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?

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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.

 

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.

*hides under a rock*

I haven’t been reading other people’s blogs much, and I haven’t been writing in mine.  Stupid. Made the stupid mistake of looking at e-mail from X before group therapy, so I got a dose of bad feeling from second-hand e-mail from him, and also guilt that I haven’t answered the lawyer in a week now, even thought we’re finally in endgame.

The theme today was ‘we teach people how to treat us’ which is totally relevant to the above, not that I think I’m in any shape to have a romantic relationship again ever. We did an exercise where we drew concentric circles  with our names in the middle, and then writing friends in the circles according to their closeness to us. The point of which was to demonstrate that we have a choice about how close to allow people to us, who we want to associate with, etc.  I came up with a grand total of 4 names to put anywhere on the thing, one of which was my therapist, another was this cool artist woman I met in group.

So two friends, one potential friend, one therapist. i couldn’t figure out where to put family, since I only intermittently communicate with them with any clarity about myself. Pretty much everyone else is stuck on the outside.

I sat there totally wanting to cry, I even wrote “I want to cry now” in my notes, but I didn’t do it. didn’t want to disrupt the session for everyone else.  Therapist asked afterwards if I was OK, because I seemed awfully quiet during group.  I told her “I need to go write some stuff.” (So here I am, blogging away.)

I went home and found my 3-year old niece was over to visit. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be patient enough to interact with her, let alone be OK if she melted down for any reason.  So I grabbed the dog and went to the dog park, where she had fun at least. I talked to a few people there (about dogs) and tried to write, but my social mask was back up, and there was no way that was going to work.

Well that’s not exactly true, I wrote the same bullshit crap that I always do on days like this; do I have to let myself blood-sugar crash in order to have an excuse to be emotional? (answer: probably yes, I don’t respect myself enough to just look at and consider my emotions straight on. I’m a great one for letting lots of little sadnesses accumulate until the camel is lying broken on the floor, or at least limping badly.

Suppress, Suppress! everything is OK, if I pretend everything is OK and wish hard enough that I’ll wake up tomorrow and my life will be better then maybe it will magically fix everything without any actual hard work on my part.

I bought myself sushi at the grocery store on the way home.

Anyhow. I came home again to find dad & a neighbor at the pool table in ‘my living room’ (not really mine, its the room you have to pass through to get anywhere downstairs, including my bedroom) downstairs, so I could either walk past them to go hide in my room (bound to cause questions, plus I’d have to put on extra nice Face to meet the neighbor) Or I can pretend to be OK and sit at my computer letting it update itself, and restarting until they go away and i can go hide downstairs.

Which happened eventually.  There was pot roast already on for dinner (and I didn’t want to seem ungrateful), so I didn’t actually eat the sushi. After a couple false starts,  I watched UP, lent to me by another well-meaning neighbor.  The part I liked best was watching Carl and Ellie’s life together. I teared up at the end. The rest of the movie I didn’t enjoy all that much. (insert cynical plot  and character criticism here) This (inability to enjoy a light-hearted movie) is a warning sign that I’m starting to take everything too seriously again.

I suppose my last two posts might be a clue too.

Also the damn Rollerblades, which are still in the closet. They are becoming the thing that I talk about but don’t do. Well besides practical work towards getting a job. The constant feeling sorry for myself, using the smallest disappointment to give up on the day. self-criticism, isolation, repeatedly botching my food plan, etc etc.

OK so I’m depressed.

Tomorrow I think I’ll hire a career coach, someone to be accountable to. Otherwise I’m just going to keep procrastinating, researching and running in little damp circles in my head, whining about how I can’t be arsed to put effort into my own damn life, now that I’m free to actually take total responsibility for it.

I need to find a way to create positive feedback in the job search. (other than if I don’t actually try, I don’t have to leave the house, do anything challenging or out of my comfort zone, blah bliddy blah self criticism here) Also hopefully I can pretend to be a grownup talking to the career coach, which is better than I can do with my folks right now, despite having promised them I’d try to communicate more with them about where I am.

I want to get drunk, but I tried that already this week, and got a miserable headache, plus a day after of uneasy stomach. Not sure why I bothered(escapism, I can stop thinking so/too much if I’m drunk), I know that’s what happens when I mix booze with my meds. I’m spiraling lower again, but at least I’m still writing.

Oh also therapist said that the county doesn’t have enough funding to give me any more sessions. So I have maybe 2 more group, and then I’m on my own. Also today marks that I officially have 2 months to show some evidence of getting my act together to my folks. Or what, I don’t know, at some point they’re going to get sick of having me in the basement, and push me out of the nest, because I obviously aren’t learning how to fly living with them.

At least the dog seems to be housebroken. The folks keep buying her treats. Like spoiling the grandchild I am unlikely to produce, I guess. It’s a nice gesture of showing they care while not doing anything to make me more dependent on them. Which is good. I need to learn to stand on my own feet, blah blah.

Today I don’t think I can do it. I’m scared.

Bleh.

I had a bunch of articulate ideas for posting, but that’s not what I’m writing today.

So I’m not sure if I’ve just hared off on an other endless research binge looking at my new career choice. I’m still stalling on getting a ‘in the meantime’ job. I went to the library and got books, and have spent several days looking up related things on the internet. Is it all justified time expenditure? I don’t know.

When am I ‘better’ enough to no longer justify slacking around? What is the point where I’m just being a self-indulgent lazy ass, as opposed to taking care of myself?

I’m still doing better than I was doing at not being gratuitously nasty to myself for not gettingeverythingdoneallatonce, but I still have this ‘is it enough’ anxiety? How do I know?

Not by judging by the expectations of anyone else, I know this is Something I have to Figure Out for Myself.  That only makes it something I am likely to angst about for a while (the rest of my life).

Argh. It’s like writer’s block, but for my life.

The MBTI/career book I’m reading advises me to ruminate less and take action more. I suck at timetables and accountability. Still having what they call “motivational paralysis,” I guess. Am I making excuses?

The career I’m researching for myself a good idea, I just have to make the first step, the 5 minutes of really getting started.

Haven’t done it yet.

Bleh.

This is dumb, I still think that making the decision is magic, and then things just fall into place afterward.  Childish, really. I’m past the point where formulas are the answer.

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