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Topic: How are you coping with your thoughts today?

  1. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    25 May 2022

    Hi All,

    Each moment of every day, we have thoughts darting around in our minds. When I stop to consider the ramblings that are occurring, I realise just how much negativity and destruction is sometimes involved in my thought process. If I leave these thoughts unchecked, allow them to proceed further, if I don't acknowledge of challenge them, I can soon find myself struggling mentally.

    How do you proceed once you realise your thoughts and mind are drifting off to a place you would rather not be?

  2. Child@Heart
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    56 posts
    25 May 2022 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Doolhof! :)

    I like that you said "if I leave these thoughts unchecked" because I think you're onto something there. I go through times where I can acknowledge them and others where they completely pass me by and then I'm in a situation where I realise a little too late what has happened or what was the cause. I know that it can be difficult to challenge these thoughts and is not often something that comes to mind first thought, but I do sometimes try hard to say no to them and try to leave the thought where it lies.

    Distractions can be good if I am aware of what's happening or about to happen thought wise so listening to happy music or getting out that secret stash of Tim Tams and having one with a coffee or cuppa and treating myself to something I enjoy can help. I also sometimes try to use that anxiety trick (I have GAD as well) where you try to name things around you or what you feel or what you can hear or smell bringing me more into the present moment. In spiritual terms, it's called grounding and can be very helpful of course, but it doesn't always work for me if I am already too deep in.

    3 people found this helpful
  3. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    25 May 2022 in reply to Child@Heart

    Hi Child@Heart,

    Thanks for your reply. I find different tactics help me to address what is going on in my mind. Some days like you mentioned, distractions can help, other days the thoughts are just too heavy and seem to take a lot of energy.

    It is helpful to have ideas in mind as to what can be beneficial.

    A couple of days ago I awoke feeling like a thundercloud had descended upon me. I could find no reason for this to be happening other than that is how it was at that moment. Even though it was cold and drizzling outside, I went for a walk to help clear my mind.

    Trying to think of a fruit or vegetable or a place for every letter of the alphabet is a good distraction for me. Counting back from 1000 in 7s just gets me confused! Ha. Ha. There are lots of simple distractions we can use.

    Hope you are travelling okay at present. Kind regards to you.

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8853 posts
    25 May 2022

    This morning I read these words from "Mental Health Prime" on Facebook:

    When things feel overwhelming, remember

    - One task at a time

    - One thought at a time

    - One day at a time.

    I need to deal with one thought at a time and work out how I want to act or react to that thought.

    Issues about work are spinning around in my mind. Writing them down may help me to understand what kind of dilemma my mind is working its way to. Stopping to view the thoughts realistically will be beneficial.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Ethelbrush
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    25 May 2022 in reply to Doolhof
    Well - the vegetable naming is good to note! I'm going to try that one cos it'd make you smile as well. Thanks.
    2 people found this helpful
  6. james1
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    26 May 2022 in reply to Doolhof

    Hello Doolhof,

    Lovely to see you again. One of the things I really enjoy is board games and there are a lot of board games designed for just one player, kind of like a puzzle. These board games vary in complexity so I find they can be really good distractions if I just need something light to take my mind off things, or really focussed challenges that take up all of my mental space. The great thing is that finishing the game often leads to a nice feeling of 'winning'.

    James

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  7. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    26 May 2022 in reply to Ethelbrush

    Hi Ethelbrush,

    You can use this idea for any topic you can think of. Another idea is to think of different colours and list how many items you can name that are say orange or blue for example. Or think of 10 creatures beginning with a certain letter of the alphabet.

    I have found there are times when I need to work out why my thoughts are so troublesome. Other times I recognise them as my mind just going for a wander down a negative path and I try to deflect them.

  8. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8853 posts
    26 May 2022 in reply to james1

    Hi James,

    Thanks for the greeting. It has been a while! I sometimes take the board games out of the cupboard and set them up for two players! My husband asked me once what I was doing. I told him I was playing a game in two parts, either way I was going to win!

    I will have a look for board games suited for one. Someone also introduced me to jigsaw puzzles on the computer. I find that is a good way to be distracted as well. It is rewarding to finish something isn't it!

