Fridays are the Worst Days

for me right now. Fridays are evaluation days, where I think about how well I did this week, whether I accomplished anything meaningful, whether my definition of meaningful is pathetic in relation to the real world where actual functional people live.

Not very.

I went to the Dr and got a physical, sent away fluids for testing. Got a referral to a neurologist. Had an appointment with my old therapist. I walked the dog most days. I slept at night and was awake during the day. I think I even showered once or twice.

Yes.

it kinda goes downhill from there.

Today a lot of things are broken, -important things that could affect some long term stuff for me.  Parts of WordPress, which is why this post and the preceding one have no tags and thus probably won’t be read by anyone. I’ve been told directly that some things I was planning to do that I thought would help are pointless.  Other things I tried to do to have some senso of progress somewhere were stymied by software incompatibility or other, unknown factors.

I haven’t been in any relationship long enough in the past 8 months to call anyone for help. I could call a crisis line, but I always feel like i’m wasting resources because the first answer to the first question is always no. (are you feeling suicidal or homicidal – or variations on that theme)

I even know i’m savior seeking (in that secular, codependent way) trying to get someone to hold my hand (and spoon-feed me lessons in how to live a real life) like I’m 4 years old instead of 34. i’m avoiding challenge, responsibility, and all that stuff.  This post is a pathetic, dramatic, adolescent cry for help from a  feeling-sorry-for-myself chronic learned-mental-helplessness self-victim. So is the preceding post.

i suck. everything sucks. i don’t care enough to actually make the effort to change. Apparently my brain has decided that i’m here to be a warning to others, locked in self-generated misery and self-pity for the rest of my life, because I’m too smart to kill myself but not smart enough to fix myself. maybe i mean stubborn. maybe i mean scared. who cares. not me.

I should eat something

I should be more social

I should try to make friends

I should get a therapist i can see more often.

I should get a job coach.

I should meditate, do yoga, do aerobic exercise more often.

I should actually write word one for those sites i signed up for in (April? May?)

i should stop feeling sorry for my overpriviliged, middle-class, food-secure, first-world brain problems. that’s what my therapy has been boiling down to.

T: “You have to set goals, believe in long-term rewards, put off instant gratification in favor of planning for your future. you have to decide to believe in yourself.”

Me: “But I don’t have any, any visualization i can make is wrong anyway, I don’t beleive in them, nothing long term is rewarding enough. I don’t.

T: “Well, you just  have to”

Me: “I don’t. What now?”

T: “Maybe you’re bipolar instead of depressed, have you ever been manic?”

Me: “You mean had lots of energy and felt good and accomplished things? No.”

T: Hmmmm…..

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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.

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.

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