Building A Life Worth Living, Week Two

life worth living


Thanks, first of all, to Mental Mama, for creating the lovely banner for, what I hope will be, a permanent series.  I wish I had half her talent.

Another note, if I get enough interest in this challenge, I will start a link-up (or rather, one of my techie friends will teach me how to do a link-up) so we can all revel in each other’s awesomeness.  The only requirements are that you blog about things happening in your life, that make your life worth living.

This, of course, is a “DBT thing,” but is not JUST a DBT thing.  It’s all about making your life better so that  you’re not just living day to day, but you are feeling JOY and experiencing the small beautiful things mindfully and putting purpose in your life.  It is gratitude and it is wise mind, all rolled into one.

The things things that are making me happy and mindful and present and thankful right now include:

1) My new-found ability to not bitch out an inept customer service rep.  Instead of using vinegar, now I use honey to coax out of that intractable rep just what it is I am needing.  It is amazing how being nice and polite on a regular basis can settle into you, making it your “go to” mode instead of anger and bad feelings.

2) A friend who convinced me to go see my pdoc when I was going to just stop taking a couple of my meds altogether due to unpleasant side effects.  All I needed was the suggestion, and I listened.

3)  Much thanks for Dr. Wizard being in my life.  He listens, he understands, he takes action.  Anyone should be so lucky to have a pdoc such as this.

4) Moments of unexpected mindfulness while cleaning, while playing with Kizz, while driving, while breathing to fall asleep.  You practice mindfulness on a regular basis, and it just finds you in everyday life.

5) My friend, Kelli, who showed me how to use the makeup she gave me, and my hope and belief that it can improve my self-confidence.

6) The grace given to me, possibly through my Aunt Pat G. or by Glo, that keeps me on track and keeps me hoping and hoping and hoping for faith.  Faith, I have not given up —  please do not give up on me.

7) The fact that it matters to me that there may be faith within me.  I am not a hollowed out shell, I am a person and there are things that matter to me.

8) My ability to find wise mind amongst the chaos.  This has perhaps been the greatest gift DBT has ever brought me.

9) The fact that I do not necessarily need words to see the love a person has for me, but rather it can be shown in actions.

10) Learning to balance a social life and a private life.  This one is hard, because the temptations live on either side of the dialectic, but middle ground can be found with work and introspection.

If you would like to be a part of this challenge, let me know in the comments or in the following private feedback form:


When Your Mind Lies

In about an hour, I am going to see my uncle and Dad and do some serious hanging out.  When I posted yesterday, I was very nervous about how I would be perceived, because I don’t have a very positive concept of myself.  After a WTF talk with DSB, I was able to see that I am successful in some non-traditional ways.

A lot of the time, it seems like my mind and inner voice are lying to me.  Telling me I am not good enough, smart enough, attractive enough, successful enough.  One of the things DSB pointed out to me is that I am always comparing myself to others.  This is also something my current therapist was working on with me several months ago in therapy.

No one is better than anyone else.  No one is worse than anyone else.  I can’t wrap my head around it, really.  We are all the same.  But we’re not!  I know this pattern of thinking is maladaptive and I think it is something I need to work on a little harder.  I really don’t think we’re all the same.  I think we’re all different, but not necessarily better or worse than the other.  Unless it’s me we’re comparing.  I’m always worse.

It is a constant fight to stay in wise mind, or to even get into wise mind.  I spend so much time in emotion mind and very little in rational, that my worldviews and thoughts and feelings swing dramatically moment by moment.  I am constantly in flux.  Is that normal?  I don’t think it is, really.  There is very little that I believe in that I can stick with, no matter what.

I know there is love in my life.  That is one thing I know for sure, but even then, a lot of times I am living in fear that it will go away.  So even on that one, most certain thing, I see cracks in the pavement.

I am much less nervous about seeing my uncle today than I was yesterday.  After DSB had his WTF talk with me, some of it is sticking to the inside of my brain…that I am successful in my own, non-traditional way.  For right now, I’m okay with that and I just need to keep it in mind.

From “Hooray’s” to Having no Faith

For those of you who read yesterday’s post, I would like it to be known that I cleaned up and organized the most cluttered, chaotic, consistently out-of-control room in my house.  That’s right, I kicked my laundry room’s ass.  I put all of my winter clothes away, did about six loads of laundry that’s been sitting around I-don’t-know-how-long, hung up or folded DSB’s entire wardrobe and my entire summer wardrobe (and we are not people with small wardrobes).  That bitch is done, amen!

