Success at failure

I succeeded in failing at something (organizing a dog social) without taking it personally and spiraling into a thought attack on myself. The planned social itself was a relatively minor event (and I have lots of ideas on how to improve when I try again), but not going negative on the world or myself was an excellent step for me in getting past fear of failure.

Go me!

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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.

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.

Today is a better day, but I don’t trust it yet

All it took was staying up until 5 in the morning, and when I woke up I knew what I was going to do to make my life better.

Not really, but I do feel like I might have hit a tipping point where some things are falling into alignment.  Some of my tiny incremental processes are showing signs of actual visible progress. Will have to see if any of it actually pans out or tomorrow I wake up feeling like ass again.

I hate being suspicious of my own mood.

I’m getting better at giving myself credit for doing positive things, doing less second guessing of my decision-making ability. I think I am making more accurate self-evaluations in general 😉 I’ve been identifying and interrupting non-constructive behavior patterns. (more on this later, maybe)

I’ve only eaten 1.5 meals today, and I really need to get more exercise. But things are, for the moment, looking up.

I hope this doesn’t turn out to have been hypomania

Now I really should go to bed early so I can go back to pretending to be diurnal.