    Empty space and no plans can be a great breeding ground for festering thoughts to multiple! It is good to have some ideas on hand to distract when trying to work out your thoughts is not what you plan to do.

  9. Banksy92
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    Banksy92 avatar
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    26 May 2022 in reply to Doolhof

    Such a good question and something I am always working on, Doolhol.

    I named the voice of the negative thoughts in my head "Barbara". She is a completely separate entity to myself and someone who is not welcome at the table. So when I catch her mouthing off or reminding me of things I don't want to think about I tell her to shoosh and go away. It's helpful somehow, reminding myself that I am not my thoughts.

    If the voice is really strong, I try grounding techniques like focusing on my senses and being mindful of what's around me. The ground, the air, the noises...

  10. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    26 May 2022 in reply to Banksy92

    Hi Banksy,

    I really like the idea of understanding and comprehending that we are not our thoughts. Naming them Barbara obviously helps you as well. I guess that is a good way of recognising the issue at hand and dealing with it productively.

    Sometimes I catch myself arguing with my thoughts! If I just found a way to dismiss the thoughts that don't need attention I would be much better off!

    Why is it that the mind at times can recall a million things that went wrong but mine struggles to find a positive let alone 10!

  11. Not_Batman
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    27 May 2022 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Doolhof.

    how am i coping with my thoughts today? Well its a bit of a struggle.

    yesterday i took a semi mental health day, and worked from home. I was calm comfortable, and anxiety free. Today though i woke up with anxiety, i geuss because there are a lot of changes happening to me at work right now.

    moving office away from my colleagues, new staff to manage, organising space, desks, computers, etc.

    i need to manage this team as though it was a startup, so need to generate revenue, or else we’re all out of a job.

    im trying to organise it all, but i just feel like im failing at things constantly, and mangers comments are not exactly constructive.

    the fear of the unknown, and criticism from others are current triggers, which sent me into a panic today.

    i hade a phone conversation with lifeline to help me, which it did, and gave me the courage to go back into work. I made a to do list, and i was fine for a little while, but now im exhausted and feel down, and the inner critic is being very loud.

    Not_Batman

  12. mmMekitty
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    27 May 2022 in reply to Doolhof

    Hello Doolhof,😸

    "How are you coping with your thoughts today?" is a good questions to ask myself, especially at the moments when the thoughts come bubbling up & might soon wash all over me like oily sludge. Since I don't want that, I begin by reminding myself that the thought I have are often rehashing of old words spat out at me by people who have low opinions of me, & would seek to harm me, & see me feeling worse than I am already feeling.

    These are someone's own opinions of me. I do not have to take on their opinions, as if I now own them.

    No, I reject their assessments, because it came from a bitter heart, &I think, very hurt & damaged people.

    The idea that these thoughts I have didn't originate within myself, but from the unfortunate circumstances of how I was raised in the family I had, has been growing within me, & I now find myself feeling more sadness & compassion for those people who impressed upon me the many ways I was inadequate, a failure, hopeless & helpless. Maybe they felt these things about themselves.

    I can be angry about it now, but it feels futile. I don't think it helps me to lift myself or calm myself when I feel this deep & long-ignored anger. I will acknowledge it. I might even give my wardrobe a thump, but not hard. I dislike the noise I make, because it startles me too much. & may make my hand hurt, & for what?

    As part of feeling better about myself, I need to show myself more care & consideration, so I do not want to be deliberately hurting myself, not even a little bruise.

    Now, as we seem to be going into winter early, & I feel a dread about how I might feel, because of my past & thoughts, memories & feelings, & the possibility of sliding into depression, I am tempted to burrow in & feel safe all rugged up - but for me, I know that makes maintaining a normal 'routine' (heheh) impossible. & that gets me down all the more, so I do want to resist that.

    I can be vigilant about this & get myself doing something, hopefully, something I have procrastinated over. It feel twice as nice to get one of those tasks done.

    I know talking to somebody, even as we do here helps with being isolated, due to difficulties getting out. Talking to someone face-to-face would be better. If it's a good friend, you might find yourself laughing & able to talk seriously, & feel heard & understood. It's hard to get my PDr to laugh, but I have an itch to do that! When he does, I feel a better connection with him.😺

    mmMekitty

  13. Child@Heart
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    56 posts
    27 May 2022 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi, again Doolhof!

