"Fake it til you make it" and Emotional Reasoning:
Current mood: cynical
I've been thinking about Cognitive Behavioral therapy and its practice of recognising so-called 'Cognitive Distortions' for quite some time and I've concluded something rather strange.
A core mechanism of CBT is recognising patterns of thought that are considered destructive. So what if they're destructive? That doesn't make my thoughts any less legitimate. CBT answers this by asserting that these destructive patterns of thought are irrational, and explains in detail about why.
Fair enough. But there's one particular cognitive distortion that is labelled as irrational and I fail to understand why. It's called 'Emotional Reasoning.'
Emotional Reasoning is a thought pattern of believing that something is true because of the way we feel about it. That if we believe that we are terrible people, that we most certainly are terrible people. That if we believe that we are anxious, then we must be anxious. Regardless of any evidence that such is presently the case.
But let's take that idea one step further.
CBT therapists use a variety of techniques that provide people with positive reinforcement as well as recognising cognitive distortions. And a very, very popular instrument that these therapists use to promote the former is the notion of, "Fake it till you make it."
'Fake it til you make it' follows the basic premise that if ones believes that they are confident, then they are indeed, confident. If they believe that they are fulfilled, then they are indeed, fulfilled. It is supposed to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that promotes positive thoughts through self-belief.
Gee, where have I heard that line of emotional reasoning before?
It begs the question; if these therapists are actively discouraging Emotional Reasoning on the grounds that it is irrational, then what makes it mutually exclusive from the above? They're using identical lines of reasoning as one another, so what makes 'Fake it til you make it' so rational (or so encouraging the practice would imply) as opposed to Emotional Reasoning?
I don't buy the premise that Emotional Reasoning is irrational, because doing so makes psychology fall victim to this self-imposed fallacy. Is the grounds of its legitimacy simply that it makes the patient feel good about themselves? If that's the case, then it fails miserably.
How can a science like psychology that's meant to constantly check its own claims for consistency with previously established information support a practice like this?
I've spoken to a psychologist I'm seeing on this issue and all they said was, "Then perhaps such a method of self-help is not for you."
Can anybody provide some insight into this problem? I don't understand what makes these two things mutually exclusive.
One of the things on UG that people would think should piss me off but it actually amuses me are MLP haters, especially the ones who are legitimate haters that truly think they are in the right by hating the show. It's been unofficially the case on UG that i am the primary defender of MLP by popular demand, especially among the haters of MLP themselves.
This blog has been made for convenience's sake so i don't have to repeat myself over and over.
Several people have asked me about the show and why i enjoy it.
Well, if one really wants to know, i enjoy it because the characters are surprisingly complex for what is supposed to be a kid's show, the animation is amazing, the show caters for fans of my age, the references are good, the writers of the show follow closely to what fans of the show want, the fandom makes some amazing content (and i mean amazing), the show is adorable and finally it just leaves you feeling a little bit happier about yourself inside. I think those are perfectly good reasons to watch the show.
The fandom community is largely a very friendly one too, unlike many, many fandoms that I've come across back in the day. The UGFiM thread is home to just a tiny corner of said community.
A lot of haters have accused me and other 'bronies' on UG alike for being "pedophilic", "zoophilic", "immature", "girly", "repressed manchildren", "neckbearded hipsters" (lulwut) and how "the show is nothing more than an excuse to shift the toys in Hasbro's stockroom" among many others.
This blog is going to disprove all of this.
"the show is nothing more than an excuse to shift the toys in Hasbro's stockroom"
This is bullshit; that isn't the point of this generation of MLP. I cover this in the OP of the FiM thread.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (MLP:FiM) is the 4th generation (G4) of My Little Pony (owned by Hasbro) TV show that began in late 2010, with FiM being written by Lauren Faust; who also wrote the Powerpuff Girls, Foster's Imaginary Friends, among several others.
