My personal notes on fixing myself.

Taking risks and fighting another relapse

Thursday was terrible. I often have to give presentations, and the design proposal I gave did not go well. I had to spend all my energy focusing on not having a panic attack. At least I didn’t throw up and I waited until I got home to cry.  Friday I was still on edge, not sure if it was a result of my Thursday night presentation, but I just felt so uneasy around all my coworkers. I don’t want to be like this.

I realize now that I don’t take risks out of fear, and my lack of risk-taking has kept me in the same state of mind and comfort zone. I think I need to create different levels of accomplishments for myself, and take things in baby steps. Last week was horrible but this week I have the choice to make progress. Small progress is better than no progress. The good thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.

Goal setting and achieving are part of a solution-focused approach. To be solution-focused goals have to be

  • positive (it’s what we want, not what we “don’t” want)
  • specific and concrete (we know the boundaries and substance)
  • attainable (it’s within our control)
  • observable (we know what it is when we see it)
  • measurable (we can precisely determine that we’ve achieved it)
  • stated in terms of the present (it’s what we want to do here and now)
  • action-oriented (it’s stated in terms of what we’ll be doing to achieve it)

Wishes and complaints need to be translated into goals. For example, “I wish I could go to parties” translates into “I want to go to parties.” But what does that mean specifically and concretely? “I want to be able to feel comfortable talking with others.” What does “feel comfortable” mean? “I want to feel less anxious and concerned about what others think.” This then breaks down into two goals: (1) I want to reduce my physiological arousal in social settings and (2) I want to think positive thoughts about my self-presentation.

I need to address my physiological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems. I also discovered last night that medication doesn’t change cognitive distortions, which is almost a relief because now that I know I can’t rely on medication to change my perspective, I must go on to the next thing, which brings me closer to recovery.

I will create a weekly timeline of goals, and each preceding week will be based off the previous week. Baby steps.


I’ll come back to this.

Become more assertive.

Problem solving model

Phase 1: Problem recognition

  1. Identifying, defining, and assessing problem
  2. Committing self to solving problem
  3. Generating list of alternative solutions to problem
  4. Evaluating alternatives
  • concrete and specific
  • observable and measurable
  • achievable
  • risk-level
  • likelihood of success
  • gut-level reaction

Phase 2: Decision making

  1. Deciding on solution
  2. Prioritizing elements of solution
  3. Putting elements in workable, meaningful order
  4. Creating program to implement solution

Phase 3: Acting

  1. Creating a timeline
  2. Implementing solution actions
  3. Observing, recording, measuring, and analyzing action outcomes
  4. Evaluating progress

Daily Progress Notes

Today’s Date: 10/20/13

Week’s Goals:

  1. Chase away at least 3 negative thoughts as they occur, and think about the thought objectively
  2. Each day, refer to someone by their name. This has been a fear of mine, but as long as it’s just me and the other person, it shouldn’t be so terrifying to say their name. If there is no one else around, there is no reason why referring to someone by name should be anxiety-provoking. Baby steps. Eventually I can move on to referring to someone by their name in a larger social setting.
  3. Talk to one person a day that I don’t usually talk to

Physical: Practice meditation daily for 15 minutes

Cognitive: At least 3 times at work, 3 times at home, and 3 times at school, recognize distorted thoughts, think about them objectively, and chase them away. This includes “mind-reading”: If I think someone is judging me, I must remind myself that I have no idea what they are thinking and it’s pointless to try.

Emotional: Recognize hostility

Behavioral: Work on hierchy: expose myself to getting used to using people’s names and talking to someone that I’m not comfortable with

Positive changes:


Proposal to correct backslides:

Sun: No work or school (yay!) but going out to eat later. I could practice breathing exercises and muscle relaxation, because I know I will be in a loud environment full of people. 


I need to organize my thoughts more before continuing to set goals.


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This entry was posted on October 20, 2013 by .
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