Lost spoons, lessons learned.

Ever find yourself in a situation where you are interacting with a person you know well, or at least you thought you knew well? You look back on the time you knew this person and you remember something different. You remember a different person. You think know this person and then you do not. When or how did the knowledge change? Maybe you evolved and they regressed? You are not sure. 

It is unsettling to notice this. I suppose when you find yourself in a position where you are investing a large portion of your time (in this case, being awake) to this person that is can be unsettling. And tiring. How on earth is it so tiring? Why is interaction with this person so exhausting?

The interaction is now in the past, but you are still coping with the aftermath. You used up all your spoons and your reserves interacting with this person. My brain is walking in numerous directions trying to understand what happened? When did I stop knowing this person?

Instead of enjoying the moment, you are walking on needles, hot coals, and razor blades. You are willing yourself to be patient, to not lose your temper, and you count down the hours until the interaction is complete.

You want your spoons back. You want all of them back.

I want my spoons back. I will not get them back.

In the future, I will need to be more mindful of keeping my spoons for me.

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Self created isolation?

I have no idea if I posted this before. It has been sitting, patiently, as a draft for over two years. Sure I can scroll back in my dashboard, to see if a version of this did get posted.

However, it feels relevant to now. There are no health issues this time around. Aside from a weird skin allergy and the aches and pains of starting up an exercise regime, I am pretty darn healthy.

I believe it is the isolation, that resonates. This time, though, I need it for creative purposes.

Anyway…

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Lately, I find it difficult to reach out to people I know. Family members, friends, health care providers, most people I need to keep in contact with all – all of these people I am having trouble reaching out to? I will stare at my phone, tell myself to call or text my aunt, for example. After about 30 seconds of this, I turn my phone off and I place it down. Sitting at my computer, I will open up my mail program, stare at the inbox, and nothing. I look at it and then I “Command + H” it and walk away.

Why am I having trouble reaching out to people? I have news to share, but I am not sure how to share it. Maybe that it is? No. It has to be something else. Like, the evil little depression that I have suppressed, or so I thought.

What I think happened is that with the good news, I got bad news, and some life changing news. My mind is not sure how to process it all.

When a brain does not operate smoothly.

For a few weeks, braining has been hard. In particular, this week has been a really tough week to brain. Each morning started off alright. However, as the day progressed, my brain would give up the driver’s seat, letting the Bad Thoughts take the wheel. Never good. Never good at all.

Over the past two mornings, I have been working out what is going on in my brain. Why is this week so hard? Why does my brain have a hard time this week? What is my brain having difficulty processing? If referring to my brain as a machine, what is it stuck on? What broke? Where are the faulty parts?

Initial diagnostics found three problem areas: “Time. Being Scared. Being Lazy.”

Time.
Time has always been faulty. In the past, I have never found a good solution for fixing Time in relation to my brain. It is finite. It goes by quickly. It always sits there, tick-tick-ticking away, one second at a time.

Being Scared.
No, I am not talking about being scared of spiders, heights, or anything of that sort. What I am scared of is starting new things. I am terrified of starting new challenges. I am afraid of failure. I am not afraid of others considering me a failure. I am afraid of considering myself a failure.

Being Lazy.
Being lazy means sitting around all day, playing computer solitaire, goofing off on the interwebs, or not doing anything that I consider productive. I feel this most in my office. I have a mental association that my office is a place where I should be productive, doing productive tasks and projects, and making something of myself. Instead of doing productive tasks, I sit around, visit the same web sites, play the same games, tell myself to be productive, beat myself up for not being productive.

My husband thinks being lazy could be considered procrastination. Perhaps, it is a symptom of procrastination, which stems from Being Scared, which stems from Time. It always comes down to time for me.

I could ask myself why is this so hard to do? Why is it so hard for me to address/work on my own tasks/projects/problems? Maybe because when I look at my items, I feel bad. I feel afraid. This is a problem, because life is good. My life is really great. I am in a place where there is stability, support, and I have to ability to be who ever I want, do what ever I want. And I don’t. Instead, I hide away, behind errands, behind chores, behind little things that I feel are more important to take care of, right away, which leads me to looking at the clock, seeing how little time I have left (there is plenty of time), and I sit down to open up a Solitaire game which I will play for the next 30 minutes to an hour. And I have wasted an hour now. I have wasted an hour where I could have been productive. I beat myself up, I feel exhausted, and I give up. But tomorrow will be different.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

So, how do I fix the broken parts? Are there replacements? What do I need to do allow my brain to run, effectively, on all cylinders?

Maybe, I need to detach. Maybe instead of assignments or To Dos, I make them challenges. Or as the kids say, make it a game. Shit, even my organizing courses/books suggest making it into a game. Make it fun. I should try it out. Keep it simple to start. Already my brain is trying to break down and organize how I would make it a game. What would be the reward system? Is there a category breakdown? Levels?

