A Commitment to Experience Myself Differently

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If you’re determined to think of yourself as limited, fearful, vulnerable, or scarred by past experience,

know only that you have chosen to do so,

and that the opportunity to experience yourself differently is always available

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, The Joy of Living

(Quote found at Mindful Balance, one of my favorite pages)

This quote smacked me in the face at 5:00 this morning.  And I mean, smacked me and called me its runny-nosed brother, and smooshed my face into the carpet, calling me names all the way.  It knocked me the eff over.

Why didn’t I ever think of this?  Why hadn’t I listened when I heard it before?  How I see myself is a CHOICE.  Self-perception is IN MY HANDS.  I can keep the good and dismiss the bad.  I don’t have to perseverate on all the bad things that have happened to me throughout life.  They do not define me.

I have this breakthrough every now and again.   Usually after Goddess of Mindfulness has said something or after I read something like the above quote.  It just never seems to stick.  With the life I am living now, the life I am trying to build, you know, that life worth living, this MUST stick.  I MUST reinvent who I am.  Embrace the good, out with the negative thinking of myself.

The  one thing in the quote I don’t agree with, is making it sound like being vulnerable is a negative thing.  Perhaps if you consider yourself overly vulnerable, like any little thing is going to reach into the safe world you’ve built and snatch it away.  That’s a negative form of vulnerability.  But the vulnerability I see in myself, I consider a good thing.

Maybe this is because I am equating being vulnerable with being open, with being willing.  These are two things I am striving toward, and maybe they don’t equal vulnerability.  I only say they do because, well, they sure do make me feel that way.  I think you have to be willing to open yourself up to new things, new ideas, new people in order to grow, and that does make you vulnerable.

With that being said, I’ll take the majority of the quote as pure words of wisdom, and leave that one word out.  For me, being vulnerable is a place I need to be at, for now.  I need to leave myself open, even if it means I’m going to get my feelings  hurt or laughed  at or rejected.  It’s something I need to do, for me.

Putting an End to Self-Censorship

I have said this many times, but when I started this blog, I started it for me.  Well, actually, the first few months, I wanted to be Dooce, but who didn’t, way back in the day?  The point being, I feel like I have lost my way along my intended path.

I find myself censoring my writing.  Often.  The strong need or urge that comes with writing exactly how I feel sometimes ends up with things being spilled out that, in my mind, I deem not fit for public consumption.

Because, well, what if my mom sees this?  I can’t say anything negative about her, for crying out loud.  Might hurt her feelings!  Might embarass her in front of the blog friends SHE has made.

What if I want to talk about how it feels to lose a connection with someone, but that someone is possibly still reading, or has friends that would tell the person about it?  And (possibly) would feel that is a violation of trust, for me to discuss this on my blog?

I’ve thought about pulling up roots and going somewhere else.  Starting over.  But I have too many readers I care about and too many blogs I follow and too many friends I love to yank that particular cord.  Do you ever wish there was a way to block a few certain people from seeing your blog?  Maybe there is, in all of WP’s “wonderful” new changes, but I doubt it.  That would be too easy.

A warning, a shout-out, a head’s-up — in the future, I won’t be censoring myself nearly as much as I do now.  Maybe heads will roll, I don’t know.  I have too many posts that I feel like I can’t publish, but want to…and I mean really, REALLY want to.  You have to let the feelings out, the bad, the good, the ugly, and this is where I chose to do it some six years ago, and it’s what I want to get back to again.

self-censorship-useful-or-not

Building A Life Worth Living, Week Four

life worth living

 

The tiny miracles, true friendship, amazing family, beloved critters, and lovely events in my life that have made life worth living this week:

1) The ability to send an “unpublished” post to a few friends, have those friends reply in earnest, and wind up with an email chain full of great advice and love.  Thank you…stuff like that makes my week, any week.

2) The beauty that I was able to start again with Goddess of Mindfulness, the ORIGINAL therapist to end all therapists.  She has been a great support to me in what has been a really difficult week.  I have never had a mental health professional be more supportive and more willing to spend the time.  And to genuinely care — that might be the best part.

3) That a tiny miracle, a new baby, may be growing in the belly of one of my dearest friends.  That I will be able to be witness to this little one from pregnancy on up, is precious.

4) The trust that QoB and the Big Dawg have in Blue Cat and myself, to run both stores while they are away at a conference.  The Rock and I did it last year, and it seems that the Big Dawg is getting better at ceding intense control.  That, and we’re trusted — that is the big part.

5) The resiliency of the Kizzer Wizzer.  She had been so accustomed to me being at home 24/7 when I was sick, and now it seems I am gone all the time.  She has transitioned beautifully and is still a happy little dog — she gives me no reason for guilt.

