As I mentioned here several times, I use Sleep School technique through their app to improve my sleep. It works very well on a regular day and I managed to cut down my falling asleep time from 2h to 5 minutes and I also sleep significantly longer. However, when I get triggered by something I can’t use it any more and I always end up taking olanzapine because otherwise I just wouldn’t sleep at all and end up psychotic.
However, it’s only been recently that I realised I need to pay more attention to a technique that I didn’t really use so far which is thought diffusion. It’s about adding labels to thoughts, for example when I caught myself thinking too much about what to say during an event I’d could label this as ‘planning thought’. I’m trying to do it now every time when I’m on the bus since I started my digital detox and I am fairly pleased with the results – yesterday evening I managed to catch myself at the very early stages of being ‘triggered’ so I could focus on using this technique even more before my mind went on a total spin. I feel tired today and I’m not excluding taking olanzapine later on, if I can’t recover naturally but I can still see this is progress from how I used to be.
I wonder if you would guess what caused me to feel triggered yesterday, when nothing stressful happened?
I made that post where I mentioned that some English guys prefer to date women from Eastern Europe because they see us as low maintenance so they don’t need to spend much money on dates to keep us happy. I then started wondering where I got that from, because certainly they wouldn’t openly admit it to a woman, would they?
It’s been several years since I worked that out so I really don’t remember how that happened, but it must have been something like that: one guy says he likes Eastern European women because they are ‘more caring and compassionate than English’ and I take it on face value but I make a mental note of the fact that I was never considered to be that compassionate myself. Then, a few months later another guy says that he likes Polish women because they’re much more down to earth. And then I think, those two guys basically described two completely different personal values and are using them to justify the same choice. Something doesn’t add up here, does it? And then, a couple of other minor events, like possibly many English guys coming to spend their weekends in a Polish pub even though they couldn’t get their regular beers there and one day things just clicked.
That is how I make sense of things: by making connections between seemingly unrelated evens until I find a hypothesis that explains every one of them. I presume neurotypical people also use that technique but it’s my understanding that they also use other tools that I have no access to.
And what I think happened yesterday is that just thinking about this process triggered it and my mind tried to make connections between events from the last couple of months but it couldn’t find any and that put me into a state of anxiety. Why? Because when I worked for Home Group I had no idea that they put fabricated documents into my file and my immediate coworkers were using them against me every time I tried to access support from higher management.
I had no idea that was happening. And I guess that now makes me think that similar things may be happening now, so I need to be vigilant, but this is like half conscious thought – I don’t walk around trying to work out other people agendas, but on that particular occasion it happened that my mind decided to react this way. I’ve been through some changes lately and that could also be why.
But at least I caught it quickly so hopefully things won’t get too difficult. I’m wondering if it’s possible that, if I keep practicing thought diffuse for a good couple of weeks, I’ll get much better improvement, like I got with sleep?