Wednesday, June 4, 2008 7:24 a.m.
I had a pretty good day yesterday. IOP went well and then I actually…wait for it…wait for it…WENT TO A PUBLIC PLACE WITH A GIRL FROM GROUP. I know, it’s huge. Not only did I interact, but I hung out with another person. And didn’t feel anxious. It felt totally natural and that is a first in perhaps my life. Maybe it’s because she’s just as crazy as I am. And I actually have plans to go swimming with her and another girl from group on Friday. Such progress.
Yesterday was hotter than hell and so humid…oh so ick…and no AC in my car. I ran some errands for DHut and then went to the grocery store…where I did not freak out and stuck to my list (other than buying some shrimp that was on sale). I even made small-talk with other customers and smiled at people and was nice to the check-out person even though he was a grouch who made it clear that he did not like his job.
It’s funny how being positive and having a smile and a kind word or a funny thing to say can cheer up a person’s day…and I’m not just talking about the grocery store. I brought my Keb ‘Mo CD to group yesterday and we listened to Better Man for mindfulness meditation. People LOVED it.
Cheered a whole bunch of people right up…at least temporarily. It helps that the song is totally relevant to willingness and validating feelings and accepting that you don’t know what is going to happen in life and that’s ok.
I had therapy yesterday and we talked about how I am feeling now compared to how I was feeling about 18 months ago when I was doing “really well” (i.e. not smoking, exercising, not very anxious, not depressed). I told Goddess of Mindfulness that, although I am not doing those things and still get anxious and depressed, that I feel like I have a better handle on my life now than I did before. I’ve got all of these awesome coping skills now and definitely have a more positive outlook.
In the past when I was “doing well,” I mostly avoided situations that made me anxious, such as talking to people at the grocery store and making small-talk and going out with people. Now I’m just throwing myself into it and knowing that I have the distress tolerance and emotional regulation skills to deal. So, in a way, I think things are really looking up for me. Like Keb says, “Gonna make myself a better (wo)man.” And that’s what I’m doing.
I did talk to Curly Snap last night, which is almost always a mistake. She bitches about work the whole time and it makes me feel really anxious to be talking about work. When I got off the phone with her, I felt really sad and anxious and was worried about what I am going to do when I go back to work. I know I don’t want to go back to the agency I was at and I definitely don’t want to do the job I was doing before.
I called a friend from work that I used to do groups with around 10:00 p.m. (I know…off my schedule, Mom) because he always listens and gives good advice and has great insights. Bottom line is that I need to find something that I really like doing and that I can do a good job at and feel competent with. We talked about the fact that my ceasing to work in mental health does not make me a failure. That I did not get my degree for nothing.
So, I’ll be trying to find a different job here within the next month or so. Right now the agency is paying 66% of my salary while I am out on leave, which is kind of keeping the bills paid. I’m thinking that I’d like to do something working outside…maybe at a nursery or doing maintenance for the city. Or something like that. I love to be outside and work with plants and get my hands in the dirt (I get that from my Momma). And if I can’t find something like that, I would be all right with being an office bitch, or a grocery store clerk or stocker. I just have to know that something will work out, one way or another.
Like Ab and J say…I have CHOICES. I don’t have to do the same BS that I was doing before. I can CHOOSE to do what makes me happy and pay the bills at the same time. I can do whatever I need to do to improve and keep working on my mental health and I really want to LIVE my life, instead of just tolerating it and avoiding everything. This is a very new feeling for me.
And I kinda like it.
Ode to mi madre…and no, she is not a crack whore…she just likes this song.
Amy Winehouse, Rehab.