[May 2013] Reframing Negative Thoughts

After yesterday’s party, I woke up today with an aching throat. I could hardly swallow. I went back to sleep and got out of bed at 1 am, with slight remorse about letting the hours slip out of my hands. On top of that, I didn’t do anything at work yesterday so that the remorse might be for that too. I prepared breakfast with tea, in the meantime watching a supposed-to-be-funny project-management parody about failed and fucked-up projects, stressed out project managers and developers. It was supposed to be entertaining – and it was indeed -, but it had a very different impact on me.

I imagined being one of those project managers. I felt the stifling feeling caused by carrying those impossible responsibilities for long months. I imagined myself standing in front of the steering committee, getting one question after the other, wanting to escape, to be somewhere else far away. I saw myself getting overwhelmed and weak, I felt my head buzzing, I saw the world getting blurry, to finally have a complete black-out. I felt I wouldn’t ever be able to perform at the highest level.

I tried to do the same exercise my therapist gives me every time: where is the cognitive distortion in this envisioned thought-flow? I guess the error is mostly that I still don’t feel like I used to be, but it doesn’t mean I won’t ever get back to full power, waiting for challenges to come. The other thing is that I shouldn’t carry everybody’s problems, and I don’t have to suffer together with everybody. Right now I have bad memories about stories of work-related stress because I was in such a situation not so long ago, but this state is fleeting, and good memories are going to replace the bad ones.

 

So how should I reframe the defective thoughts? Well, not much time has passed since my struggles with my father’s death, so it is very natural that I have the hard old thoughts and feelings when I see some difficult challenges. These feelings have calmed down a bit by now, and it is going to move in this direction later on hopefully. Right now I don’t want any big challenges, but this will surely change, at least I don’t have any reason to assume that I won’t ever be able to perform at a high level. The last few months are just temporary difficulties in my life, so I mustn’t project it for the rest of my life.

 

 

 

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