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The revolving door. Monday November 17, 2014

I have these thoughts, they are generally quite self defeating. I have had them for a little while now and they keep going round, and round and then round a bit more. I have come to think of them as being stuck in a revolving door. You know the ones, where if you miss the exit point you go round again, praying that it's not going to get stuck in between the entry and exit points. Well, I realise that these thoughts are doing just that. They are sometimes stuck, can't move anywhere so sit in my mind. I perhaps do a little work at this stage trying to help them on their journey. Maybe I might meditate, or distract myself by reading a book, or I might explore the thoughts a little - challenge them, work with them. I can normally get the door revolving again and off they continue on their journey.

Only, when I'm not looking I find that either they missed the exit and stayed on board the revolving platform, or they hopped off for a little while, only to rejoin the merry go round for another spin! So, on my own journey, having earlier being enlightened to the fact that I am not my mind or my thoughts, I am beginning to consider these thoughts as intruders that are not welcome in the revolving door anymore. I try to watch them rather than attach to them (still practising this) but admit that I find this difficult.

It is becoming clear to me that these particular thoughts keep appearing because I am actually inviting them to stay in the revolving door. I am preventing them from exiting in some way and their presence in my mind is challenging me to find the solution. It is clear that the revolving door may hit a long term jam through the build up of the thoughts if I don't take action. I need to allow only positive thoughts to flow through the doorway. So, what I need to be is a "doorman" to monitor the flow and prevent the negative thoughts contaminating the doorway.

I don't seem to have the power to stop the thoughts but I can take ownership of what damage I allow them to achieve. I will strive to be actively on the lookout for the troublesome thoughts and will work to deny them entry and to eject them wherever I find them! But I need to go beyond this, I need to be active in reducing them, setting them on a different direction, diluting them and discouraging them so hopefully, in time they will reduce in intensity and frequency. So, thoughts beware...I am on warrior duty!

A Moodscope member.

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Bunnykins Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 8:09am

Thank you for this post, I find it very helpful xxx

Anonymous Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 8:39am

Dear Rosie, you're clearly being very positive and actively pushing to move past this revolving door and I completely understand your frustration. It's good that they are thoughts not facts. It's good that you don't act on them. Of course though, the more we decide not to think about pink rabbits, the more we think about pink rabbits. Then we think about thinking about pink rabbits and on it goes. I know it's very hard. The revolving door is like a whirlwind. In the past I've benefitted from changing the picture, say from the door to a conveyor belt. Try to let the conveyor belt go past you, to one side, see if that can be a way of toning them down. Stay positive and keep communicating.

Julia Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 9:16am

I think when these limiting thoughts have been part of our lives for so long, they almost become who we are. I often feel defined by my negative thoughts, one in particular which is that I have trouble sleeping. I refuse to say I am an insomniac but many people do. However I think about the negative aspects of not getting a good night's sleep every day and probably many many times a day. I am using insomnia as an example to show how difficult it can be to drive these negative thoughts away since they become an intrinsic part of our every day lives. But chipping away at it helps so much and Rosie, your blog today is part of that path to actually achieving turning negative thoughts on their head. I like the idea of a revolving door and the conveyor belt!

Anonymous Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 11:21am

Hi Julia, mindfulnes is proven to aid a good nights sleep, so rather than spend time thinking about your precious nights sleep, perhaps you could practice 10 minutes of mindfulnes every day, I'm sure you will find improvements within three weeks as I did. Don't be afraid, just go for it. Best wishes Julie.

Jenny Howie Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 11:41am

Thanks so much for sharing this Rosie. We all try different tools which help us all in different ways, at different times, depending on where we're at, at that time. Mindfullness, meditaion, CBT, councelling, medication, you name it- it all works- some of the times. But what I feel is the most pwerfull thing about moodscope is just the sharing. KNOWING and realising that- hey- other people out there have all this stuff going on too- that revolving door of negative thinking- none of us are alone- And that I think plays a huge part in recovery too. We are ALL NORMAL. It is what the mind does. All the best Rosie- don't fight too hard or you'll tire yourself. Jen. x

Julia Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 12:16pm

Thanks for this Julie. I am steadily growing to appreciate the benefits of mindfulness. It's very encouraging to read that it helped you with your sleep.