    First of all, I too tend to take a walk in the rain despite the wetness and cold when I think it will help clear my thoughts or rather gain some clarity.

    Counting back in 7's would confuse me too! But I like the naming vegetables and fruits idea! :)

    Yesterday I had a bad day of anxiety during a "bad" day depressive episode and my mind could or body could not sit still for a second! Though I like what you posted about the "one task, one thought, one day at a time". it did make me think of baby steps from the old movie with bill Murray "what about bob?". Has anybody ever seen that?

    I hope you are doing well today.

  14. mmMekitty
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    27 May 2022 in reply to Child@Heart

    Hi Child@heart,

    I know I saw the movie, on tele, maybe more than once... but I do't remember much. It was many years ago. 😸

    I've got my legs being very annoying today, but the feeling is a distraction... too much, I think, when I can't keep seated for more than 5-10 minutes. Gotta go now. & 💤 again, too.

    How do I not get a bit cranky with these things, & end up down on myself?

    mmMekitty

  15. Not_Batman
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    29 May 2022 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hi

    Friday was so tiring after having the panic attack. the wake of the PA just makes me so exhausted. After work SO and I and some friends went out dancing. They all knew something was up because i wasn't drinking and and being quiet and distant (I'm not one to drown my sorrows), but i still had fun.

    the following day, we had a family day with friends, and it was a lot of fun. Same again, quiet and distant.

    today was a home day, which i tried to get things done, so i chopped some wood.

    Over those 3 days, my mind has just continued to be loud and obsessive and catastrophising, and making me just feel like really down, and i feel guilty the than im not good enough, or not going to be good enough to deliver what people want/need me to. I look at my boss and bosses boss and other managers and beat myself up at why i cant be the same, cant make the same decisions, cant deliver. And i constantly obsess and avoid.

    i know it will pass until this time next year, i know the tools to help, but sometimes i cant break the cycle.

    what im doing is obsessing about it all. Obsessing about obsessing, obsessing about trying to break the cycle which just continues the cycle. obsessing about trying to fix the things that are making me feel this way. And so on it goes.

    i feel like a fraud. Giving advice and sharing with people who aren't doing so well, thinking why cant i take my advice.

    Not_Batman

  16. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    30 May 2022 in reply to Not_Batman

    Hi Not_Batman,

    It seems to me some of us are very good at not accepting ourselves for who we are and what we are capable of. Our unhelpful thoughts ruminate, grow, expand, take over and disguise any thoughts that may be helpful and encouraging.

    Maybe at work you can look at the bosses, see what you think is working for them and consider how your talents, experience and past achievements can enhance this new position you find yourself in. Look hard enough and you will see flaws in them as well. None of us are perfect.

    I need to remind myself of these truths as I am struggling at work. Some days I am too scared to ask a question as I am exhausted from being yelled at, spoken to negatively all day at work or by being ignored.

    I don't know what is worse, feeling like you are not even present when not spoken to or being yelled at and feeling totally inadequate. People say it is not me, but the person treating me this way that is the issue. The problem is I take their words and actions to heart and have trouble leaving the negativity at work when I leave.

    I don't have the answers, maybe we can discuss some ideas here to help ourselves and others.

    Hope you have some moments this week where you sense your achievements. Maybe writing them down could help, so you can reflect at the end of the week and reflect on what went well.

  17. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    30 May 2022 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hi mmMekitty,

    It sounds to me like you are quite aware of your triggers and your reactions and actions to painful thoughts and memories. It is where we go next that is important! Knowing what will help and then being able to put those options into action is what I stumble on at times.

    I like your comment about showing yourself more care and consideration. Do you have different ways you manage to achieve this?

    This is something I need to practice myself today.

