Weekly report: Lack of work still a problem, otherwise doing OK.

I’ve been doing okay with exercise: I think 5 of 7 days this week. Walks every day (yay!).

Meditation every day -not as skilled as I’d like to be, but it’s early yet.

Does journaling every day about meditation count? Some days I didn’t write anything besides my meditation observations. Some days my other writing was about external stuff instead of internal. I’ll go with yes, because it gives me another accomplishment point, and that’s more positive.

Not sure how I did on reading/listening to teachers, perhaps also 5 of 7.

Jobs applied for: 5.

Other goals:

Did a few typing exercises while on hold for other things. plan for that is to work through all the exercises on the site, then start over from the beginning.  Backstory is the one job interview I’ve had lately that I think I might have had a chance at if my typing skills were better. They wanted at least 50 wpm; I am, sadly, still about 23 wpm (and I look at my hands). But this is something I can work on, so I am. I am already looking at my hands much less, and I am mostly able to find the letter I am looking for, even if my speed still sucks.

Other work skills I don’t have yet, but appear in jobs I am applying to anyway; Quickbooks, schedule management, and A/R A/P. Not at all sure how to go about the second or the third, the first I can probably get a community college class in. Need to look that up and sign up for it. Also ought to dig up my old Monster account and refresh my resume there.

Did a day of housework/helping family yesterday, so that slot is filled for a while.

Trees project: no progress this week, but today I can work on that.

Taxes, state and Federal: Filed. Being below the poverty line makes this less impressive than it might otherwise be.

CC and other bills: paid, Though I had to move money into checking again to actually pay off CC’s. Money was a big anxiety factor this week, caused several crying events. Nothing I can really do about it other than cut expenses, which I am doing my best at. Another emotional factor to practice ignoring.

DBT group: Said goodbye this week, it was squishier than I thought it would be. Everyone had something nice to say about me, mostly something like my perspective/insights have helped them a lot with something. That’s $200 a month I won’t be spending anymore. I feel like I ought to have something more to say about this but I don’t at the moment. Maybe later in journal?

Emotional homework this week: look in the mirror, make eye contact, and sincerely say “I like myself.” Twice a day. yesterday I only did it once, and said it with a question mark rather than a period. I’ll have to work on the sincerity bit also. This is supposed to help with my self esteem, and is based in the theory that in the past I did the best I could, given the mental/emotional/social tools at hand. I’m still a little skeptical about this theory, but it seems like a decent one to adopt if I want to get on with my life more than sit around beating myself up for decisions that have come and gone, or time that has already been “wasted.”

 

All in all, I think I did a good job this week with effecting the things I can. I’m writing that to sound positive, even though I don’t really feel it. I still have a lot of that nagging “you could have done better, you should have tried harder, you should be making more progress” feeling. But I’m told (and I suspect it’s true) that that feeling doesn’t ever go away, so I have decided to practice ignoring it. New emotional goal, I guess -become comfortable with incremental progress at a realistic pace.  

How did your week go? Have you made progress on your goals? If you don’t have goals, perhaps your goal for the upcoming week can be to make some up. I’m working on:

Physical: Better flexibility, balance and core strength. Less flappy arms. Lose 10-15 pounds to get back into a better weight for my height. Eat fewer sweets, less junk food -> practice healthier self-stimulation.

Financial: Get a job, preferably full time, paying at least $10 an hour. Gain skills that will help me get a job. Keep up with paying bills on time. Cut unnecessary expenses.

Mental/Emotional: Increase self esteem. Gain skills for emotional resilience and distress tolerance. Practice meditation. Listen to dharma talks. Read about meditation and related skills, self help books. Journal about emotions and internal processes every day.

A nasty surprise.

Didn’t do quite as well as last week on exercise; dog walks yes, other exercise not so much. I could blame the nasty weather, except that all my other exercise can be done indoors. I just didn’t make time to do it. I did go for an extra-long walk yesterday when the weather was nice for a change.

Did apply to 4 jobs, keeping up my record/goal. Still no responses. Discouraging. I did agree to help with a research project a friend of the family is doing, so that will at least give me something that feels like work to do when I get especially down about the job hunt.

Social I  get extra points for this week: two online conversations with the same person (maybe making friends?), another group social (a repeat meetup) this afternoon. It’s a movie watch & social, so I don’t expect it to be too difficult to pass as a human being.

 

Overall I’m feeling pretty down. My place of work closed this week, so I am officially unemployed. Have already applied for unemployment, we’ll see what comes of that. I got a nasty surprise when I went to pick up one of my prescriptions Wednesday; apparently because I take the name brand rather than the generic, there’s some $@&@%#$^ penalty pricing which means it costs me $$$$.$$. Naturally I am nowhere near being able to afford that, so I turned to the internet to look for discount cards and cost support programs.  I found one, applied for it, we’ll see what comes of that too. if it works as advertised, i should have my drug of choice in 5-10 business days. Unfortunately, due to the timing of refills, that means 1 or 2 weeks without my meds. I am sooo, not looking forward to the next two weeks. I’ve got an idea! Why don’t I look for work while suffering antidepressant withdrawal! That’s a funny one -NOT!