I also cooked a healthy, homemade meal and cleaned my kitchen.  Those aren’t things I really give myself a pat on the back for because I do them every day, but I have to admit…it DOES feel good to do those things and do them consistently and well.  Hooray for that!

On the flip side, I have been really hard on myself lately, and I although I think I deserve every bit about it, all of the guilt and angst and wasted emotion is really eating me up.  It’s affecting my sleep, and Lord knows that when my sleep gets affected, bad things happen.  And also let’s say that, when I’m in wise mind, I know that I don’t really deserve quite all of that nastiness.

And let’s also say that I have been having one hell of a time getting into wise mind.  I don’t think it’s from lack of trying, either.  I keep having these hugely reactive emotion mind episodes.  It seems like my first instinct is to scream, “NO!” at me, anytime the said person asks me to do something.

I feel like I am so negative toward everyone and everything in my life, and like I’m always saying no, no, no, no, no, when people ask me to do something.  I know in some ways, I am trying to protect myself because it just feels inside like I am very fragile right now and I can’t quite explain it.  I just feel really sensitive, like I’m going to crack open at any time and I won’t be able to put myself back together.

I’m at a point where I’m not sure what I should do to make myself feel better.  Of course, there are things I could do, but I have no faith that any of it would make me feel better.  No faith in DBT, no faith in myself, no faith in anyone, really.  Where does one go from here?

To Heck and Back

Monday was pretty stressful.  Between my sleep study orientation in the morning to major drama with my car to deep concerns about money, given the upcoming cost of sleep studies, CPAP equipment, and now a car that needs fixing, I was ready to pull my hair out by the end of the day.

Let’s not mention that I was only able to clock in 7.5 hours yesterday due to car issues and sleep study orientation.  Seems like I didn’t get jack done during those hours, either, because I was too busy

I ended up leaving work early.  Just couldn’t take another minute of it, really.  And really, I think it was a wise mind decision.  My rational mind told me I had to stay until at least 6:00 p.m., no matter what, but my emotional mind was telling me that I was on the verge of a breakdown.  My wise mind found that middle ground, realizing there was no way I was getting anything else done and that I really needed a break.  Yay for wise mind!

After dropping the car off at the shop (in a scary neighborhood, nonetheless) and getting home, I immediately started working on self-soothe skills because I was pretty wired up.  Poor Dr. Love got a good taste of that, let’s say, and decided to leave me be for awhile.  I cooked dinner (marinated pork chops, mexican rice QoB style, and green beans) and started to feel better almost immediately.  It’s amazing how much cooking has become a self-soothe for me.  Really, it fits under a broad variety of the categories — self-soothe, distract, building mastery, and so on.  It just feels good and I think that’s amazing because there were days when even looking at a recipe was enough to bring me to ground zero because cooking was just.that.stressful.

To calm myself down even further, I talked to QoB on the phone while laying on the couch.  There is something about laying on that couch that is magical.  Just a feeling of “ahhhhh, relaxation…mellow, dude.”  Now I know why Dr. Love spends so much time lying there.  🙂

So I will be without a car for at least today, maybe tomorrow as well.  My mechanic didn’t know if he would be able to fit it in today but I will keep my fingers crossed.  It will be hard to be without a car because I won’t be able to get off grounds to smoke or talk on the phone or get away from the stress.  My plan is to take breaks by going outside and walking around the track and to chew gum when I’m dying for nicotine.  Should be a good experiment, if nothing else.

The beauty of not having a car is that Dr. Love has to get up and take me to work, which motivates him to stay up and get a lot of things done.  He has been amazing around the house lately, cleaning like a mad man, organizing, working on little projects.  I have not seen him in this good of spirits in a long time and I think we can attribute that to the entry-level-IT jobs popping up everywhere that he is applying to like mad and the Celexa that I kind of forced him to try again.  Whatever it is, he’s in a good place and that makes me happy.  Doesn’t hurt that it means my kitchen was thoroughly cleaned and the bathroom scrubbed, as well as all the laundry being done and the floors vacuumed.  He was even complaining about running out of things to do, so he went and bought all of the necessary stuff to change the oil and filters in both of our cars.  He finished his but, will have to wait on mine until it is out of the shop, obviously.

Dr. Love turned me onto this video.  Totally cool!

OK Go, This Too Shall Pass — Rube Goldberg Machine version