6) The ability to end the week on a high note, feeling good, feeling positive and optimistic, and most importantly, living in the  moment.  The weenie roast at the end of the week was perhaps the best time I have had, with friends, in quite some time.

7) The reaffirmation that I made the right decision in not having children.  It is lovely to watch friends’ and families’ children grow, but I know deep in my  heart that I could never do it myself.

8) The wisdom, courage, and forethought to remove myself from toxic situations before they become too ugly.  Truly beautiful wise mind.

9) Noticing the serious side effects of a temporary medication after one day, being mindful to it, and deciding to not continue.  My mental health is a priority to me, and I would rather have painfully swollen feet and ankles, than to be up peeing every two hours, all night long.

10) The sheer joy of having a big bag of ice in the refrigerator, so I can have my water as cold as I like it, thus motivating me to drink more water.

Reasons I Might Be Losing My Mind

With the exception of “Dear God: You Forgot to Mention the Bad Parts” (which was one of my favorite posts of recent, but that received almost no attention…go look!), I have mostly been doing challenges for my post updates.  Lots of list posts, goal posts, thankful posts.  That’s all well and good, but I don’t want to be THAT blogger.  I started this blog to put it all out there and to process and to be reminded that I am flawed, but human.  I haven’t been putting it all out there.

I know we’re all tired of Rosa saying what crap 2014 has been (but it has), and it’s safe to say that my mental health has taken a nosedive once again.  There are reasons, though, this time.  There were triggers to the nosedive and I am going to say like I say on my tagline and “tell it like it is.”

Firstly, I have been going through a family struggle.  It’s something that everyone wants to keep private for very good reason, but it’s really been bringing me down.  I don’t know how many tears I have cried over this, and I don’t know when or if it will get better.  It weighs on my mind heavily, maybe more so than it should.

Then, there’s all the med changes.  No more Zyprexa and no tapering off the 10mg I took three times a day.  No more sleeping pill (a benzo) after a very short taper.  And remember the Geodon decrease and the Abilify upswing.  All 0f this within the last little while.  The no more sleeping  pill thing has probably been the worst and I haven’t slept in days.  I did, however, get a reprieve and was prescribed a small dose of Trazadone that I am hoping will work wonders.  I want to sleep, I don’t want to be comatose.  Hence getting off the other sleeping pill (plus, the sleep-driving just wasn’t a good thing).

The pressures to change my lifestyle.  Quit smoking AND lose weight.  Start exercising.  Eat healthier.  Taper down your smoking.  All at once, all coming at me from family, friends, doctors.  Everyone means well, I know, but I can’t do it all at once.  Goddess of Mindfulness told me today the same thing:  Rose, you can’t do it all at once.  She thinks this is a terrible time to quit smoking, even though I have been amping up for it for almost two weeks now.  She says I need to let my meds even out, start sleeping again.

Goddess of Mindfulness also thinks I need to focus on healthy eating.  She thinks it will make me feel better overall.  My dad really wants me to join a gym, after I mentioned that I might at some point want to do water aerobics.  The doctors are telling me no help for me until I quit smoking.  Everyone else just looks at me and my growing size and horrible cough and tries to recommend something.  Or just looks at me.

Something has to give.  Right now, in this very moment, my eating is out of control and I have to fix that.  Weight loss surgery somewhere down the line?  Maybe.  For right now, though, there has to be a change within my brain.  This is something I can do anytime.

Quitting smoking?  I will continue to cut back.  I will quit within the next month or so.  Can I do it all at once?  No.

Exercising.  I do want to do the water aerobics classes, but money prevents it, and right now I am so out of breath to do anything, that continuing smoking prevents it.

And all 0f the aforementioned squirrels just run around my mind chattering, and I am overwhelmed, and I feel like I’m losing it.  Something has GOT to give.

Dear God: You Forgot To Mention the Bad Parts

1 Corinthians 13:4-8New International Version (NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Dear God: I disagree with the Corinthians, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t run this one by you first, or you never would have approved it.  It’s a falsehood, God, am I right?  I mean, you theoretically put  us together, so one would think you would know. I have seen much about love in my little 33 years on this planet.  No, I’ve never been married, but I’ve been in a few major relationships and I know plenty of people who are “in love” or, at least mouthing the words at night before head meets pillow.

Love is not patient.  Love makes you crazy, it makes you rush into things, it causes you to call that person five times a day just to see what how they are doing.  Love makes  you do crazy things like show up at her work with a coffee and a sandwich, at two o’ clock in the afternoon.  Because you were NOT patient and couldn’t wait a minute longer to see her.

