Today I commit to change.

I commit to making decisions about my life, based on what I think is good for me. This does not mean I will cease to take into account the advice or experience stories of others. I will listen to that advice and those stories.  I will, however, make the decision based on what I want and not what another may wish me to do.

I will seek support without trying to give over responsibility. I will ask for help when I need it.

I will stop trying to get others to make decisions for me. I will learn to notice when I am trying to do this (by telling sob stories, implying that making this particular decision is too hard, and so forth), and I will break that habit.

I will stop letting my desire to “fix” others distract me from attending to myself. I will learn the difference between helping and doing things for people.  Problems look simpler from the outside.

I commit to taking action to make my life better for me. I will learn to notice when I am procrastinating and “studying for life” instead of living it. I will set deadlines for myself on research and decision-making and I will stick to them.

I will develop and decide on my own scales for what is “enough,” “necessary,” and “success.” and  I will learn how to answer to people who would like me to use their scales instead of mine.

I commit to facing my fear of failure, as well as my fear of success. I will consciously learn to accept that failure is part of learning, and not let the fear prevent me from trying things that I want to do.

I will forgive myself for making mistakes, and learn to stop the spiral of negative self-talk that keeps me from progressing toward my goals. I will learn to learn from my mistakes, and then move forward rather than ruminating and castigating myself for not being perfect.

I will no longer let uncertainty whether I can “do it right” prevent me from trying things.

I will accept that change requires stepping outside my comfort zone, being afraid and doing it anyway. I will move beyond being afraid of being afraid.

I will remember to praise myself for courage, and comfort myself when that courage fails.  I will set time limits on how long I may take to comfort myself, and when that time is up I will get back on the horse. I will try again tomorrow.

I will remember to take pride in  my accomplishments instead of telling myself that “It doesn’t count” or “Anyone could have done that.”  I did it.  It doesn’t matter if it was original (copyright issues excepted) or if someone else could have done the same.

I will not use initial failure as an excuse that it is not worth continuing to try.

I will stop using “that looks difficult” as an excuse to not do things.

I will work toward consciously accepting that change involves giving up things I like, and taking on other things I don’t like. I will be suspicious of free lunches, and not waste time on things which promise to improve my life without any actual effort.

I will give up the idea that I can change all at once, fix everything, know everything. I will replace it with the acceptance of incremental change. I will learn not to set unreasonable deadlines.

I will periodically ask myself if my current activity is something that moves me closer to my goals, or a distraction/procrastination technique to avoid doing that work.

I commit to identifying and eliminating habits of thought, action, or inaction that hold me back from making positive changes.

I am going to take responsibility for my life.

So there.

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Today: not worth chewing through the straps?

Stayed up way too late last night on the internet.  Woke up to find the dog had shat in the rug in 3 places.

Don’t have anything scheduled, don’t really want to do anything responsible (when do I, honestly)  feel pretty grey and numb, and sleep depped. Maybe I’ll eat cookies and do nothing at all useful. Maybe I’ll think about the future, that’s always good for a funk.

Career planning fear of choice ack.

Wow it’s harder to just write raw than I thought it would be, I do a lot of second guessing my thoughts before they’re even complete in my head, no wonder I don’t get anywhere a lot of the time.

But outside, it’s stopped raining…

Feeling sorry for myself and letting myself off the hook for responsibilities and life has to stop.  But that involves effort and every time I get a setback (like house-training accidents) suddenly it can all seem pointless again.  I’m out of the habit of (recognizing) success.

So many self-help books/workbooks, therapy.  I’m a 30-year-old little girl, whining about the unfairness of it all. Life’s uncomfortable. Ridiculous self-pity,  but where do I go from recognizing that?  I keep starting, keep journaling, keep eating and walking the dog and trying to go out and interact with other humans, and I just don’t get engaged.  Set up a plan,  basic eat exercise sleep, and I start chewing on my brain immediately and fail.

It’s probably actually unfortunate that I’m not struggling for survival right now, because that would be a good distraction from self-pity.  Having to solve that problem would probably boost my self-efficacy, if not self-esteem.  Go and do things anyway, the advice goes.  But but but, I can’t see the thought that keeps me from ‘just trying things.’  Am I really just lazy and don’t care? Am I content not to grow up until forced to do so? (sure looks like it) 3 months I’ve had for practically free, and have I done any thing constructive besides maybe therapy? No.

