Crying again

I’m so emotional at the moment. I seem to cry at everything. Happy or sad. All of the emotions are just very strong at the moment.

Ever since the night before my birthday, finding out that the ex is having a baby with his new girlfriend, I’ve been really unsettled.

And then there was more revision and an exam to do, my concentration was terrible again and I felt like a lot of the progress had just disappeared.

This week’s CBT was really hard and involved a lot of crying.

And then today I don’t know why but I got so upset. I started thinking I don’t want to go to Germany, that I can’t do it, that I’m not good enough. How am I going to stand up in front of a class and teach when I can’t talk in front of people, and my German is terrible. I’m just so worried.

I’m really doubting myself again at the moment and hating myself (again). I am getting paranoid about S leaving me, even though I have no reason to. I’m questioning everything and I just don’t feel strong enough to deal with everything that’s going on. I would quite like to hibernate for a while until I feel strong again, but life doesn’t have time for that.

It’s horrible when things have been so much better recently and then things feel worse again.

Well at least tomorrow should be a good day. I am going to Manchester to shop with footballer and another friend. I am feeling a bit anxious though, because it will probably be busy. And there’s a load of upset in the house because of next year’s housing situation which got all complicated so I hope that won’t ruin the day. Footballer thinks she doesn’t have any friends here and no one cares about her but that’s just not true. I wish she could see that. (Yes, I know… massive hypocrite!)

But to end this post on a happier note, I would like to show you the most recent thing to make me cry. And yes, I’ll admit that I’m pathetic crying at Britain’s got talent, but for some reason I found this video very moving! (If you watch to the end you might see what I mean!)

I’m quite interested to see what they are going to do tomorrow in the semi-final!

CBT and climbing

Today’s CBT was difficult. Really difficult. I’m going to write another post about the difficult bit (probably will use a password again for that post.) I cried for literally nearly the whole hour. I think we ran over a bit too, too much crying (oops).

My homework for next week (Monday!) is to do some “experiments” on myself. I have to consciously aim to give something 75 or 80% (instead of 100%) and see what happens. What I expect I will feel, and then what I actually feel afterwards.

But I couldn’t understand the concept really. She said about giving 75%, and I was confused. I said, I don’t get it… why would anyone ever not try their best? What’s the point in doing something if it’s not to the best of your ability? Surely you should always aim to get as close to 100% as possible? I think I was missing the point entirely. She just wants me to try it, to prove that the world isn’t going to end, that it doesn’t make me a failure.

Well, I’ll give it a go anyway.

And then I went climbing after my CBT session. Today was quite a nice day, so I had a nice walk through the park and down to the bus stop to get the bus to uni (where the climbing wall is).

I met my climbing partner (owl) there and we went bouldering for a bit. My hands are falling to pieces, literally. S says it’s because I have soft hands so they get damaged easily. I ended up with a painful bit of skin peeling off one hand (sorry for too much info!) and had to put a plaster on it. I’m hoping in time my hands will become more resistant, because at the moment everytime I climb I end up tearing my hands to shreds! My head of year for Psychology was there (climbing too) and he helped me with one of the routes I had been stuck on for a while, so that was good.

And then we put our harnesses on and started roped climbing. We decided to do an easyish route to start with, but I was really struggling. I felt really weak and quite anxious. I managed to do it though, and then Owl climbed the same route (in less than half the time!)

Then we moved onto another one that was a bit harder. I’ve done it before so I know I can physically do it. But half way up I just started feeling really funny. Really anxious and shaky and emotional. And keeping my CBT in mind, I asked to come down. I didn’t push myself to finish it because I was feeling weird. Maybe if I had given it 100% I could’ve finished it anyway, but today I didn’t, and giving it 75%, I couldn’t do it today. I needed to get down.

I think climbing straight after CBT was definitely a mistake and I won’t do it again in future. Especially with today’s session being really emotional, I think it was all too much. I didn’t have the mental capacity to concentrate and push myself on climbing, and it had brought the anxiety levels up so I didn’t trust myself to try moves I probably could have done (on the bouldering) and couldn’t get myself to climb routes that I’ve done before.

So maybe even though I could consider today’s climbing as a bit of a failure, it was actually a good thing. I let myself off instead of pushing myself too hard. And this evening I went out for dinner with friends and then watched TV with housemates and it was nice. I had a good evening and I enjoyed myself, and it doesn’t matter that I didn’t climb much today because I don’t need to get everything right 100% of the time… how’s that for progress A? 😛

And now it’s very late, so definitely time for some sleep!

Good night,

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx

What’s in a name?

Daily Prompt:

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

My real first name is something I am almost never called. My parents and everyone else have always called me the shortened version of my name. (It’s like if my name were Eleanor, but everyone calls me Ellie.)

I’ve asked my parents why they chose my name, and got a very boring answer. My mum said “your dad liked it.” No story behind it, nothing! And my middle name was chosen because my mum had a lot of friends with that name (not sure if this is true or a joke*).

