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Treatment, Self-Help & Recovery => Self-Help & Recovery => Recovery Journals => Topic started by: movementforthebetter on October 03, 2017, 05:18:19 AM

Title: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 03, 2017, 05:18:19 AM
This post will contain triggers for violence, and some deep emotional exploration.

I thought I wouldn't write again so soon. But I am too sensitive to the world. And lucky me, my sensitivity is multiplied by a particularly heavy period which has left me feeling sick the last 3 days.

Current events, societal and political, have got me down. There was an attack on innocent people in the pub district of my hometown this weekend, which many are making about race. It's not to say the attack wasn't bad, it was.  But people jump on any chance they can to validate their ignorant redneck views and false assumptions. The attacker had dark skin so he must be a "terrorist". A fire fed to exploding by the police themselves. Disgusting, and one of many, many reasons I Ieft that city.

Then waking up to the Vegas attack this morning. Not since Sandy Hook have I felt such utter futility in the face of the destructive power of insanity. And of course the shooter is a white man, because 99% of them are. But he's a "lone wolf", not a terrorist though almost 60 died by his hand? It makes me nauseous. 

And then the topper is the reporting mess surrounding Tom Petty. I was just reading a news story talking about his music this morning. I got busy at work, took late lunch, checked Facebook and boom, it was everywhere that he had died. Except he hasn't yet, as later corrected. But all night I've been waiting for the news... Looking for something concrete one way or another. Singing his songs in my head.

I had recently decided to give up on a car for now. I can't afford it. I was scraping to make rent, and getting further and further in debt. I think I made an adult decision.

But I had to tell my folks why I wasn't going to be there for thanksgiving. It was a big mistake on my part, saying I would go when I don't have it in me. So I told them, and about what living is like for my generation in general, and for me more specifically. My M said she'd send some money.

I told her multiple times she didn't have to but she insisted. And tonight I got it, and it's a considerable amount. I started sobbing when I saw it. It helps hugely. Yes, I appreciate it and need it. But I do not want it, and feel shame in accepting.

This is how she shows love. I think she means well. She says she loves me. I basically believe that. But I don't feel it in my core. And it was never the love I needed or wanted.

There is a deep emptiness inside me that I am rarely aware of. Tonight, I am. I love, and I am loved. But none of these loves join to form a real connection due to circumstances and biology. It leaves me feeling deeply broken to think that I can't really feel love. That it's something that either I never knew, or worse, could just never process.

And so I am broken down, beaten into submission by life. Accepting gifts from the person for whom the past doesn't exist. The person whose acknowledgement would mean the most. Considering returning to my surface family and redneck city because I have almost nothing left to my name.

Does acceptance of the gift equal condoning the violence of the past? If I am the only one who knows my truth, can that carry me through being closer to my family? These are the questions I will sleep on tonight. 

Edited to add that as I wrote this, Tom Petty did pass away. Rest in peace, Tom, and thank you for the music.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 03, 2017, 01:42:32 PM
So, the title of this journal didn't come easily to me. I chose it because it's generally optimistic but also realistically factual. Like me.  ;D

In the spirit of general optimism, despite wanting to call in sick today, I got up early, rested with a cool cloth on my eyes to reduce swelling and redness, had a nice hot shower, and am heading in to work. I'll even be early.

One foot in front of the other is something I learned the excruciatingly hard way after my dad died. I haven't got it mastered by any stretch. But people make irrational decisions and life goes on no matter how much I wish it would stop most times. So I've learned that my best options are to either make my contribution to the best of my ability, or remove myself from the situation and find somewhere else to contribute. Today I will contribute where I am, as I am, and it will be ok.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 11, 2017, 05:08:30 PM
Woke from some intense dreams. Feeling discombobulated.

In the 2nd, I listed my ideal traits for a partner, but they were reflected in the dream-mirror of an old high-school classmate who was dating a former college prof. I'll see if I can remember them, in no particular order. It was a long list. Intelligent, funny, thoughtful, considerate, kind, motivated, witty, dedicated, honest, emotionally in-tune, attractive enough (not hot), good conversationalist, treats her well, interesting, curious, adventurous, generally optimistic, confident but not arrogant, humble, helpful. I spent the first part of the dream at a weird outdoor winter concert for one of my favourite musicians, then indoors, trying to find something, in a home filled with stairs and ledges. Right at the end of the dream I was talking with a pregnant friend when she said she had just noticed that I was pregnant, too. And I was. "I'm scared, " I said. And she said, "Me too."

 In the first, I remember nothing except the last moments, in which I witnessed a kitten get run over by a car. In the dream I cried out his name, "Smokey". In reality I whimpered loudly in my sleep and the sound woke me up immediately.

Despite bad dreams, I feel little desire to get out of bed today. I am on my vacation. It's raining. I'm tired from cramming too much in yesterday. I got a lot done, which is good. In 3 weeks I'm travelling for work to Eastern Canada for several months. It's a big challenge  that I learned of late last week. It started sinking in over the weekend. I need to do so much to get ready, but I also want to take time to savour my home while I can.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 13, 2017, 02:14:24 AM
I went to my Dr. and said I wasn't coping well. That my anxiety is paralyzing me and I haven't been taking care of myself. My dosage of my meds has been increased, and I'm stepping it up now, on vacation. LOL. Another aspect of my life the "normals"  would never get. "What did you do on vacation?" "Not much, just increased my antidepressants so the side-effects will interfere with my work life as little as possible."

I am experiencing headaches and some mild dizziness so far. Jaw-tightness and ear-ringing seems up, too. Otherwise it's ok.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 16, 2017, 05:28:21 AM
Well, vacation flew by.

I had work dreams last night. Tonight I have that anxious insomnia going on, after sleeping a ton during my vacation. Depression naps galore. But I accept that my body wanted the sleep. I wanted it, too. Sleep is becoming my favourite pass time.

I leave on an extended work trip in a couple of weeks. I'll be leaving everything I know for several months and living in a hotel, working near to there.  I found out right before vacation, so that significantly ate into my ability to relax. I am very nervous about it and there's a lot to prepare. But it's going to be a good experience for me. Growth, whether I can actually handle it or not. I wish I was more confident that I was ready. I plan to study my technical notes so I feel better prepared. I have a friend in that province, so at least that's one definite positive thing.

Things move so fast. All I've wanted since 2009 was for things to slow down. They never will, will they? Not in work, and not in life unless I avoid things, which I do. I'm not ready to commit to every day moving at light speed, and me along with it. I can make it work at work for a while, but that's the limit.

Today self-care involved making my breakfast and lunch ahead of time. I've also started wearing a mouthguard again. They have so many more options now, and I was able to get a comfortable one.