  18. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    31 May 2022

    Hi has anyone tried this with much success:

    Structured Problem Solving

    1 write down the problematic thoughts

    2 write down your options for dealing with your thoughts, include a range of options

    3 write down advantages and disadvantages for your options

    4 consider and identify your best options

    5 consider how you may carry out your options

    6 once you have done this review your progress in managing to act upon your choices

  19. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    3 June 2022 in reply to Doolhof

    Some words off the internet, not sure who wrote them, I have changed them around a little

    Sometimes you just need to talk about something,

    Not to get sympathy or help,

    But just to stop the power of your thoughts

    By allowing the truth of your issues to be heard.

    1 person found this helpful
  20. mmMekitty
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    4 June 2022 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Doolhof,

    I like your last post about needing to talk to know/feel you ar heard, as you say, not for sympathy or critique, or even response, I suppose - being heard, & I would add, speaking aloud also means you hear yourself. I find that aspect powerful. In the moment of listening to myself as I talk to my PDr, saying things I had not had the courage to say aloud to anyone, & he is there, too, a witness to my voice.

    I've been trying to answer your post from 31 May, & keep getting stuck or losing track of what I'm writing. It's this flu, my memory, the fact I haven't tried to detail what & how I deal with triggers.

    Your post about the Structured Problem Solving can be a start, perhaps with some modifications for your personal needs. Personally, I'm not thinking of triggers as 'problems', but more like signs (little hints, scratched crudely on trees, or as bright & big as neon signs blocking my way forward along this path I'm on). I think they show me something that still needs attention. That's the first thing I try to do. Stop & think about what this current trigger is about.

    I find in the moment I try to think consciously (my head voice is vocal & even sounds likesomeone in my head separate) removes me to an outside perspective. It's by no means works perfectly, & I can still be caught up in the resurgence of emotions & sensations.

    I will point out to myself, the here & now. I might be able to move, touch something close to hand, like the chair I am sitting in, or (when I was at my PDr's place), I listen for his voice, & mentally reach toward that, & hold on.

    The slow & measured breathing methods are useful, if you can in these moments. I do find controlling my breath very difficult, but trying is a diversion in itself.

    I doubt I will ever breeze through any trigger moment. & I'm sure I will stumble sometimes, too. I find what helps more is to understand where this all stems from, & remind myself, it's not my fault that these things happen, not a fault of mine that dealing with them is hard & I can't be sure what I do in the moment will be thoroughly effective every time. Human, messy fallible human, who now has the job of caring for herself. It's up to me how I care for myself. That's another wide topic.

    Well, there's something, I hope helps.

    Warmly,

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    mmMekitty

  21. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    4 June 2022 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hi nnMekitty,

    Thanks for your explanation of what helps you. Being aware of triggers and knowing how to handle those occasions with a sense of connection, mindfulness or consciously being in the moment can help. For me, it can be a matter of remembering what helps and trying to put those ideas and methods into action.

    Deep breathes are helpful too.

    There have been times at work when I have been just so overwhelmed I have told my supervisor I am going for a short break, even if it is another trip to the toilet. It gives me time to rethink what is happening in my mind at that time and how I can help myself.

    I have sat down and used the problem solving technique with pen and paper. Just writing it all down helps to clarify my thoughts.

  22. Glitter Vapes
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    5 June 2022
    I'm not coping with my thoughts today. I feel like a failure and like I'nm a burden on everyone who is trying to support me. I started new meds this week, and the doctor said they could take a week or 2 to start working. I don't know how I'm supposed to survive a week or 2 of waiting for them to kick in, if they're even going to work. Don't have much hope right now.
    1 person found this helpful
  23. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    5 June 2022 in reply to Glitter Vapes

    Hi Glitter Vapes,

    Welcome to the community here. I am sorry to read you are having such a horrible time right now.

    Starting new meds can be a bit of a trial until the Drs manage to get you sorted. In the mean time, you mentioned you have people trying to support you. Let them know you are struggling. Asking people to help is not you being hopeless, just you being aware you need assistance right now.

    Have you tried the support services of Beyond Blue and Life Line? I have phoned them when I feel like I am heading for a mental health crisis.

    Do you have ways of distracting yourself that will help with your thoughts an mood?

    Would sharing more of what you are thinking and experiencing help release some of your emotional pain? If so this is a safe place to do so if you desire to do so. I also find just writing stuff down on paper or even on the computer until there is nothing else to write helps. Then I write down 3 things I am thankful for.

