Day 1

My day was a mixed bag. I talked myself into teaching reading too. Oops! Other staff were very helpful. I’ve noticed some behavioral issues and academic problems. Somehow they stopped Writing in the afternoon. I told them after Recess that we were going to start Writing again. It did not go well. I anticipated behaviors over it and no one did anything wrong. So, I’m not entirely sure why I want to cut or binge/purge and I’m not sure of the identity of my current emotion. I suppose in hindsight I see things I could’ve done differently. Those differences may or may not have altered the outcome of the situation. For example, telling Ginny to come back to the room or reminding the kids that they didn’t have to work. They can say no thanks. We won’t force them to work, but that means they won’t earn their work check. My coworker said some of that, but I didn’t know because I was out of the room when he said it and I didn’t want to step on his toes or inflame the situation. Maybe I’m reproaching myself for those slight errors? It could’ve been worse and it could’ve been better.

I’m frustrated with myself for agreeing to do more work! Damn people pleasing and genuine annoyance at the lack of academic rigor. If my boss wants changes to Reading, she should ask the classroom supervisor in charge of Reading to change things. Although, I’d much rather teach Reading to everyone, than Science, History, and Writing. Granted, my boss said, “That won’t be any extra work, right? All you have to do is get library books and model elements of a story, etc.” I nodded in response. I failed.

 

Edit: I’m alternating between looking up how to teach paragraph structure to 7th graders, sleeping, researching state standards for 4th grade History, and binging. I haven’t purged or studied so far. I need to do both. I got my lowest grade so far on a test. 90. 😦 *sigh* I don’t think I can teach. I can read out of a book like Ashley does for History, but I don’t think I can let it go at that. Also, I don’t actually know how to teach someone to write an essay. On the bright side, I haven’t cut or whined to Ginny, or anyone else…yet.

Edit 2: Maybe I should go over the expectations (which aren’t actually different, but co-workers rarely followed through) in the morning. You earn break by earning all 3 checks. You’re responsible for earning checks. To earn your Do You Work check…

Edit 3: Since I talked myself into teaching Reading, maybe we could switch Reading and Writing. As of now, Writing is at the end of the day. There is no incentive to work because after class is over, they have one break and then they go home. We could also make Writing follow through to the next day if you have a behavior (other than sitting quietly and safely, but refusing to work). We could also change the contingency. If you complete your writing assignment and earn all your checks, you get a token, if you earn 5 tokens, you can exchange them for a 5 minute break card, which you can use at any point during the next week (if you’ve had a safe body that day, if you’re unsafe you can’t use your extra break card that day). Or If you complete your Writing, respectfully review it with staff and make any needed changes, you can go on break early.

Advertisements

Catch, Challenge, Change

numbing-pain-for-a-while-makes-it-worse-when-u-feel-it

I found a way to help myself fight negative thoughts! During inpatient treatment, one of the coping skills we learned was “CCC – Catch it, Challenge it, Change it.” The idea is identifying (catching) the negative disordered thought, challenging it, and then changing the thought to a positive one. It never seemed to work for me. However, I’m trying a more in depth version.

We write social stories for the kids. They’re stories that explain the appropriate way to act in a given social situation. For example, “When I am frustrated with work, I can ask for help. I cannot hit.”

I wrote my own social stories. It seems to help solidify the argument against my negative thoughts. We write much simpler ones for the kids!

So far, I have 2. One is about spending time with friends and one is about control.

1. Sometimes my friends are busy. Other times they may prefer a different activity or miss spending time with someone else. This does not mean my friends dislike me.

Sometimes I want to be alone. Other times I prefer watching a movie with Madison or going to lunch with Jessica. It doesn’t mean I am less of a friend to either one.

Hurting myself won’t change the situation. I can be happy my friends are having fun. I can ask my friend to hang out later. Even when I use my words to ask my friends to hang out, they might be busy. I can say, “Ok. I’d love to hang out some other time.”

Using behaviors won’t take the loneliness or jealousy away. It also won’t change anyone’s plans. In fact, using behaviors when I am upset with my friends could make them unhappy and then they might withdraw from me.