I cannot go that far. I need to keep it simple.

I need to say, “if I _________, I can ________.”

Let us see if I can do this. Let us see if this “fix” can stick.

Friends don’t let friends exploit one another

I am a good person. I like being a good person and doing things for other people. If I am not looking out for me, I would say that I like helping people out, even if it causes distress for me, because it makes them happy. Some part of me feels if other people are happy around me, because of me, then I can feel good about myself. It is stupid, I know. I am finally dealing with this behavior.

And I do, albeit for a short time. Then, there comes a time where I could use their help. Instead what I get are excuses why they cannot help me. Or I am ignored. Or I get this response “Sorry, I have no time, but hey, can you do me a huge favor?”

I feel my last job followed along very similar lines. I did the clichéd “above and beyond” year after year, with no rewards or recognition. It is because I am a good person. I keep telling myself I am a good person.

Why do I feel this need to be a good person, even to people who are not good to me? For me? More so, why is it so important that I need these people to like me? Is this a behavioral thing I learned while I was growing up? Maybe. Possibly. Very well could be. Sure, it is a behavioral thing, but I can change this. I am changing this.

Possibly, this is why right now, instead of being paranoid about one of those “exploiting friends”  ignoring me right now, I feel annoyance. I listen and acknowledge you. It is time for you to listen and acknowledge me.

Friendships are supposed to be shared between two people. Friends should be supportive of each other. They should not exploit the friendship. Year after year, I have done things for this friend, professionally-related things, where she did not acknowledge it as what I do for a living. If I were to put into financial terms what I have done for this one friend, I could pay one month’s rent for a decent 1 + 1 bedroom apartment, in a nice area of Studio City. Instead, I got a $50 gift card months later, as well as several sob stories about how money is tight at the moment, because “you know, kids and their medical bills and all.” Sure. I understand, as I now have to dig into my savings to pay my bills because I am short this month because you could not pay. But hey. at least I have free coffee.

It is one of those reasons why I ended my previous career at the end of last year. I was tired of being exploited by friends who thought they could get a good deal because we were friends. Yes, we were friends.

I guess I needed to release a little there.

Assorted Inner Self-evaluation

Last week, I found I had to address some inner battles that have been occurring in my brain for quite some time. It left me rather exhausted, exhilarated, and lighter. One inner batter stemmed from the main inner battle. It is this main inner battle that I need to return to therapy for. But not yet. For now, it is under control. I am aware of it. I made a lot of progress in moving past it. However, I am not quite ready to talk, outwardly, about it. I apologize for being vague, but I know we all have these inner battles. You each have yours, and you understand that the timing needs to be right to bring it and release it into the air.

Soon. Just not yet.

An Annual Afterthought

If I were to place a percentage of good versus the bad in the span of a year, I would have to say that the year is 90% good and 10% bad. The bad, as always, seems worse than it is.

With regards to that 10% bad, it can be further broken down to 7% during the holiday season (that being November to December) and the other 3% being this past week. Most interestingly is that it is this past week that tends upsets me more than the other 7%.

You see, this past weekend, was my birthday. I received one card from my family. I got birthday texts, but two of those felt like last minute “oh right, it is your birthday.”

It is how it has been for the past several years. At this time of year, I feel like an afterthought.

Sure, I can say that this year it was because of my grandmother’s death. However, every year, it is not one thing it is another. It is always something.

It hurts. I admit it does hurt.

Also, it is alright. I am okay with it. It is only one day. Sure, it is my birthday, but I have already had 41 birthdays prior to this one. I will have many more.

I am not really convincing, am I?

I feel good. Why does that make me feel bad?

I feel good. I am riding a lovely high of “Life is good” and I am enjoying it. It feels good – great, amazing, fantastic – to be enjoying life. I am happy. I spent so much of my life not happy. Now I am and I find myself feeling bad about it. Why? Why do I do that?

I see what others are going through right now, and it makes me feel bad that I feel good. I find that when I am talking with certain people, I hide my happiness and contentment as best I can, because their lives are not going so well. Is this why I try to find reasons to be unhappy? I do not want them to feel like they are the only ones suffering?

Seriously, why do I feel bad about feeling happy? Why can I not be more selfish about my own happiness? Honestly, most of the time that I feel good, there is this little voice in the back of my brain telling me that I should not boast about it – others are not as happy.

When my brain needs to react (to anxiety for example) it does not. When I need my brain to keep silent, it shouts. My brain and I need to have a little conversation after this. It apparently does not understand the priority levels for what is to what is not important.

I feel good and I should feel good about it.