OK, enough fighting sleep. Once I'm moving again, I'll be ok. And post-vacation blahs are normal, so that shouldn't surprise me.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: hank on October 16, 2017, 10:39:43 AM
How will you like the ways in which others paint you? Paint back.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 17, 2017, 09:10:24 AM
Awake again, for an hour now, in the middle of the night. My brain gets going on work thoughts before I am fully awake, so there's some subconscious activity spilling out from my dreams that I don't have much control over. I do things to influence myself into feeling safe at night. Not that I feel "unsafe", but some subtle tweaks have a good influence. Soft, warm lighting in the hour or so before bed. Wind-down time, meaning a period of stillness before sleep. Quiet, calm, looping music and nature sounds mixed with white noise, that I can play all night. If I wake and the music is going, I know I'm it's still bedtime. No glowing clocks to fret over. A cool room, as much as possible. I tend to overheat and I think that contributes to my waking.

I didn't set the music tonight so thoughts got active, quick. I guess I wanted to rest my techniques. I do notice a positive difference when I use them, even if I don't sleep any more.

Lots of thoughts lately about the ways in which I am "difficult" for others. Not sure if I can or would want to change any of it. And not apologizing. Just trying to see myself through a different lens.

Think I am tired enough again. Mid night wakes seem to generally last 1.5 to 3 hours, no matter how tired before sleep.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 18, 2017, 01:30:47 AM
mftb, i thought the title for this journal was extremely meaningful.  you're absolutely right, each day is a blank page.  some of it is written for us, and for some of it we do the writing.   what we write are our choices, decisions, and actions. 

i'm with you on the whole mess that is the news anymore.  i didn't hear about tom petty till 4 days later.  have always loved his music.  one of my favorite videos is with him and the rest of the traveling wilburys singing 'end of the line'.  i used to listen to that every morning - i always gave me a lift.

i am sorry for your sleep problems.  i know those middle of the nights very well.  they suck.  hoping that you find some rest and comfort that will enable you to sleep better soon.

sending you a warm, loving hug.  we'll make it thru this. 
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 20, 2017, 07:22:40 AM
Today was a high-pressure day. All week, really, escalating each day. It's so busy that most days the last few weeks, now, I come home, have dinner, then crawl into bed and play a game on my phone until I get sleepy. Then it's bedtime until my midnight wake, then a couple more hours of sleep if I'm lucky. I suppose it sounds like I sleep too much but with the wakefulness and ultra-earlystart,  I really don't.

I don't have the supports I need at work to do my job effectively or even at all sometimes. I was upset about work I'd done 2 weeks ago not being maintained by others responsible, but a bigger issue will actually  make me miss a deadline (again, not me) . Instead of getting stressed out by this today, I was able to figure out what I needed to push ahead, and contact the multiple people who could help get it done. So that is some significant growth for me. And I am proud of that. It's possible that after over a year on the job I fully understand what is needed to do it. 

It's not to say that I don't make mistakes or cause others to be inconvenienced - I do. And I am so hard on myself when I mess up. My inner critic kicks into overdrive as soon as a mistake is noticed or a problem pops up. Deep down I think most of my projects are failures because I "could've done better". Deeper down I think that means that I am a failure for the same reason. But today I overcame my hurdle despite all my negative leanings.

And I'm going away in 2 weeks to work with a huge new team from all over the country. I am so anxious about this. My manager talked to me today - gave me the rundown but also said I was representing my location, it was a privilege to be invited to work there, and that it was so important that I really know my stuff and can work fast. That if team members have deadlines, they won't be able to help me.   Which is where I started to feel panicky. I am not confident in either of these things. My job has manuals upon manuals that I am expected to know, without having been given any work time to memorize the material over the past year. And I am not salaried. So I am studying, hoping I can shore up my knowledge before I leave. But I also have to practice on my software because any hang-ups on the technical end could cause major problems for me. So much of my unpaid time is being devoted to work now and into the foreseeable future. I suffer from terrible imposter syndrome and this whole situation makes me feel like I don't deserve to be there. And having to do so much unpaid work just to ensure I am ready for the work ahead is just another reason I find work so awful most of the time, even though I can also say I am at one of my dream jobs.

The pattern is that under extended periods of stress and uncertainty, I manage until right before the finish line, right at the highest point of stress, I breakdown, sometimes publicly. The kind of thing that shakes me to my core as to whether I should even continue living, because it's all too much for me.  Will it happen before I leave, after, both, or neither?
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 20, 2017, 03:13:52 PM
mftb, may i make a wife2 suggestion?  breathe.  then, breathe again.  slow yourself down.  prioritize, if you're able.  one step at a time.  ultimately, this, too, shall pass.

i don't believe you have been given this opportunity because you suck at your job.  rather, your work has shown itself to be of such merit that it is believed you have something important to contribute to the rest of the team. 

an example from my own life of getting overwhelmed by too much to process/do/consider has been all this medical stuff i've been going thru.  each doc has told me to do this, that, and the other, and get it done now.  lab tests, sonagrams, exams, surgery . . .  and on and on.  i was going nuts.

for one thing, my hub took care of much of that for me, keeping track, driving me here and there, going with me to see the specialists.  without him, i felt pretty much on my own.  my d has definitely supported me, but ultimately i had to make the decisions myself.

prioritizing was the way for me to go.  what was most important to get done the soonest.  in my case, it was the first round of doc appts. and lab tests, schedule the surgery, and pay off all those visits and tests before i made more appts.  it really helped clear my head and took away that overwhelming feeling.  it was like i took my power back.

just like the docs looking over my shoulder telling me what i had to do 'right now', or something dire would happen, you have your bosses doing the same thing.   you know your strengths, you know what you do best, and you know what's most important for you to know.  simplify and take your power back.   take one step at a time and you'll get through this.  you're not alone, sweetie.
right beside you all the way.

sending you a big hug filled with encouragement, support, and confidence in yourself and your abilities.   
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 21, 2017, 11:30:54 PM
Thank you Sanmagic7. I have been trying to breathe deeply.

Ironically I'm so busy that finding the time to do that during work is exceedingly difficult. I know that sounds like exaggeration but it's not, really. At the end of my shift I had people lined up to ask me questions... And I'm not a project lead or manager yet. It was nuts.  I worked 9 hours yesterday,  had a good dinner, and have been in bed since, for the most part. A combo of burnt out and side effects from my meds, I think. I've actually had trouble keeping my eyes open all day.

Re-reading my last post, it comes off overly dramatic and I didn't intend that. The whole going on living thing is more of a philosophical issue than crisis. I'll try to be more careful with my words.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 24, 2017, 04:45:26 AM
Since last week was so, so bad at work, followed by sleeping sickness Saturday, I decided to change the timing of my meds. My small dose is in the morning and my large dose at night, now. I'm hoping this might help with the exhaustion.

