Tag Archives: Personal

Maintaining?

One of the more difficult things I’ve been trying to tease out since my last post is how to maintain my determination and mood that I experienced that day.  I’ve seen my primary care doc since then, and one of her first questions upon me describing how I’ve felt (she put me on a new med in January) was, “Are you manic?” Which really made me dig down into the feeling a bit more, something I’ve resisted doing because one of my major stumbling blocks is my tenancy to over-analyze.

I didn’t feel like I’ve been manic. After a bit of back and forth with my doctor we decided that I was simply happy (perhaps really happy) and that it has been so long since I actually felt that way that the feeling was simply overwhelming me a bit. It seemed extreme because I’d been so low for so long. I felt fucking fabulous all last week. And now I feel like I’ve regressed a touch, so I’m trying to figure out how to pump myself back up again. I’ve been actively pushing back in my mind against my more negative thoughts and my often knee-jerk reflex to beat myself up in some manner. It sometimes makes me feel like I’m constantly arguing with myself inside my head. But even though it’s something I’ve resisted doing for a while (it sounded corny as hell to me in the past), it does seem to be helping. I find myself enjoying looking at pictures of myself again. The urge to nitpick is still there, but I find myself focusing more and more on the parts of the picture I do like.

Right now a lot of trying to pump myself up is also taking the form of really trying to figure out who I am, and who I want to be. My therapist mentioned that I often do that thing where I ‘would’ve, could’ve, should’ve’ myself to death, and while in small doses it’s not necessarily that unhealthy of a thing I get stuck in those loops and beat myself up with those thoughts. Reframing has been surprisingly helpful now that I’ve decided to try it. I’ve resisted it because it seems like it shouldn’t be that useful – I mean, it seems like I should still know what I was saying there, so why should it be that helpful. But it has been! It’s a simple thing that gets me moving forward again and breaking out of the downward spirals my brain gets stuck in. “I should’ve said this!” becomes “Next time I will say this.” Feels corny, yeah? But also been surprisingly useful. Spinning regrets into a more positive framework. “I want to be someone who walks everywhere,” which seems like a simple benign statement, has been picked apart a little and easily respun and even realized. It was also something that I think was helped greatly by my mind shift I wrote about in last post. Something about that day, moment, whatever, allowed me to go forward with less resistance. “I want to be someone who walks everywhere,” easily became, “Well, someone who walks everywhere is you know, someone who walks everywhere. So look, now I’ve decided to walk to and from my parking lot and take my dog out for twice daily walks and BAM! I am someone who walks everywhere.” It seems so simple, and yet when I was dragged down by depression and anxiety that change from the first to the second truly seemed insurmountable. And after that click, that shift, now for over a week now, I’ve been walking 3-4 miles a day when previously I didn’t even get in a 1000 steps a day oftentimes.

Saying to people that I’m lazy and like to sleep and not a morning person for so long now has been reflexive, and second nature. And yet, lazy people don’t walk 3-4 miles a day. So I don’t think that’s part of my identity at the moment (though my identity does seem to be something in flux at the moment, something shifting and evolving and still being discovered). I was texting with a friend a few nights ago, and something I said really struck me. I had mentioned how I had been waking up an hour before my alarm, and I had just been getting up and doing stuff, and I believe what I said was something about how it was weird, and I didn’t like it, and I didn’t even want to be a morning person. And I was struck that this didn’t seem to be true? I mean, it certainly used to be. Those reflexive self descriptors. But after I texted it I sat and stared and realized it didn’t ring true anymore. I WANTED to be a morning person. I was ENJOYING getting up even earlier, well before I absolutely had to. It just felt good, and I both wanted to be a morning person and seemed like I really was a morning person now (I almost fully attribute this to my new med kicking in and actually seeming to be helpful). This week, I’ve been sleeping through to my alarm, or almost, and I genuinely miss the extra time I had in the morning, and don’t enjoy how rushed I feel. So now I’m setting my alarm back a bit earlier. And I’m going to slowly push it back until I hit a time that feels RIGHT. Something I didn’t think I could trust myself to intuit before, and yet I really think I can now.

This post is a bit all over the place, but I think that’s a reflection of where I am now. I’ve burst out of the spiral and am looking around trying out all the things I wasn’t seeing before to see what fits and what doesn’t. So I’ll keep trying things on and keep plowing forward, and keep giving that fire that erupted in me some wood to fuel it. To keep it going even though it isn’t that initial furious hot burn it was those first few seductive days. I am a morning person. I am someone who walks everywhere.

