Hi, I’m back. This blog isn’t going to be very focussed because it’s mainly collection of random thoughts and ideas. I’m going to try to write more often but it’s a little tricky to keep up with my blogging. Despite already feeling as though I’ve bitten off more than I can Chew, I’ve taken on another project. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not saying I regret it; I’m super happy with it and it could also bring me a bit of extra money. I’m making frozen treats for dogs which are now being sold at the pet shop I work at. I’m super excited! It’s an opportunity to learn more about business/marketing, it make human and dog clients happy (which is good for the store and is-a revenue stream. I’m actually proud of the initiative and of course I’m very grateful to have such a kind and open boss. The treats have been selling well and doggos seem to love them!
Conversational French is Salvaging my self-Esteem
As I’m learning in class, language is a tremendous aspect of our social identity. So not feeling comfortable with or around others is too. It implicates our self-esteem both in the way we perceive ourselves and especially the way we perceive ourselves based off the actual or imagined judgments of others.Being uncomfortable during communication is a significant confidence destabilizes. When we feel at a disadvantage in terms of expressing ourselves and understanding others the more I think we become insecure. I used to seriously worry about my ability in French. I felt too shy and self-conscious to speak French in front of most people. French class was constant fear of humiliation. The language of the ‘popular people’ was French so you can also guess how that went.
I’m sharing this to show how significant language is just in terms of personal identity. I’ve gotten so much better at conversation French due to work and its’ making a huge difference. I built more confidence to speak with new people. It started at work and then expanded to encounters outside work until the point Iie now arrived at which is abides ire and confidence to initiate dialogue. Of course this growth is also largely due to Mia, because she helps me stray out of my bubble and interact with the world. I feel safer, comforted.
It’s Time to Talk About Mia (My favourite subject!)
I love Mia with all my heart. I have to share how proud I am of her. We’ve been going LITERALLY everywhere together and I love it. She’s such a good girl. Neither the Assistance course nor the one with our canine trainer at work have begun yet but Mia and I are practicing. Mia has also recently been exposed to even more unfamiliar environments than usual. With my Mom’s birthday Mia visited two restaurants, a few stores and had a two night hotel stay. She also went to the cinema with Aaron and I, went rollerblading with us and walked through all the stores we went to today! She’s gaining so much experience! We’re also practicing cone drills, brushing and not barking. Mia is getting better every day. We’re super connected and I really feel like we’re partners.
Fact-Checking my Thoughts
I’ve decided I need to start fact-checking my thoughts. Seriously. It’s a problem. They’re trying to kill me. Some of the garbage my brain pulls out to hurt me doesn’t even make sense. I want to distinguish fact from fiction, real concerns from my vivid imagination. I’ll try to question negative ‘pop-ups’ as they come to filter through at least some of the nonsense.
My therapist recommended being reconnected with the Crisis Centre and as it happens, my worker who left came back! So we’re going to be working on things, mostly preventing self-harm. So today he used a term I found quite interesting called urge surfing. It’s waiting out the intense wave of desire to self-harm until the urge eventually dissipates as is its pattern. He’s going send me the information which is kind, and I’d like to write a blog about it.
A New Quote
I really appreciate quotes. Theres something about a short and sweet packet of depth that calls to me. I’m happy to say that I now have three quotes that seem decently worthy. This is my newest:
Expect to see the goodness and you’ll find it.
Expect to see the darkness and you’ll find it too.
Both are present, but the one we choose to notice is the one that wins in our mind.
I really don’t want to reduce everything to a positive attitude. I understand how complicated it is. What I mean and believe is that we lean to one side or the other; we notice more of the beauty or more of the ugliness. I can’t even delve into why but suffice to say that our proclivity impacts what our mental filter allows through. Think of it like this:
In the diagram circles are ‘good and triangles are ‘bad. ‘Someone with more circular holes than triangular holes will let more ‘good’ through. Someone with the opposite will let more ‘bad’ through. This has a distinct impact on our mood. You can liken this explanation to the difference between optimism and pessimism.
The problem is that this seems reductive and overly simplistic. That’s because it is. If someone tells me to just be more optimistic I’m gonna want to suggest they take a long walk off a short pier. So how do we transform this simplistic idea into something useable and concrete? I don’t have a complete answer but I do have an idea. It’s based on the movie “About Time” which I adore by the way.
