For me, I find guilt, shame and paranoia very interconnected. In a rancid tangled web of dark emotions they taunt and torment me. Because I am so crippled with these nasty subconsciously self-induced feelings I am very aware that my words here on this blog might at times be a trigger for others.
Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, I never ever intend to use this forum to upset and induce shame and guilt in others. This is a blog just about my own uptake on my illness and tools etc that I find useful. My aim is to help recognise and destroy these awful demons. So, please never ever take anything I write to heart or personalise it. I am on a journey to help myself and if this too helps you then grand.
Now back to my those terrible triplets. I feel guilty about feeling guilty. As a Mother, I feel guilty that I am not better, that I do not bake biscuits and give my children store bought biscuits. I feel guilty that I am sick and not available to my children. I feel guilty that this may largely impact on the adults they become. And so I could go on forever listing my guilts but I am sure I have made my point.
Guilt leads to shame because to admit to shortcomings whether imagined or not you then feel ashamed. This shame is such a burden. You carry it and you stoop, you can't walk tall, there is no way you can look others in the eye. Your shame denies you equality and this for me leads to paranoia.
Paranoia is so very very awful. While doing my CBT course I learnt about cognitive distortions. You learn to label them and it then helps you turn these distortions around into rational thoughts. So when I think of my paranoia I remind myself it is a cognitive distortion. How on earth do I really know what other people think. So I label it as mind reading and jumping to conclusions. Of course, I really don't know that everyone that crosses my path thinks I am a bad Mother. They don't look at me and think "did that woman look in the mirror today - surely she can do more about her appearance" and so on.
In the scheme of things most people will be like me and they rarely look at others and certainly don't think badly of them. If I do notice someone I usually see the good and if I don't then I empathise and think oh I bet they are having a crap day too. Paranoia is an exaggerated distrust of others that is not based on fact. I know my level of paranoia is quite low compared to others who almost cannot exist because their level of paranoia is crippling. For me to try to and see the funny side of my paranoia helps me get perspective when I am mentally unwell.
Just some funny slants on paranoia. It is possible for me to laugh about it at times. But I am only laughing at myself and my own shortcomings. Please don't see this as a dig at people whose struggle with paranoia is more severe.
In a way my blog is my version of an RET (Rational Emotive Therapy) which was something we learned in CBT. Rational emotive therapy (RET) is a psychotherapeutic approach which proposes that unrealistic and irrational beliefs cause many emotional problems. If you want to know more about RET please click here. It can be very helpful when used in context. It is not easy, it is hard work and I do recommend you seek professional help before you attempt RET.
So to my frenemy Guilt, it's dog Shame and their horse Paranoia I have something to say to you.
Fuck off okay. Take your shit and head off to the wasteland of my purged poisonous crap. No one likes you, no one wants you and no one needs you. You are the weakest link - "Goodbye"