Breaking Down My Walls

Postby Mandira » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:18 pm

Hi! I am new to this forum.

Two years ago, due to some circumstances and my unwillingness to completely process what had happened, I had built a shell around myself. I had become very rigid, tense and cautious. While my icy exterior protected me from backstabbing and heartbreak (or so I thought back then), it meant that I was unknowingly isolating myself from everyone in my life.

I never had issues with confidence. But when I realised that this self-isolation was detrimental to my mental health, I reached out for help and went through a transformative journey to break down my walls.

Now, my walls are down, I am not isolating myself and externally and internally I am alright. Except that I have now become this weepy person who cries every time things don't go her way and it is freaking me out. I feel vulnerable. How do I stop feeling so vulnerable?

I don't think it is about my self-esteem because I have never felt better about myself and as far as my confidence is concerned, I don't think it is an issue, I'm my usual self. Except when the weepy comes out. Appreciate any insights, thanks!
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:48 pm

Mandira wrote: Except that I have now become this weepy person who cries every time things don't go her way and it is freaking me out. I feel vulnerable. How do I stop feeling so vulnerable?


Do you have an example?

I guess that the first thing to reflect upon and clarify, is to what extent are the things that don't go your way actually impacting your life? It can range from not at all to major impacts.

Another thing to consider is the extent to which feeling vulnerable is a positive thing in life. If you are embracing life, if you are setting goals and growing as a person then vulnerability is part of the package. Life comes with risk. It is how you manage or cope with the vulnerability that becomes the focus.
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#2

Postby Mandira » Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:06 pm

Thanks for replying Richard@DecisionSkills

Example: Today I cried because I forgot to turn off the stove and my sauce burnt, because my best friend didn't reply to my messages, because I couldn't cross off all the chores on my to-do-list and lastly because my parents laughed at me when I whined at some name my mother called me.

you are right, The vulnerability is a positive thing because it is making me grateful for all the wonderful things in my life. I'm just not used to this feeling and getting distressed about trivial things like a delayed reply from a friend is getting to me. Do you have any tips on how I can manage this feeling?
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:41 pm

Mandira wrote: Do you have any tips on how I can manage this feeling?


I would explore "exposure" or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

The basic idea is that you expose yourself to, or identify a situation in which you feel vulnerable, and then actively (cognitively) reflect on the impacts and develop strategies (behaviors) you can use to manage/cope.

For instance, your parents laughing. What is the absolute worst impact from this? Does it stop you from earning money, cooking on the stove, texting a BFF, doing a chore? Nope, nope, nope, nope.

What about a BFF not replying to a text? Does it stop you from earning money, cooking on the stove, calling your parents a funny name, or doing chores? Nope, nope, nope, nope.

In all of your examples you recognize them as trivial. That's a good place to start. With each issue you can establish strategies (behaviors) to respond to these situations. You can create IF/THEN ways to cope other than crying.

IF a parent gives you some ribbing, THEN in a fun way yell, "Mom...dad, you don't have to keep reminding me that I'm adopted!!!!" In other words, develop an IF/THEN plan that gives you a way to have fun, take control, and participate.

IF your BFF doesn't text back within a few hours, THEN go do a chore. When the chore is over send a follow up, "Hope you are okay." Again, this gives you a behavior you can use.

At the same time you need to be reflecting and asking yourself, "So what?" So what that a parent ribs you, so what that a BFF doesn't respond? What's the absolute worst that can happen?
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#4

Postby Mandira » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:07 am

Sounds Good. I'm gonna give it a try. Thank you so much.
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