Quick Thought #21 – Stark Differences in How I Talk To Myself

Quick Thought #21 – Stark Differences in How I Talk To Myself

I failed to notice that the restaurant only offered pickup orders until we sat around, wondering why I hadn’t gotten any notification about our food being on the way. It had been sitting there, getting cold, waiting for us to pick it up for at least 20-25 minutes. We quickly hopped in the car to get it; all the while, I apologized over and over to my wife, berated myself internally for not noticing and screwing up our dinner, etc.

When we got there, I ran inside only to discover that the restaurant only had one meal, not two. Part of the order had gotten cut off, and no one caught it until I got there and asked about the second meal. The manager made things right very quickly, apologizing over and over.

My response?

“No worries, it’s all good. We’ve got our food, and that’s all that matters.”

And then I got back in the car, telling myself that this whole mess could have been avoided if I had handled ordering correctly in the first place.

What is wrong with me?

Social Connections Don’t Solve Everything But They Matter, A Lot

Social Connections Don’t Solve Everything But They Matter, A Lot

On the other hand, when we are struggling, our first instinct is often to not get in touch with someone. It’s to isolate. I suspect that is because we live in a world that has been telling us to be positive. That feeling down shouldn’t be shared, lest we negatively influence our friends and be cut out of their lives. (Good vibes only, am I right?)

That’s not the way any of this is supposed to work.

Anxiety and Depression as Evolutionary Response to Adversity

Anxiety and Depression as Evolutionary Response to Adversity

We evolved to feel depression and anxiety in response to difficult experiences because it serves a purpose. We’ve also evolved to depend on each other as a community. One without the other is going to go poorly for us, and I fear that is exactly where we are now. The large increases in rates of depression and anxiety, not to mention what seems like our complete inability to make a dent in the rates of suicide in the US, might just be because of this imbalance.

So be good to each other, and stay connected to each other. It’s what we need most in times of adversity.

When Trauma Response are Helpful – And When They Aren’t.

When Trauma Response are Helpful – And When They Aren’t.

In the big picture, the thing I know that I need to do is to be aware of when I’m in that mode and act accordingly. There can be some great benefits to hypervigilance and there can be some real downsides. If I’m aware of it, I can scan the environment as necessary without ignoring other important, but not dangerous, bits of information, and watch out for my own overreactions. I can consciously use the skill that I learned as a trauma survivor for my own good without it wrecking my day-to-day life or causing more anxiety.

It’s a tricky line to walk, and I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always do it so well.

Are We Past Stigmatizing Mental Health Issues?

Are We Past Stigmatizing Mental Health Issues?

Nothing tells me that we still have a long way to go when it comes to stigma like learning about a clearly distressed young man getting killed on a subway while other passengers sat and watched. Because his situation was uncomfortable. His manic behavior made them uncomfortable and all of the compassion for other people who struggle with mental health issues went right out the window in this case. This wasn’t a well-put-together person speaking calmly, this was very different. The same core issue – mental health – but different results. One group is acceptable. The other not so much.

That’s stigma.