled myself as a depressed basket case, an enraged hardass, and a trembling coward. I am all of these and none of them. Monday is not the best day to ponder my emotional essence.

Every day, along with the Liturgy of the Hours and the making of my bed, I have been doing cognitive behavior therapy exercises. I am charting my moods and activities daily. I am now charting my thinking about strong moods I have. Patterns are emerging and I am better able to control my emotions. A definite trend is the decrease in my depression–and the increase of my anxiety. Now I don’t think I’m going to break any more pottery or consider taking my life. But fear, nervousness, and anxiety have taken the place of sadness and hopelessness.

I am also reading a book my therapist recommended about relationships. The book, also cognitive behavior therapy based, explores the obstacles we face in romantic relationships. I know what my biggest obstacle is: me. Specifically speaking, my overwhelming fear of rejection. I am so scared of being hurt that I often don’t even try or I try too hard. (I can’t believe I’m writing this! Maybe I’m not so scared after all.) There is a layer of depression in that fear: I am scared I am not likable or lovable. While job stress and the incredible amount of energy it is taking to manage my thinking and moods could be reasons I have heightened anxiety, I am definitely scared of what is happening in terms of my romantic inclinations/desires/hopes.

But it is Monday and I have not done my controlled breathing other than this morning. Pilates should help.

Breathe.

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