Having said that, I hardly slept at all last night because I was so anxious and panicky about work and life. In the little I did sleep I dreamed about work and train cars being knocked off the rails. (though I read a news story that I think planted the seed.) Har-dee-har, brain, dreams aren't even subtle anymore. 

So today I called in sick and took a mental health day. Cleaned and organized a bunch at home. My manager was texting me through the day asking questions about work. I was surprised they didn't just let my stuff sit, but it is a busy time of year. So not quite the break I needed. It never is. I'm pretty sure it's innappropriate to be texting an employee that's said they can't come in. I'm tempted to say something. But it's just one more thing in a long list of things that's wrong in my workplace.

I should be gearing down for sleep now. Am breaking my own rules. But felt this last week/end really needed to be commented on. Probably the first time I've called in sick without thinking somehow that I should drag myself in and beat myself up with guilt about it. After all the crazy that got dumped on me last week, I didn't mind too much that I left a mess for them. So basically this work trip will make clear to me if I do have any future in this company or not. As it is now I can't stay because the realist in me can't see things improving, and my health is suffering for it. So maybe things will be better in the other role. My anxiety is rooted in the perception (probably accurate, sorry not sorry) that things will not be better on the other side of the country, and may in fact be worse. At least it's only 3 months.

Edited to add that I slept 4 hours with much tossing and turning before waking. Might take some time to see if the meds impact this or not.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 24, 2017, 05:12:55 PM
i'm really glad for you that you were able to call in to work and take the day for yourself (altho not glad at all that you kept getting bothered with work stuff while at home.  that doesn't seem right.  a mental health day is in order to take a break from the work stuff, right?)

hope you get the sleep stuff figured out.  that's a gritch all by itself.  am interested in how it goes for you for those 3 months.  best to you with that.  big hug to you filled with calm and soothing.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 30, 2017, 10:53:27 AM
Too awake to sleep, too tired to... Anything. Just poking at my phone now.

I have a lot to do and 1 week left at home. I want to stay in bed all the time but manage to drag myself out. Not looking forward to my trip like everyone else seems to think I should be. I suppose it will be ok. Not worth getting into worst-case scenarios.

I'm soul-tired. If money were no object I would live without purpose other than my health and a hobby or two. As it is, fitting in costs me all of that.

I find moments of joy but they are fleeting and I need to work harder and harder all the time to achieve them. I often want to quit everything. I have admiration for the homeless who chose to opt out of societal systems of oppression and just live. It's what I want. I've known it for years, but I've been groomed to stay on the career treadmill. I've accomplished a lot, but at what cost? And the damage to myself necessitates I have medical benefits... Which I then rarely use because I struggle to keep up with life. I don't know what I am doing anymore. I just want to sleep all the time. And be free.

Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 30, 2017, 06:04:18 PM
i so hear you, mftb.  it's like you read what i just wrote, but you wrote this first.  so very tired of not fitting in.  big hug to you.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 31, 2017, 10:14:20 AM
Just quickly getting this down and out of my head. This post contains triggers for guns, violence, death and children and grief.

I just woke from a dream nightmare unlike any I ever had before. In it, I had a 3 yr old daughter. She was playing in her room. Don't remember what I was doing at the time. I finally realized something was wrong. Did I hear a sound? Not sure. But now it was too quiet. I looked at the baby monitor and knew. I went to her room and she was dead. She had found a gun, my gun, and accidentally shot herself while playing. The most unspeakable grief. Being responsible for the death of my child.

My husband came home. He was a famous climate scientist. I had to tell him she was gone. It was my fault. In the grief he stopped caring about his work and was regularly quoted saying things like "what is there to save in humanity and why should I bother? If my child can die in this way, , there is nothing left to save."

Thhe death was highly publicised. I think I was a teacher. Or maybe a student. I tried to return to classes. A peer had written a song about the tragedy and decided to perform it. I had to leave the room and go downstairs. I woke up as I was cowering in my dream under a table while a song of m most unspeakable grief filled my ears.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: Three Roses on October 31, 2017, 03:46:26 PM
I'm so sorry you've had this nightmare, mftb. Dreams are very powerful, for me anyway, and a bad one can color my days for quite a while.

So sorry.  :'(
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 31, 2017, 08:14:11 PM
o my heart, how horrible, mftb.  i don't even have the words.  i know how profoundly these nightmares can affect us.  big hug.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: DecimalRocket on November 01, 2017, 05:43:48 AM
Thatís terrible. With CPTSD, weíre often emotionally exhausted and need rest. But these nightmares take it away.

Take care, mftb. Take care.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 03, 2017, 03:06:11 AM
I've got either the flu or a major sinus infection. Dr. gave me antibiotics for fluid in my ear/earache I have had for a week but right after I started taking them, wham! Every part of my body aches. And still have fluid in my ears.

It's my final few days of prep before I leave but my body is done. I'll only be able to do what I can, and some things will likely be missed. Just hoping to feel better by Sunday. Being sick on a plane is a miserable experience I hope to never repeat.

Pretty sure stress and my lifestyle of late led to me getting sick. Nothing I can do now but maximum self care to ride it out as quick as I can.

Supposed to have my 1yr review at work tomorrow before I leave. My mgr has been sick too, so it's been bumped to the last minute. Not sure how big a deal it would be if I am sick and miss it, then am gone for months. Oh well. Not really my fault, just is the way it is.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 03, 2017, 02:21:09 PM
damg. mftb, i hate it when that happens.  best to you with all this, being sick and your trip.  i think you've got a positive attitude about it, tho.  just take care of yourself as best you can.  sending a hug filled with nurturing and lots of ooomph for your immune system.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 05, 2017, 01:28:01 PM
It's the day I leave. I'm awake early. My stomach is a bit upset and I'm still sick but will survive. It's my first time "at rest" in a week or so. My head is swimming with thoughts.

This post may be triggering to those who have been through work disputes or have been in financially abusive relationships.

I sublet my place which meant a ton of work to clean and make it ready even though I was sick. It needed to be done. I needed the money.

Work almost left me high and dry. I was lucky I have the sublet income or I'd be in trouble. I haven't received a contract for my temporary position and my living allowance that work pays is tied to that. Not to mention my actual pay. I'm supposed to get the contract sometime when I'm there. They are lucky I already work for them. Who in their right mind would go to work with no contract of employment stating their wage and particulars of employment? Only the desperate and working poor, which happens to be me, currently.

