The Challenges of Changing Core Beliefs

frogthroat

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sure there are other discussions on this but I want to talk about my personal situation.
Recently, I've been accepting that my view of reality is warped. Even though everything isn't sunshine and rainbows it isn't a portrait of absolute depravity either.
I've gotten myself into such a pickle that my therapy goals are "wash a dish" or "fold a towel." I'm grappling with the fact that even though the first 25 years of life was nothing but violence, survival, and suffering that it doesn't have to be the case now. In fact, I could change my neuroplasticity to some degree my using various coping mechanisms and then...support. That's down the line. I've isolated myself for so many years I feel like an alien.
I've started doing things again and frankly I'm pissed about it (when will the world apologize? lol).
I feel this rage and this horrible emptiness. It's this terrible restlessness. I think this is why I've never been consistent with coping mechanisms. There's this urge to self-destruct to find some cop-out. I feel this strange, existential fear like never before. Everything almost burns. It hurts so bad. Every part of me wants to give up therapy and medication because of cold feet. I never want to commit to anything including my own health. I'm so angry at myself. I'm so angry at the world, angry that I'm here like a brooding teenager.
Tell me does this stage pass the more you practice various skills and ways of thinking? I'm sure it takes awhile. I have decades of pessimism to undo.
Also, does anyone have any advice on how to set realistic expectations and goals? I'm floundering. It's like my world is crumbling around me and I feel helpless.
Generally, I realize this is progress to admit not everything I feel is true. I always understood that on a logical level but at an emotional level...oh boy. Better late then never though.
 
this was really validating to read honestly. i've been in that place and i'm just now starting to come out of it. i still feel like an alien. and the restlessness, and the rage, and the emptiness. the burn. but not nearly as often. someone further away from this stage might be able to give more advice, but you're so right when you say that admitting all of this is progress. i've known a lot of people who never make it to this stage. it's really incredible that you're here. and emphatically yes, the more you practice a new way of being the more natural it will become. repetition is key to programming/reprogramming the brain, for better or for worse. i've been working at it on and off for years, the past year in particular since i started processing my life, and i still have a ways to go but i am definitely a different person now.

here are a couple little things that have been working for me in terms of goals and expectations:

- fluid routines. my condition fluctuates daily, hourly, by the minute sometimes. so, i have routines of varying intensity for days of low, mid, and high capabilities. for example, ideally i want to floss, brush, mouthwash, and do my whole skincare routine before bed. that requires high capability. and if i'm having a day where i just can't do all of that, i'll skip it entirely. to get around that, i have a mid routine where i just brush my teeth and wash/moisturize my face. if that still sounds like too much, i just rinse my face with water and swish around some mouthwash. not ideal, but better than nothing, and it keeps me in the habit. sometimes all you can do is rinse with mouthwash. or just stand over the sink. sometimes it's like that for weeks. it can be frustrating, but you deserve to honor your condition and embrace yourself with acceptance, even when you skip the sink entirely and just go to bed.

- menus instead of to-do lists. there are lots of approaches to this tactic, but i make a little menu of everything i could do that day, and if it's a task or chore i might include how long it will take. i also like to color code everything into categories, like chores, work, play/rest, healing work. and then i get to say, "what will i choose to do today?" and i might set a daily goal like "check off one thing from the chore category" or "pick at least two restful activities." treating work, chores, play, and healing as equals has also helped me a lot.


thank you for sharing. it's tough because there's so much pain to get through, and letting yourself feel that and move through it with acceptance and compassion is one of the hardest things to do. but it's possible, and it gets easier. anyway i hope this helped a little; good luck to you!
 
I'm sure there are other discussions on this but I want to talk about my personal situation.
Recently, I've been accepting that my view of reality is warped. Even though everything isn't sunshine and rainbows it isn't a portrait of absolute depravity either.
I've gotten myself into such a pickle that my therapy goals are "wash a dish" or "fold a towel." I'm grappling with the fact that even though the first 25 years of life was nothing but violence, survival, and suffering that it doesn't have to be the case now. In fact, I could change my neuroplasticity to some degree my using various coping mechanisms and then...support. That's down the line. I've isolated myself for so many years I feel like an alien.
I've started doing things again and frankly I'm pissed about it (when will the world apologize? lol).
I feel this rage and this horrible emptiness. It's this terrible restlessness. I think this is why I've never been consistent with coping mechanisms. There's this urge to self-destruct to find some cop-out. I feel this strange, existential fear like never before. Everything almost burns. It hurts so bad. Every part of me wants to give up therapy and medication because of cold feet. I never want to commit to anything including my own health. I'm so angry at myself. I'm so angry at the world, angry that I'm here like a brooding teenager.
Tell me does this stage pass the more you practice various skills and ways of thinking? I'm sure it takes awhile. I have decades of pessimism to undo.
Also, does anyone have any advice on how to set realistic expectations and goals? I'm floundering. It's like my world is crumbling around me and I feel helpless.
Generally, I realize this is progress to admit not everything I feel is true. I always understood that on a logical level but at an emotional level...oh boy. Better late then never though.
You are experiencing Normal symptoms and must feel like your out of place but that is the norm.it took me a long time to believe everything was ok.i always found the most comfort in Isolation cause it was the safest place to not get triggered. Hopelessness is also something I struggle with.overwhelming feelings that required me to understand the process to endure till these get less and less of a charge.please know you are not alone,these things take a long time to heal.the more you expose the triggers the better you are to react.The best to you.
 
