Thursday, 29 October 2015

Irrational v Rational Thoughts (AKA bollocks or not bollocks.)

Rational thinking? Image from Calvin and Hobbes.
I've had a meeting day when I get to SMART and actually listen. The meeting in itself was a bit tiresome. Someone kept leaving the meeting and then coming back in. It wasn't a biggie but for once I just thought just sit the f*ck down. My inner rage often bubbles below the surface it would seem. I do not think this was out of line. It was disruptive but I guess they felt they had to do it.

We talked about irrational thoughts (I deserve a drink, only one, no harm there, I can stop after one) compared with rational (evidence based) thoughts (You won't stop at one, you don't 'deserve a drink', you never stop once you get started). Or as I like to think about them.

Bollocks or NOT Bollocks.

{I'm not trying to be offensive, whilst this word is use for male genitalia, here in the UK it is also used as a noun for expressing displeasure link here. But not a word you would use in polite company or when telling your Grannie that the current government aren't up to the job.}

So here's what I've been challenging myself with.

Is what I'm saying or thinking rational or not - no its bollocks. [irrational]

Is what I think based in evidence, if it is its - NOT bollocks. [it is in fact rational]

I have huge issue with these things. And, as part of my sober journey I'm starting to face up to those things that make me feel rubbish and brew irrational thoughts. Its not easy.

Trying to replace them with evidence based thinking (NOT bollocks) is bloody hard when you've spent your life hiding. Living in irrationalville, Bollocks central.

A bit like this morning routine. Getting up at a fixed time seems to make me feel more grounded. Routines do too. And I'm kind enough to know that a bit of slippage is OK as long as it all gets done.

My usual irrational voice would tell me - look at you, I mean, you can't even GET UP like a normal person. When you start the day like that, your brain shuts down to any sort of rational thinking. Well, at least, I'm beginning to know, mines does and then the self flagellation begins and I descend into 'see you, you're rubbish at life'.

Which is, quite frankly bollocks. But when that's what your morning brain tells your heart, [shouting YOU'RE RUBBISH] your self esteem falls into your boots.

Not clever. And, not true either.

So that's been a bit of a lightbulb moment for me.

The evidence would suggest that as I've always really physically struggled with getting up since I was a freshly hatched child, that I am not lazy or stupid or lax. I wake up like I've been drugged, dragging myself out of sleep, none of this fresh as a daisy stuff for me. Always been the same. Its just who I am and how my body works. Who knows it might be something I can fix. And if I can't then its just how I am.

So armed with my giant sober flash cards which challenge me to think are these thoughts rational or irrational. I can stop and really think of what I'm trying to tell myself, and which card to hold up high. Mostly I think it will be this one.

Yes really, you're OK.


  1. Hi. Just wanted to say I just came across your blog and I'm really enjoying reading your posts and having a giggle too. I'm 16 weeks and 2 days sober :)

    1. Hey Diana welcome and happy sober days xxx Well done!!!


  2. Oh!! This is me!!
    I never wake up all bright eyed, either!
    I feel drugged too!!
    I have to fight the feeling I'm lazy, too!!
    I'll take your card and carry on!

    1. Good stuff Wendy - looking through the crap isn't easy but somehow we start to believe in ourselves again. x

  3. I always wished I was a morning person. I am not.
    I like sleep.

    1. I'm realising that this isn't a bad thing. :)

  4. I've used the PG version of this for a while - think one of the Bubble hour ladies asks herself 'is this even true?' But I think I like your gonad-based version even better :) xx

    1. Thank you gonads have a way of shaking up the brain more than I expected. A bit like that card game called Bullshit I think Belle talked about it a while back. Mostly it seems my head wraps me up in nonsense or is this wolfie being a bugger again xx

  5. We can be so bloody hard on ourselves, ridiculously hard. Tara Brach said in a talk, if anyone else spoke to us as we do, we would hit the roof, be appalled, never see them again.
    In bed, after unhealthy breakfast instead of bleurrr green smoothie, I am doing exactly the worst self talk, going lower and lower in mood. HOWEVER, after over a year not drinking or working on a crazy treadmill with mega stress, I am waking up differently many days (mainly just like you - feel terminal!)
    XXXXX Concentrate on telling yourself what your best friend would say about you XXXXX

    1. And please please please Kate tell your bestfriend inside you that you're awesome. One bad breakfast does not maketh the woman.