Help with Emotions

Emotions are tricky little buggers. They really are.

And for some of us they feel down right impossible to cope with, understand, recognise and even simply to have. I struggle in many ways with emotions…others’ but mainly my own. I also give myself a hard time about that fact and expect myself to ‘do better’ or ‘feel the right thing’. Knowing this, and knowing that I’m facing a particularly turbulent time*, last week the crisis team manager had me do an exercise where I stood in the middle of a room surrounded by different sized pieces of paper and alotted emotions to those pieces of paper according to how much I was feeling them at the time. We then went through several different scenarios and changed the emotions around accordingly. This was to show me that even if I was being hard on myself and expecting to feel the ‘right’ emotions (e.g. happy or relieved that the placement is definite rather than scared or anxious) or feeling that I would feel one emotion forever, in fact recent history shows that emotions fluctuate massively in their presence or size and that I can feel many things at once without invalidating anything else that’s going on.

I found the exercise incredibly helpful (although it felt quite painful at the time) and today decided to recreate it in a portable and reusable form. I already have benefited from this – working out what is actually going on inside me rather than just a broad ‘overwhelmed’- and thought it’s a concept worth sharing in case anyone else wants to give something similar a go in any of its forms.

So here is a concept borne of the crisis team manager’s work with me:

This is in my visual journal but could be on a standalone piece of card or inside a diary or something similar, with very basic boxes drawn on the page, and colour-coded emotions cut out in card and blue-tacked to the appropriate box at that moment in time.

Let me know if you’ve used something similar or gave this a go!

*in the latter stages of preparing for a long-term specialist hospital placement, hours away from home/family/care team, in a locked and mainly unknown environment, after my last placement collapsed for financial reasons with just 28 days notice and after not fulfilling their promises/purpose

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A Day in the Life (Visual Journal) – Mental Health Awareness Week

Please Don’t Suffer in Silence: Where to Turn for Support Over the Holidays

Infographic signposting the help available at this time of year when many people find themselves feeling more alone with their struggles. 
[I made it last year, so really should update it, but thought it was worth sharing in its current form (typos & all) just in case it can help someone]

Dissolving Into a Puddle of Useless Sadness

Feeling hopeless and helpless. Useless beyond words. Darkness spreading to all that I touch; a shadow upon the world, fighting impossible internal battles to work out the least of all evils. Hating myself and my impact on those around me. Desperate for peace. 

Barely Hanging on and Losing the Fight

Barely hanging on

Only by the tiniest of threads

That thread is painful and tearing me apart

So far gone that help (asking/accepting) is just dragging others with me

Losing grip fast…and I’ve already lost it completely on multiple occasions

Losing the strength to carry on fighting and holding on even faster

Terrified

Exhausted

Confused

Overwhelmed

Tonight’s Crisis Team Wisdom

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Awareness Without Provision 

This week is suicide prevention week and there’s a lot of discussion and debate about the support appropriate for those in suicidal crisis – how to prevent one killing oneself and, better, how to prevent reaching such a crisis point. However, what often gets missed is the provision available to help those in need –… Continue reading Awareness Without Provision