Friday, December 11, 2009

Out Of Control, Part 2

The limited sleeping situation I mentioned before has persisted, so I have had ample time to reflect on my responses. I went to sleep at 4 am this morning. Is this becoming the new normal for Jaedon? Anyway, here are my reflections....
I mentioned the ANTS last time, didn't I? The Automatic Negative ThoughtS? So I got to thinking about the word 'automatic'. The freedictionary.com says automatic is Acting or done without volition or conscious control; involuntary.

So are those negative thoughts really automatic? Maybe... One framework for looking at someone's competence in a particular skill area is that of Levels of Learning, represented as a grid of four squares, each representing the following states:
  1. Unconscious Incompetence: We don't know what we don't know
  2. Conscious Incompetence: We know what we don't know
  3. Conscious Competence: We know and can act on what we know when thinking about it
  4. Unconscious Competence: We don't know what we know (the skill is now automatic/second nature)
So I'm wondering, did I become so competent in my choice for negative, unsupportive, often frightening thoughts that I attained the level of Unconscious Competence?


Denied Legitimate Wants!
Usually, when I find myself becoming uncomfortable about anything, I take a minute to stop, briefly explore the beliefs in play, check if there are any new beliefs that I had previously formed and not using in that moment, and make a deliberate choice to use them. I might come up with a more supportive belief on the spot.

You might say that I have unconscious competence in this skill of being self-aware. The sticking point for me in this matter of Jaedon not sleeping (or, in the matter of MY not sleeping) is that at 2am, I don't feel like doing any of that! I just want to sleep.

My mother-in-law has a belief that all of a body's healing sleep happens between 10p.m. and 2a.m. Based on that rule, I haven't seen any healing sleep in years! Whether that is factual or not, being up with Jay listening to crying isn't fun for me at 2.a.m.

So instead of exploring for myself and getting comfortable, I get in to work mode. I work my list of 'ideas for putting Jay to sleep'. This list became a list of 'shoulds', more work to do that I really didn't want to do. So, when I'm tired, I add sulking to the discomfort.

Tired and unhappy is a difficult combination.... I am noticing my choice to become unhappy because I am not getting what I want.... hmmm.... That is interesting because I just discovered that I believe unhappiness is a useful response to not getting legitimate things, like sleep. What if I could find another response to not getting what I want, even when what I want is useful in the moment (like sleep)?

There Are Alternatives to What I Want?
I found one! Relaxing!!! Throwing out the list! Giving up my need to control when Jaedon goes to sleep. That response has been very helpful.

Like the night I decided to watch a movie and invited Jay to join. Although it's hard for me to sleep while Jay is awake, I can do other things. That night, he got a really long head massage while we both watched the movie (one of the items on the list that happened without too much effort).

To help me work my 'relax' plan, I worked a miracle and created a separate bedroom for Jay. If you knew my house, you would know how much of a miracle that really was! Now, I can feel pretty confident that Simonne and Zachary will remain asleep during the night (except for their regular wanderings). So here we are in our new room, it's 1:49am and I am happily writing this blog and listening to my favorite music. Jaedon is sitting beside me and fussing on and off... I have noticed he screams much less when I'm not focused on getting him to sleep....hmmm.

Transforming ANTS into APTS
I think I have conscious competence in giving up control, and regulating myself internally, but I am getting lots of practice, so before I know it, it will probably become unconscious.

Thanks Jaedon!

I hope you are capitalizing on your every life moment to transform your ANTS to APTS (Automatic Positive ThoughtS).

By the way, I am currently running my holiday fundraiser. My desire is to offer a family or two an assessment on http://www.relatetoautism.com/. If you have any gifts to buy (holiday related or otherwise) for anybody, send me a message and I'll hook you up! For a glance at a few of the gifts I have access to, check http://www.fclarke.ordermygift.com/.

2 comments:

  1. "...being up with Jay listening to crying isn't fun for me at 2.a.m."

    I remember having a dialog a couple years ago where this concept of "X isn't fun for me" first came up. When I said that, my mentor asked me "why isn't X fun for you?" I don't remember now what that particular X was, but in my mind, it was so obviously not-fun that this question really blew my circuits. I eventually realized that fun isn't inherent in anything, but that I am the one making certain things fun and certain other things not. I've had very little trouble since then with either making something fun for me, or at least being aware when I'm making something 'not fun'.
    Sree

    ReplyDelete
  2. very nice! I like that awareness. I realize that 'not fun' has a lot to do with what I'm believing the crying will mean for Jay long term (scaring myself) and/or for me long term.

    ReplyDelete

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