What will I be next? I’m excited to find out.

 

A Swing

I feel a little odd posting this one, after that last post. I spent a dark evening and a dark next day. Pretty meh weekend overall. But felt good this morning! Mild bit of motivation, was hopefully I may be able to grasp on to that.

But now tonight, suddenly. Something happened, or maybe a series of somethings. And I just sat there, seething, looking at the clutter around me.

What the fuck.

I am fucking better than this.

Fuck you, roping me in on this bullshit. I AM FUCKING BETTER THAN THIS.

I can be fucking better than this.

I can fucking do it.

Fuck you if you don’t think so.

Fuck you for dragging me down into this.

Fuck you for making me think I deserved nothing better than to sit in this fucking stew.

Fuck that.

I AM FUCKING BETTER THAN THIS.

And I’m gonna fucking prove it.

Not Okay

I am not okay.

Where to begin. Everything is a complicated web of dizzying bullshit within my mind. I’m trying therapy and meds again. I thought I had been doing okay, doing better. Maybe I actually was for a while. I was trying so hard this time to be watchful for my people pleasing tendencies. For my desire to be better, be happier, to delude me into playing at being better despite how I feel on the inside. I thought I was watchful. I don’t know. Maybe.

Therapy has been circling to the one issue over the last month: my craving and needing of validation, of VISIBILITY to those around me and I am friends with, and my complete and utter inability to accept it when it appears. I deny it so hard, because it sounds so utterly pathetic and vain and narcissistic and INADEQUATE in the face of all the other problems and issues that other people struggle with. I hate it and I need it. But it doesn’t matter, it is what drives me and fails me and taunts me. It is me.

Today I brought it up of my own accord. It was something that had been nagging at me for weeks now, a group of people that are feeding me precious spoonfuls of what I want and need. It should have been affirming and validating and nourishing and instead we spent an all too short hour pounding at it in therapy and I feel on the edge of a breakdown because I cannot, in my heart of hearts, accept any of it, feel like I deserve any of it.

If you haven’t experienced the crushing of feeling a depressive episode barreling towards you while you are driving to a McD’s drive-thru for food to match your mood and try to contain your tears as you pay and get your bag of sad food I don’t recommend it. Mostly because it turns out that if I contain it that long when I get home I feel unable to release it and even though it would be so utterly debasing to sob into your double cheeseburger you would feel a release. But now you are denied even that meager catharsis.

It is so utterly painful and just fucking depressing to think you finally know at least part what you need in your life and feel it is completely out of your abilities to be able to accept it. To watch what you need come at you and instead use it as a tool to tear at yourself and not know how to stop it. To know logically it was all well meaning but it’s just ripping into you instead because you don’t know how to feel worthy of it.

Everything circles back to it. My constant state of anxiety, my unhappiness with my life, my inability to muster motivation for the slightest thing. I want to be seen by those a care about, to be heard, to be appreciated, but you can’t look into your past and see when it did (it did, logically I know this, it must have) happen anymore and since you can’t see it from when it happened before you can’t see how it is supposed to work now. How can I be happy with my life when I don’t think I’m worthy of any of it. How can I reach for my dreams when I don’t know how to look at it and see when I achieved something. How can I just BE when everything must be dissected and analyzed to death.

It sounds so pathetic and small.

But it is me.

I am broken.

I am not okay.

I want to be better. I don’t know how to get there.

I will keep trying.

*because I don’t want anyone to worry who reads this: I promise I’m just depressed and angry and frustrated and needing to get it out somewhere. Nothing more. 

KonMari: I am annoyed (but probably not for the reasons you think I am)

Since the show on Netflix has debuted, decluttering has been the only thing people will talk about (well, besides our current state of reality in politics of course). I kind of get it – it’s something simple to grasp onto besides the growing sense of unease with current events. Just about anything can become a straw for people to grasp onto to avoid discussing certain upsetting topics ad nauseam. And this is something simple, something visible! And it brings Marie Kondo such joy to help people out in this manner. Just seeing someone enjoying something so purely feel cathartic. It is not something I have decided to view personally at this point, but I really do get the appeal.

