What’s Working #21: “my antidepressant”

In a nutshell, the antidepressant I’ve been trying for months now, Wellbutrin, is helping.  A lot.  While it doesn’t completely free me from feelings of anxiety or stress, it does make emotional equilibrium the norm–which means when I do feel either of the former, the difference is noticeable enough to inspire me to action: mindfulness, talking it out, rest, etc.  I’m grateful I bit the bullet–confronted the stigma–and finally gave antidepressants a try.  It’s a beautiful thing to not be tormented with endless ruminating, overwhelm, worry, OR mania. And it’s wonderful to feel greater sexual interest, which Wellbutrin inspires.  Wahoo! 😉  (2/17/14)

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What’s working #20: “Memento mori”

(latest addition to my What’s Working page)

In a nutshell, it is remembering that I will die (how soon, who knows?) and that who I am and what I’ve done in my life will be forgotten (probably sometime within the next 200 years).  What “works” about this morbid thought?  It frees me from the burden of feeling that I have SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO ACCOMPLISH, that I must work to figure out what it is, and that I will never be satisfied with myself until I accomplish that thing.  Memento mori (“Remember death” in Latin) gives me the perspective that I might as well enjoy myself during this one precious life, since my life is not going to matter to anyone else after it’s long gone.  (Ego frowns; Shaunalei breathes easy!)  (6/11/13)

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It IS one’s thoughts that count!

In my last blog post I wrote about the value of being thoughtful, no matter the outcome of the intention. Over the past few weeks I’ve come to realize that, for sustainable emotional and relational strength, I’ve got to actively practice (i.e. do the homework for) thought management—which is another kind of “thoughtfulness.”

So, my thoughtful intention today is to plan for and practice better thinking and better thought-filtering. Here goes . . .

A moment ago I realized that I don’t like the term management. It feels boring, formal, and somewhat harsh. I am not inspired by the phrase “thought management,” so I’ll start my better thinking practice by playing with terms that would suit me better. [Management is still on the brain, apparently.]

Let’s see. Having to work at filtering my thoughts . . . Maybe wrestling with my thoughts? No, too much “fight” in it. Playing with my thoughts? Hmmm. Sounds fun, but would I spend too much time with my negative thoughts? Another possibility: Cooking my thoughts—meaning, selecting only healthy ingredients [thoughts] to stir and simmer together for my mental stew, being very careful to dispose of toxic additives [fear for the future] and preservatives [limiting beliefs based on past perceived failures]. That might work, but is it a fitting metaphor? Why would I have additives and preservatives in hand [in mind] in my kitchen? Maybe that’s the point—to realize what’s in the ingredients I’ve been cooking [thinking] with! But talking about the presence of toxins is “scary.” I want something more inspiring, elevating, encouraging.

I know I’m a visual learner, so maybe thought mapping would inspire me. I think I’ll work at designing flow charts to map my thoughts after an upsetting situation—so that I don’t spiral down into an emotional abyss. Watch for them soon!

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