2. If someone else did what I did, would I be mad at them? If I would be mad at them, would I think they deserve to be starved, hit, stabbed, or burned?

Will what I say or do create positive change? Will it help the situation?

Will what I say or do hurt someone else or make them upset?

Do I control the situation?

When I am upset I can use my words to say I am upset. Using my words to show I am upset is a good thing. No one knows what I am trying to say with an unsafe body, but they can understand why I am upset when I use my words. My family and friends are happy when I use my words to name emotions.

I need to use my words to create change. Hurting myself solves no problems. I also have to realize I can’t control everything. Things will happen that I disagree with. It is okay for me to disagree with people. And it is okay for others to disagree with me. People do not think I am stupid or dislike me just because they disagree with me. It is not okay to hurt myself, talk to friends about hurting myself, or complain/ whine to anyone.

It is okay to calmly, logically, and privately talk to the person I disagree with. I can do this instead of hurting myself, talking to friends about hurting myself, or whining. If someone continues disagreeing with me, that is OKAY too! I can say, “Thanks for hearing me out.” and feel proud of myself for using my words, staying safe, and being nice.

Sometimes even when I use my words as well as possible, the change I’m seeking may not happen or I will still feel upset. It is okay to feel upset when I don’t get my way! If my words don’t work, behaviors won’t work either!!! Therefore, I cannot use behaviors or talking about behaviors to change people’s feelings or minds. I can do my best to SAY my thoughts and feelings.

When people don’t react the way I want them to, I am allowed to feel unhappy. I am not allowed to hurt myself, talk to others about hurting myself, or talk to affiliated 3rd parties about my concerns.

I am proud of myself when I use my words to name thoughts and feelings. My family and friends are proud of me too. I need to accept that I can’t control others’ thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Using my words gives me the best chance of getting what I want and feeling happy.

Feeling won’t kill me, but behaviors might. Hurting myself won’t make up for anything I did wrong. When I am upset and I’ve tried using my words to express myself, I am allowed to feel upset. I can let myself FEEL. Healing takes feeling.

Some days I might be too upset to sit with my feelings or I might make mistakes and complain or be unsafe. That is okay; I am human. I still need to stay safe and do the next right thing!! On those days, I can either distract myself until the emotion is manageable or release my feelings in a safe, kind way. I can safely, kindly release emotions by: Head banging on a pillow, talking to someone who isn’t involved, ripping putty, throwing a stress ball against the wall, or running. When I am calm, I can problem solve and process.

 

 

In other news: Ginny was around during half of lunch. I brought nothing today. Therefore, I didn’t have anything to grab and eat like I did the other day. I feel guilty about that because I promised I wouldn’t use behaviors in front of her. On the other hand, she was only there half of the time. She wasn’t eating lunch. I wrote the first social story when I heard she went to grab food with Iris. I felt jealous and angry because (FOR ONCE) she wasn’t working during 2nd lunch, but she didn’t eat with my boss and I. I hope my restricting doesn’t discourage her from hanging out during 2nd lunch. Maybe she thinks I ate before she got there…

I want to send these social stories to Ginny, but she wants to minimize talk about disordered things and behavior. So, even though I think she’d appreciate them and maybe think they show maturity or growth, I’ll settle for posting them here.

Happiness is Studying. WHAT?!

kids-need-love
You know you picked the right field when studying is fun and you buy the optional reading material, not necessarily because you want clarification on terms, but because you’re curious and want to know everything possible about the subject.

Alternatives to Self-Injury and ED

one-dayh-you-will-be-better-at-coping-on-day-you-wont-have-to-self-destruct

I made a chart to try to help myself think of things I can instead of eating disorder or self-injury behaviors. I’m not done with this chart. I still need to add antecedents (the specific event that causes behavior, Ex. my friend criticizes my clothes) and setting events (any physical, social, environmental, or physiological event that increases the likelihood an antecedent will trigger behavior, Ex. having a cold, being in a crowded room, feeling overheated).

