Thursday, June 29, 2006

Disbelieving the "defective" lie

A couple of posts ago I wrote about how I have felt that I am defective. I have felt that others can tell it by looking at me or listening to me. I talked about this issue with my therapist. She suggested that I come up with some idea for confronting that feeling, which is, I recognize, a lie. If you read my earlier post, you may remember that I thought of having a funeral, with family members invited, and perhaps a few others. We would bury the sign on which I had written the word "defective." With our various schedules, it's not easy to get our family members together, however. And it would be really heavy stuff for everyone; some might not be ready to be part of something so heavy. And as I thought about it, I realized I didn't want to want however long it took to organize such a funeral. I wanted to address the lie sooner. So I tried the cognitive approach, an approach which hasn't always worked very well for me in the past, since the "information" I get from my emotions seems so "real" to me. But this time I made a conscious decision to disbelieve the lie. If the feeling of defectiveness returned I would tell myself that I had already decided that I was not defective and that was how we were going to operate from now on. I can't say that a huge amount has changed for me, but I do think that this cognitive decision, a kind of cognitive restructuring has helped.

I have my therapy session this afternoon. I'll talk about what I've just posted here.

How much success have others of you had changing behavior or, in time, emotions, through cognitive restructuring?