Why "just get over it" doesn't work

No, I can't just stop thinking about what I'm thinking.

No, I can't just stop doing what I'm doing.
No, I just can't stop believing what I'm believing.
No, it's not simple, because it's a Rewiring Process.
Stick with me step by step. It'll make sense in the end.

1. 🐘 ←Don't look at the elephant! 
If you're like me, some thoughts feel helpful but others unproductive, random, and overwhelming. You can sometimes make connections between your thinking, feeling, doing, but don't know how to change them, though you want to. I hit a wall when I try to "Will my Way" to better thinking by attempting better thinking. So what is changing my thinking? I am rewiring my brain.

2. Brain engineering is like rewiring a circuit.
My connection sends electricity in one direction, but now I need energy sent a different direction. I can't just stick my hand in the path or I'll electrocute myself. So, I stop, disconnect the circuit pieces, rewire the path, and then plug it back into the wall. It takes time, but it's the only way to consistently send energy in that direction. It's not that the original circuit was wrong; I did need that energy flow before. But now I need change. Brains work the same way.

3. My Brain is NOT out to get me.
My brain didn't wake up saying, "Skipping this meal is a great idea!" That pattern is attached to a specific scenario, and in that scenario, avoiding food met a valid need. Now, that pattern is ineffective. Did the original connection produce light? Yes. So I need to consider that original scenario to the extent necessary for Rewiring my brain to operate best Right now.

4. Core Beliefs-Thoughts-Action. 
CBT identifies connections between my thoughts and actions. Even more importantly, it examines root beliefs that keep kickstarting the ineffective patterns. Healing comes from rewiring the 'Circuit.' Rewiring a circuit requires taking it apart and creating detangling solutions. CBT is the practical steps in that process. It strategically restructures my Brain to Think new thoughts. I might have known better beforehand, But now I'm equipped to do better.

 

Examples of recent rewiring
Here are thoughts I'm rewiring. Please don't get stumped by format, titles, or my writing. Pause. Take a second and look carefully. Focus on how those original thoughts transform. You may see me making connections to my faith. I'll detail those in a later post.

Example One: Deep
Scenarios →
Rewired Thoughts for next time

This is the entire process Sped up.
Left: Original thoughts. Right: Rewired thoughts.

Example Two: Deeper
New Scenarios →
Original Thoughts →
Rewired Thoughts for next time

Maybe you're thinking: "Why such extreme thinking, Kedall?"
I ask you a similar question:  How does your thinking tie your identity to a mistake, past event, person, etc?  Track with me: 
I feel horrible that I...
I can't believe I...
I was a jerk WHEN I...
I made 'x' person mad... I'm such an asshole.
Why do I keep... I'm so stupid.
I should have known to...
Why didn't I just... If only I had... What's wrong with me?
I was an idiot to... I can't do anything right. I'm a failure.
No one's going to love me if I...
No one likes someone who...
I'm broken because I am/have...
I can't be trusted to...
I can't make it in life without...
I don't deserve...
 

Example 3: Deepest
New Scenarios →
Original Thoughts & Context → Behaviors and Consequences →
Rewired Thoughts for next time

BONUS: Still confused?
Watch my rewiring. Here's why I am okay, even if you disapprove of my process.

  1. Boundaries teach me that I am responsible to you, but not for you. I am not responsible for your feelings or thinking. I narrate my recovery journey best I can.

  2. You are not entitled to my narration. I do not owe you an explanation.

  3. Not everyone will understand my privileged explanations. I do not hold myself to that expectation. Others' potential misunderstandings and frustrations are outside my control.

  4. Others can own their confusion by choosing to ask me a question. I can explain again if I want to.

  5. Whatever the outcome, another person's understanding does not determine my value. I don't have to feel bad because I never became bad. My identity is still firmly rooted in my inherent worth.

Boom.

 

Piecing it all Together
I get a lot of questions about why I've been in counseling so long and why it's worth the time to explore the connections between my past and present. I think the process can appear more taxing, less helpful, and not at complex because mental health is less 'visible' than physical health. Mental health requires our hearts, minds, and inner persons to shift, but those developed and were reinforced over a lifetime. The process of identifying what is ineffective and redesigning outcomes is only as hearty as the hustle put into it. My goal is not behavioral modification at the expense of perpetual inward toil. My goal is holistic, lasting change. That process can't be timed, estimated, or rushed, but is worth every single moment and sacrifice. That's why I've invested all this time in my journey. It's well spent because it's an investment in my future.

 

Brief Faith Connection*
To me, the slowly renewing my mind reflects God slowly changing me over time. When I miss the mark, sometimes I knew what to do, But I'm stuck. I did what I did because came most naturally, but it was exhausting. I knew it wasn't effective, but it wasn't a simple matter of making better choices. Those natural patterns were blinders, which meant I had to hit a wall over and over until the bricks humbled me. Lying on the concrete, I understood I wasn't lazy, unfocused or bad. I was weak yet somehow still expected myself to Get It Together. But just like I didn't just turn on my faith, I can't push the Good Behavior Button. God started and only God can sustain my growth. And it's a good thing He is a gracious teacher. I could finally stop judging myself and walk in self-acceptance. My value does not waver like my mind. That gives me hope and Strengthen me. *Read more details

Kendall Crouther