This show is NOT to be confused with the first 3 generations of MLP from the 80's and 90's, which by comparison are bastardized monstrosities made to blatantly advertise Hasbro's toys and nothing more. With G4, Lauren Faust wanted to make a show that was not only entertaining for its young target audince, but their parents, too.
Of course, a lot of haters still exist because of ignorance, even the writers of the G4 show predicted ridicule. But hopefully whoever is reading this that isn't familiar with what this pony business is all about, will at least give it a chance. There is nothing shameful about liking MLP as it's a legitimately good show.
Originally Posted by Lauren Faust
"When I took the job, I braced myself for criticism, expecting many people — without even watching the show — to instantly label it girly, stupid, cheap, for babies or an evil corporate commercial. I encourage skeptics like this to watch Friendship Is Magic with an open mind. If I'm doing my job right, I think you'll be surprised."
"Pedophiles and Zoophiles"
This one is also bullshit. When you have a fandom as large as this, you're inevitably going to get members of the fandom that want to sexualize the show. This is true for any fandom, to the point in which there has been a couple of unofficial urban rules of the internet which define that such a group exists in any fandom.
Rule 34: If it exists, there is porn for it.
Rule 35: If no porn exists for it, porn will inevitably be made.
The point is that there is porn everywhere, especially in the media. You can't call out that bronies are pedophiles and zoophiles because it isn't a fair generalization. There is pornography in every kind of media on the internet, even if you don't want to think that there is. So deal with it. The only reason why it gets so much media press is because the media are exclusionary assholes, what else is new?
"Immature and Girly"
This is not only bullshit, it's also often hypocritical. Most people watched cartoons back when they were young, many of which you would look back on and call them "Girly". The fact of the matter is that you have probably watched girly cartoons and enjoyed them as a kid, especially if you grew up in the 90's. The Powerpuff Girls was a massively popular cartoon on CN and nobody made a fuss about it being girly. How is liking MLP objectively any different?
You even see people (UG regulars included) who parade that they love Powerpuff Girls and they get no hate at all, then you see people my age who watch Spongebob all the time and also, parade that they do.
Some argue that because they watched PPG and Spongebob when they were growing up, that makes it socially acceptable.
Bullshit. By that logic i could be a 40 year old man and parade that i enjoy watching Barney and nobody would see that as being apparently strange because i can say, "I watched that shit when i was 3 years old!" and everybody would shrug their shoulders and be none the wiser. The reality is that it doesn't matter how old you are, you're still watching a kid's cartoon, not that there is anything wrong with doing that.
MLP is actually a nostalgic show anyway; the show overall has a very similar feel to PPG, partly because Lauren Faust, the mastermind behind 4th gen MLP, also wrote PPG back in the day. So in a way, it is nostalgic because the show is very similar to PPG.
Also relevant: The concept of boys liking dolls comes hand in hand with boys liking 'girly' cartoons in terms of this video in my opinion.
Stupid stereotype. I cannot speak for all those who watch the show, but i don't watch this show for the purpose of being a 'hipster'. If i really wanted to be a 'hipster', i wouldn't watch this show in the first place because it's far too popular to be 'hip' these days anyway. A lot of the reason why people try to be 'hip' is to try to show charm, individualism and 'intelligence', but they end up coming off as obnoxious, pretentious, pseudo intellectual idiots. I don't think people who make the comment of me being a 'hipster' aren't being too serious in this assumption so i will go no further.
Those people who think they are legitimate in hating the show are antiquated, ignorant hypocrites that need to grow up, and that is saying something coming from me. Nobody is forcing you into watching this show and even if you have watched it, that's fine, but just because you don't like the show doesn't give you the right to tell people to hate it.
So its been quite some time since I've written a new blog.
Do you ever get the feeling that you're the only sane person on this planet? I get that feeling a lot where i live, what with my mother being manipulative and bitchy while my dad smashes up my computer as he cannot control his anger. Then there is my sister who tries to convince me to be a Christian, trying to show me that there is another way to look at life.
