I tried to apply what I’d been working with Celine on, with writing out the evidence for and against my negative feelings. I realised my feelings about my work right now (“I’m so tired and I don’t know what I’m doing/meant to be doing”) are virtually the same as the last time I saw her, about 10 days ago. So the supposedly balanced conclusion still fits: “marks and feedback say I’m good within university standards. But that my mode of working at uni causes exhaustion which means I miss deadlines/need extensions and saps my potential.”

This time I have my extended deadlines in place, so technically I haven’t missed it, I’ve even been early – the piece of work I gave in today is due on Friday. But it still wasn’t the quality of my potential as I tried to rush it late at night in order to get it out of the way and have a chance of meeting the next one at the end of May. So the last bit of the phrase isn’t completely true. But it’s close enough.

But does is make me feel any better? No. I don’t know which part of it is meant to help. In fact it makes me feel worse that I’m still getting upset at my work, for the same reasons, even when I am trying to help myself. It also hasn’t helped me figure out what to do differently. Now I almost feel like I’m destined to come up against that same problem every time.

This evening, on my way home, a group of girls were hanging out in the little street towards my house. I thought they were flagging me down, so I slowed. As I cycled past, one of them shouted out, “hey granny’s bike”. I’d already been upset with my work and that just tipped me again, and by the time I was home I was practically in tears. Ok I was in tears. Mostly at myself for letting the comment get to me. I know my bicycle isn’t the greatest, but still it’s pretty good for being 25pounds, and cost doesn’t make it a granny’s bike or not. I don’t know what part of it is like a ‘granny’s bike’. It is white and light blue. My granny had a navy blue one for starters. So evidence for me having a ‘granny’s bike’ is weak, evidence against it being a ‘granny’s bike’ or there even being a ‘granny’s bike’ type of bike is strong. Evidence for why I should care if I have a ‘granny’s bike’ is also non-existent. There are a hundred and one reasons why I shouldn’t care if a 10 year old girl thinks I have a ‘granny’s bike’. I know that.

It seems that’s where CBT ends. I examine the evidence. I see that there was no reason for me to be upset. I feel a bit better. If it happens again I won’t let it upset me. Tick. Done and dusted.

Or will I? I knew at the time it was silly. That was partly what was annoying me. Doing the testing stuff just proves that. Did it get to me because I was remembering, and feeling bad for it, how we used to tease a guy at school for having a ‘girl’s bike’ (a Vespa)? Did it remind me of being teased for having sticky outy ears, and something (I thought) I couldn’t change – in the same way I know I will continue to ride my bike regardless of a 10 year old thinking it’s a granny’s bike or not? Or was it just because I was tired. Stupid stupid me for letting myself get so tired. I’m the idiot all along. I don’t know what CBT is meant to say to that.

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