But there is one topic that is apparently quite divisive that is annoying me to no end. I’m sure you’ve seen the quote shared about (a quote that for one, isn’t quite what she said, and two, is very much stripped of context). I am not equipped to take on the cultural milieu that her world view has grown and adapted in; but believe me when I say it exists and to please try and seek out authorities on that aspect of the issue. It’s important. But what I am equipped to discuss, is the quote if we take it as is – that one should not try to own more than 30 books. (It’s a misquote – she’s discussing how for herself, she prefers to keep less than 30 books. But like I said, we’re going to take the quote people are bandying about at face value). Why is this idea so offensive? Why have some deemed it such a moralistic judgement to get rid of books you’ve collected over the years? Why does it matter so much to you? Look, it is great to love books. I adore them. I’ve fantasized for decades about someday owning the library from Beauty and the Beast, like so many of my generation. The make me feel safe, they make me feel cozy, some of them feel like old friends.

But they also stressed me out. I have issues with depression, among other things, and I could never keep up with cleaning them. The chronically dusty shelves, with their tumbleweeds of cat and dog hair, became a source of incredible stress in my life. I’d walk by and run my hands down their spines, only to see how much I’d neglected them. Most of them, I’d never read again. They were tokens or trophies, proof I could parade about that screamed LOOK I READ THIS. I READ ALL OF THESE! And one day several years ago, I decided I couldn’t handle the weight anymore. I couldn’t deal with the upkeep of my collection when I could barely care for myself through the weight of my sadness. I couldn’t bear watching them slowly suffer from the years without being read and loved as they should. So I donated them. I kept perhaps half a dozen treasured ones, ones that if you are familiar with Marie Kondo, I could hug to me and sparked joy and made me smile. It was around three hundred all told I just packed into boxes and donated. My life felt lighter. I missed my friends, but it also brought me a lot of joy to think about them back in circulation again. Many of them are contained in other’s collections at this point, I’m sure, hopefully better cared for than they were with me. Many I hope ended up in local libraries, where they hopefully bring moments of joy to many.

I’m not here to advocate getting rid of all your books, though. Look, all self-help gurus and advice are more or less the same – someone has looked at their own life, seen that they are happier or more content than those around them, and offered up what they have done in the hopes others can get something they need from it. (there is also often a somewhat or more upfront predatory capitalistic side to those, but you don’t need me to tell you about those. Most still start from a place of just wanting to help others, no matter what it morphs into later.) And people that seek out various sets of life improving advice are unhappy with their life in someway, and desperate to fix it in some manner. I’m here to advocate an approach to this advice, that dare I say, is to apply something Marie Kondo-esque to advice itself. When you read self help, think about what is offered up to you to perhaps improve or certainly change your life. Really roll it around, think about what it entails. And if it resonates with you, then take that bit and apply it and ignore the bits you don’t like. Everyone is different. Everyone’s life is different. Where we are each trying to take our life is different. So why would every piece of advice be applicable to everyone? Take what you think sounds helpful to your individual life, and run with that. And ignore the bits that make you upset and angry – they either don’t apply to you or aren’t helpful to you.

Books are not a moralistic thing, that is to say that owning all the books or giving away books after you’ve read them is not. I love people that love books. I love the feel of libraries with all their expansive shelves of things to learn and adventures to take. I also fully understand why someone would choose to decultter their collection. Maybe you have simply outgrown some. Or they weren’t ones you necessarily appreciated but you hung onto because you spent the cash on them. Or like me, a combination of being distressed that your collection was neglected and is better served elsewhere at this point in your life. It’s ok. I promise. Just because the path someone else chose isn’t the path you would have chosen doesn’t make it bad. ❤

2019

It turns out, I’m still not good at sticking to a long, thought out blog plan. And much like other things in my life, when I sense I’m failing at something I committed to, I avoid avoid avoid. I need to stop doing that. It’s ok for me to get overwhelmed by my ideas and plans and have to take a break from them. But I have to just admit it to myself and face it head on, instead of turtling up and hiding from it all. For ***counts on fingers*** two and a half months. Lots of room for improvement there!

In any case! I still want this to be a place where I can talk about cool things that interest me. And I still also need a place where I can talk about more personal things as well, like my struggles with remaking myself and shaping myself into someone I’m more happy and content with. So here’s to a new year, and here’s to not avoiding my shortcomings, and here’s to a journey over the next year of trying to be who I want to be, not just who my anxiety shapes me into. ❤