What I Know Here, Today, in the Now

My friend, Marilyn, often tells me I am doing better than what I think I am, struggling about the same as most people (sometimes a little less, even), and I often have a hard time wrapping my head around that little nugget of wisdom, although it is often very true.

I have “survived” a great deal in life, and here I am, still kicking almost 36 years into this great life that I have created.

I know what makes me happy, what makes me sad, what works and what doesn’t, and when I can keep these things at the front of my mind, I can exist in a state of fairly ok-ishness.  Of course, there are ups and downs in life, but everyone has ups and downs.  I think I just tend to experience mine a little more fully than some in the world.

There is very little in my life right now that is inherently “bad” or “negative.”  It has taken many years of therapy, but given enough time and the right support, I can usually get even the negative situations worked out fairly well.  When I am not in a full-on manic state or a full-on depressive state, I can say that I actually live a pretty full and happy life.  Of course, I have my moments, but I am beginning to learn and accept that everyone on this planet has their moments.

We all have certain things we struggle with more than others, whether our issue is bipolar disorder, some other mental illness, a physical issue, or just tough circumstances.  The point is to keep going, and to keep trying to make one’s life increasingly more peaceful, more happy, with more love.

I am currently dealing with some issues related to medications and a disruption in my routine.  It has thrown me for a loop, but I am dealing with it, how I know to deal with it.  In a week or so, I am going to be able to hit the exercise routine again, and in the meantime, I am getting the nutrition part of things under control.

I am crafting daily, have had some good sales at the gallery, and am working on some really beautiful new pieces for the gallery.  That makes me very happy; it is something I derive a great deal of pleasure from.

I have been getting back into my reading and am thinking about trying my hand about doing some shorter, yet still glowing,  book reviews….some that I had promised to do long ago, and some that no one has asked me to do, but that I feel the book is worthy of praise and is important for others to read.

So I am still that DBT girl, standing in front of my life, asking myself to keep trying, but to try a little harder, even though I am doing the best I can.  I will probably always be that girl, and that is fine by me.  It is progress, not perfection, that I am after.

 

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Making Choices About Who to Give Love and Time To

At some point, I made up my mind to stop projecting my thoughts of self-hatred onto other people.  I mean, I’ve made up my mind to do that a few times within the course of my life, but I have really committed to it, at this juncture.  I had grown tired of feeling belittled and invalidated by the comments of others, and found that, while sometimes the other person was at fault, sometimes it was all in my head.

Even keeping this in mind, there are times in our lives when we have to go through the people in our circle, and evaluate who is helping us and who is hurting us.  Sometimes it is the person we least suspect who is actually hurting us.  Often it is a person we don’t think of often, who we don’t talk to much, or just aren’t that close to anymore who is injecting poisonous and negative thoughts into our lives at every random encounter.

This has been the case with my life, I have found.  I have shored up my defenses and boundaries, where it really was lacking and was necessary, but found that I had a few little relationships with others here and there, some I thought very important, some not so much, that I have recently realized that I would simply be better off without.

Last week, I went about the process of figuring out how to terminate the peer mentor process that I have been going through.  After examining what happens at our appointments, thinking about what positives this time-consuming activity brings to my life, I realized that this program is not a good fit for me.  Very little productivity comes out of these meetings, and it is all too clear that my peer support person is working on nothing with me, and is in fact harming me with some of her suggestions.

She suggested I quit DBT groups.  Wow.  Really?  I mean, yes, they drive me crazy, but they are one of the main things keeping me going.  She doesn’t take medication, and is somewhat anti-medication, as well.  She has a negative view of LarBear, and is very opinionated and judgmental.  I just don’t feel I am getting anything positive from the relationship, and in fact I generally feel more anxious and worse in general (about myself) after I see her.

So, I made the decision after speaking with my DBT therapist and my regular therapist, and QoB, LarBear, so on and so forth.  I am no longer going to subject myself to these appointments just because I feel like I *should.*  I am also not willing to be in contact with someone who is flailing along, while trying to help me.  If you are a peer mentor, you should have your life at least somewhat together, you shouldn’t be laying out all of your own problems at each meeting, and I shouldn’t feel like I am the one giving you advice at all times.  I don’t feel comfortable in this relationship at all, anymore.  It is therefore over.

