Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Complexities of Conflicting Personality Traits

Obsessions are intrusive, irrational thoughts -- unwanted ideas or impulses that repeatedly well up in a person's mind. Again and again, the person experiences disturbing thoughts, such as "My hands must be contaminated; I must wash them"; "I may have left the gas stove on"; "I am going to injure my child." On one level, the sufferer knows these obsessive thoughts are irrational. But on another level, he or she fears these thoughts might be true. Trying to avoid such thoughts creates great anxiety.*

I'm extremely conflicted.  This blog is supposed to be about my life, and the things that are triggers for my feeling depressed and low in self-esteem, but due to the possibility that certain people may read my blog (and the fact that I advertise through my facebook page), I can't write about things that make me upset.  I had to delete much of the post about my birthday celebration, and I can't really write anything negative about my experience at work, even if something happens that changes my mood, like it did today.  Or I can write about these things and just face the consequences.  My integrity is immensely important to me.  I'm the kind of person that will be honest about anything, regardless of the outcome, because my peace of mind is much more valuable to me than whatever may come out of a lie.

Also, I think I have a problem with authority.  Generally, I follow rules and laws, as long as they make logical sense to me.  I consistently break the leash-law, but that's because Phoenix is good off-leash - he doesn't stray far away from me and he's not an aggressive dog (unless it comes to squirrels), plus I feel like he gets more exercise and is happier when he's not tied up.  As a teenager, my parents would tell me to clean my room, and I would not do it, not do it and not do it.  I'd wait until they stopped bugging me about it, then I'd do it.  There's something about how I'm wired that makes it difficult for me to do what people tell me to do.  In fact, I often find myself wanting to do the exact opposite of what someone's told me to do.  And not in a rebellious way, just to show my magnanimous free will.  Don't watch Salute Your Shorts?  Ha.  That's exactly what I'm going to watch, then!  AND Are You Afraid Of The Dark.  

I find that those two qualities that I have described above are in contradiction to one another, the honesty and the inability to take orders.  What does one do about something like that?  When people break rules or laws, it drives me nuts.  I can be a real stickler for the rules.  Yet I will break the rules myself if I feel that I can justify it.  What is that about?

Okay, so I've picked out one trait in myself that I value, and one of my flaws.  Once I had a therapist who suggested that as an exercise to build my self-esteem, I was supposed to write down three things about myself each day that made me happy.  I had a LOT of trouble doing that.  I still have a lot of trouble doing that.  I so focus on the things that I am doing wrong that I can't come up with three things each day that I've done right.  I can definitely come up with three things that are making me sad.  I could probably come up with 100 each day.

I'm pretty tired.  Like I said, work really altered my mood today and it's still hanging over my head, plus I'm exhausted from this stupid cough that I still have.  In my research to find interesting facts about mental health and mental illness, I've found a few organizations that I'd like to research a little further, and so I'm hoping to share that with you in the very near future.

*"NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | Mental Illnesses." NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness - Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy. Web. 13 Oct. 2010. <>.

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