Tuesday, 24 July 2012

CODE RED

In my previous post, I talked about an idea about having a code that you could send to your partners or close friends when you need help, or are feeling unstable and anxious.

It could be used in all sorts of situations, but for me, it would be when things are becoming difficult and I'm losing my rag, and I want to communicate with my partner without dragging him into the tornado of emotions (that are all mainly irrational and dysphoric).

So, I've decided I'm going to go for a really easy idea, of CODE RED.  But you could equally use numbers, or some other symbolic word etc.

Contacting my husband at work is something I now stay away from.  We text occasionally, when there is business to do or to tell each other we love them, but in the past, texts have been so destructive, and a childish and cowardly way of dealing with things during pre menstruation.

I now, rarely, ever send nasty or crazy text messages.  It can be hard to stop myself, but most of the time I succeed. What is usually behind an outburst is a need or worry that needs to be sorted.  When things don't get sorted, the problem grows in my head, like I have a brain of fertiliser, and it ends up flying out in a shit storm of frustration. All I might want is a hug, or some time to myself, or it maybe I just need to talk about something.

I can't ever explain whats going on in my head through a text.  However, if I use a code, it will signal to him that I'm having a rough day, and I may need to talk, to be pampered, left alone, or all three!  It may alert him that there is a difficult conversation that we need to have, or that I might not be cooking a meal that night...

You may even go so far as to include orange and black too...  I would keep it simple though, no one needs to refer to a flow chart all the time!  Here's an example:
CODE ORANGE - I'm feeling rubbish, really low and crappy. I need a hug and I need you to know that I'm not doing so great.  Today might be a struggle.  I might not be able to cook tonight.  I'm tired and stressed.
CODE RED - I'm feeling pissed off, probably for no reason, but I feel frustrated and easily angered.  I need to talk to you about some things that are bothering me, but I need you to know that I am battling with lots of negative thoughts and worries so it might not be easy.  I need you to understand, I feel like I'm on the edge of losing it.  Everything feels out of control.
CODE BLACK - I'm dangerously low...  I need you.  I'm scared.  I feel like I shouldn't be here, that we shouldn't be together.  I have no friends, I just want to sleep and never wake up.. Help, I need you home/to speak to you as soon as you can.
How your partner responds can be talked about between you, and in the same way, your system can cover whatever it is that triggers you...

It's a good exercise to do, to get an idea of what it is that triggers you, or how you respond to the stress within or outside of you.  It also helps your partner if you have some idea of what is the best thing to do in these situations.  You feel lost, they have no idea what to do, and every partner who claims to love you, should also want to support you, but unless you figure out what it is you need, you will both float out to sea.  In those times, you need your partner to be your anchor, whether thats being with you or leaving you alone.  Knowing you can have what you need, talk about what you need, feel loved and looked after when everything feels so scary really helps, so start to look for patterns, triggers, things you always do that always end in disaster.  Identify them and work to change the patterns.  The same choices will always bring the same results, so try and change the way you react or deal with things.  Be mindful, think, don't react.  Put some trust in the future even when you feel there is none.

I will be discussing this with my man, that if I send him a message saying CODE RED, that I am having a crappy time.  This way he can be prepared but not hurt, upset or angry with me by the time he gets home.

And what do you do in the mean time? when your head is all over the place and you have a few hours before the person who (almost) understands you finally gets home.  You focus on other stuff.
Get jobs done, look after the kids, get someone else to have the kids, get some sleep, go for a walk, draw, write, call a friend... anything to stay away from any stressful situations. If you have the luxury of time to yourself then chill!  enjoy the space, the quiet... eat an ice cream (like I am doing right now!)

Do anything but dwell and over analyse, fantasise and add fuel to the fire.  It's amazing how quickly you can change your path and how doing simple things make you feel better.

1 comment:

Liz Barba said...

Thank you so much for your insight and for providing a better way to communicate with my boyfriend during this rough time of feeling completely self-defeated and helpless. Until now, I thought I was alone in my battle against my thoughts and emotions escalating to such a level of irrationality. It helps to know that I am not alone and that there are other women out there who suffer from the same symptoms. I think communicating with codes is a great idea and I am going to suggest it to my boyfriend to better manage the effects these symptoms have on myself, as well as my relationship. Thank you once again for sharing this blog... it has served very helpful!

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