    I have realised over the years that mental health issues can be intense. With effort, I am finding little ways to make life a bit easier on unpleasant days.

  24. gloria10
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    10 June 2022 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Doolhof,

    Im using calming music a lot and I find it helps,though everyone’s taste is different. There are heaps of meditation music on You Tube and I give myself some quiet time.

    I actually feel more relaxed and I’m sleeping less in the afternoon.

    Exercise helps me too. After going for a walk my mind feels a lot calmer.

  25. mmMekitty
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    11 June 2022 in reply to gloria10

    Hello Gloria 10, & a warm welcome.

    Thank you for coming here with your suggestions. It's great you are finding ways of feeling calmer & more relaxed. When we do these things for ourselves, we are taking some control over how we think & feel, caring for ourselves, caring more about ourselves in the process.

    It's a nice positive feedback loop. 😺

    Warmly,

    mmMekitty

  26. gloria10
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    11 June 2022 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hi mmMekitty,

    Thanks for your response. I am slowly learning how to practice self care, though it has taken over ten years to do so :) I'm also being more mindful about what jobs I accept so that I don't put too much pressure on myself.

    Gloria10

  27. mmMekitty
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    11 June 2022 in reply to gloria10

    Hi Gloria 10, & everyone,

    I have been trying to do this too, against a background of not caring because so few people did, over my lifetime.

    I've been thinking self-care is about asking ,'is this in my own best interest? Primarily for my physical & mental health. I need more help doing things I really don't like doing, such as exercise, which often feels worse in the short-term, but would be of enormous benefit later. & there's some food I like to eat, more for how good I feel in the moment, than reaching for the long-term goal of having a healthier body, to go along with being physically fit & strong.

    I'd like all of me to be on my side, so I don't have such tug-o-wars when I have to decide if what I'm about to do is in my own best interest.

    I think it ought to be easy - so why does it take so many years? Why the struggle with some decision or other, almost every day?

    Warmly,

    mmMekitty

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Child@Heart
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    11 June 2022

    How am I coping with my thoughts today? I'm not. It's 3:22 am and I am wide awake my mind is racing and my thoughts are down. I have no friends anymore and when you don't have anybody to go to.. it gets very lonely. oh well. It's not like I haven't had years to get used to feeling like this. Anyway..sorry for being the debbie downer.

    Hope everybody else had a better day and is having a good nights rest.

  29. mmMekitty
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    12 June 2022 in reply to Child@Heart

    Hello Child@Heart,

    Sorry I wasn't up at 3:30am. I might have been - except I managed to sleep a little after moving the book reading past a short but noisy musical interlude, clearing my nose, then rearranging myself in my blankets. Then I slept a few more hours... too cold after a while... slept again... very much too cold when I next woke after 9am.

    I am in a very similar situation. My helpers are the closest to being 'friends' but are not people I want so close, so we can maintain professional boundaries. Like my PDr - he's not a 'friend' either, but I can talk to him about anything.

    I thought I'd made good friends in the Writiers' group I was in before COVID, but since the group disbanded, I have barely heard a thing from any of them, even after I have emailed,& phoned.

    I was hoping my sis & I would be talkig more, but it's as has always been before: either I phone & email or I don't hear anything from her. After the business of my mother's estate is finalised, it's like there is nothing she wants to talk to about with me.

    I'm alone in my flat so much, too anxious going out alone, & still having problems in my feet & legs so that physically it's difficult as well. I feel at a loss about what to do & how. Allow myself to think too much about this & it's miserable.

    These are some feelings I don't cope with so well. I still tend to push them aside, I think, because I don't have a solution to the delema.

    Coming here to talk has helped me some. Having some sort of connection to some people, somewhere, somehow, at least feels better than none. I say this with the understanding, I don't go to just any social site - only here. There are other sites similar to this, but for now, the only membership I have is here.

    Talk again soom

    Warmly,❤️❤️❤️❤️,

    mmMekitty

  30. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
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    13 June 2022

    I'm not coping too well with my thoughts today!

    I will have to work on a combination of distractions and also consider why my thoughts are so upsetting and disturbing and think about what options I have.

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