What’s in your Resilience Toolbox

Throughout this group, you will be introduced to some handy tools that may be able to help you manage the impact of trauma, as well as other stresses that you may face in your life.

  • KNOWLEDGE – You may have heard the saying, “knowledge is power.” Many women are comforted when they learn that how they have responded to the trauma and abuse in their lives is a “normal reaction to abnormal events,” and also that they are not alone in their experiences.
  • AWARENESS OF HOW YOU ARE ALREADY BEING RESILIENT (even if you don’t think you are)
  • SELF-COMPASSION – Being gentle and kind to yourself can contribute a lot to your healing
    • Diaphragmatic breathing
    • Grounding and mindfulness
    • Guided imagery – calm place
    • Containment – of distressing thoughts, emotions, body sensations
    • Monitoring for “thinking traps”
    • Thinking through beliefs and thoughts

i am worthy


Feeling Better

I usually have things to blog about and yet for the moment, my brain is blank lol. I better write that down in my calendar!

Seriously though, I ordered the light I blogged about yesterday and have upped my Vitamin D to 6,000 i.u.  I’m not sure if the Vitamin D works quickly, but I did feel better this morning. Regardless, I will take whatever good days I can get.

I was out and about today, shopping and using coupons, I find that spending the time finding coupons for grocery shopping, although more time consuming I saved over $33 on a bill of $154, I’m pretty impressed with myself! As well, I’m a woman on Disability, so I do all I can to save an extra dollar where I can.

I have a some what busy weekend and am looking forward to seeing what happens.


Mechanical Eating and ED

Toolkit today was about mechanical eating. Honestly, I thought that meant one ate automatically without thinking. Seems it is about learning how to become aware of how to eat in a healthy way from ED. ED likes to sabotage all the time! My group members, like me, expressed and addressed various concerns.

I have various concerns, clearly ED  based. The first asked was how do you know when eating to enjoy is not a binge?  Our facilitator “K” gave us 2 examples:

Subjective Binge: This feels like a binge but doesn’t feel like what a normal person would eat.

Objective Binge: This also feels like a binge but it is excessive.

The emotions often felt are numbness, guilt, frustration, anger.

How do you stop an over eating binge? You stop before the binge beings.

We are all welcome to meet with the dietician, work on a meal plan for what would be healthy for me and see how it goes. I can say that my stomach rolls with knots. I’m afraid to meet with the dietician. I saw the number calculated  for how much I could be eating per day and it scares me. But I’m learning that is ED who is scared, not me.

I’m sure in time I will meet with the dietician, but not now. I struggle with just outing him and the consequences of that and  realizing how ED affects my daily life.


Why Am I Burned Out

Winter is not just hard with the lack of sunshine, it is also very hard with lack of sleep. The pattern for me looks like this lack of sleep means:

Situation —>Thoughts—>Emotions—>Behavior

I make poor choices because of the mid insomnia and therefore my behavior reacts to those choices.

I’ve had my meds altered and there has been improvement, however, the full nights sleep has not. I’ve gone back to Zumba because I love it, however, my obsessions with my body resurface and trying to find a spot to stand where there isn’t a mirror is not always easy.

I have continued to improve my eating, however, I have realized that when I’m tired, I eat sugar based foods. Doing so means I sabotage my weight loss goal and the scale reflects. So if you look above the Situation is I’m tired, the thought is “need something to keep me awake” the emotion is “defeat” the behavior is eating sugary foods (chocolate, ice cream, etc).  It’s a vicious cycle.

Trick is, how do I become balanced?


Biggest Misconception about me

is that I am a snob or that I am anti-social.

Truth be told, I’m actually really shy, I struggle with a mood disorder and I don’t articulate well why I don’t go out much, or that I don’t push myself nearly as much as I could.

How about you? Does your mental illness give others the perception that you are anti social, or a snob? If so, I’d love o hear what you are going through and how you cope with it.


Stinking Thinking

I learned and struggled with something called Thinking, Feeling Behavioral Triangle.