Love is not kind.  Not always.  Love can make us mean-spirited and jealous.  Love can drive a relationship into the ground, can rip a beating heart from a chest.  No, love can be cruel.  Ask anyone who has been through a bad breakup what they learned about love, if they feel that love is a kind entity.  I don’t think I have to tell you the particulars.

Love goes along with jealousy and rage and envy and anger and fear.  There is no fear without love and there is no love without fear.  You tell us not to fear, and then we find ourselves in the predicament where there is nothing to do but fear.  And then love quashes us, and we walk around broken, because of love.

There may be a love out there that transcends, maybe Your love, if one can wrap their head around that (I sure can’t at the moment) but it is not a love you see everyday.  Love without pain just doesn’t happen.  Most people will never experience it and some will throw it away because, yes, well, fear.

So, God, please get with the Corinthians.  I think you’re going to need a rewrite.

Sincerely, Rosa, who believes in the duality of love

Building Rome: It’s Not For Sissies

When I started Green Embers’ Building Rome, I reminded myself that I am not very good at goal setting — that is, I set unrealistic goals that should really be broken into smaller chunks.  Over the past several weeks, I have tried to do that, and have in many cases.  Unfortunately, it is usually the goals that I really want to accomplish that are the ones I don’t.  And it’s because they’re TOO BIG.

Following are last week’s goals:

1) Blog every day.  This proved overly difficult.  I even posted my new series twice because I failed to have anything better to write about.  What happened to the writing, thinking Rosa?

2) Continue path to quitting smoking.  I continue to cut back on the number of cigarettes I smoke each week.

3) Find new music for MP3 player (suggestions are welcome)  Didn’t even try.  It seems that listening to “The Band Perry” every night as I drift off to sleep for the last three months has been soothing enough, that I am not super-motivated.

4) Get 25% through my new book.  I am 14% — and don’t think I’ll finish the book.  It’s just not very well written and has a lot of grammatical errors which are really driving me crazy.

 

The “Do or Die” Goals — all the same as last week.  Apparently, consistency is key.

1) Take care of all  Kizzie’s needs, including play with Kizzie every day for at least 30 minutes.   Done!

2) Hygiene/Self-Care.  Satisfactory.

3) Take all medications as prescribed.  Getting much better.

4) Eat healthfully.  Relative to the diet the doctor currently has me on.

 

Green Embers suggests this week to “find Neverland.”  Finding and celebrating that inner child.  I do this a bit, because it is related to Sacred Self, but I really should do it more.  So this week, I’m going to:

1) Watch “Frozen.”  My niece is obsessed, my friend’s daughter is obsessed.  I really think I just need to see this movie.

2)  Do something about my hair.  It is big, it is frizzy, and I have bangs.  There must be some solution.

3) Find a quiet place, away from the realities of life.  Go there at least once every day.  I’m thinking more Netflix is in my future.

Building a Life Worth Living, Week Three

life worth living

 

To sum it up (once again), building a life worth living is a concept from DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy.  When we are miserable, we aren’t concerned about our quality of life.  As we strive to get better, we start to care and we start to notice our actions that lead us to that better quality.  This series will become a challenge anyone can join, with an official kickoff in the next week or two.  Of course, if  you’re feeling froggy, jump and do it now — just pingback to this post.

1) I was able to see my sister and Baby O today.  An early birthday present, call it what you want.  It made my whole month.

2) A little bonfire at the HH with QoB and the Big Dawg.  Sometimes very few words are needed.

3) The realization that the majority of 2014 has been utterly yucky for me.  The following realization that I am still standing with most of my mental health intact.

4) Taking the pressure off Sister Sara and taking one for the team, feeding Dad’s cat while they are on vacation for a couple days.  True and unexpected appreciation is always welcome.

5) My niece, Little E, turned three today.  When Sister Sara was pregnant with her, I was so disappointed she wasn’t born on my birthday.  Sooo close.  Feeling very grateful to be a bigger part of her life.

6) Making plans to see a good friend next Sunday.  Yes, I have friends.  It is freaking awesome.

7) Talking to Goddess of Mindfulness on the phone.  Sometimes you just need to let it all out there, and it is so helpful to have someone on the other end of the line, letting you know that  your feelings are valid.

8) Chatting with my buddies on the Interwebs, feeling like I gave a couple pieces of good advice, and unfortunately, also like I must buy frozen pizza next time I am at the grocery store.

9) Coming up on the Big 33 and realizing there are many good people in my life, and they love me, and I love all of them.

10) Getting the banner Mental Mama made for this series to fit ALL the way across the page.  Always getting a thrill from figuring out something techie.