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.

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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.

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.

Almost done, Just begining

I put the penultimate step in my divorce in the mail today. I don’t know if I’m just really good at suppressing or I’ve really decided not to care. I teared up more at a couple of TV shows that depicted anguish really well (and the song “American Pie” on the radio) this week than I did over this. I cried when I got the documents in the mail, but not today, when I actually went to get them notarized and send them back. It hasn’t been an acrimonious divorce and we had no kids, which makes things 12 times simpler –just material things to divide up. I’m just feeling pretty numb about it (with an overlay of anxious about whether I’m repressing stuff that will only come up later and explode something else in my brain). I feel like I should be crying, but I’m not. I feel heavy, like someone turned up the gravity in my vicinity

In other news, I have temporarily settled on one therapist who is out-of-state (so we are doing “consultation” not therapy) who works with me by phone, and one local therapist. It’s kinda expensive, since I can’t put the first one on my insurance (which is about to explode to COBRA-level expensive), but for now, I think I am going to continue to use both. The out-of-state therapist has experience with people in my demographic at least. The local lady not so much, but I had a better feeling about her than the first two I interviewed.

I actually put on my Rollerblades yesterday, and wobbled around the kitchen, clinging to the counter-tops for stability. They feel a lot like ski boots. My dog wants nothing to do with them –apparently some combination of the motion or the helmet or something spooks her. This is unfortunate, since I got the things so I could take her for faster, longer walks. Maybe she’ll get used to them over time. Anyhow, that’s progress over letting them sit in the bottom of the coat closet, so yay me.

Trouble with food. I can retain interest long enough to make a plate for myself, even usually something that’s healthy. Then either it takes me 3 hours to eat it (next to the computer or a book), or I set it down somewhere I intend to settle to eat, get distracted by 1 2 3 things, and then an hour and a half later, there it is, still untouched. *Sigh* At least the dog hasn’t taken to eating my lunch while I’m not looking, right?

Today in the store I walked through the candy aisle with some vague idea of getting chocolate to self-soothe with. The sugar smell turned my stomach, so I didn’t get any. I also managed to not get junk food from the chips aisle, even though my brand was on sale. more of that thing where food in the abstract sounds nice, but the idea of actually putting it in my mouth, chewing and swallowing is totally gross. I swear I don’t have an eating disorder, this thing only comes up every now and then, (more often if I’m depressed, of course). Yay not buying junk (and thus not eating junk) boo not eating enough real food more often. Does anyone have any suggestions about remembering to eat regularly?

I’ve signed up for several “write for pocket change” freelance sites, but have yet to actually go work any projects. Yay for signing up, boo me for total lack of follow-through. If I ever do go do stuff there, it’ll be practice writing at least, and one of the sites will let you test for editor (slightly more pocket change) once your writer’s rating is good enough. So it’ll be a step in the direction I want to go at least. If I start/continue doing it.

Have been really lousy at actually thinking about important things (work, relationships, future, etc) and making concrete decisions or plans, even tentative ones. I really need to think some things through but I’m avoiding doing it. Like I told therapist, I’m more or less emotionally stable, but that’s because I’m not doing anything the slightest bit challenging (divorce aside). I think I may have said that in the last post. Too bad, this is my brain dump, and sometimes my brain repeats itself.

Am considering (again) getting a weighted blanket for sleep –something heavy but not too warm. Strictly speaking I’m not sensory-processing disordered, but I think it’s worth trying. In the absence of another body in my bed to let me know I’m not actually alone in the universe, I think the weight will be grounding and comforting. That’s if I can work out the correct weight blanket for me. Two different places on the site have down two different weights for someone my size..

That social that I failed at last week? That’s because I got the week wrong. How embarrassing, that my sense of what day it is is off by a whole week. At least the staff at the restaurant will know who I am when I show up this week.

I’m receiving quite the collection of self-help books by mail, titles like:

Celebrating Failure; the Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes, and Thinking Big

Adventures and Challenges; Real Life Stories by Girls and Young Women

The Career Guide for Creative and  Unconventional People

The Subversive Copy Editor

Refuse to Choose: a Revolutionary Program for Doing Everything That You Love.