The triangle is designed to break down why you may act out the way you do. So for example I struggled with going to this Tool Kit session today because of the residual scabies rash I have.

My thoughts bounced back between scabies and my feelings (feelings can be Shame, Sadness, Irritable). I realized my feelings are Shame and I didn’t want to to go to this session because of the shame I feel around something I picked up anywhere. The feelings then in turn went to the Behavior which was to isolate. The experience felt is vulnerability. I felt this cycle going around and round inside my head early this morning as I tried to convince myself to NOT go to this session. I was prepared to call my therapist and explain to her why and in all honesty seeking her permission so that I didn’t have to feel bad about not attending. None of that happened. What I found myself telling myself was I had made a commitment to myself and it was important to go. I knew I was safe from infecting anyone, that I had done the medication as prescribed, but it was the emotional feelings I was putting on myself that I was fighting with.

How did I understand this? Well we talked about “Unhelpful Thinking Styles” It is taken from http://www.psychloytools.org. I had hoped to copy and past the document we used today, but unfortunately I can’t. Basically there are 10 styles of unhealthy/helpful thinking.

1. All or nothing thinking (also described as black and white thinking) – If I’m not perfect; I have failed.

2. Mental filter (Only paying attention to certain types of evidence) – Noticing our failures but not seeing our successes.

3. Jumping to conclusions (There are two key types of jumping to conclusions

  • Mind Reading ( imagining we know what others are thinking)
  • Fortune Telling (predicting the future)

4. Emotional Reasoning (Assuming that because we feel a certain way what we think must be true) – I feel embarrassed so I must be an idiot

    One of the descriptions I learned today is emotions guide your thinking. (i.e. emotions may be there at the height of a moment, so your attaching a feeling to it.).

5. Labeling – Assigning labels to ourselves or other people

  • I’m a loser
  • I’m completely useless
  • They’re such an idiot

When those thoughts above happen, challenge those words. Find different words to use (dig out a thesaurus)

This takes a lot of time to work through.

6. Over-generalizing “everything is always rubbish” “nothing good ever happens” (Seeing a pattern based upon a single event or being overly broad in the conclusions we draw.

7. Disqualifying the positive – Discounting the good things that have happened or that you have done for some reason or another. That doesn’t count.

8. Magnification (catastrophising) & minimization – Blowing things out of proportion (catastrophising) or inappropriately shrinking something to make it seem less important.

9. Should, Must, Ought – These are critical words “should”, “must”, “ought” can make us feel guilty, or like we have already failed. If we apply “should” to other people the result is often frustration – Get Rid of Using these words!

10. Personalization (this is my fault) – Blaming yourself or taking responsibility for something that wasn’t completely your fault. Conversely, blaming other people for something that was your fault.

Another comment noted is one I have said out loud almost daily

I feel fat —-> Is not a feeling nor is it an emotion.



I have recently observed something in myself.

When I become overwhelmed and uncomfortable, I pull out my cell and play solitaire. Yes, it distracts me from being in the present moment, yes it stops me from figuring out why I am feeling uncomfortable and yes, I know it cuts me off from talking to people. I am the same with animals, if they are super friendly, I become engrossed with them, and cut out everything around me.

Its very hard to be present in a difficult situation. I’ve also been one to shy away in social situations and find a place where it is quiet, no one else around me. Do you do that?

I struggle with….

Anxious / on edge

Vulnerable / under the spotlight
Self conscious / out of place
Physical Symptoms

Face goes red (blushes)
Butterflies in stomach / stomach churns
Heart races
Voice goes shaky / body trembles
Dizzy / light headed
Breathing changes

I have nothing interesting to say, I’m boring

Everyone is staring at me
People can tell how anxious I am
I’ll stammer / I’ll blush
I mustn’t look anxious
I look and sound stupid


Behaviour Patterns

You avoid social situations

You make a quick exit from social situations

You stay in the background or hide away
You stay quiet to not make a fool of yourself
You always take a friend with you
You drink alcohol for courage beforehand
I went and read over the above from this site http://www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/shynesssocialphobia.asp.