Have i tried to look at life differently? Absolutely, I've even taken Charlotte's offer up to try to convince myself that Christianity is true. I've tried to convince myself since the beginning of this year. I read the Bible, I've read a dozen books that try to give scientific, moral and sociological proof that Christianity is justified. I want to believe 'the good news', i want to believe that we are all here for a reason, i want to believe that life is about more than survival, I need that meaning because i don't have a functional family, i don't have an education, i don't have any money, any job prospects, any future by the looks of things.
And i know that whoever cares to read this may be thinking to themselves 'you are so young, you have so much to live for', but i don't. If i'm going to get out of this house and keep a million miles away from my father (who is a violent, intolerant prick), i need to get better qualifications, but the problem is that my family refuses to fund me to do anything different in university as they're hellbent on me being an engineer. Its not like they can't afford for me to go to uni, they simply refuse to because they're assholes.
I understand that some people do not want spiritual enlightenment, but when you're living in a life that has so many problems, so many insecurities, so much uncertainty, so much misery that having a sense that all of this bullshit means something becomes a growing desire, it becomes a human need.
My heart wants to follow faith, but my mind just doesn't allow me.
These lyrics are about the time when i fell into hypnotic trance and saw something that i didn't expect. That everyone that i loved was looking back at my from a mirror, with myself looking back at it. I saw my friends and family, laughing, talking and cheering me on, be it alive or dead, i saw them all. I even saw two people who i am yet to meet. My son and my wife in the future. I didn't actually see them, but i had a feeling that it was them for sure.
This whole experience was so incredible, i was Christian for a time as i felt that it was an experience handed down from God. It was that powerful.
I wrote a some lyrics.
When I woke up in desperate times
To see a life where love resides
Within a mirror of fate, my eyes perceive
The shadows of the dead that I once grieved
They smiled and laughed as I recalled
How much I deeply missed them all
I saw the father of my mother
He said how much I’ve grown,
That in life and death we have each other
And love is what he’s felt and known.
There were three other figures standing there
In the night, taking in the ice-cold air
As they walked, I had a feeling that we had met
Gone went their silhouettes.
It was me, I saw myself to be free
With the love of my friends and family
By my sides were the people of my life
My wonderful son and beautiful wife
But it all suddenly came to an end
As I opened my eyes and saw the tears as they descend
I had torn apart my ties and chains that suffocated
I felt the power they gave, I’m free and vindicated
Right now i'm currently living in a beautiful corner of the world called the Pyrenees in the south of France. The weather is wonderful, the beauty is inspiring and the views are unforgettable. I came here with my parents as an escape from all of my problems back home; what with my course, not knowing what i want to do for the rest of my life and a growing problem of loneliness. I came here to seek a new lease of life, to forget about everything for a moment to take in the views, to stop and smell the flowers, say hello to the locals, to appreciate my parent's handiwork of the house while I've been away.
This is meant to be a time to relax, to forget about my temporary problems and feel the warmth of the everlasting sun,to listen to the birds singing their sweet melodies, to have my lungs filled with fresh air at last from living in the city smog for so long, to avert my eyes from the sad faces of once ordinary men that are begging for food top silence their pain from hunger, all the way down to the beauty of the full moon with its light descending down upon me to light the keys of the keyboard as i type in this solitary moment of peace and tranquility.
I came here for the darkness that i feel inside of my heart of my impending doom to be vanquished, for myself to reawakened into a new age in my life that is hopeful, confident and fearless. So i can awaken my full potential, my body, my mind and my spirit. To stand beside my friends, my family and the savior of mankind whom had died for my own freedom, to see them be happy and content, so maybe then i could help them one day if they're sharing my current fate.
But now i'm here, with everything i came to see, to hear, to smell, to touch and to taste right here in front of me; and yet, i feel as empty as ever. To know that things couldn't be more beautiful; even the galaxy is looking down upon me now like its aware that i'm here and its telling me to never give up hope, as if this is all a gift from God to me.