To cover that money gap, and because my work is requiring that I pay for my own hotel and then expense it, I was recommended to get a company credit card. Cool. But the company is switching providers and won't issue me one with the old one. So I won't get it until Dec. I have to expense 4 weeks of hotel, plus maintain a $1500 hold on my personal credit card, plus pay all my expenses during this time... Almost a month. So I requested a cash advance from my office so I won't be in hardship. They said they'd send $2500 but they don't issue cash, they will deposit it into my account.  I don't know when I will get that and I'll have to pay it back once money starts flowing regularly.

At first I thought they wanted me to put the entire hotel plus a rental car credit card. That would have been impossible. In trying to get a solid response I got 3 different answers. My last two weeks have been dealing with this gong show nearly every day.

So I have put almost all the money I have access to on my credit card and am hoping for it to be enough to tide me over. Every step of the way I followed up and tried to stress the urgency of re ei in proper pay.

This is normal for them. They assume everyone has huge amounts of money to float their business on, apparently. I am caught in a colossal failure in process and communication. I have two managers going to bat for me which I appreciate, but it hasn't helped yet.

Then the performance review happened. I was taking some of the feedback personally and woke up ruminating with my ICr. Rereading all this, I start to feel like their notes on my performance Pale when compared to mine on them.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 06, 2017, 10:29:38 PM
Back at the hotel after the first day. It went ok. I have some transportation issues to resolve and still don't have a contract or money, but it was ok. The people are nice. Tonight is all about rest and self-care for me. I'm still sick so just really want to get better asap.

I realized that all this stuff with work and money has been very triggering for me in a specific and not-so-obvious way. It all makes me feel very vulnerable and helpless, like I have no control over my situation. I am still worried about running out of money here, but realizing it doesn't have to happen just because I think it might. As a child, and into much of my adulthood, vulnerability meant weakness which lead to danger. So this whole trip prep and everything that went wrong really threw me into severe anxiety.

I am an adult now, and although I'm not in danger, I have such a strong urge to control as much as I can in my life to fend off danger before it has a chance to happen. I try to do everything myself and be resourceful and not rely on others. But I can't do it all. I have to trust that it's ok to ask for help, and I have to trust that others will help. My extra efforts to appear strong and self-reliant actually hinder my progress at times, and definitely push people away, or disappoint them when I fail after claiming to be fine.

I think that's as deep as I can go in that line of thinking for now, but I'd like to see what other realizations come up in time.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 08, 2017, 08:07:53 AM
I'm slowly getting better, illness-wise.

I've spent most of the first 2 days in my new role sorting out my living/transport/money situation. It's been such a mess. It's not even totally sorted, so I will have to check up on things as time goes on.

Insomnia followed me to my new workace. The impression I got was that I was sick enough that I could have called in and stayed in the hotel for the first day but I would have missed a lot of info that's pertinent to my job.

The job seems ok. I'm in a better position than I thought. There was training on things my manager had said I was expected to know going in.  Now I just need to get busy with actual work, not sorting my living situation mess.  I still worry I will be too slow.

On a personal level I confronted some fears and came out on top. I rented a car by myself and drove it on a major highway during rush hour. All huge for me. The car puts more pressure on my finances short term but I got a measure of control and independence in my situation. I am a commuter, even when traveling for work. At least I can come and go as I need to, now.

I'm feeling that being an adult is mainly  about developing a tolerance for the scary things in life and doing them anyway. Of course, some people don't get scared, and some get petrified. I'm not sure where I am in the spectrum. At least I'm moving forward.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 08, 2017, 05:42:27 PM
mftb, i am impressed with how you're dealing with all this.  way to go!  very glad to hear you're feeling better at last.

i think your statement about being an adult and managing fear while doing what's scary is terrific, and spot on.  i agree completely.   it's a level of being able to rely on ourselves to deal with whatever comes along, and i believe it's a way we learn to trust ourselves, too.  you're doing so good!

i certainly hope that whole financial mess gets cleared up in your favor.  dang, sounds like a lot of incompetent boobs running around not taking care of business and leaving one of their own to fend for themselves.  sucks.   very glad to hear the sublet came to your rescue, at least a bit.

keep up the good work.  sending a hug filled with luck, help, and love.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 28, 2017, 03:09:20 AM
This post contains triggers for inner critic abuse and negative self-talk. There is no censorable language.

It's a really long one. I don't have any expectation of anyone reading it. I just had a lot bottled up since the last time I wrote.

Delving further into feeling things this week. Been spending a lot if time alone again. I think it's been good but it's also been quite sinful at times.

In addition to learning that I have to do a lot of the scary things if I want a better life (I hope it's better... The jury's still out on that) I am recognizing some patterns of suffering. I kinda knew about these before - the severe anxiety, procrastination and overwhelm I experience. But I'm seeing a bit more what takes shelter under those covers.

When confronted with a situation in which I could fail to meet expectations, I experience some deep-seated panic and grief. And it happens all. The. Time.

Say I need to do the dishes. My inner critic starts up that I'm a failure if I can't clean up after myself and nobody will love a slob. That was really painful to write. But it's what a big part of me believes. It's such an automatic thing that I don't even notice it usually. The words of the ICr almost don't matter, it's always some variation on that theme.

And it could be any task, I have probably a 75% chance of reacting the same no matter what it is. And then there's this other part of me, I guess it's my inner child, that's so wounded that I either freeze in anxiety or else actually go through levels of grief and reckoning with that before I can get on with what needs doing. Sometimes it comes as a reaction to the ICT, and sometimes it's in anticipation of failure and shame. Any task, any time. That's the essence of the hundreds of battles a day. And I don't usually have enough energy to win all of them, or even most of them. And certainly it affects the speed and confidence with which I do my work. It can also make me very conscientious if I'm not in a rush, although I usually have to be due to tight deadlines imposed by management.

I don't know how to stop any of this before it starts. Once it's started, I second-guess and get distracted so easily. Anything to take me away from the pain of the unknown outcome.

In more external matters that affect my well-being:

Money stress is close to resolved now. Hopefully in the next couple weeks, and that should last a few months. Fingers crossed.

The dating world sees me with one fewer paramour. I can't deal with the emotional labour that was being placed on me by one of the 2 men I was dating. He has been going through some genuinely traumatic things with his primary girlfriend, and I was supporting him through his hard times. I came to feel taken for granted, maybe even abused a little in light of the awfulness he won't end with her. They shouldn't be together. She self-harms and acts out and betrays his trust.

I tried to tell him gently multiple times that he deserves better (not me, haha). But their drama is escalating and is dangerous. It triggered a lot of the old traumas from my relationship with J. I finally tried to tell him a cautionary tale of what I went through by losing myself in a partner's illness and unintentionally enabling it. He chose to not see the parallels, and I told him I couldn't handle it anymore.

