The Blurry Selfie

Effects-Rose-2A

Yep, WordPress, there’s me.  All fuzzified, but, still me.  I wanted to take a new picture, because I hadn’t had one in three years and all of my FB pictures had me with super-short hair.  I wanted to show off my big long hair.  This fuzzified one doesn’t do it justice, but you start to get the point.

Imagine my surprise when I post this picture on FB and automatically get a harsh reply, “Errrrmmmm, where’s ur makeup?”  Okay, it wasn’t hard enough for me to put it up there, and now my best friend from high school (who is also an Avon rep) points out that, gee, you NEED makeup.  She made me feel so stupid.  And ugly.

And the thing is, I let her.  I let her make me feel stupid and ugly (and of course, fat, because ugly and fat go hand in hand) and undesirable.  I let her make me feel like I needed makeup to be pretty, when I know better.  I do like to wear makeup, yes, but I don’t wear it all the time.  I don’t have to wear it to feel pretty.  But I let her make me feel ashamed, for not being more of a woman, a girly girl.

I think what this photo really shows is a person, trying to put herself out there.  Trying really hard, because it doesn’t come easy.  Trying even harder to overcome the feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem and the feeling like she really isn’t pretty.  Not at 32 years old.

The truth of the matter, is this person doesn’t NEED makeup.  Maybe a little mascara for those blonde eyelashes, maybe a touch of eyeshadow, of blush.  But that would be about it.  This person isn’t in need of foundation and concealer and powder and all the face paint.  This person doesn’t think it looks good on ANYONE.

So there are a few blemishes here and there, and those eyes would really POP with a tiny bit of makeup, but there’s nothing wrong with the picture above.  That woman is lovely, inside and out, and it is a damn shame that she lets others make her feel differently.

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Who I Am

Here we are, Day 37 post DSB-break-up.  I couldn’t be more thrilled with my new-found freedom, spare time, lack of anxiety, and re-connection with family.  I mean thrilled, over-the-moon.  What I am less thrilled with is the basic and simple fact that I have to work, REALLY HARD, at figuring out this new life again.

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You know, what it means to be single, to not be tied down.  While I used to have a very rigid schedule, everything is very loose now.  It bothers me, to a degree.  I feel like I am reinventing Rosa, and in a way, I guess I am.  The Rosa of the past two years put up with way too much shit, had her self-esteem slowly chipped away, and mentally blocked out all of the “wrongness” that was the relationship with DSB.

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But I see it now.  I see it clearly.  I see where I should have stood my ground, made different choices, forced him to leave much earlier in the game.  The minute he tried keeping me from my family, or badmouthing them, I should have ended it.  I didn’t, and I have nightmares about it, frankly.  About how I gave up my family for a relationship that really wasn’t all that great, or healthy.

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I feel a lot of shame, am actually really burdened down by shame and guilt.  The Rosa of the last two years is not the Rosa I want to be.  And I’m changing things, sometimes in little steps, sometimes in huge leaps of faith.  It’s hard, though.  I have great family and friend support, but I am lacking something.  I think I know what it is, but I’m not positive.  What I think I am facing is a deep sense of uncertainty and insecurity.

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Because I feel like I’m reinventing myself, I also feel like I don’t know who I really am.  I’m uncertain about what I like and don’t like, what I will put up with and I won’t.  I worry that my reactions to certain things are either over-the-top or not intense enough.  I feel wildly varying emotions about so many issues, so many people, so many subjects, and just so many things.  And along with that, I have had two cycles in the past month, and just when I’m feeling good, something crops up and I feel like all the progress I have made has been obliterated.

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I’m not saying that’s how it is, but just that it FEELS that way.  I feel lost a lot of the time, and a lot of the time I’m putting on a happy face when inside I’m in a rage about something or I’m so agitated I can barely focus on what it is I’m supposed to be doing.  Lost.  Lost.  Lost.  I am like a ship out at sea that has lost it’s navigational system.  No way back to dry land, to safety.  But isn’t it safe HERE?  NOW?

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I am good with life changing, but it seems so huge, so dramatic.  I feel like a totally different person now than when I was with DSB.  It feels good to be able to do what I want to be, but there is so much uncertainty now.  Before, I knew where I had to be at what times and what I was supposed to be doing.  Now, there is no plan, there is no schedule.  I’m living life flying by the seat of my pants and it terrifies me.  I don’t feel secure in this person I am trying to be and I feel very unsure about what I should be doing on a minute-to-minute basis.  Before, it was all planned out and orchestrated.  Now, well, like I said!  Seat of your pants!