Yet, my demons are still here, making a mockery of my feeble attempts of escape, the bastards sending the messages that i cannot be freed, that i'm trapped forever in bondage, with anger, fear and stress being the anchors that the tethers are holding from. I feel so defeated in the knowledge that no matter how hard i try, i will never be able to reach the cure, the one thing that last summer gave me the strength to carry on, with God as my witness- my friends.
They're the only people who want to listen, who are capable of understanding what i'm going through, they are capable of showing me the beauty of the world along with God, so that for at least in this life there is a little peace of heaven deep within all of this madness. I've learned now that location alone does not provide a foundation to stand my two feet on, but rather my friends and my ultimate father, Jesus Christ. They have the power for me to see the moon and the stars that descend upon me now, not as a symbol of my loneliness but as a symbol of victory and peace.
May my friends and my father deliver me from evil.
Having a period of depression does some strange things to
you. The world can be the sunniest place, people can still smile at you
cheerily, children can laugh and cry, the sun can warm your skin, the sky can
be clear and blue, but its still as grey as winter.
Concentration seems an impossible task, from a physical and
psychological standpoint. You’re too exhausted to see and hear, nothing is
pleasing to look at as the magic effect that the whole world is grey is carried
indoors with you. Everything seems like a murmur and a blur. And you all you
feel capable of doing is sitting there, wondering, dazing far off into the
future, hoping, fearing and dwelling on what the future is holding for you; each
challenge, each pitfall, each second of suffering. And then you look up to the
pieces of blank paper in front of you like it is a piece full of scribbles and
hieroglyphics, it makes no sense and you don’t see the point in trying to make
any sense of it. What looked familiar to you a few months ago now looks like aliens
Sleep is a fucked up thing too. You don’t get tired in the typical
way; not in a way that feels pleasant or relaxing. You feel tired in a way that
your mind is rotting away and your lungs have been sucked dry of oxygen, as if
you’re with some kind of terminal illness that is slowly killing you.
You see chaos in everything. The floor, the buildings, the
sky, the walls, the laughter of the children on the street, even the glow of
the sun- it all sounds and looks so twisted and wrong; like I’m in some kind of
nightmare. The floor looks so cracked and broken, the buildings seemingly
random, distorted and towering over you like monsters in suspended animation.
Then the children’s manic laughter, with their twisted smiles and bloodthirsty
cackling all laughing upon me, feeding off my joy and sense of worth; gorging
on it with sickening pleasure that fills their throats with my afterglow, and
they belch it all out in demonic laughter and screaming. It drives you to
insanity, asking all the big questions. Why me? Why am I here? Am I dead? Am I
alive? Am I in Heaven, Limbo or Hell?
These delusions are not one of my imagination; these
things I see and feel seem very real. I just want it to stop… I’m begging for
help like a man that’s drowning in the ocean. Screaming, crying out for anyone
who could be there in a world that’s seemingly infinite and uninhabitable.
If you feel anything like this, I'm sorry, but you need help. I'm not talking about help from your friends, I mean someone who truly knows what they're talking about. Someone who talks to people that see the world like this every day, you need professional help. And judging upon my experiences, you don't have much time to act before you try to end it all; to kill yourself to end all this madness.
Today, my dad walked into my flat completely unexpectedly.
They just burst in, having driven 10 miles through traffic and went to all the
effort to come here. I was taken completely by surprise as I was playing my
guitar, completely oblivious whilst minding my own business.
he came in with the most relieved looks on their faces I
have ever seen.
“Dan! Thank God you’re alright!”
“What the hell are you doing here? Of course I’m alright. Why wouldn't I be alright?”
“I thought you died!”
“What?! Why would I be dead?!”
“You hadn’t replied to any of my text messages for 5 days.
Your mother and I tried to contact you on Facebook, but you never answered
after trying to contact you dozens of times.”
“What? I go on Facebook all the time! If I ever received
such messages, I would’ve replied to them. But I never received anything from
any of you.”
