Posted in Mental Health

My Demons – Vanquished?

I was updating my pages the other night and read through the one entitled “my demons”. This is what is says presently:

– Feelings of inadequacy and chronic self-doubt
– Feeling I am physically repulsive
– Feeling I will never have more than friendship with women
– Feeling I am not good enough for my chosen career path

My bottom line thoughts according to the tasks from the self-help book:

Rejection: I am unattractive to the opposite sex in every conceivable way
Criticism: I am not good enough. I will never be good enough
Lack of praise: Because of the above, I do not deserve praise
Lack of interest: I am a boring person. My interests are not worthwhile
Being the odd one out: I am weird

And my rules for living as figured out through the same book:

1. Do not fall in love. I will only get my heart broken again. If she (any “she”) likes me, she will tell/show me. If she doesn’t, then she is clearly not interested. Do not say anything or display body language that might hint at my attraction

2. I must attempt to achieve perfection in everything I do. Only then will I be good enough. Ignore being ill, plough on through it when feeling low because otherwise I have failed and I am already a failure so let’s try some damage limitation here

3. I must already know what I am doing. To ask for help or clarification is a sign of failure. It is a sign that I am too stupid to understand what is required

4. I will receive praise for the things I do. Ignore it. Shrug it off. They are mistaking my knowledge of one particular thing for competence. Let’s face it, it’s pretty minor stuff that anybody can do when they’ve been shown how

5. Don’t talk to others about my interests. They might interest me but other people will and do find them boring. I am boring. And I am weird for being into that stuff anyway

None of this sounds like me now. It feels like a different person, a different world. Just a few short months ago when I was working on my self-help book, all of these things were true. Now I cannot justify continuing to believe any of it.

I guess I should just stop blogging here.

Nice knowing all, goodbye!

Not really!

I still have issues to work through. Though I’m trying not to let this turn into a dating blog, because my feelings of inadequacy in the relationship department and being a mental health problem in itself, dating and any relationships I’m going to have are inevitably going to be a factor in my recovery.

I still have doubts and I need to deal with them in my own way. I’m not sure they are anything that therapy can help with. My most recent low point was a few days after I came off of the antidepressants. I put it down to withdrawal symptoms (which is highly likely) but under no illusions that this is over, that the problems stated above will never again grace my thoughts. They could very well do if and when a future relationship ends or if a I do not succeed at a particular goal.

What demons do I have now, if any?

I still sometimes feel that all of my efforts will be for nothing, that I will always have a low paid job and feel I have wasted my qualifications

I still sometimes feel that I am getting lucky on the dating scene; that I’d never get beyond a first date and that each successive date would think “great guy – potential good friend but not for me”.

I still have trust issues – with every first date I have expected the girl to make a run for it yet none of them have done so (and all have had the opportunity). Even at the damp squib of meeting water baby she stayed to the end

When going to get another round of drinks, whether that be beer or coffee, and I have seen my date playing with their phone in my absence, I start to worry about what they are saying to their friend(s). Couple this with the expectation that she will leave while I am at the bar and this has caused me to worry a little

When it gets past date two and I’m starting to develop a fondness for the girl in question, I start to worry that I’ll be passed over for a perceived better option sometime soon.

But these are all minor issues compared to the biggies above and I know that in time and as confidence builds, these too will fade. This short list has given me the perfect chance to demonstrate how Melanie Fennell’s book encourages you to challenge negative thoughts.

Until next time…

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

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