Van Gogh Blues: the Creative Person’s Path Through Depression

Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement.*

A week ago I went through my Amazon list and just bought myself everything that was under $5 in a Used-Good quality. It’s fun getting books in the mail, all of them things that at least sound like I want to read them. If I can get past the really fun part of reading them and into the hard part of actually applying techniques to things I’m Doing in my life, then I’ll be getting somewhere. I so frequently wallow in the information gathering phase of everything. I suppose that might be the first habit to break?

I keep thinking that I’m ready to move on with my life, but clearly I’m not. Because, well, I’m not. One thing at a time. I’ve gotten regular therapy back on again, so now I have some accountability, a reason to keep track of time, and do something, if only so I don’t have to tell therapist that I did nothing again this week. One day I will have the self-confidence/esteem goals/whatever to become accountable to myself, but that day is not today. Something to work towards.

 

*I find it amusing that the WordPress auto-correcter wants to change the spelling of Underachivement to Overachievement.  I thought the correction would be to hyphenate it.

Reporting back from the trenches

In my quest to find a new therapist I think I have two fails. I discussed both meetings with the only person who knows much about the inside of my head for the last few years, who is also not afraid to call me on crap when she hears it coming out of my mouth. She really helps me clarify sometimes, when I am trying to convince myself to settle. I am grateful to her, and don’t say that often enough.

Honestly, I was not very impressed with either of the two I spoke with last week. they both seemed very nice, but one really felt like a head-nodder (if I wanted an Eliza program, I’d download the app) the other I don’t think was even my age, and seemed not  certain at all of what to do with me. I know it’s not fair to judge based on the first meeting only, since they have had no chance to get to know me, my special features and situation, but I’m just not feeling it with either of them. I have a third person lined up for next week, I hope she turns out well, Otherwise I am seriously considering Skype therapy with therapists not in my area (one in CA one in OH, so far) fun with time zone differences and loss of body language, but much more experience in the specialty I am looking for. If I am going to pay $$$/an hour I really want to get my money’s worth.

*shakes head* it’s so annoying trying to quantify things that only come by ‘feel.’ I keep finding myself trying to do that, to clarify what would be better, I only know it’s not this. I saw a book once “I could do anything if only I knew what it was” I feel a lot like that recently. Once I commit, really decide on a goal that I really honestly want, I can get it. I probably won’t be able to tell you how from either end, but I’ll get there.  I just have to Decide.

and I really haven’t.

Little light, sneaking up sideways.

I was going to give myself today to just write stuff out of my head, without interruptions other than the necessary. I didn’t do that (no extra juicy content for you), but I do have two new therapists lined up to interview tomorrow. I hope to catch one who can combine career coach with life coach and therapist (who takes my insurance). It’s not much, I know, but a girl had to have expectations, no? The combination approach is intended to give me more accountability, which will in turn motivate me to actually work on my goals, so i have something worthwhile to report every week. So essentially I am buying myself some expensive positive feedback, but from what I do know about my inner workings, it will cause me to actually take action (as well as track progress, which will both gain me confidence by being able to see progress, and make me feel better about myself).

Anyhow, all the introspection tomorrow should be fruitful. Perhaps I’ll have a juicier post that evening.

Non-progress report

Self-discipline problems again. I keep getting distracted by the everything else. I have a whole list of things that I should be doing to promote myself and go in the direction that will get me work, but I’m not doing them. Haven’t been doing my sleep schedule right -I keep staying up reading. Then I wake up and feel awful because of not enough sleep, and yawn through the day. I make excuses for myself and justify doing everything but what’s on that list.

I’m still shy of networking and giving out my card. It’s telling people a rate, actually putting a price on my services that particularly sticks my brain. Is it because that ‘s the most likely point of rejection? Probably. Rgh, frustrating.

I keep looking up and noticing another week has gone by, and I haven’t made any progress. I’ve got a pretty good garden planted though. and the dog is spayed. But still that’s other stuff. I really really ought to be spending more time getting work.

Stupid self-defeating behavior, I’m avoiding responsibility for my life again. Just sit down and do it! I’m getting better at not kicking my ego for this. I’m annoyed but not thinking I’m a bad person. Which is a kind of progress I guess.

Tomorrow I’m going to look for a new therapist, preferably one who is also a life/career coach. I need to set myself some accountability, since I don’t seem to be doing it for myself.