“We did send you loads of messages to see what was wrong
because you hadn’t replied to us at all for days. Your phone was switched off
and we sent you dozens of messages with no reply. So I came here to see what
the hell was going on. When we saw your blinds were closed, we thought you had
“What the fuck?? What lead you to that conclusion? Why the
fuck would I be dead?”
"It doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is that you’re
“Of course I’m okay, why wouldn’t I be? Nothing bad has
They then told me he was going out to eat and if I wanted to
join him. We left to go out as if nothing had ever happened.
So after the meal, dad told me that my mum had booked
tickets to go to a comedy club in a bar as she won them. So after the meal we
left for the bar.
So I walked into the bar being prepared to supposedly
‘laugh’ at the comedians and be sociable. Well, none of that happened according
to plan. I came into the bar expecting a good time and I walked out drunk and a
So I spent my time with my father for the evening. We didn’t
talk much, except for sharing pleasantries. It seemed so strange how a couple
of hours ago, he bombarded my apartment expecting me to be haemorrhaging on
the floor, dead. Then we have a conversation like we were mere
acquaintances. It was really, really strange.
Then we went downstairs to the underground club to ‘laugh’
at the drunken stand-up ‘comedians’. The show began and ran for 3 parts. I
didn’t pay attention to a word any of them said. All I could think about was how strange dad was acting.
I looked at him seeing a man full of joy from the cheap
laughter of the other drunk audience members. He looked so strong and
impossible to break.
My memory casts back to when he had the
stroke, in a house I’ve been living in for almost 20 years. Back to when he was screaming on his office
floor in terror, in absolute tears. My dad never, ever showed emotion like
that. I haven’t seen him shed a tear in all my life. Not one. Not even during
his father’s funeral. He looked like his plain, normal self. And then to see
him completely powerless, petrified, begging for me to help him, it didn’t just
break my heart; it annihilated it.
I looked back to the time when him and I went on holiday
together and only us were together when we had a speedboat. At 6am every
morning, we sailed in crystal clear waters.
We found a lagoon we that was completely secluded. The
reason we travelled 1200 miles to this paradise was to go fishing together. We
watched the sun rise together every morning as we fished alone in the lagoon.
We even went skinny dipping on one of the mornings when the water was ice cold.
But we didn’t care.
We loved to go there and we loved each other so, so much.
But then the memory faded away. And now there he was, just
him and me. He cried on the floor, absolutely terrified. Screaming, shaking,
occasionally whimpering that he loved me. He cried that he was sorry for being
a bad father. He said that in case this was the end, that he loved me with all
his heart. That he was the proudest dad in the world.
I hugged him as he lay down on the stretcher as he closed
his eyes, as he was being carried off to the ambulance.
Then I looked that the comedy was over. I walked home alone
back to this apartment, were once again my flatmates are partying for the
Now I know why my dad was so worried about me when he came
to my flat. Because he was so afraid that he didn’t want me to be in terror,
dying. Like he did. And it only began to make sense to me when I just got home
here. I hadn’t talked to him for quite a while and the last thing he wanted for
me was for him to see me die, like he almost did.
So, i think I've come to the conclusion that i don't want to do engineering anymore. I hope that this is all just a phase and I've just had a really bad week, because i honestly don't enjoy it at all. The lecturers are useless too. A lot of them speak foreign in accents nobody understands or are so clueless as to what they're talking about, they're figuring it all out just so they can get their own heads around it. Never mind us.
The hypnosis treatment has made me a lot more relaxed. I'm depressed, but as cool as a cucumber most of the time, which is exactly what the CD was designed to do.That's one thing i'm thankful for.
I've had a few kinda personal encounters too. I've began reading the bible a little bit and i like the morals it teaches. I don't take it too literally. I don't think even Christians really take the Tower of Babel too literally. But the morals are wise and good. Its a book full of interesting stories.
I'm not sure still if i should believe. i think someday that i go to my sister's old church and get some guidance from the reverend. Hopefully he'll give me some direction.
For now though, things are pretty bad education-wise. 5 years of struggling have now taken their toll. I'm thinking about quitting, even though my parents have given me so much money to fund it and I've invested so much
time in it.