When this song first came out, my grandpa had passed, but my grandma was still around.  I’d substitute Grandma’s name for the one in the song, and the line about looking like my dad and momma being my biggest fan were (and still are) SO TRUE.  This song really grounded me during a time where, again, I didn’t know who I was.  I’ve listened to it four times now on repeat, after writing everything above (which frankly, needed to come out either way), and it is grounding me again, like it once did back when times were rough.

If I live to be a hundred
And never see the seven wonders
That’ll be alright
If I don’t make it to the big leagues
If I never win a Grammy
I’m gonna be just fine
Cause I know exactly who I am

I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
But I’ve got friends that love me
And they know just where I stand
It’s all a part of me
And that’s who I am

So when I make a big mistake
And when I fall flat on my face
I know I’ll be alright
Should my tender heart be broken
I will cry those teardrops knowing
I will be just fine
Cause nothing changes who I am

I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
But I’ve got friends that love me
And they know just where I stand
It’s all a part of me
And that’s who I am

I’m a saint and I’m a sinner
I’m a loser; I’m a winner
I am steady and unstable
I’m young, but I am able

I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
But I’ve got friends that love me
And they know where I stand
It’s all a part of me
And that’s who I am

I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
But I’ve got friends that love me
And they know where I stand
It’s all a part of me
And that’s who I am
That’s who I am

 

 

Crisis of Confidence

I hurt my back about a week and a half ago, and wasn’t able to do much other than watch TV or read for a good week of that time.  I’m feeling better now; not perfect, but better.  I only mention this, because it feels like, during that time I was down, my self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, whatever you want to call it, took a serious nose dive.

Everything is going as it should be in my life right now, or rather, as I want it to be.  DSB is starting to feel better and is working up in the shop again.  I’m liking my job, feel useful, have a pretty good time.  My house is all sorts of trashed out from being down a week, but it’s fixable.  Overall, I should be feeling pretty good.

But I’m not.  And that is the bitch that is bipolar disorder.  Screwy chemicals in my brain and past environmental influence telling me that life is not what it appears.  That there is no hope of having a better life, of being a better person.  That things will always be the way they are now and I will never move forward into a happier place.  That I’m a failure when it comes to keeping my house clean and taking care of daily responsibilities.

While my heart knows this not to be true, it’s still ringing in my ears.  And it’s convincing, not that I’ve ever needed a lot of  help to convince myself that everything about me is shit.  I am having a serious crisis in confidence.

To counter-act that crisis, I have been trying to put my DBT skills to use.  The main skill I have been using to build my confidence is called “building mastery.”  Building mastery is basically challenging yourself to learn and try new (and old) things that can help you in feeling better about yourself.

For example, something I do for “building mastery” is take on something in the kitchen that I have never tried before.  For others, it might be being direct with someone when it really matters or learning a new game/sport.  It can really be anything that you learn to do or that increases your skillset, making you feel better about yourself.

Building mastery has been improving things for me, but not at the rate I would like to see them improve.  I am still going to work, feeling good, doing well, and then coming home and feeling like life is hopeless.  My moods have been very up and down, I have no confidence in myself, and my approach to life at this point has become very passive.

That’s not me, I realize.  That’s not who I am.  That is a mood disorder speaking and I need to tell it to shut the hell up.  How many times can I tell it to shut up before it will listen?  I haven’t found out yet.

I think part of the issue is that we have been having very gloomy weather, and even when it has been nice, I have been inside.  I need to do more to be 0utside more.

I’m also having a bit of a crisis of confidence in blogging.  It seemed like I was doing really well there for a little bit, and now all I can come up with is stuff that I deem “unpublishable” and what I do publish, it seems like extremely few people read it.  The decrease in foot traffic on my stats page is somewhat alarming.  While I’m not doing this solely for other people to read what I write, I still DO want people to read it.

I need to find some prompts that I like, because it seems like I always do well with that, because no one wants to read the ramblings of someone who feels like shit and is bemoaning that fact in every paragraph.  The Daily Post has a Daily Prompt, but I often feel they don’t apply to me.

What I’m thinking of doing is joining “postaday” and posting every day for the rest of the year, or as close to that as I can maintain.  Is it okay to jump in mid-way through?  I don’t know, and I don’t really care.  I know that, when I was doing NaBloPoMo in November, posting every day, I had more to write about and felt more creative and productive.

On a day that I don’t post, I don’t feel very good about that.  I guess you could say that, for me, postaday would satisfy the “building mastery”  component of DBT, as well as the “building structure” component.  And probably some other components as well.

So there you have it, I’m going to do postaday (I think) and hope for better feelings about this blog and myself in general.

Any comment or suggestion for prompts or post inspiration is appreciated!