And that is exactly the problem I am having with a few of the smaller, more acquaintance-type relationships in my life.  As if I have explained myself over and over, and the other person isn’t willing (or able) to change.  And in some cases, I just feel like the other person doesn’t care, and I tire sometimes of chasing my tail to make other people happy.  I need to chase my tail to make myself happy, not to benefit other people.  Sometimes there is only so much you can give of yourself to others, and if they don’t give a little back, you can’t keep giving yourself, over and over.

One of the biggest parts of my mental health road right now is to surround myself with people that nurture me, not those who hurt me.  I am putting distance between myself and other people for a reason, and one of the biggest things, is if you never reach out to me, I might just stop reaching out to you.  What happens then?  Change has to happen, is what happens then, and if no change happens, then I might have to give up on some things that I thought could be good, because it turned out that they couldn’t.

 

I Just Want Your Time

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My DSB is finally home.  He actually came home yesterday.  He’s not fixed, but he’s better.  And he’s a little better today than he was yesterday.  Hopefully that trend continues.

Being without my normal DSB time this past week has really thrown me off.  I didn’t sleep.  My eating was more messed up than normal.  I took more PRN’s than usual.  I didn’t feel myself.

DSB and I make it a point to connect, spend time together, be together, be in the same room as each other as much as possible.  Depending on when we wake up and go to bed, even on the days I work and have appointments and other stuff going on, we probably get five or six hours of face time every day.  Maybe more.

I thought that was normal.  I did some asking around, and it’s not.

And it made me realize that DSB and I are not normal.  Of course, we  have the benefit of me working part-time and DSB working when he has a project to do.  It’s like, by being on disability, we are rewarded by having more time for each other.  I don’t know what it would be like if we both worked full-time.

Wait, yes I do.  I’d be crazy and DSB would be in traction, hooked up to oxygen and a heart monitor.

Whatever the reasons are, any amount of time you can spend with your significant other is worthwhile time.  I don’t think it even particularly matters what you’re doing.  Get that face time in, even if you can only manage an hour.  When you don’t, things can get out of whack in a hurry.

When DSB and I first got together, I was in a habit of being very selfish and never making time to spend together.  One day, he played me this song, and he said, “Rose, this is what I’ve been trying to say.”  And I got it, just like that.

 

 

Detachment via Exhaustion

You know you’re about done for the day when you start muttering the f-bomb under your breath with frustration as you try to open the new drop-down menu on your dashboard.  Damn drop-down menu, damn laptop mouse.

The past week or two have been really super-busy at work.  Non-stop, go-go-go action.  It feels good to get a lot done, because there are definitely periods where not much is going on.  It would be nice if I had some time to work on my curriculums, but 80% of my job duties on my position description are for discharge planning.  So, there ya go.  I just keep telling myself I’ll work on it someday.  Sure wish some of these people would get discharged, though, and stay discharged.  So goes any type of social service work though, I have found.

Gavin came to the house this past weekend to look through the garage.  It was hard for him, hard for my mom to watch.  I suppose he’ll come back a few more times to look through the garage before everything is sold.  I wish there was something I could do to make it less painful, but there’s not.  Except pour a little whiskey at day’s end.

Dr. Love and I have plans to go camping this weekend.  He managed to get Friday – Sunday off somehow.  I am looking forward to it, looking forward to getting in some serious relaxation without worrying like I do when I’m at home about every.little.thing.  The lake seems to melt all that away, for the most part.

I feel so tired, I am out of it.  My sleep has been off for, well, for the last 29 years of my life.  It has better moments, it has worse moments, but overall it has improved greatly since the CPAP.  Someone posted on my stepsister’s Facebook page that new parents end up with a six month “sleep deficit” by the end of the first year.  Because they have to get up and feed the baby every two hours, so on and so forth.  If that one year period creates a six-month “sleep deficit,” I figure I’m on at least a 15 year sleep deficit.  Alas, that’s just the way it goes.

Yael Naim, Far Far