It’s All About Me When It Comes To My Emotions – Responding Not Reacting

It’s been a challenging week for me on many levels’. I felt hurt and frustrated by a friend’s behaviour and, have had a professional organisation failed to keep their commitment, and two professionals involved in my care are leaving their posts.

I find it very difficult to be authentic and express my emotions in response to somebody’s behaviour. However, I had to say something this week so that O could remain true to myself and protect my self esteem. My friend’s behaviour isn’t the issue, it’s my feelings that I need to focus on. It doesn’t matter how you behave, that’s your choice and your right, so if I feel upset or hurt in response to your behaviour that’s my responsibility. My telling you how I feel doesn’t mean that you have to change your behaviour. As your behaviour is your responsibility you can choose whether to act differently, or continue to behave as you are. This means that you can remain true to yourself.

Self-portrait in which I photographed myself as a reflection in a mirror.
(Please click on photo for a full size image) I am slowly becoming comfortable with displaying self portraits, but I still need to cover my face.

So this week I took responsibility for my emotions and spoke to my friend about how I was feeling with regards to our friendship. I did this in a manner that owned my feelings and didn’t blame her for my emotional reaction. In order to do this I needed to give myself a couple of days to allow my emotions to calm down and so that I could prepare what I wanted to say without it being an attack on her. It would have been so easy to react but that would have been damaging to both her and myself (There have been recent news stories about students trying to get their lecturers sacked because they have differences of opinion. This behaviour is completely inappropriate because it apportions blame rather than taking responsibility for your thoughts and feelings, it’s also very arrogant and self righteous).

With a professional organisation letting me down my approach is firmer, more descriptive and without emotional content. They have provided me with some software called Dragon Nuance, which is voice to text software, and am using this to write this blog today. They are currently training me how to use and make the most of this technique. I had an appointment with them which they failed to keep. I’m very pleased that in both instances I have been able to respond, to take responsibility for my thoughts and feelings without resorting to criticism or blaming them for how I feel.

(Please click on photo for a larger image) Macro photography is my mindfulness. It is something that I enjoy immensely and it also calms me down.

My eating disorder therapist has been off work for several months,. We had an appointment this week, during which she informed me that she is changing role in two weeks and I won’t have a therapist until the new person is in post. On top of this, the junior psychiatrist that I have been working with whilst my therapist has been off sick, is moving onto a new rotation in two weeks and I’ll have to get used to a new doctor. My care coordinator is also changing. I feel quite vulnerable with having these three changes at the same time.

Acceptance is the answer, and the only way of responding to these changes I don’t like and that I feel unsafe with. So my response is to allow my vulnerability to be as it is, and to discuss this with my friends as often as I need to.

By Thursday afternoon my thoughts were along the lines of “what else is going to go wrong today?”. So I wrote a gratitude list and made a note of all the things that had happened during the day which I felt grateful for, I spoke with a friend, and my mood and thoughts improved. Making some macro photography also helped to keep me focused straight after my psychiatric appointment.

(Please click on the photo for a full size image) Macro photography is my mindfulness. It is something that I enjoy enormously, and it also calms me down.

33 Replies to “It’s All About Me When It Comes To My Emotions – Responding Not Reacting”

  1. I think you have levels of honesty and integrity and bravery and resilience that are rare. It is incredibly hard to tell a friend what is bothering you. I am glad that your photography is helping you to weather this storm.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m happy to know that you have been able to stay cool and calm against all your problems as now you know that you have camera as your best friend to express your self. So please don’t give up , as resilience is the key to success .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Richard you have dealt so well to an emotionally charged week with dignity and without resorting to anger. That says much about you as a person and how your photography continues to help you. As you say it is a therapy in itself, when I was going through a particularly stressful time last year my tutor advised me to simply enjoy and experiment with photography, it really does help. I hope your health care professionals are soon back on track to give you their support.
    Best wishes Judy
    P.s the images are great !

    Like

  4. It sounds like you were able to manage these tense and unpleasant situations very well. I probably wouldn’t be so good at managing them, especially the discussion with a friend who has hurt me. I hope all comes together. I like it that you focused on gratitude rather than what else could go wrong. We all have so many emotional issues we are challenged by, so it’s always nice when we can make some progress and feel better about life. Thanks for sharing this, Richard. Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. you’ve had a very challenging week, and i’m sorry for that, but congratulations on responding to it in a healthy manner. i enjoy your writing and photography very much, thank you for sharing, and thank you for keeping on fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wish more people were able to handle changes and disappointments in the same respectful manner you exhibited in your post. You make a fantastic role model! Take things one day at a time and focus on the things you can control. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good read, so inspiring. It’s hard to deal with negativity but I’m glad you were able to handle it well and I totally agree, we should be responsible for our emotions. And oh, awesome shots – as always. Thank you for sharing Richard. I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Richard, its already been said but it does says a lot about you when you can rationalise and deal with your feelings in such a brave and responsible way well done my friend. Hopefully your thoughts will be on higher things (literally) over the next 12 days!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey Richard, I am really impressed with your approach to the negative things that happen around you. Much to learn from your article. I find myself in a similar situation thanks to the everyday events but am not at all close to the way you handled all these situations. Its such a mature and sensitive way to deal with it. Brilliantly written and inspiring. I see what you are saying and i will try and apply it my life too, as I am really high strung and need to calm down! Thanks for this.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I promise I’m not always as composed as I was last week. But I copied really well, and my friend said she was grateful I had brought it up as it gave her the opportunity to address an issue she’s aware of but struggles with.

      Like

  10. I love your courage. Your words and your art are inspiring! Even on those dark days please know you’re making a difference and recognize how strong you really are. You’re definitely a light! I love how you are using your journey and sharing it with others, it reminds people they are not alone. Things may not be perfect, but we are all a work in progress and every day is different from the next.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou so much Kelly. I haven’t updated my blog as much recently, since I started the new medication, but I hope to over the weekend.

      I think people have similar issues and difficulties, and sometimes all it takes is one person to speak their truth and others can then breath out knowing they are not alone.

      Liked by 2 people

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