Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Should

I saw the psychologist again yesterday. I had three essentially sleepless nights in a row-I was so exhausted I couldn't keep my eyes open at work and yet the second I got into bed, I was wide awake with worry.
We talked a lot about ptsd and what the triggers do to us. She wants me to work on spending time in my bedroom (which I hate!) doing things besides sleeping so I can kind of desensitize myself to it. After we got back from the hospital, I repainted my room, got all new bedding, turned the bed the opposite way, did all sorts of things to change the way it looks. But it doesn't help. It's just the way it is.
But the thing about it is, the bed didn't make my water break. The bed didn't kill my babies or make them come out prematurely. So why do I hate my bed?
Just one of those things, I guess.
She told me about this study that I found interesting.
They took two groups of people that had a strong fear of heights. They told the first group to climb up (I think a ladder? something like that) and once they got far enough up that they got scared, they could come back down, get their money, and go home. The next group they told to climb up until they got scared-but they had to stay there for 20 minutes before they could come back down in order to get paid.
So, the next day, they did the same thing again with the same group. The first group actually went lower this day-because they knew if they went higher they'd get scared. The second group went HIGHer, because they had stayed there for 20 minutes and learned that nothing bad happened, so they thought they'd go higher.
I found this pretty interesting, but I already know logically that it's not my bed that's bad-I just am afraid of it.

Anyway, she asked me a few questions and then commented on something-that I say the word "should" a lot. We talked about this extensively, and as I thought about it, I realized that I read this word a lot here.
I should be a better....
I should be over my anger
I should be able to move on
I should be able to do....
I should be able to go...

She talked about how" should" places high expectations on ourself that are often realistic. That just using that word (or honestly, having that word said to us, because I experience this a lot) sets us up for some sort of failure. Once we perceived that we've failed, we begin to feel guilty. And the cycle starts all over again.

I'm going to try to work on this. She said that some days, all I'm going to be able to accomplish is to just "be." If I don't get everything else done, oh, well! I know this is easy for me to say because I don't have any living children, but I know there are things I can do.

I'm going to try to focus on what is the best for me and for this little girl. And even in that, just because I think I "should"

Should is something I think about all the time. Something I say to myself even more. But tonight I think I'm going to just "be."

4 comments:

Jen said...

I think you are on the right track..it is hard to just "be"..a lot harder than it sounds for sure.. I always talk about the "shoulds" too..

very interesting study..certainly makes sense..thank you for sharing! praying for you and your sweet little girl!

Bluebird said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I always learn so much from reading what others have learned/experienced with their psychologists/therapists/etc. :)

I do a lot because I think I should, too. To some extent, I think it's necessary because it keeps me from curling up in a ball and never raising my face again! But, overall, I do believe that the best lesson than can be learned is to just "be." That is so, so hard. I'm kind of okay with things right now, but I'm already working on "being" when this little one gets here. I don't want to miss out or look back with regrets because I wasn't being :)

Fwiw, I'm proud of you. And I hope your evening of being went well :)

AKD said...

Your counselor sounds awesome. My grief counselor is very similar in regards to "should" vs. "is" - they are two very different things. I'm so glad that you're breathing in and out - it's so hard to do. :)

Bree said...

I'm sorry I missed so many of your posts. I haven't been very good about turning on my computer lately- just been reading from my phone. My therapist and I have spent lots of time talking about the "shoulds" as well. I think I've learned mostly to not use that word when referring to other people. Still working on myself. Glad you got through it!