On the lock screen of my phone is a list of the ten most prevalent cognitive distortions.
It would make more sense to have a picture of my son and me, considering I have about 2,000 in my camera roll. But instead I choose to keep the cognitive distortions list.
Why do I chose to focus on this list instead of friends or family when I glance at my phone? For me, the answer is simple:
It’s a constant reminder that my often-irrational thinking is usually based on one of the 10 distortions.
It’s become a way for me to remember that my brain doesn’t always allow me to stay in the moment; to live and enjoy the life I have. Instead of staying in the moment, my brain typically races to what may or may not happen next, the failures that are ahead, or the possibility that I what I want will never be within my reach.
But I know that when my brain is spinning out into a distortion blowout, I’m not using the tools that I have been given by my therapist, friends, family, and experiences.
Being reminded (maybe by my phone’s lock screen) that I cannot tell the future and worrying about it only ruins the moment that I’m in – that is what gets me through it.
I’m slowly (sometimes VERY slowly) accepting that moments of fear and anxiety, mind reading, all or nothing thinking, etc. will pass. “It will not last forever” has become a very crucial mantra of mine.
My goal is to enjoy spending time with friends and family without my brain taking me somewhere else. And having a constant reminder on my phone has been helping that goal slowly become reality.
I see myself having those moments more often. And I feel genuinely happy about that. However, it’s a daily choice to do what’s right for my recovery. And it’s little reminders like my cognitive distortions list that are helping me get there.
What are you doing to keep you on the recovery path? Do you have any daily reminders? Let me know in the comments below