Dr. Richards,

I just thought I would e-mail you with some good news.  I feel like I’ve made some big progress.  It's really exciting for me.  I did some stuff today that helped me exert my independence by standing up to someone (in a positive way).  I was being myself and I didn't apologize or feel ashamed about it, like I used to. 

 I also realized today that I've been so much calmer when this (other person) does something to make me mad.  I don't get mad at him anymore.  Which is really weird, cause I used to lose my temper and scream at him.

It's been the same way with my supervisor.  I used to get depressed when she would get mad at me (for something that was not my fault), but today it didn't bother me that she was mad at me, because I knew that it was her problem and not mine. 

I've been doing my cognitive handouts  every day.  I know that I need to keep them up, so I will.

I'm doing really well lately.  I've been doing some behavioral stuff, too.  Small stuff, but it is helping me so much.  I've got my motivation back.  It seems like everything I learned in Phoenix is coming back to me now that I need it.  

I'm thinking much more positively now.  I know I'm going to lick this thing if its the last thing I do.

I'm being much more kind to myself.  I think a little push that (a group member) gave me has helped me a lot in this area.

On Thanksgiving, with the big family gathering, I had tons of anticipatory anxiety.  I didn't give into it though.  Things went well for a while.  I was changing my negative thoughts to rational thoughts.  For example, I was thinking how blessed I was to have a family to have Thanksgiving with.  That helped a lot.  Also, about how much better I am doing this year than last year.

 During our dinner someone who is not a part of my family, but was having dinner with us remarked how I don't talk too much.  Then my uncle said something about me not wanting to talk to any of them.  It hurt and after that I just wanted to go home. 

The good thing is that I am not depressed about any of this right now.  Before, I'm sure I would have been down and depressed. 

I realize that neither one of them meant to hurt me.  They just don't know any better.  Anyway, the rational thinking has helped a lot.  Of course, I still have my ANTS thoughts but they are getting less and less.  I just wanted to let you know that I survived Thanksgiving with a smile :) 

Yesterday there was a lot of stress at work and I had had a lot of ANTS thoughts while I was at work, but on my way home I started rationalizing all of the ANTS thinking I had. 

Rationalizing all of the ANTS thoughts puts me in such a better mood.  It made me feel so much better about myself when I could see through the lies. 

Anyway, this is very unusual for me because usually when I have a day that starts out bad, it usually just gets worse throughout the day.  It didn't get worse today, though, it only got better. :) 

I have to keep moving forward.  Well, just wanted to keep you up to date.  I'm working on volunteering somewhere and getting in a singles group. I haven't been able to do it yet, but I will.  Hope things are going well with you.

 --  Karen