Is therapy even constructive? They say to go easy on myself, but what if that’s the problem, I’m too lucky to have the support system I’ve got, and without prodding (and the accompanying panic) I lapse into a pool of inert goo? Depression means I don’t have the energy to care, but what if it’s really just mental laziness?

So what if it is? Then I’m a lazy person.  Which crashes my basic structure of productivity/accomplishment/progress  is good, doing things makes me a good person. Yes yes, sometimes it’s okay to take a break, but I’ve been doing that, and not just sometimes, all the time. accomplishing little tasks that seem productive (I made cookies, yay!) but don’t actually get anywhere.

Where do I want to get?

  • Independent living where I don’t have to share walls/space with anyone? Need a job and some savings, and emergency fund in case job goes poof again. Requires commitment, perseverance.
  • Doing something meaningful in the world? What is meaningful? Helping people? Saving the rainforest?  I don’t give myself credit for the things I do, my therapist says, so this one’s probably a dead end ATM.
  • Getting off the grid as much as possible? I already don’t watch TV as much as I can, the news is too depressing and I don’t need that. Computer use really takes some tech support, and without the internet I’d probably lose contact with the humans who don’t deliver packages to me.
  • Grow all my own vegetables and spices?
  • Figuring out what I’m doing that is a waste of time, grooming my routine for efficiency? Really requires having a definite goal(s)
  • Focus and drive? As P says, I am not going to find them under the couch. I don’t really think I’m going to find them in ADD meds either.

Advice: Tiny steps every day

Go  unrecognized  and don’t give me a sense of accomplishment or being a good person (by my standard of progress, etc).  So for a feeling of accomplishment I do pointless things like cookies.  Some not-pointless things: Posting to forums at least gets some venting done, and nominal contact with people, especially if I get any responses. Dishes and laundry make my environment better. Walking the dog keeps her from going nuts and gets me some exercise.  Internet research is learning, but it’s important to recognize when I’m duplicating. Reading a novel rests my brain.

Advice: Forgive myself for not ‘doing better’ 

I should be able to do better. I’m not physically impaired, I don’t know if I’m really mentally impaired. Brain the size of a planet and so on. I know beating myself up is counterproductive, making myself feel bad just saps energy etc.  so change the brain, recognize cognitive distortions, triggers and so on, work through them, change responses a little  time.  See my issues with tiny steps, above. I want to Do Something (concrete, finite, and discrete) and Be Better (all at once).

Advice: The Real World(tm) doesn’t work that way.

Because I’m a grown-up (or at least a grown-older) now and I can see shades of grey.  Not a lot of boundaries are really completely impermeable, most of them are downright fuzzy when you really look. Seeing this unfortunately leaves a lot of room for time-wasting equivocation, and a lot of frustrating ‘yes and no’ answers. Curiosity about something fragments into dozens, then hundreds of sub-topics, and the library or the internet is pretty good for just wallowing in Finding Things Out, which is a real time-suck. maybe I could learn to write and market myself as a researcher/fact-checker. Anyhow to return to the previous point, grey-vision makes me distrust anything that seems clear-cut, because it probably isn’t.  Which makes it really hard for me to make objective decisions.

Maybe that’s a lie, my real problem right now is subjective decisions, what is good for me.  Why can’t I just ignore the fear of loss of opportunity that says I must work as efficiently as possible? I’m afraid of missing out on something (better), but delaying or not making choices eliminates choices. Either way, too much thinking paralyzes me, and that’s where I’m actually really stuck.

And here is the list; I’m a great list-maker, though I don’t think they do me a lot of good other than a minor sense of doing something that looks like goal setting. Then I typically lose the list and/or never reference it again. Anyway.

This list is a guideline for my next 3 months; if something I am doing relates to one of the 3 things below, it is OK to do.

Priority 1: Job and financial freedom.

Deadline: June

Priority 2: Not losing my mind while doing it.

Deadline: Ongoing.

Priority 3: Not losing physical health points while accomplishing 1.

Deadline: Ongoing, as 2