A lesson learned: just because the drug is in the list for an insurance doesn’t mean that is falls under the regular pricing scheme. Just because you got the insurance with the expanded pharmacopeia, it doesn’t mean that your drug of choice falls under the regular pricing scheme. Just because there is SCIENCE to prove that the generic of your drug of choice does not act the same as the name brand, doesn’t mean that the insurance will pay for you to take name brand.

Also, I am either not persuasive enough or not nasty enough to negotiate with my insurance company. Maybe this is what mental health advocates are for? I have a card for one around here someplace, maybe I’ll give him a call.

 

 

One teaspoon of proud, need to borrow a cup of patience

I have been actually doing some work on goals in the job, social and exercise categories! I’m trying to start light enough that I actually keep up with them, as opposed to giving up within a month.

Exercise: I looked up some light weight exercises up on Youtube (Fitnessblender for those who want to know these things), dug out the Pilates on the Ball book I acquired sometime last year, re-inflated my ball. I’ve done either light weights for arms/shoulders/upper back or posture/core exercises every day except Wednesday this past week. Also I didn’t skip a single dog walk. This is improved over skipping 1-2 walks a week and no weights or core at all.

Get a Better Job (better in this case means pays more and doesn’t chew my soul to bits): Last week I revised my resume and cover letter, applied to 4 jobs. This week I have applied to eight jobs. This is an improvement over no applications before Half-Price Chocolates Day. Continuing goal is (at least) 4 applications a week.

Make Friends: I went out to one totally new Meetup in my area last week. I even talked to people, had something like normal interactions with them. I also hung out with some old friends this week. This is an improvement over seeing old friends perhaps once a month and going to new events not at all.

I feel a tiny bit proud of myself for each of these. Which is really the huge accomplishment in my world. Letting myself feel good about accomplishments instead of discounting them is something I continually struggle with. I *do* keep falling into the bucket of “I’m not getting anything useful accomplished with my time, I’ll never get my life organized” bucket of thought-muck, BUT! so far I keep crawling back out! Am trying to remember that in the Real World (as opposed to the theater or books) life things don’t just get better all at once, but 1% or even 0.5% at a time, and straining myself *won’t* make it happen faster. Beating up on myself for not being able to defy the laws of physics, economics or relationships is also not constructive. Patience, grasshopper.

Anyone have a cup I can borrow?

Quick posty: Practice naming emotions!

Lonely. All my own fault. I don’t go out places, and when I do I keep my head down and/or don’t have interesting answers to questions. I’m not up on current events or gossip news because I don’t track FB or the news, they both make me more depressed.  I don’t talk to people because I don’t have any answer they want to hear to ” How are you?” or “So what do you do?”  in the event i do give an honest answer to one of those I don’t have an explanation for “Why?”

Nostalgia/regret. Went searching through pictures recently and came across some from previous lives. In the few I have that I am in, I look like I was having fun. Sadness that life is gone.  Sort of okay with growing out of some parts of it. Wish I seemed to be growing into something else.

Frustrated. Place of semi-work may or may not close this month, the 8 ball won’t say. Do I start applying for other jobs, maybe get some full time? (I ought to have done anyway, I need to make more this year) Do I file for unemployment? Is it worth waiting to see if maybe they don’t close, or should I just quit now? Might  be the prompt I need to make a change.

Angry. At myself that I am still not moving on with life, still being a disappointment to my family, still ridiculously, pointlessly, dragging-my-feet-and-whiningly indecisive and procrastinaty about my future.

Tired. Only a few more hours to try to fill with something that seems to be constructive, and then its a possibly acceptable, if early, time to go to bed. Boy have I got to get me a life coach or something.

 

I am afraid

–Of growing up
–That I’ll never grow up
–That I’m irredeemably “crazy”
–That the rest of the world *is* crazy, and to survive I have to find the other 3 sane people and band together against the zombies (or similar paranoid scenario)
–That there isn’t medicine or therapy strong enough to fix whatever is “wrong” with me
–That I’ll never gather the self-esteem and/or spoons to go out and be sociable enough to find another person I feel safe enough to be real around
–That I won’t ever remember how to dream again.
–That I won’t have the spoons ever to pursue those dreams if/when I find them.
–That all I am is my inner child.

Training my Dragon (and other head contents)

Well I finally got frustrated enough with my typing and being so slow to get my ideas out and bought myself a software Dragon. Having to speak in an even tone of voice (as it does not do well with emotional inflection) is frustrating, especially when it gets things wrong because I start using exasperated voice. I’m going to have to borrow my sister’s phone voice, or dig mine up from wherever I filed it after I got fired laid off from my last administrative position.