However, I finished the function of behaviors (what the behavior does for me) and replacement behaviors (things I can do instead of ED or SI) sections of my chart. It is still important to identify the setting events and antecedents because that can help me use coping skills before I start feeling upset.

 

What coping skills or replacement behaviors help you? Do you have any thoughts on what I wrote? Thanks!

 

Setting Event Antecedent Function Replacement Behavior
    Concern/ caring from others ???
    Pushing people away Just stop talking to them, depression makes you do that anyway. Plus, people seem to drift away even when you don’t want them to. Therefore, you don’t need behaviors to separate the wheat from the chaff. What you really mean is testing loyalty. You want to see who stays, but those who aren’t true friends will eventually leave anyway, why torture yourself to test the people who love you?
    Keeping others close Make an effort to do specific things with people you care about at regular intervals, show them you care, basically, be a friend to have friends
    Distraction This is similar to the boredom ideas, but use things that specifically take your mind away like reading or a movie or an opposite emotion (ex. Comedy) TV show.
    Self-punishment/ Guilt ???
    Expressing anger ???
    Self-esteem Measurable success is part of self-esteem. However, there are other reasons. One way ED, SI, and BDSM give me self-esteem is that I can endure things that are considered torture by civilized societies (starvation, whipping, cutting, burning, and stress positions). This also ties into strength and power. Part of the issue is I KNOW I am good at these things. Ever since I was little my parents remarked on my pain tolerance. My dad and I used to play games to see who (my brother or I) could withstand pain or cold the longest. One time I passed out. Another time, I started bleeding. I KNOW I am good at weight loss. I don’t know if I’m good at anything else.
    Measurable success Lots of things are measurable! How fast or far you can run, how much weight you can lift, etc. Don’t use things that are dependent on others’ evaluation like grades in school or performance evaluations at work. Those aren’t objective.
    Emotional stability Work on emotional regulation techniques in DBT workbook? However, behaviors are more effective because I don’t have to feel things as strongly in the first place! Emotional regulation requires experiencing the full force of my emotion and dealing with them better. With ED especially, I don’t have to feel in the first place. Restricting blunts all my emotions. How can healthy emotional regulation be preferable?
    Strength/ Power/ Control (superiority to others) Most of the time, I feel weak and pathetic. When I use behaviors or endure pain to give someone else pleasure, I show strength and willpower and self-control. Exercising through pain or to exhaustion might have the same effect.
    Alleviates Boredom Incorporate fun things into your daily life, so boredom isn’t a problem. Relearn knitting, horseback riding, reading, etc.
    Alleviates Loneliness Do things on a regular basis with friends. Try meetup.com, go to classes like art classes at Michaels, go to support groups. However, this requires more effort then behaviors. I KNOW behaviors. Also, how do I know anything other than the first idea will actually work? I don’t, but I guess I should try. I lose nothing by trying. I can’t do things on a regular basis with friends because they don’t actually want to do anything with me. I try to set things up and it never works out.
       

 

School is Scary

if you can't beat fear then just do it scared.jpg

Oh my God! I forgot how stressful school is.

All this information is overwhelming. I’m anxious and afraid of failure. I’m scared I can’t hack it. So far, I already know all the concepts they’re teaching. However, getting used to this format and the workload (5 hours of video to watch, reviewing a PowerPoint presentation, 3 chapters in a textbook, and reading response questions) is daunting.

BCBA Course Starts Today

Oh man, I want to cut so badly right now. My class starts in a few hours. Thankfully I got into the website! However, I’m still anxious. Terrified might be a better word to describe my emotional state. I’m hot and my heart is skipping beats.

I need to do this in order to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and if I run away now, I probably won’t try school again.

I believe part of my anxiety stems from unfamiliarity. I’ve never taken a completely online class before. I hope I can do this. I have to do this!

Already Failing Class

NO NO NONONONONO!!!!!!!!

I can’t log in to my online class!! I reset the password and I STILL can’t login!! It starts tomorrow. I haz all the urges

entry-sequence_serenity_malexplode_serenity_mal

Maybe the universe is telling me I am too weak to handle school. Perhaps I should withdraw and give up on grad school. FML.