Mental Health, Uncategorized

I am a Sum of My Parts

I’m sure most people by now have seen the Disney/Pixar filmĀ Inside Out, or at least know about its premise. In the film, characters are represented as a system run by a set of emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust. This is, of course, a simplified version of the way our minds work, but it gets a point across about how the different parts of our personalities work.

This Week, I Learned That I Am A Sum Of My Parts

In my brain, there are a lot of voices governing my thoughts and feelings. In my case, there are some entities who are more in control than others. Keep in mind, this is not by any means a form of Dissociative Identity Disorder- in that condition, different personalities manifest as separate people independent of each other. These are all still parts of me. I identify them all as my own voice, just different aspects of such.

The issue I have is that some voices are most vocal than others. A good example of this is how inĀ Inside Out, some of Riley’s emotions go “missing,” leaving the others in charge. In my case, the emotions are there, but they get shouted down by their more dominant counterparts.

Last week, I was introduced to the Internal Family Systems theory, where different parts of your personality play different parts in your mind. These roles can have either a healthy or unhealthy balance. In my case, there are a few voices that are unfairly balanced. Cynic, as I call it, tends to work with Anxiety to run my mind, while effectively silencing the other voices. Through IFS therapy, however, I am trying to speak to all of my parts and see where they are all coming from, in an effort to create healthier balance.

Mental Health, Uncategorized

I Have to Live For Me

One of the things I’ve been working on with my new therapist is trying to determine what I want. I know this seems like an odd thing for most people, I understand that, but for me, it can be a problem. For most of my life, I’ve lived to try and serve others, with a fear of being seen as too selfish. It turns out that I actually need to take more time to focus on myself and make my own decisions about where I want to go in life.

This week, I learned that there is only one person I have to live for: Myself.

When I am asked personal questions about my future, a lot of them are very open-ended. What do you want to do? I don’t know. Where do you want to be in five years? I don’t know. What does your ideal life look like? I don’t know! My indecisiveness is becoming detrimental to myself, and I need to step back and try to figure out exactly what I want to do before it gets much later (because it’s already past “too late” now that I’m in my 30s).

Too much of my life is spent thinking about other people. Whether it’s worrying about the car behind me on the road, internally begging store employees not to talk to me, or feeling obligated to answer all the little questions my mother asks in a day, most of my time and energy is devoted to others. Part of my mental health recovery is to focus on myself instead of others and to stop worrying about what others are going to think about me and my decisions. This is going to take time, but as I’ve mentioned before, recovery is a process. My assignment this week is to try meditation to help my focus shift onto myself and my being. I’m going to install a few apps on my phone and take some time to “turn off” my anxiety and think about myself.