I don’t actually know what I was going to say after that -my thought-stream got interrupted by lunch. I guess I’ll just keep talking and practicing just to get a little further training this thing. I do hope it starts getting faster as we go along, particularly the lag between starting to talk and the words actually appearing on the page.
It’s a good thing my niece went home this morning, because she certainly is a patience sink, and the training is taking an awful lot of it.
In the meantime my skin is kind of driving me crazy with itchiness it makes me wonder if I’m allergic to some kind of pollen (can you have a contact allergy to pollen?) Or maybe mold. The Web serves up all sorts of interesting things from actual skin bugs to psychosomatic things -or things that *might* not be all in the mind. But I’m really trying to cut down on time lost to Internet hypochondria, and other procrastination hobbies.
Of course, one could argue that getting Dragon and taking the time to train it is just another one of those, but if it works the way I want it to, it won’t be. I really hope I won’t be disappointed by the level I can train it to write for me.
What I am hoping is that once we figure each other out I can skip typing altogether because output (input?) is one of the ways that really slows me down getting my thoughts out. The other, of course, is trying to edit as I go along, for which habit this program is really terrible -because I still have to look at the screen, and then I notice each little thing that it gets wrong. But maybe that problem will solve itself as we go along.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that once I manage to get there it will turn out that none of my ideas are any good anyway. The reasonable part of my brain knows this is unlikely, as that is clearly one of those black and white thoughts my therapist has been telling me to avoid.
Right now, I’m having  some trouble with guilt (I really should be doing this, what I’m doing right now isn’t as valuable as that, what if this all turns out to be a waste of effort…) But so far I’m successfully suppressing having it actually make me change what I’m doing. Go me!
Plusses  to Dragon so far:
*It knows words like psychosomatic (although maybe it got that from reading all my Word documents) I was worried that it wouldn’t do well with complex vocabulary.
*The navigating commands I’ve learned so far don’t feel too artificial. (minor prob: Using “edit that” as a command does make it awkward to edit “that.”)Minuses so far:
*Speed in training is pretty slow, and dictating punctuation feels awkward. Not that I have any idea of what they would use in place of that.
*I am having some trouble with the microphone. I know it’s not background noise, and I’m using the headset that came with the program. Possibly I simply don’t talk loud enough, that wouldn’t really surprise me. I really hope it’s not an internal sound processing issue in the computer.
I seem to be running across a lot of things in my life lately which could stand some (more) optimization. Perhaps that’s a sign that I’m getting a little more positive with the warming weather and more sunshine – though actually *doing* things to optimize is of course better than just noticing things which are “not quite right.”
I have been actually reading some of my self-help books again, and my DBT class has finally gotten around to emotion regulation – a unit that sometimes I feel like I’m working backwards because I have to *get to* the emotion first. And of course thinking about emotional reactions makes me feel them all over again, which makes doing the homework of processing them difficult (Tell me again why distress tolerance isn’t first?).
I already know intellectualization is my primary Freudian defense mechanism – I learned analysis as the problem-solving method from my parents. Untangling the net of shame – sadness – guilt – anger – fear – shame (and so forth, not necessarily in that order) which seems to be my average emotional reaction to things (when I have one rather than reflexively suppressing it all) is proving troublesome. Especially as such a well-worn neuronal path of having emotions about having emotions is of course easier to go down than picking one “clean” emotion out of the mess of my thoughts (not to mention pausing in -having thoughts-) for use in homework exercises.
Not for the first time do I wish that there were more therapists trained to work with gifted adults, and not just children. I’m totally a fan of helping children grow up with all the skills necessary to adapt well to the world, and of course it’s easier to start fresh with young brains, but I want help for me. Here I am, already ***ked up, pouring my savings into psych-ists, but I haven’t been able to find someone who actually has experience with my whole possible menu of special features.  Without getting into weird “energetic” newage stuff. Power of mind to change the mind yes, and to a certain extent power of positive thinking (and placebo effect), but I draw the line at poking parts of my body to release my “blocked chakras” or whatever. I have enough anxiety about whether I’m wasting my time in therapy to begin with.
This, of course is part of the paradox of trying to think my way out of a thinking problem.Which lives next door to the problem of “not being so hard on myself” while still staying motivated. Especially as the actual answer to a lot of my complaining and issues is “do stuff anyway”

Solution to being too tired? Exercise.
Solution to lonely/social awkwardness? Go out and see people -practice!
Solution to “but that’s hard/scary/what if I ***k it up?” Try to do it anyway.

How exactly does one remain motivated (without an internal reward system) to do *anything* without using external scales of what is enough/good/worthwhile and judging oneself by them? The mechanism in my head goes: “If you don’t at least do this (have a career/support yourself/have a social life/get along with family) you’re a worthless human being.” That’s how I get myself to accomplish (short term) goals. Long term goals I just don’t have a mechanism for -there’s just too much “worthless human being” piled on my brain for any sustained effort.

Of course my preference for actually seeing therapists in person probably limit the scope of this search.

I’m going to get an actual official test for Asperger’s (I know, I know, that’s not a real diagnosis anymore) and ADHD next week, though every time I think about that I wonder what good it will do to have an “official” diagnosis if I already know what my symptoms are. On a bad day I’m sure I can talk my way into bipolar or a personality disorder, and other good day, at least in public, I probably don’t seem that different from someone normal.
Anyhow I’m off to the rest of my computer to gather my other results from everything (whether a real test or an Internet quiz), as well as my other backup documentation.
And walk the dog.