Updatey Ramble of Doom (did you miss me?)

First depression sunk me deeper, then my computer died, and I actually did Morning Pages for a week. Then I bought a new computer, then apathy kicked in. Then there were people in my house. The people went away, and then I completely sugar crashed down to the bottom.Then I left my dog alone too long and she chewed up chunks of a bone and had to go to the vet. Then I felt sorry for myself some more, and failed to discuss my issues with any family member who asked how I’m doing.

Phone therapy really isn’t helping much. This week’s assignment is to make a list of “things that motivate me.” So far I have fear, disapproval, and people shouting at me. I can probably add “waiting until the last minute” to that. I’m really stuck in negativity here, with a bonus dose of self-doubt and a 95% chance of self-loathing for not (multiple variations of thinking my way out, or bootstrapping myself to functionality by willpower). I’m not religious, so “God has a plan for you,” does me little good, likewise pathetically generic encouraging advice like “you’ll figure it out.” that last just leads back to feeling ineffective and incompetent at managing my (supposedly gifted) mind, and from there to full-blown Identity-Imposter syndrome. However well-meant it is, stuff like that only highlights my communication and self-discipline issues.

But! I went to a group about food (run by a dietitian) to maybe get some answers to my food issues. Which are mainly sensory/emotional. Either food all smells gross, or the texture reminds me of something gross (sauces are especially bad for this) or I truly can’t stomach the concept of putting things in my mouth, chewing them. I get just plain tired of eating, despite the standard hypoglycemic advice of eating 6 smaller meals spaced out throughout a day. I almost never have actual feelings of hunger (seriously maybe 3 times in a year), my eating schedule (such as it is) is entirely clock-based.

Sometimes I can get a meal into me if my mind is distracted by something like a movie (so I don’t have enough cycles left over to contemplate things like texture), and protein shakes can save a whole afternoon (though if not well mixed they have texture issues too). Often the distraction technique leads to the waste of hours, as the apathy of the couch potato sets in. more interactive distractions like the internet usually make a meal last 5 hours -if I even finish it

I actually do not have either weight or body image issues, and my weight has been in the same 10 pound range for over a year. I don’t think I have emotions (or trauma memories or whatnot) attached to food. My default low energy food (that’s “when I have low energy,” not the food) is salty carbs, (e.g. bagel/lemon-pepper cream cheese, noodles with stuff on or flavored Triscuits) probably because their preparation is relatively simple compared to fresh sources of protein. I know that I should eat protein and veg, but their prep just has so many steps that i can’t imagine doing them all when I need calories NOW.  I wish decent jerky wasn’t so expensive. Eating real food seems to take so much time, and I’m unproductive enough as it is without stopping every 3-4 hours to make and eat food.

Though I have to get up at least that often to take the dog out. Unless I leave her out back, which I know is mind numbingly dull for her. The other day I found that she’d chewed the grill cover to pieces (to be fair it was on the ground and therefore fair game), she was so bored. More outdoor toys are in order. I hope eventually the collection will reach a threshold where I can just rotate them instead of always buying more.

I know soft toys are going to be an ongoing expense. Sometimes I can get more time out of them by capturing the squeaker before it dies and re-stuffing the skin. This only works until the skin becomes too holey, however.

I gave the dog a bath a couple of days ago, but I think she has fleas, as she’s still scratching a lot. I keep getting tiny bug bite/crawly/itchy feelings from about the knees down, and other places when I’m closer to the floor.

My skin in general has been driving me crazy whether it’s dirty or clean or wet or dry. That all over sensitivity of “Oh god, I HAVE A SKIN DON’T TOUCH ME” Not that there are a lot of people around clamoring to do that. Maybe it has to do with the clip-on bug-repellent product I’ve been using. Or Fleas. Or my brain is so bored it’s playing with my senses to get some stimulation. I was hoping that the bug-repellent-fan thingy would work well enough I wouldn’t need to make my body smell and feel like it has stuff sprayed on. I don’t break out or anything, I just dislike the smell/feel/both of bug spray and sunscreen. I use spray for both so that I can avoid having it on my hands and skip the taste sensation too.

But! My weighted blanket (12lb) has been working well for grounding me to sleep. Yay for a product that works! I think one of my sensory issues is a kind of proprioceptive insecurity. A number of my habits of dress and preferred touch are deep-pressure based. I wear bra-tanks all the time whenever I can get away with it. I like corsets, and prefer “number 1” hugs over “Letter A’s” I frequently have to ask people massaging me to press harder, with reassurances that I am not actually physically fragile, and would rather come out of a massage with bruises (and I do) than without being unkinked. I wear hats a lot. By contrast, I cannot stand to have my joints bound up, as in poorly designed (for my shape) shoulders or 3/4 sleeves in shirts or flared pants with tight knees. Perhaps I should look more into the tools for that which I’ve seen on sensory integration and autism sites.

And! I got an adjustable kneely chair which is much better than right-angled things for me and sitting. Still massively annoyed by the design of automobile bucket seats. I am sure the hunched position the seat forces me into is in no way good for my spine.

I keep having ideas for posts, and either not writing them down, or simply not making time to write them.

I keep getting reminders from all the freelance sites that I’m not writing for.

I keep saying I’m going to:

**get a local therapist/job coach etc

**actually for reals write.

**actually for reals try to network into contacts, qualifications, recommendations for a real editing/writing career

**try to have a social life, maybe even with people who are fewer than 15 years older than me.

**try to keep a diurnal sleep schedule. (I don’t want to go to sleep, because then I have to face getting up again in the morning.)

**really, really this time stop making excuses and being lazy and take responsibility and develop my life. I believe I mentioned this about a month ago in great and grandiose detail. maybe that was hypomanic and I’m really bipolar.

So yeah, I’m back to feeling sorry for poor sensitive, tired, weak old me.

But! I do have a regular doctor appointment in a week, where I’m gonna get my thyroid checked (again) and all my vitamins and iron and whatnot. my pdoc said that there has been some science for women who test out “normal” for thyroid still get benefit from taking the thyroid meds. I think this is my next angle of attack in an attempt to raise my energy level from “too tired to eat.”

And! I’ve gotten back to tracking things on Optimism, with more customization to make it more personally relevant.

And! I may have fixed the backyard issue with the dog by adding 8″ of height to the gate that she has been jumping.

 

*Big Hugs* and thank you to anyone who actually read this far; I welcome input and/or commiseration, if you have any.

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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!

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.

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.