But I love him for his kind soul and good nature. I have missed him a lot this week. Ending things is hard... Even the 2nd or 3rd time... Even when it's for the right reasons.

My more "stable"  relationship feels lopsided as well. I am here alone, and he has months to spend with his other girlfriend. I don't think he loves me much, I know he takes me for granted, and I feel he prioritizes me below her even though we were dating first, even though he rushed things with me at first and then back peddled. And still I love him, too. I'm a hopeless romantic.

But I don't have time, energy or availability for more than the occasional date. And spending too much time with him (or anyone) cramps my style pretty quickly. Maybe that's because while good people, these have been the wrong people. Not *quite* worthy of all of me.

When I look at my dating pattern with both of them, I'm mostly too accommodating, teaching them that I'll forgive transgressions. And instead of accepting forgiveness and learning to appreciate me, they continue taking, emotionally and physically.

And still, if I stand up for myself, as I did, I'm the one who ends up lonely, not them. That's the harsh reality, and why I accept less than I think I deserve, never mind any love I feel.

I love my friends, too, but if we grow apart I am ok with it. Why not with lovers? Somehow I have grown to believe romantic love is the most important love, even above loving myself.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 28, 2017, 03:35:14 PM
mftb, i'm glad you were able to get this stuff out.  i read it all, and it seems like there are a lot of realizations, insights, and questions you've come up with for yourself during this time.   i don't think it's a bad thing.

the anticipation of failure that you battle nearly constantly - how wearing that must be.  i would imagine it also takes any positive anticipation out of the equation of setting yourself to a task and being able to be proud of a job well done (even something as mundane as doing dishes). 

i'm guessing you heard those kinds of messages a lot while you were growing up, and they've stayed with you, made a home for themselves in your mind.  from hearing that you were chosen for this particular project sounds to me like others are able to see your capability to complete tasks just fine - in fact, better than fine, or they'd have picked someone else to represent them. 

i say 'shoo!!!' to those messages that are being shown by the reality of your work to be false.  maybe you can tell them the same thing.  i've taken to yelling 'stop' in my head when unwanted thoughts begin creeping in again.  still can't get away from them completely, but i'm often able to stop them after i catch them showing their nasty selves again.

the bf thing, well, i've looked for men for so long to give me what my dad neglected to - feelings of being loved, being proud of me, making me feel beautiful, accepted, acknowledged.  all those men were either to get something my dad didn't give me, to to rebel against him with.  funny how that works.

don't know if it's similar for you, but, yeah, romantic love has always been important to me.  when i used to do the bar scene, a night without the attention of some guy was considered a failure to me.  i look at that now and think of it as pathetic, but i still count on men to 'rescue me' like my dad never did.  this longing for something that never was dies hard.

i give you a lot of credit, mftb.  as much as you may be struggling, it seems like you're also getting the job done that you were sent there to do.  bottom line -  :yourock:     big hug full of warmth and love.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: DecimalRocket on December 02, 2017, 02:05:52 PM
Hi there, mftb.

I have no other words than to say Iíve listened and Iím here.

Hereís a hug if thatís okay.  :hug:
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on February 04, 2018, 12:23:16 PM
It's been so long since I wrote anything.  Life has been interesting and crazy. I am home now, but it feels weird. Perhaps it will take a while to feel like home again. I am jetlagged. I spent the entirety of yesterday in bed, except for a walk to get breakfast and groceries, and to eat.

I don't even know where to start. I'm such a jumble of emotions that I can't describe anything simply.

Things I am sure of:
I want to leave this city and province, and move to the area I was working. I liked it a lot. And if I liked it for 3 months in the dead of winter, chances are good that I will continue to like it. The life I want seems possible there. It's not possible here. I tried for 10 years.

I have "friends" who say I just have to try harder. Work more. I already work full-time and have my physical and emotional health to maintain. That is a lot, and it's all I can do. I can't really keep up. I feel betrayed that friends, all in more privileged positions, think I need to work more. They have husbands/partners to support them. They have higher incomes and everything that goes with that. It could be that they love me and don't want to lose me. But it doesn't feel like love.

I need so much more therapy to undo my faulty programing. I suffer so much because of it. Even still, I made progress in the last few months.

I learned I can go on in the face of suffering. I can work through my pains. I know that I am strong, determined, and more capable than I was giving myself credit for. But do I want to work in pain? Aspects of my job are agony, and I can't hide it. On one hand I love it, and on the other, I hate it. The aspects I hate have to do with other people. And that's the crux of the work. It makes me feel bipolar, to swing from joy in my work to loathing. I'm sure in the long term it's not worth the toll it takes on me. What I don't know is if there is anything else I can learn about myself through my work. I know there will always be skills to gain, each day will be different, etc. I believe in my company's values for the most part. I just don't believe they actually follow them a lot of the time. And I think that will get worse, too. I'm not a "drink the kool-aid" person. And that's what most people seem to want in a worker. So many coworkers are coercive and abusive. I see it and it disgusts me.

I'm punishing myself less for the things I want and need. I'm gradually growing more confident that the way I want to live is as valid as anyone else's ways. I think maybe I'm less aligned with my friends than I thought, than I pretended to be. I feel like I always have to pretend for Someone. I'm tired of not getting what I want.

So this trip was good for me. And if I respect my desires, major life changes aren't through with me, yet.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 04, 2018, 03:01:34 PM
well well, look at you mftb.  what a wonderful post to read.  i can't tell you how glad i am for you that these 3 months have been productive for you on so many different levels. 

you need to work more?  sounds like you're doing more than plenty enough work to me.  like you said, they have different lives, incomes, support systems plus you also are working with your own mental and physical stuff.  yep, quite enough on your plate.

if you're contemplating a move, then yes, i'd say there are more major life changes in store for you.  however, from what you wrote, it also sounds like it won't be anything you can't manage.  here's to a bright future for you.  sending a hug filled with discovery, care and love.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on February 07, 2018, 04:45:49 AM
Not sure if today was a breakthrough of some kind. It was certainly some kind of progress.

I started my last day off before work again as pleasantly as I could, to ease myself back into the early starts. Nice coffee, yogurt &  granola, a pastry, and yoga.

I knew I was in a tender place when she said the point of the practice was "loving ourselves" and my heart caught in my throat. Okie dokie, right to the insecurities at 7am!  But I continued on, determined to get a healthy routine going again. I had only done yoga a couple of times the entire time I was away. And it was a very stressful for me. I catch myself clenching my jaw, just thinking about it.