As for my name here (Ellie) it was used by a certain blogging friend and then it caught on, so I kept it. Ellie the elephant fits quite well, as I originally started the blog as “anxious elephant”. And anyway, I really like the name Ellie. I think if I ever have a daughter I would like to call her Ellie, maybe. 

If I had the choice to have a different name, I’m not sure what I’d pick really! I would feel strange using a different name! It’s not really about the name though is it? It’s more about who you are; whether I’m using my real name or Ellie, I’m still me. 

Lots of love,

Ellie 🙂

xxx

*That this is the reason, not that my mum had a lot of friends with that name, she did/does!

Today is one of those days where hiding

Today is one of those days where hiding under my duvet seems like the most appealing thing to do. I am tired, aching (from climbing) and feeling pretty down. And I woke up with a migraine today (again), it’s gone now but they always leave me feeling exhausted.

My last exam is tomorrow and I don’t even have the motivation to revise. Even though this is potentially the most important exam – I need to know German because I’m about to move to Germany! 

I just feel really down and empty. I want to talk to S but I can’t because he’s at work. I can’t even call my parents because they are on holiday (in my favourite place ever, might I add!) 

I just don’t feel like doing anything at all, least of all revision.

There comes a point when I’m reading through my notes and thinking why the hell didn’t I try and learn this as I went along?! I think that’s a common thing for a student to think, we all do it every year, and every year we say “next year I’ll learn it as I go along”, and then next year comes along and we do the same thing again…

But with a language it’s important to learn as you go along. There’s no point in trying to learn a year’s worth of vocab and grammar now… that’s just not going to happen. All I can do now is hope that I know more than I think I know, and that somehow it will come back to me in the exam. It’s times like this that I question why the hell I am studying a language at university, and it’s times likes this when I realise how little work I did this year, and how terrible I felt for most of the year (which meant I did probably less than the bare minimum.)

Now I really must get back to revision, and cram some more information into my tired brain.

(Sorry about the repetitive moaning about revision – Tomorrow evening I will have finished exams so you won’t have to read my moaning about revision for quite a while!)

Lots of love,

Ellie xxx 

I love you through sparks and shining dragons, I do

For some reason I keep getting this song in my head at the moment.

My favourite line is

I love you through sparks and shining dragons, I do

Not sure why, maybe because it doesn’t really make sense. I think it’s nice imagery.

And it has a happy ending, which is always nice 🙂

You got me off the sofa
Just sprang out of the air
The best things come from nowhere
I can’t believe you care

Yes, I believe you
Yes, I believe you
Yes, I believe you

Painful hands and procrastination

My hands hurt, that is all I have to say really. I just got back from climbing with Owl, and although I enjoy climbing, today was not great!

I couldn’t do the route I was trying to do, my hands are in agony and I’m tired. But it was a pretty good workout. We spent a bit longer bouldering than usual, and tried some harder routes. That’s probably why I couldn’t do the route I was trying in top-roping (hands were already hurting after bouldering!), but it’s still frustrating. 

Today I haven’t managed to get much work done either. Did a bit of German grammar this morning (what could be more exciting?!) but I really need to get into proper revision mode… the exam is on Tuesday!! What am I doing going rockclimbing this close to an exam?!

Since S left I have been feeling pretty down and my concentration is worse again. A couple of days ago the anxiety really kicked in (again), I was hiding in my bed for most of the day and I was really freaked out (haven’t worked out why though) but that seems to have subsided (at least for now.) I keep putting myself down, and usually I feel a sense of accomplishment after climbing which helps with motivation, but today I didn’t manage to complete the route so I feel like a bit of a failure. (Even though I know it was a hard route, and it was only the 2nd time of trying a route of that grade!) 

In other news, I have come to the conclusion that nice nails do not go with climbing. I painted my nails on Friday before I went out. Owl bought me a magnetic nail varnish for my birthday that makes a cool pattern so I used that. Now (Sunday) after climbing they are ruined… It’s to be expected. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to do them again now… (More procrastination! Wait until after the exam!!)

Sorry for the boring update, but I don’t really have much else to say at present. (Just having a little moan really!) After Tuesday when I have finished my exam I will have to start focusing on my CBT stuff… I’m sure I’ll have plenty to blog about then!!

Talking of after exams, I’m going to have to start planning my dissertation! I am doing some research into how EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitation and Reprocessing – A type of therapy often used to treat PTSD) works. Has anyone tried EMDR? And if so, how did you find it? (Would be interested to know if anyone feels like they want to tell me about it)

Negative thought patterns

I wonder whether I will ever be happy with myself.

My housemate said “you’re so negative.”

She’s right I am. It’s not like I choose to be though. I can’t help all the “what ifs” that pop into my head, the paranoia that no one really cares. I don’t do it on purpose, but I put up barriers, making everything harder. I don’t know why, I don’t know how.

