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>> No. 26129 Anonymous
3rd February 2018
Saturday 5:40 am
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I know this is probably some form of generalised anxiety, but I'm not sure how to handle it.

I've had some time off over the past few days, and it's occurred to me just how difficult I find it to really enjoy the time off.

I'm constantly hounded by a feeling that I can only describe as "guilt for being alive", like no matter where I am or what I'm doing I must be inconveniencing or annoying someone.

I feel the need to justify every decision I make and activity I participate in, from "why are you studying that" or "why are you working there", to "why does your hair look like that" or "why are you wearing those clothes".

This probably stems from a lot of real life situations when I was younger.

The result is frustrating as an adult. When I'm working, I can placate these feelings with the knowledge I'm "doing my job". Without that sense of purpose, though, I become really uncomfortable. It's as through I don't feel worthy of enjoying life.
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>> No. 26131 Anonymous
3rd February 2018
Saturday 6:07 am
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it's pretty bad as anxiety goes, but yes it sounds like a GAD. The only way top combat intrusive thoughts is using mindfulness and exercise, in my experience. I've found diazepam helps immensely when I'm at home and can't distract myself. Too high a dose over a long period of time will make you worse though, it's very much a painkiller for your psyche and not to be taken every day.

The first thing it is important to establish is a routine, which it sounds like you have. From there you're at the mercy of your own willpower and unless something happens to strengthen your resolve I completely understand why that would seem difficult. It's not impossible though, and you take your chances when they come and you use the positive experiences to combat the intrusive thoughts, as they are definitely a symptom and therefore not outwith your ability to manage.
>> No. 26137 Anonymous
3rd February 2018
Saturday 5:07 pm
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You might want to look into Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and the idea of self esteem vs self acceptance.

We're often tacitly taught by society that our worth as a human being is derived from the things we do and the things we own. The self-esteem movement of the 1970s played into this. Parents and teachers were told to lavish children with praise to raise their self-esteem, but that actually created a generation of very timid and insecure people. Praise is conditional, even if it's unearned. If you tell a child that they're clever or pretty or good at drawing, you're teaching them that their worth as a human being is tied to those attributes. When you teach a child that praise is essential, you also teach them that criticism is intolerable.

The healthier, more sustainable approach is self acceptance - to tell your self that you are worthwhile even though, not that you are worthwhile because of. Even if you were a serial killer, your life would still have some value. You might have done a reprehensible thing, but that doesn't make you a reprehensible or irredeemable person. You can learn to separate the evaluation you make of your choices and actions from the evaluation you make of yourself as a whole person. Your value as a whole person is innate and unconditional, because you're the only you. There is no ideal you to compare yourself against, just the real you that actually exists, with all your foibles.

You can't change the past, so it's pointless to beat yourself up about actions that you've already taken. You can't accurately predict the future, so it's pointless to worry about what might happen. What matters is the present moment and making choices right now that are in line with your fundamental values. You don't have to be ecstatically happy every minute of the day to live a fulfilling life. You don't have to struggle against the thoughts and feelings that cause you to suffer, you can just carry them lightly and make the choices that matter to you.


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