Permission to Abort Operation Anxiety

Today has been a week of realizing and, eventually, accepting that my general anxiety level has risen to ridiculous levels over the past few weeks.  For a little while, around the time that Sondra started getting sick I started having a lot of problems with depression — lack of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, extreme sadness, problems with food/eating, extreme moodiness and irritation, so on and so on.  Of course I couldn’t just accept it as that, as some situational issues going on — I had to wallow and moan about how life was just so AWFUL. 

As that depression started to lift, my anxiety became more noticeable, at least to other people.  To Dr. Love, especially, because he’s the one who has to deal with my not-exactly-rare erratic behavior day in and day out.  I’m not proud or happy to say that I really get bossy, controlling, and mean with him when I’m anxious.  I work all day long and, if I come home and there are a couple of dishes in the sink, or some project isn’t done, I’ll go off.  If it isn’t apparent to me that he’s been busy all day doing different things, I get irrational. 

Little things set me off.  I have an obsession/compulsion about the bed being made, in EXACTLY the “right” way, all of the dishes being done and put away, the kitchen being spotless, clothes put away in closets in dressers, the living room devoid of clutter.  When I’m in my right mind, and even sometimes when I’m in the moment, I know that all of these little things aren’t super-important in the grand scheme of life, and I’m usually a little bit (sometimes a lot) embarrassed by the time I’m done throwing my temper tantrum. 

And sometimes I’ll just come home in a mood and I will sit and pick things to death.  It can get really obscene sometimes — I will sit and obsess about Dr. Love possibly leaving me or not loving me or not being attracted to me and it is a very slippery slope in my mind until it is to the point that I’m asking him ridiculous questions like, “Do you ever think about breaking up with me?”  This really pisses him off to no end and he really doesn’t like it when I go on and on about how his parents hate me, especially when I go into such detail about certain instances that I am SURE prove just how much they dislike me.  He usually ends up walking away when I start really getting into this “no one loves me, everyone is going to leave me, everyone hates me” topic matter, just because he can’t deal with how irrational I am being.  I can’t really blame him, although it really REALLY pisses me off at the time.  The problem is that, in that very moment, he can’t stop my bad behavior.  Only I can. 

Basically, my anxiety can lead to some very intense moments and I consider myself extremely lucky that Dr. Love takes these situations and generally turns them around, not getting angry or holding a grudge.  He’s really good about trying to make me laugh and get my mind off things by acting silly or distracting me with something else.  Unfortunately, there have been many days where nothing can snap me out of it.

As I said, I have been thinking a lot the past week about my ridiculous anxiety level and have decided that I really need to do something pro-active about it.  I had therapy with Goddess of Mindfulness today and we talked about what I could do to feel less anxious.  I pinpointed that my anxiety really gets ramped up after I get off work and this is when I’m most likely to go home and blow up.

During times of less anxiety, I spent a lot of time sitting on my back porch, meditating and doing mindfulness exercises.  I don’t do that anymore.  At all.  During that time, I also cooked a healthy dinner almost every night, whereas most nights now it’s just whatever I can microwave.  I’m tired of coming home from work, getting pissed off at Dr. Love, yelling at him, then eating something out of the microwave and watching TV for the rest of the night to block out (usually ineffective) how anxious I am feeling.  It’s no wonder I don’t sleep well, when I’ve been revved all evening.

As a response to fear about losing Dr. Love, I have it in my head that we have to spend every second together and I realize now that is not the case.  Dr. Love gets his “me” time while I am at work, and I come home to him every night and weekend, never having even a moment where he’s not around.  This is completely not his fault, but mine. 

I don’t take any time to meditate, practice mindfulness, cook, exercise, paint my toenails, or anything else that would make me feel good.  I’m (wrongly) driven to sit by his side, even if we’re not doing anything and are just staring at the TV together (which doesn’t usually happen because he gets tired of watching). 

I talked with him about it last night and he agrees that I need to be taking time out to do things for myself to feel better, to feel good.  When I talked with Goddess of Mindfulness about it this morning, she suggested that I need to find a way to relax at the end of the day.  When I was doing my best, I was in a routine of coming home, going for a walk, cooking dinner, and then maybe watching about an hour of TV or spending some time on the computer. 

When I come home now, my anxiety is at an unreal level and I’m so overwhelmed.  GoM suggested that, as soon as I get home, I go sit out on the porch and listen to some mindfulness exercises on CD.  She gave me a few suggestions of ones to try out and a workbook also that may be helpful.  I’m going to Amazon later tonight and will give them a try and report back, if they’re any good. 

My hope is that, with beginning to relax myself through meditation and mindfulness the moment I get home, I will have a less anxious evening and will be more amenable to cooking, exercising, blogging, LIVING.  Fingers crossed.

So this song is repetitive, but the lyrics (comments) get stuck in my head and I’m always singing it to Dr. Love.  Enjoy. 

Plain White T’s, 1 2 3 4