Boy do I feel silly.
Two days ago, I woke up feeling cloudy. My head was not right. I was feeling unfocused and I just couldn’t get going.
So, my mind jumps immediately to this must be the work of depression.
Something must be going on. I must be relapsing. I am headed down the rabbit hole into the dark, dank depths of depression, into the abyss where there is no light, and everything pushes me up against the wall. I will never get better and depression is always going to have a grip on me. Oh, woe is me.
Even I am surprised at how quickly my mind went to that place.
Getting back to my cloudy head, I went off to work that day still believing that I was one step closer to a relapse. After all, my head was cloudy, I couldn’t seem to focus, and I was sure that I didn’t need to explore any other options. I had made up my mind depression was out to get me.
Then I hear two co-workers talking.
One says, “today my allergies have been terrible, my heady really feels cloudy.” She said what I said! And the other co-worker said, “yes, today is a really bad day for allergies.”
This was so simple and yet I turned it into a huge all or nothing, catastrophizing event.
With the crisis averted and my place in the universe more secure, I am investigating whether the allergy medicine I have been taking for years is still effective. My doctor suggested years ago I start taking it to help dry out my inner ear.
I have suffered from vertigo, at times, and keeping pressure away from my inner ear has helped significantly with my balance. But I will call my doctor and get his thoughts on trying a new allergy medication.
Unhelpful thinking has been my go-to style for decades.
Challenging that thinking and asking better questions is a new skill I am developing. Happily, I can see the progress I am making when I uncover an automatic thought. I am getting better at challenging that thought, sometimes immediately, but very often within a few minutes.
But with this whole cloudy head idea, it took me over six hours until I heard the conversation at work that gave me a new way to think about what was happening to make me feel cloudy.
I’d say what unhelpful thinking made me feel like but that’s unhelpful, too.
What are you thinking today?
Learn more about unhelpful thinking styles