Di Murphey Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 1:12pm

Dearest Jen ~
Your comments about our Moodscope Community are a breath of fresh air to my sore heart and brain. Thank you.
Di Murphey

Anonymous Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 3:49pm

Yep if only the positive thoughts would take over the revolving door and not the negative..why is that? We all have so much to be thankful for and take so very much for granted......HELP

David Jarvis Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 4:41pm

Love this.
Learning to cope with mental health issues seems to be a long journey for many, myself included. We can keep making the same mistakes simply because we weren't able to get the perspective that could have helped us at the time.
Reading this blog made me think how important it is to congratulate ourselves on each little step we make, and every time we try, whether we fail or not. To really try to train our minds to be positive about ourselves through reading about different methods and talking to professionals and others.
That in itself takes a certain perspective that is often beyond us at times. Hopefully, with this habitual reinforcement, not at the loss of introspection, we are able to put ourselves in the optimum position to receive new perspective.

Anonymous Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 4:54pm

Hi again all. I had a very helpful course of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). One of the techniques in dealing with thoughts is to reframe it e.g "I never do anything right" becomes "I think I never do anything right" or "I think they all think I'm useless" . it's no longer a fact. Another is to say the thought out loud in a funny voice, or sing it, in other words, belittle it. It's our attitudes to the thoughts which give them their power. if we change our attitudes to them they no longer hurt. Day to day getting by is demanding enough without our thoughts distracting us. Regret, loss, if onlys, the gap between where/what I anticipated and what actually is created a painful void which these thoughts filled. It's the old prayer (I'm not at all religious) accept what can't be changed, change what can and have the insight to know the difference. I finally came to look back and see that I did the best I could with what I knew at the time and no one can do more, and to be kind to my younger self.
Change one thing. A different breakfast, a scented body lotion, a new cosy pair of PJ's. Einstein said something like "to repeat the same experiment again and again while expecting a different result is flawed." Change one thing and in doing so give yourself a break from the routine. At least that's something fun to think about. Take care all.

David Jarvis Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 4:58pm

I can totally relate to that idea of these limiting thoughts becoming who we are.
There was an interesting tv series on identity by the artist Grayson Perry recently. He spoke about how we are continually shaping and forming our identities throughout our lives and suggested that our identities are our greatest artworks, which I thought was an intriguing and quite beautiful perspective.
I guess that means that, with time and the right tools, such as the ones you mention Rosie introducing today, we could mould our identity for the better.
I'm very aware that whether we can get a helpful perspective or not seems at the whim of how our existing identity mingles and reacts with all the different and random influences on our lives. Hopefully, when something helpful comes our way, we have the ability at that time to grab hold tightly and embrace it for a duration that allows other helpful perspectives to come.
I'm still grabbing hold at the moment.

Anonymous Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 6:14pm

Hi Rosie, right there with you. I've succeeded so far in sticking my fingers in my ears and singing loudly in order to ignore the thoughts...but of course they are still there. I'll warrior with you. Let's smear our faces in mud and commando crawl our way to that door. Love from the room above the garage.
p.s. Jen...yes, agree, sharing is power for us all :-)

Julia Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 6:24pm

Very interesting thoughts.

Anonymous Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 10:53pm

Thank you everyone for your replies. So many interesting perspectives. I can see the pink rabbit syndrome applies to me and I know that I have tired myself out with all this focusing on my thoughts business! It's so lovely to be able to share this stuff on moodscope and know that others out there are experiencing similar or have been there before. It provides so much support and hope so thank you for your wonderful input!! Rosie xx

Anonymous Mon, Nov 17th 2014 @ 11:38pm

My partner is somewhat of an expert in thought processes if you wonder where the thoughts come from, they can come from absolutely anything, it could be one trigger for instance a hat or maybe two triggers together or even more combining a memory of something which has disturbed you in the past. There are a few ways to deal with them 1. is to is to go back to the memory and see the emotions involved and try to forgive anyone involved, including yourself which may bring tears to your eyes because it may be difficult. 2. Another way is to realise how simple objects can trigger thoughts even though you don't want to think about that ( if someone began speaking to you about something you were totally disinterested in would you allow it to continue?, no you would walk away as soon as you could like tuning out of a boring radio station).

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