Dealing with disappointment........
I have a hard time dealing with disappointment. A small piece of 'bad news' will invariably send me into a spiral of self-deprecation and depression. It doesn’t really matter what other things are happening in my life to balance or outweigh the ‘bad news’ - it is doom. I had a relatively sleepless night last night because I suffered a disappointment yesterday. When I did drift off to sleep my thoughts literally woke me up. The thoughts that I have in the small black hours of the morning are not pretty. Nonetheless this morning I am awake and feeling so-so but not full of optimism by any shot. I have loads of things to do and I am not motivated to do any of them because my brain is telling me it’s not worth it. This aspect of ASD is so frustrating. I’ve heard it referred to as a ‘depression attack’ by Tony Attwood. I’m glad that now at my age, with my improved coping skills, that the effects are not devastating – but when I was younger a depression attack would spell disaster and all kinds of behavior that was labeled maladaptive. But hell how do you adapt to suddenly feeling like the world is going to end for you.
I know this is not a phenomenon unique to me so I’m wondering how do people deal with this. I have developed a lot of very sophisticated self-talk to buy enough time to ride out the worst of it. I try to practice mindfulness so that I can call on these techniques in times of distress. These things all work to keep me moving forward and I know emotional highs and lows are art of human experience – but arrrgh not so low please!!
You describe it so well... How one thing can over-ride all the positives that you know are there? Sometimes it's truely like I've never succeeded at anything (even though I know I have).
Sounds like our weekends haven't been too different. I spent all of yesterday trying to work out what even helps when I'm in that state. Then I spent most of the night awake etc.
I'm still training myself to not be self-destructive when in the middle of a depression attack.
Something that I hadn't identified before as something I do to cope in a depression attack (that isn't self destructive) is that I pretend I'm someone from a musical and sing one of their cheeful/confident songs.
So for the past 14 hours my neighbours have been hearing "Popular" from wicked playing full blast on my laptop and me singing along (and then trying to re-write the words to math my life...) But frequently I'll pick something like "My Favourite Things" (sound of music) or "Glory of Love"/"Otto Titsling" (Beaches) etc and just prance around singing them full blast and full of confidence. It's almost like for the brief time I'm doing that I become the happy, confident person, singing the song. The only down side it, once the song finishes I sometimes feel right back where I started.
I've been trying the mindfullness techniques a lot with varying degrees of success. But I'm thinking I keep forgetting the point that it's not to make the feeling go away but rather to acknowledge it and live with it (in that sense I guess it is working) but I agree - Why do we have to feel sooooooo low?!
My psychologist has me making a "Pleasures Book" as suggetsed in Tony Attwood's CBT material. It's going to have pictures of things I like or enjoy in it for me to look through when I feel awful and in the middle of a depression attack. I committed myself to starting it today instead of being self-destructive like yesterday and Saturday...
I wonder whether NTs get to this point the same way we do... Because they seldom appear to understand how all consuming it can be. And how bad that "end of the universe" feeling is.
When I was younger I sed to read through "warm fuzzies" people had written about me or to me while on camps. I still have all of them in a box... Maybe a warm fuzzy system needs to be brought in.
Hopefully today is better for you. More so, hopefully tonight you get a decent sleep without awful thoughts waking you up!
Yes! that is the feeling and how I feel after a disappointment. I feel like I go from feeling great to falling into hell.... with everything hopeless. It is so hard to climb out, to feel even a glimpse of hope and happiness.