fluid routines. my condition fluctuates daily, hourly, by the minute sometimes. so, i have routines of varying intensity for days of low, mid, and high capabilities. for example,
This is a great idea! I'm terrible with routines and I never follow through. You explained that well. That's something I can actually do.
menus instead of to-do lists. there are lots of approaches to this tactic, but i make a little menu of everything i could do that day, and if it's a task or chore i might include how long it will take. i also like to color code everything into categories, like chores, work, play/rest, healing work. and then i get to say, "what will i choose to do today?" and i might set a daily goal like "check off one thing from the chore category" or "pick at least two restful activities." treating work, chores, play, and healing as equals has also helped me a lot.
I've never heard of this but this is also a great idea. Instead of trying to do everything I need to do I just need to start doing things again.


thank you for sharing. it's tough because there's so much pain to get through, and letting yourself feel that and move through it with acceptance and compassion is one of the hardest things to do. but it's possible, and it gets easier. anyway i hope this helped a little; good luck to you!
Thank you for responding! It feels good that you know what I meant. I think I have alot of work to get where you're at but I don't feel so hopeless about it now. Good luck to you too!
 
It's all the same. I learned before my PTSD went crazy how to make changes in core beliefs.

I play golf and i really wanted to hold a single digit handicap. So how to get there? I read some books by one of the top sports psychologists. One of the things he talked about resonated big time and it was about people shooting the score they believed they would shoot. Crazy as it seems no matter how much they wanted better - whether they had a good or bad round they shot the same score.

It was a core belief that that's how good they were was to shoot X score.

Change requires two things - permission to change. Yup, we get so conditioned by ourselves "that's how it is for me" we can't change. So we need to give ourselves permission to change - to tell ourselves that's not what we want anymore - we want X instead.

Then we need constant work at changing things. I have two notebooks now - one with all the golf stuff I wanted to change and one with my PTSD stuff. Filled with statments - all positive - of the change I want to see in me. I read them all the time....it's like programming a computer. Keep telling it what you want and you will get it sooner or later.
 
Not sure if this will help, but here it is for what it's worth.

Redefining (or, perhaps, rediscovering) the relation between myself and "things", events, or people seems to help me.

The front door is not the portal the bad guys use to "get" me. It's a door. I use it when I want to enter or leave my home.

My "home" is not the place where I wait to die. It's where I live some of life and store "stuff."

My "stuff" is not "me." My stuff is an accumulation of "things" that serve a purpose, but when those things no longer serve a purpose I don't need to remain attached to them.

It's not fun and it feels basackwards, but it helps me reset instances of panic.

Good luck with it.
 
Everything almost burns.
I have this thing, when I’ve either shut my emotions off entirely, or have gear-shifted into cold/hard (where only the most extreme of emotions even flicker/flutter/register at all) … and I’ve decided I WANT to feel, again… that I can really only describe visually.

It’s like I’m a stone, sailing through clear skies, over a sea of fire.

So I drop down, BURN, pop back up.
Drop down, BURN, pop back up.

Now a skipping stone across a sea of fire.

Eventually? I just DROP. Stubborness, maybe. Exhaustion, maybe. Something. Basically I just decide to take the plunge.

All there is? Is firestorm. 🔥RAGE🔥 Pure, unadulterated, sourceless rage; roiling over me, & through me, from every direction. Every cell in my body, thought in my mind, feeling in my heart? Is on f*cking fire.

…and then?…

It’s just gone.

Poof. Like magic. From one breath to the next.

And I’m in a prism/rainbow full of an impossible number of colors. Clear, clean, pure, vibrant, energizing, passionate. NOT all happy emotions, but ALL emotions. Including maybe a 1,000 different kinds of anger, including rage, amongst the 10,000 or 100,000 or 1,000,000 other colors/ thoughts/ feelings. Without any kind of overwhelm, like the infinite creates simplicity, somehow? Or a bigger hard drive means all programs run faster/smoother?

But??? I HAVE to pass through the firestorm to get there.

Each and every single time.

Tell me does this stage pass the more you practice various skills and ways of thinking?
Yep.

And I never know how long it’s going to last. It could be days or months.

I just know it’s worth it.

Even then? I DO tend to skip like a stone across the surface of it for awhile before I’m willing to plunge through the fire, on purpose.

It’s the only reason I don’t shut my emotions off more frequently. The cost of getting them back? Is BRUTAL. Worth it, absolutely, but brutal.
 
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