Doing What I Choose

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.


2 thoughts on “Doing What I Choose

  1. The strange thing about depression is that it has an amnesia aspect to it in that it makes you forget you have ever had any pleasure in your life. I make a conscious effort to keep things that I like to do in my life. It helps keep me in touch with the world that is on the other side of that dark fog that fills my mind from time to time.

    When I was severely depressed, I never smiled and I avoided people. I would rather have a fantasy conversation than the real thing. If were to open my mouth the voice of depression would take control. I was not a fun or interesting person to be around.

    One day I went to the bank and I saw that they had a cute young teller working there. She always seemed to be in a good mood. One day I was in line in front of her station and I told myself that I was going to try to have a few words with her. She waited on the person in front of me and when they left she spent a moment cleaning up the counter and then she asked, “Can I help you”. I walked to window trying to come up with something to say, and then these words came out. “I wanted to give you a few minutes to clean up your counter. I am sure that you always have people just barging up to the counter as soon as soon as someone leaves”. She smiled and said, “Thank you for being so considerate, more people should be like you”. I do not recall what was said next, but she smiled through the whole transaction, and I felt so good walking out of there. Sometimes that little smile or a few words can lift a person’s soul.

    Now I make a point to always have a few words with any sales clerk or cashier that comes my way. Guess what, most of the time they smile back at me, and when they do I can a warm glow.

    Just keep doing what you are doing and you will find that sometimes a smile, a compliment, or a few words can lift you up for most of the day.



  2. I see you’ve blogged again, but I’m still trying to catch up with this one. I started this morning, you called, then the Housekeeper on Steriods showed up and I got the hell out of Dodge.

    Here is sort of what I was going to say, with many more Cliff notes, a couple of add-ons, and a lyric or two…

    SO…”Doing What I Choose.” Isn’t that sort of a mindfulness statement? Yeah, right back atcha. Scorch…I feel/see the flames.

    I see you making progress from a social standpoint, and I applaud you for it… it does make for a better life overall, at least in the world of Madre.

    I KNOW that engaging (in a kind and good way) with anyone one comes across, be it the baker, the banker, the candlestick maker, or the bag boy, can become a make it or break it day.

    Pasha is so correct with his “amnesia” statement. I learned many years ago that I had the attitude of amnesia either way…

    my life is shit, it has always been that way, it will always be that way. Or …

    my life is good, it’s worth living. I will be happy with today, and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. (Manana, manana).

    And of course right now you know I would love to have the tools to indent, perhaps a couple of bullet points. 😀

    For many of us, we live the first part of our lives in our present feelings…which are the end all, be all, of our lives. It’s always been that way, and it will never change.

    However, if one is to live life fully, one must come to a point that learns… what is, is. But only for this moment. Because there’s something else around the corner. Sometimes it’s “a good thing” (thank you Martha) and sometimes it sucks. But it’s just a day.

    Perhaps that’s what DBT tries to teach? Perhaps that’s why you love for me to sing this song so much?

    The sun’ll come out
    Bet your bottom dollar, tomorrow
    come what may…
    I love ya
    You’re only a heartbeat away.

    Here are the “real” words…. I’m sure you can see I’ve changed them, and shortened it… That’s called Madresizing… 😀

    The sun’ll come out
    Bet your bottom dollar
    That tomorrow
    There’ll be sun!
    Just thinkin’ about
    Clears away the cobwebs,
    And the sorrow
    ‘Til there’s none!
    When I’m stuck a day
    That’s gray,
    And lonely,
    I just stick out my chin
    And Grin,
    And Say,
    The sun’ll come out
    So ya gotta hang on
    ‘Til tomorrow
    Come what may
    I love ya
    You’re always
    A day
    A way!

    I actually like my version better. Well, of course I do.

    You rock, my beloved…..XOXO


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