So I do a few poses and man, am I sore. Tighter that it seems I've ever been. We get to stretching the shoulders, which have been hunched at desks, wedged into airplane seats, and supporting my enlarged bossom (yay, sedentary weight gain), and carrying most of my stress. They have been very painful over the last few weeks.  All of a sudden I burst into tears, less than 5 minutes into practice. And I sob through the rest of it.

I'm grateful I do yoga at home, alone, because I was unprepared for this, and it was ugly crying. I have been feeling squishy all day. I wish I could say I feel better, like I released something. But not yet. I think this pain is deep enough that it'll take time.

I joked that the work experience traumatized me. It's not much of a joke, though.

I've been carrying stress about my work, my home, and my finances for over a year. I think I might be nearing a breakdown. If breaking down means being done with other people's abuse and expectations, packing it all in and leaving.

After all this I ran into my landlord. I told him I was back, but work is likely to send me away again in July, so could I please sublet again? He said no, and in fact it was never ok the first time. Which was a surprise to me given that he never replied to the email in which I informed them I had to leave for work and was planning to sublet.  The email I still have, in my sent folder.

So I was pushed to leave for work, had to foot my own expenses  for a month and wait to be reimbursed, and needed to sublet to free the cash to be able to go to work. And this was unacceptable to my landlord.  I'm not even sure anymore if I'm done with this city anymore, or it's done with me.

Feeling a bit sorry for myself, but no wonder I ended up sobbing. The last few months had some amazing things happen, but it was also really, really rough. Something I think only a couple of people I know might have "kind-of" experienced. And I don't believe all this struggle is worth it here, anymore.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: Three Roses on February 07, 2018, 05:34:04 AM
I'm wishing you peace, the knowledge that you matter and are loved, and confidence in the decisions it sounds like you'll be making.  :hug:
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on February 08, 2018, 08:04:29 AM
I just finished rewatching Westworld. Such a good show, such layered storytelling and meaning. But I wonder if the meanings I start to realize from the show were at all intended, and can't help but think only some were.

Each day I see more clearly.  People so broken, systems so broken, and societies so broken, that I am reaching a point of simultaneously raging and freezing. I cannot cooperate with people I cannot respect, and I cannot respect abusers. I cannot complete my loops.  This leaves me quite lonely in the world, because all of us carry the seeds of abuse in us. Not all of us will let that seed grow, or worse, condone abuse or actively abuse,  themselves. But those who do are so destructive that they leave trails of trauma behind them. And I think they are the majority of people. They live in their loops and never question a thing in themselves.

I have abused, and if I'm honest, I'm likely to again at some point. Not from a desire to control, but more likely in an emotional flashback, when I react from instinct and programming. I'm imperfect, naturally, and I don't think I'll reach some enlightened place where I'll never act abusively again. It's funny, I mentioned before how I feel on the edge of a breakdown, but it's really that I can't accept garbage anymore.

I see systems built with layer upon layer of oppression, and the only way out of our particular type of oppression appears to be to climb on up to the next layer. Do I shrug and climb, being glad I get to a place "a little better" than I was at, knowing it will have a high cost to others? Do I shrug and accept this as the way of the world? Or do I stop participating in the broken world, and try to build one of my own? One that to my heart at least, is less broken, with as little to do with this world as possible.

It's funny to me because my first round of therapy, it occurred to me that the goal wasn't actually to heal me, just to make me productive again. Useful to society, whatever that use is. And that realization has faded in and out over the years. But it's back in a big way now. And I don't know what to do now. I don't know if it will fade away again. I don't know if it just sounds like crazy babble to most people outside of me (oh yeah, most abusers).

I have been to therapy. I have taken communication classes. And I realized that I wasn't really the person that needed these things.  They help me, and I learn. But chronic abusers won't recognize themselves, won't want to increase empathy, and won't consider such activities as worthwhile. And I only partially hurt myself, if I've intentionally gone into harm's way. Otherwise, it's other people. They are the sticks and stones that break my bones, and also the name callers and abusers that scar me.

I need to carve my secret spaces and find a small group of people I can really trust. Can I do that in a lifetime of seeking? I find the people I trust come into my life until something happens and the trust is violated. Respect declines, and eventually I move apart from them. Which is also another way of looking at self-isolation. And here I am on the brink of doing that again, yet I can't find compelling enough reasons to stay. Nothing is strong enough to hold me.

It's a lot to parse, and probably a lot to try and follow. Too much for tonight, but I hope to revisit this line of thinking soon and expand on it.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 08, 2018, 03:16:18 PM
i get it.  i've thought very similar thoughts.  i have the feeling that i've gone as far as i can, am now concentrating on a very few people in my life, and wonder how much is worth what.  i've done the rallies, demonstrations, marching in the streets, and the beat goes on.  if i were well enough, i'd still be demonstrating, even while believing it will probably produce little to no change.

i agree with you about the abusers, too.  they put on the facade, believe they know all they need to know, all the while lying to themselves and anyone they come within earshot of.  they won't get it.  i think it's beyond them.

so be it.  i live in my ever-decreasing world, seeing, knowing, and understanding to the best of my ability.  just putting one foot in front of the other, making it from one day to the next.  any little bit of good i can do in this world, i do it as well as i'm able.  i see to my little piece of the world as best i can. 

productive in this society as compared to healing.  that's a biggie for sure.  is that what you want?  have you talked to your t about it?  they are so far apart.  nice short range goal, but incomplete, to my mind. 

i think we all cross other peoples' boundaries from time to time, but i believe that intentions count for a lot.  i will make mistakes, say things i shouldn't, lash out, even,  but i don't mean to hurt someone.  do you?  i also feel bad when i do it, apologize sincerely for hurting them, and work at making sure i won't do it again.

i think abuse has a hidden agenda behind it, something the abuser doesn't want to come out into the open.  that's why it's done over and over, rather than recognizing and acknowledging the hurt, feeling remorse, and doing what's needed so that it doesn't happen again.  a very different dynamic, especially the repetition of it.

such deep thoughts, mftb.  very deep, profound.   no loop for you, but i've known very loopy people all my life.  they're so obvious.   big warm hug to you, filled with sincerity and clarity.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on February 10, 2018, 10:40:05 AM
I've been avoiding coming back to write. The level of self-examination I need to complete right now felt too heavy for work days.

I want to take the stress out of my life, or at least turn it down to a manageable level. And yet, I have ambitions. Given that I'm wired to hypervigilence, it seems to be a recipe for difficulties. I think my expectations haven't been realistic.

A lot happened while I was away. I "broke up" twice, first with my friend with benefits, because his situation with his girlfriend was too harmful and triggering for me. A couple weeks later,  ended the more serious relationship I had, after learning that he was going to Mexico for a week with his other girlfriend, the entire week after Christmas when I was back in town,  and could have seen him. I felt pretty bummed out about this. But on my fwb's advice (still friends), I tried to date while out there.