The main character has the inherited ability to travel back in time and redo events. He learns from his father to use the ability for going back and appreciating the good things he had failed to notice the first time. At the end of the film he takes this a step further by living each day without redoing it-paying special notice to the small beauties the first time around. This to me is quite impactful and illustrates the happiness derived from gratitude and appreciation. For many years I’ve had a gratitude prayer in which I think about all the things I’m thankful for. I used to be very complete about it and continue the prayer as happy random occurrences happened during the day. I was a happier person then which is important to note. Unfortunately during the past 7 years my ‘prayer’ has been reduced to a quick period before bed and I frequently forget. I’ve been trying to get back into it recently and I recommend you try it out.
A Thought on Eating Disorders
I also have a new theory on eating disorders. I wonder if they’re related to not being able to enjoy food. I’m thinking that when one loses interest in food they are more likely to fall victim to an eating disorder of some kind. Inertia… bad begets more bad, good begets more good. If things have started going poorly, there’s a higher likelihood of a snowball effect.
Let’s look at binge eating for example:
Maybe the person eats very quickly and never savours their food. Humans generally enjoy eating but this person is voraciously eating away at their pleasure instead. What happens? No meal can satisfy that person so they eat far more than normal to fill a void of pleasure in their life.. I could be all wrong but I’d like to put it out there.
Let’s look at a different example. May this person isn’t enjoying eating anymore. Maybe they don’t feel like they’re enjoying anything despite indicators that they should! What do they do? Starve themselves. Find a way to keep food as a stable, important factor in their lives that they enjoy. But they’ve lost the ability to enjoy eating so they create something they care control and win at: Not eating. The person creates a new pleasure for themselves, not knowing that the honeymoon period will end and when it does they’ll find themselves trapped in a living hell.
Ok I think I’ll stop writing about this now. That hit too close to home.
Addiction to Cigarettes
Th horrible addictive nature for me is the “I don’t want water, I’m not hungry… what could I want? Oh of course. I NEED a cigarette. It’s the stop-gap; the in between everything.
My Inconvenient Mind
That should be the title of my book. I have something to vent about. My mind can sometimes be pretty great and let me do things I like. I want to acknowledge that. However more often than not, it’s also being a real pain in the … I mean … come on. Sometimes despite trying my hardest my mind just won’t let me. It’s stronger. It needs to be waited out.
One of the problems is that I can’t always afford to wait. This gets a little inconvenient. I go a week or more without the ability to concentrate and be productive with school. Then out of nowhere I’ll get a wave of motivation and write two essays in two sittings. It’s pretty funny actually because it seems like my family and I all know of this pattern. So when the wave comes it’s kind of understood that I’ll disappear, eat in the other room and pop in just for picking up sustenance haha. (Snacks, diet soda and cigarettes. Yeah.)
So my point is that I can at least step back and appreciate the humour but it really is getting annoying. Just dealing with my head is greatly tiring. It makes every little part of life 3% harder… do you know what I mean? Do you relate? I think it’s pretty relatable with mental illness.
I’m now writing to you from the crisis centre where I stayed before the Holidays. I should explain why. Things have been getting worse and I think we all know that stress often exacerbates our symptoms. That’s the short story of why. I’m losing control over my mind and going through a dangerous mixed episode. I’ll be almost euphoric and then contemplating suicide within a few hours/days spread. Because that makes perfect sense. Not extreme at all.
So during these lows I’ve been having a really hard time. I try to plug one leak of self-harm and another pops up to replace it. That’s how I went back to cutting recently. Then last night I admittedly drank too much of my homemade sangria and felt reckless.
My left forearm is too scarred to make satisfying cuts now so I moved higher to the inside of elbow. Big mistake, I got carried away and thought I should cut the artery there again. Yeah. What a mess. I didn’t go to the hospital because with a charging cable tourniquet and good, tight wrapping afterwards, we controlled the bleeding. It’s horrible how accustomed and desensitized I’ve become to such things. So anyway, today I decided it would be more responsible to have a mental health break than to wait until I take all my meds or something. Yeah. It’s going THAT well. I have to be darkly sarcastic about it because I really messed up and not just on a personal level.
I’m going to say goodbye and good night for now, trying to keep in mind that this is the right place for me to be. Now let’s pray I’m not even more stupid.
How are YOU doing? What’ve you been reflecting on lately? Did any of this resound with you?