If I ever treated anyone else the way I treat myself, I would not be considered a nice person. Sometimes I will berate myself over something, but in a very similar situation involving someone else, I will offer support, tell them it’s not their fault. From a psychology point of view (because I’m not studying for nothing!) I see myself a lot in what we learned about attribution styles. I tend to have an internal attribution style for bad things relating to me – if I fail an exam, it’s because I’m useless. Yet, for others I have an external attribution style for negative events – if a friend fails an exam I will say maybe the exam was just too hard, or maybe you had a bad day (not your fault – everyone has bad days sometimes.*) Then when it comes to positive things, I’m the opposite – if someone else succeeds at something it’s because they are clever, they worked hard, they deserved it! (Internal attribution) but if it’s something positive relating to me, I must have been lucky – the exam was easy, or it was because of the situation that I did well (external attribution.)

It’s strange when I see psychological concepts in real life. I wrote an essay about attribution for my social psychology module. And it turns out I’m not unusual in my attribution style – it’s common for people with depression to have a negative attribution style. I suppose it’s to be expected. We teach ourselves that everything we do is wrong and that nothing we could ever do will ever be good enough, and will never be as good as what others can do.

Yet EVEN THOUGH I know the psychology behind it, and EVEN THOUGH I know it’s a distorted way of thinking, I can’t seem to stop myself doing it.

I have a need to succeed, but when I do I never give myself the credit for it. For example, I recently got back my last lab report, it’s only worth 5% of the module, but somehow I got an A+. My first response: they were being a nice marker. Or it was an easy lab report because it was about format not content. EVERYONE probably got an A+**. And it doesn’t matter anyway, because it’s only 5%…

I don’t even know what I’m trying to prove, or who I’m trying to prove it to. Maybe I’m trying to show everyone that I’m not nothing. Maybe I want to prove that the ex was wrong about me. Maybe I want perfection because I think it will make me happy? 

I always thought a perfectionist would want perfection in everything. In themselves, other people, everything they do. I don’t, but A said it is perfectionism. I always see the best in other people, but the worst in myself. I don’t care about mess or if other people make mistakes. It’s only when I make mistakes that I can’t handle it. And it’s mostly about academic stuff, it’s like if I don’t succeed then I’m proving everyone who ever doubted me right. 

This reminded me of a conversation I had with A a long time ago. We were talking about uni and how I felt that I really need to get a 1st. I said I want to show that the ex was wrong about me, to prove that I’m not useless, that I can succeed – that I am good enough. And she said, “Wouldn’t it be succeeding if you got a 2:1?” And that stopped me in my tracks.

Of course that still counts as success. And if anyone else got a 2:1 I would be congratulating them. I know at 2:1 is a really good mark, I know it’s something to be proud of. And yet there would be this part in my brain saying “See, I told you that you couldn’t do it.” I think it has a lot to do with my parents always pushing me to do well in school*** and the school I went to, that was driven purely by exams. A school where getting an A is a bad thing (you need an A*) and where I learned that everyone gets As/A*s all the time. It wasn’t until I had left the school that I realised that is not what the rest of the world is like. Not everyone succeeds all the time, in fact most people don’t succeed all the time. We are human, not robots, we make mistakes, we have strengths and weaknesses, and that should be ok. It’s normal…

Sometimes it’s like an internal battle in my mind. I feel like shouting at myself: WHY can’t you just be happy for yourself that you wrote a good lab report?! WHY do you have to put yourself down all the time?! And the other side is just telling me I don’t deserve it, I’m useless, a failure, I’m never going to be good enough.

Bet you can’t guess which side is winning…

*Except me – I mean I do, I just don’t allow that as an excuse for myself.

**This is not true, but it’s the way my mind works.

***This makes them sound horrible. I know they never meant to do any damage, they just wanted what’s best for me, but when you are pushed to do better all the time it takes its toll. And I’ve seen it start to emerge in my brother too, I’ve talked to my parents about it and they’re trying to put less pressure on him now. I don’t want him to turn out like me.

Funny searches

Looking at my stats today, I saw a search term that made me giggle.

Today, 3 views on my blog have come from the search: sex overdose elephant!

What on earth is going on in the world?!

Also, the search that has given me the most views since I started my blog is minion with 264 views!! (As in the cute yellow things from Despicable me!)

Talking of minions, Despicable Me 2 is coming out this summer! I’m excited 😀 (Still a child at heart!)

Anyone else got funny searches?*

*I’m meant to be revising but I’m procrastinating so funny searches seems to be the way forward today!

Fragments of who I am

I’m sick of being the weak one.

I always was. I still am.

I was that kid that always cried in school. The one that was over-sensitive. I learned that I was worth nothing and that was reinforced over and over. I’ll never be good enough for any of you will I?

And they wonder why I have no self-esteem, they wonder why I doubt myself so much.

I wonder whether I was depressed as a child. I can remember going to help out in reception at lunchtime sometimes, because I wanted to get away from the ones who always teased me. But it’s just teasing right?

And people always choose other people over me. I’m sick of being second best. Not even second best, the last alternative.

Feeling pretty low today. Because sitting here and moaning is really going to help me pass my German exam… 

Failure. Disappointment. Lonely. Lost. Scared. Pathetic. Hurt. Anxious. Sad. Broken. Weak. Useless. Fake. Nothing. That’s me.

(Sorry about the fragmented post. It doesn’t make sense)