I had already realized I could see myself out there. And then I met someone. We more than clicked. We want basically the same things in life, have similar philosophies, enjoy each other's company, have both mutual and individual interests, and our strengths compliment our differences. It felt "right" almost from the beginning. Different in a good and natural way. He's caring, considerate, and altruistic to a reasonable degree. He's stable and communicative.

We dated up until Christmas, then talked every day while I was gone, then spent almost every night together when I went back out there. He loves me, and I love him. He treats me amazingly, and I have seen no red flags. I even wrote him "20 questions" to try and find any points of caution, and didn't.

He's not a perfect person. But he's not broken, and not stunted. He says what he means, and lives by the golden rule. He can learn from me, and I can learn from him.

In a roundabout way, this takes me back to my last post. How do I proceed in a world that has so many harsh contradictions? One that is so full of cruelty and abuse.

Being away made me realize that I am deserving of better, just as I am, now. I am flawed but not worthless. I think I am a mediocre person, and that's not bad. It takes some pressure off. I do bad things unintentionally sometimes. But I am not bad. And the same would have to be true of most people except for the chronic abusers.

So for me to get beyond the blocks I am experiencing now, to be able to stay involved in this world, with any energy to cope, I think I have to do 3 main things:

1) regularly doing yoga, at least every other day.
2) cultivating some faith that most people's actions aren't intentionally negative
3) working on forgiveness/gratitude for all the small things that I do. I am intentionally leaving out "big" things. I am hoping to change the nature of the hundreds of battles in my body.

I think those are 3 minor ways I can free up my mental and emotional bandwidth. In starting with me, maybe I can be more ok with others. Eventually. Not that this will be easy.

It's really important for me to remember that there will be times I forget, and setbacks, but those 3 steps should be able to get me back on track.

There's a lot of bad in the world. But if I can make a little good, for myself and maybe a couple others, I should do that. There's a little willful blindness in the simplicity of that statement. But I'm hoping that by starting small, I can find the strength to reach further.

Such an about face from the last entry. This is what being on the retreating end of an anxiety attack looks like. I want to remember this.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: radical on February 10, 2018, 03:48:46 PM
It makes me happy to see you back here, MFTB.

I've always gotten so much from what you share with us.  Such courage, wisdom, determination and honesty.

Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 10, 2018, 03:57:53 PM
mftb. i think that if everyone did some good in their little chunk of the world, and we put all those chunks together, it would be a different world, indeed.  sounds like a great plan.

sounds pretty turbulent for you for a bit, but i'm glad you've found someone who seems compatible.  that's pretty cool.

glad you're on the back side of the anxiety, too.  i know it sure feels better there.  big hug.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: Three Roses on February 10, 2018, 04:13:59 PM
...I am deserving of better, just as I am, now. I am flawed but not worthless. I think I am a mediocre person, and that's not bad. It takes some pressure off. I do bad things unintentionally sometimes. But I am not bad.

 :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on February 13, 2018, 02:17:59 PM
Today I'm feeling wry amusement at my desperation to be a functional person in a dysfunctional world. Why bother? Meh. What else would I do with my life? Lol.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 13, 2018, 02:46:09 PM
ain't it the truth.  thanks for the 'meh' chuckle.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on February 14, 2018, 08:49:37 AM
It's snowing in my city tonight, and my city is a place that isn't equipped for snow. So I am half expecting that I'll have a snow day tomorrow.

I remember how anxious and deeply stressed I was by this last year. At that time, not making it to work for a day meant not making rent. Things have improved a little since then.

I'm a bit sick, and came home and napped after work. So wide awake now.

There are a couple of C-PTSD "symptoms" I've been puzzling about.

The first, I've kinda written about before. I posted about ADD and focus elsewhere in the forum.  This relates to that. I struggle to remember things if I have to focus on something else specific. This manifests as general difficulty focusing on tasks, rapid forgetfulness, and appearing/feeling scattered. This is very hard to cope with at work and I struggle with it nearly minute by minute. I've been trying to actively observe it happening, and the circumstances in which it's most troublesome. Worst seems to be when I am listening to someone in a conversation, and there's a point I want to make in relation to their statement. I have a habit of enthusiastically interrupting. It's rude, and I know it, although I don't mean to be insulting. So I make an active effort to stay in the moment and listen only. Unfortunately, even concentrating on listening to the other person. In that moment is usually too much input, and I forget what I wanted to say before they finish taking. Sometimes, the effort of staying in the moment is enough that I don't even retain what the person said. It's pretty embarrassing, and I dread lengthy verbal instructions because I will either forget to clarify something important, or forget the instructions themselves. I try to cope by writing down all instructions but it's time consuming and not fool-proof, either. My short-term memory is almost non-existent, sometimes.

Writing made me sleepy. Will hit up the other point, soon.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: DecimalRocket on February 14, 2018, 11:38:41 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your concentration problems and that you're a bit sick. I've gotten sick recently too.

As a suggestion. I've learned a lot from meditation, and one of the best advice on how to focus was to focus like placing a feather. For example, think of someone you admire or love. Notice it comes more easily in your mind than forcing the focus, right? There needs to be a balance between the amount of "push" and "pull" there is in focus, and often the hard part is recognizing it as it changes over time and doing it. It takes time so be easy on yourself if you try it, alright?

Well, take care.  :hug:
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on February 19, 2018, 01:48:12 PM
Woke from a dream that was kind of a time travel dream but in which I also died multiple times. Groundhog day meets Star Wars meets Star Trek. And I seemed to be the only person aware of the repetition. Which figured in a way because I was the one who was tasked with the suicide mission, wherein I would live if I succeeded, and die and have to replay my life until I got it right if I failed. Come to think of it, this dream is also basically Westworld and that Tom Cruise space war movie whose name I can't remember. I woke completely anxious even though I did eventually succeed in the dream.

Although on the surface it's unrelated, I am sure this is a work dream. In life I feel like I am experiencing the same awful situations over and over and I can't figure out how to navigate them properly with the people I have to work with. I don't get enough training for my "mission", rush through my work, doing the best I can for the time I have, and it's somehow not up to standard, even though I followed the rules I was given. And then I have to do it again, with even less time, and everyone is frustrated with me. Is it any wonder that I wake up anxious, and that work is the biggest stress in my life?

So far working as an adult has again and again mirrored my relationship with my family. I get what I get, and it's never what I actually need to succeed. Eventually I find the courage, or out of desperation or innocent ignorance, I ask for what I need, and that request is met with derision or judgement or anger. So I stop asking, and go on suffering. Family and work, same bullcrap, different pile.

