Another session with Celine and another worksheet. At the top it says, “Your therapist will have helped you uncover a rule which may be causing you problems. This worksheet is designed to help you rethink a rule and make it more useful for yourself”. I’m not really sure that my whole life can be turned around on the basis of a single worksheet, but I’m keen for anything to help, so I’m going to work through it.

Like before, Celine went through the questions with me briefly, with my answers based on the worksheet from the last session. This week I’ll have to go back through it properly to make it relate more to me. I have my final university deadline just after the next session, on Friday, so not sure how I will get on with it this week.

The first line is: “The rule of living I need to rethink is…”

 I must push myself to try ever harder to reach my high standards, to the exclusion of everything else.

I needed to add in the final bit, as I think for most people who do well, the probably have to push themselves. I’m not imagining that in my ideal world I no one needs to try hard. But I definitely fall down on the ‘exclusion’ bit, as that is what then makes me resent the work, feel guilty when I do do something that is meant to be fun and generally feel in a low mood.

The one line: “Typical situations in which I find myself using this rule”

At the moment this is quite simple for me (I’m grateful that at least my problems are straightforward): University work

“The kinds of things I do because of it”

Work extra hard

Don’t sleep regularly

Forget meals

Don’t do other things like fun

Don’t enjoy the fun things that I do do

“How many other people do I know who seem to have this same rule?”

None. As I said before, everyone else seems to be perfect at whatever they try. They may work really hard, but they don’t get upset doing that. Or else they don’t work as hard, but at least they are doing plenty of other things instead.

“How many other poeple do I know who DON’T seem to share this rule?”

Everyone else

“With people who don’t share my rule, what happens?

They mostly achieve what they want, and have fun

It looks like she added another list to the worksheet: “What happens when I follow my rule?”

Relationships get lost as I’m not around (this one came about because she was shocked when I mentioned that I hadn’t noticed my housemate leaving (took a couple of weeks to realise), and haven’t seen the other for a month or two. As I’m in the studio mostly and just come home to sleep and shower, it didn’t surprise me. Maybe I am weird.

Most of the other ‘kinds of things I do because of it’ could be inserted here too.

When I get a chance to work on the worksheet again, I’ll have the fun of “Rethinking & Challenging the Old Rule“.