At least my friends have been so supportive. Especially James, Casper and Dave for these past few days...
I'm glad that ponies are back on the air too. Its just stuff like that which makes me feel better, you know?
For those who are reading this, i wish you all well.
Things have been pretty turbulent in chapter 4 of my depression. The hypnotherapy seems to be doing really positive things to me. The antidepressants didn't work. Let's get that out of the way.
Okay, so right now I'm about to go back to uni to do my other semester. It'll be a lot more difficult than the last one and even then, i struggled a lot. My hopes are on the low side tbh. The stuff i was learning was A-Level equivalent and after already doing A-levels and struggling, that doesn't give me the most confidence in the world. This seems to be the biggest issue right now.
Dave, Conor, James, Jadar, Casper and everyone else have been really supportive and helpful. for the first time in my life pretty much have i joined a social group were i feel welcome and not a freak or an outsider. It feels good. Its hard work keeping up with what everyone's doing, but its rewarding and fun as everyone always has something interesting to say and do.
I'd love to be able to talk to my Australian friends more often, but they often seem busy. I suppose that's kinda unavoidable but I'll do all i can to keep in touch.
The fanfiction is at a standstill at the moment. I haven't read it or even touched it in nearly 2 weeks. I'm sure that i can get back into it if i do look at it, but i always think to myself as i read it "that needs improvement". I guess being a perfectionist is a good thing in some ways, but it makes writing unrewarding. I need to sort this out because I do enjoy reading and writing but my perfectionist attitude is discouraging me.
Losing my friendship with Rhodri hasn't been of a loss to me as i expected. Sure it was hard and it hurts nevertheless, but not as much as i though it would. It doesn't bother me that much. Just as long as i keep in contact with my friends online regularly (which i do), things will be okay.
I miss Maria a lot. She's a really lovely person. Really down to earth and really treats me like a human being. She is a fascinating person to talk to. I don't see her as a therapist. I see her as a friend. A good friend. I miss her more than Rhodri ironically. Tomorrow i'm going to be receiving that hypnotherapy CD that she has made. My prediction is that it'll be wonderful. Its such a shame that as she is my therapist, she cannot extend our relationship beyond the hypnotherapy sessions. This is a bummer because she seems like she would make a really reliable friend.
I'll figure out a way to give the file for the hypnotherapy CD to anyone who's interested.
Making this blog, i though i would have more to say. Maybe in another blog. Probably nobody will be reading this, but letting it out feels good. For now, back to cradling the Gibson.
For anyone who is reading this, take care and have a good day.
I've had life laugh me in the face. I've had to cope with a lot of dissapointment. I’ve had to deal with a lot of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I've had to cope with manipulation, hypocrisy, lies and selfishness from other people.
I have submitted to my demons and I’ve fed them happiness and satisfaction to make them stop. But doing this just leaves them hungrier. You feed them more. They get hungrier. You feed them more, they get hungrier. Eventually you aren't happy anymore. They can't get a fix, so they feed off you.
I've wanted so much; to end everything and not realise what a price I’m paying to those who care. I've wanted to smash the clock to seize time, so I can run away from the future so I can live in the past, in a bid to make things right.
I have questioned the madness I invite, just so it can knock me back down again. I've taken drugs that make me sick. I've destroyed my own body because of how much I hate myself and how much I hate my major depression, it was in an attempt for the misery to literally bleed out of me.
I don't know where my future is going to go. I might fall into being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I might fall into other people's wrongdoings. In a way, that is hypocritical for me to say. My demons are liars. Allowing them to manifest into my feelings and my senses has been my wrongdoing.
But i stride for the say in which I face each day with my eyes open and my mind abuzz with confidence and hope.
Your blog, Blackwatersun speaks the truth. They are the goals that I wish to stride for, not just for myself, but also for my family and my friends who have been devastated by my revelations. But most of all, I stride to fight for my future and accomplish my dreams. I'm trying to fix the clock that I smashed.