And now that I am an adult, I am judged poorly for failing by most people, and judged poorly for asking for more help by some of the same people. People who get to evaluate my work as part of their jobs. And yet I get no chance to evaluate theirs, and culture frowns upon even mentioning their shortcomings because we're supposed to be a team. Well, lol, they actually use the word "family".

On top of all this, I can't afford to live anywhere near work, and can't afford a car. And this is modern life. And people hear my job and say "sounds fun!" and I think, if they only knew.

I don't know how to keep on pushing past breaking. Work breaks me again and again. Actually, it's really people that break me again and again. I am functional enough to fall through the cracks and be judged for failing. I hate this culture so much sometimes. Where "collaboration" actually means "conformity", and respect only goes one way. Don't I dare comment on what needs to be improved.

So then anxiety gets worse and worse, and eventually panic attacks and other issues. Like it's not hard to see why I'm suffering... It's been the same story since I was a child. I live in fear because someone always holds power over me to make my life more miserable. And when I think I'm doing ok, that's often when the rug flies out from under me. Blah. I know I'm basically describing a lot of people's lives.

Anyway, Monday, yay. Time to go prove my worth as a human for another week.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on February 26, 2018, 11:43:20 AM
Back awake in the middle of the night. I don't  even fight insomnia anymore. I try to sleep well. I just don't sleep well.

Had an interesting experience. I went for an eye exam, first in over 10 years. Have been experiencing minor double vision at times, finally saw to it.

The eye exam form asks family medical history. I realize now that any time any medical questions are asked, for the rest of my life, I will have to remember my father's death.

This is the other point that I never got to a few entries ago. Appropriate it came like this. It's exactly the same as in life. I guess it's memory problems. I think there's an element of inner critic, too. That I'm not worth the time I need to express myself.  I have so much trouble with getting everything I need to say out. I often leave out something important. Then I remember it later and feel lousy about it. It causes problems sometimes. This is frequently triggered by circumstances, too. But most people see this as "excuses" because they lack empathy.

So anyway, in the exam, for whatever reason, I didn't tell the Dr that I have one tiny dark spot in my vision. In my left field of view. It doesn't impact me negatively, and I don't know when it appeared. It's just there. Sometimes I see it, mostly not. I specifically got my eyes checked and didn't mention it. Ugh.

I also have a tendency to downplay my own discomfort. I think mainly this is from being dismissed so much that I have internalized it. So the Dr asks about my eyes, which are pretty red in the eyelids. And I have itchy, red eyes almost all the time. Nothing makes a really noticible difference. I've been living with it. "I figured it was just allergies", I told him. He tells me I need to wash my eyelids with baby shampoo every day now.

I pick a couple basic frames and head for home. Later, I start Dr Googling. And then  :fallingbricks:.

Red, itchy eyes that feel gritty with no obvious cause is one of the symptoms of a rare auto immune disease. One that my brother has. One that I have never mentioned to any health professional, even though he was diagnosed several years ago. One that can attack any part of the body with differing severity, and has no specific test. It can only be ruled out by process of elimination. It could explain pretty much every random and mysterious health issue I've had that didn't just resolve itself since childhood. Or I could be a hypochondriac, which is how I feel people see me.

Is this a path I want to go down with Dr's? I suffer, but am not incapacitated. Yet. I fear the years of my life this could take. The uncertainty. Test after test, some traumatic. But it is a real disease, "visible" with hard evidence.

My next step is to talk to my brother, I guess. Then I can decide.

Again I'm left with more questions than answers, and never enough time, space or energy to express everything I am experiencing.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on February 26, 2018, 03:00:34 PM
man, i hate those kinds of surprises, mftb.   it would really suck if you have that illness, but at least it would answer some questions.  i think talking to your bro is a good first step.  he may be able to give you some further insight.

read a few of your back posts and just want to tell you that i have that same problem with forgetting or wanting to be sure i get my point in during a conversation or i'll forget it.  sometimes what i've done is tell people that i need to interrupt for a second, and ask them to remind me that i want to say 'so and so' when they're finished.  that way it's verbalized succinctly, and 2 people have it in their minds to recall during a break in the conversation.  that's worked pretty well for me.

the circumstances of your job sound a lot like you get set up to fail if you're not given enough information to perform correctly, but are somehow penalized when you ask for clarification.  i feel for you in that kind of situation.  it does sound like foo stuff all over again.  bleccch.

wishing you the best with everything.  i hope everything about your eyes turns out all right.  big hug to you.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on March 01, 2018, 04:41:37 PM
I stayed home from work today. I had major insomnia last night after already not sleeping well every other night this week. I'm a bit nauseous and have upset stomach, too.

The whole first half of this week was so stressful. I'm behind in my work for a multitude of reasons including missing information and interruptions, but am sure from management's perspective it looks like I can't  prioritize my workload. I am completely overwhelmed and there's nobody to help.

Work that used to be done by 6 is being covered by 3 on our team. Half our managers quit in the last 5 months. The remaining ones are constantly travelling across the country for training that we may or may not ever see ourselves. We are grossly under-staffed throughout.

And still I feel guilty about taking a sick day. I'm that well trained.

I can't balance my life and my work life for a long period, sustainably. Especially not when it's like this. And it seems to always be like this. In fact, things at work have gotten worse and worse consistently since I started here.
The company is too big and the gears grind with no feeling for the cogs they're crushing.

Maybe I'll clean today. Maybe I won't. But I needed today to rest and refocus. 
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 01, 2018, 08:55:39 PM
i'm glad you took the day for you, mftb.   that kind of work atmosphere is exhausting and, to my mind, crazy-making.  impossible expectations and then blame for not meeting them?  nah, not ok.  been there and it's horrible.

yeah, we're trained well not to look out for ourselves, not to call it abuse when that's exactly what it is.  there's a reason those managers quit.

i'm just sorry you're stuck in that grinding gearshaft.  big hug to you.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on March 02, 2018, 04:08:23 AM
I managed to make the most of my day at home despite feeling rotten for most of it. I did laundry, took out garbage and recycling, and did my taxes. So tonight's blank page is filled by me celebrating the fact that I'm clawing my way out of my despair pit, one small act at a time.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: Three Roses on March 02, 2018, 04:26:48 AM
:cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 02, 2018, 04:02:36 PM
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on March 03, 2018, 10:04:31 PM
I did a sink full of dishes. I'm trying to be very conscious of how I spend my energy and not overdoing things. I am a bit shaky right now. So one sink full is a start.

Not today, because I am in a good place for self-reflection, but lately, I have been feeling so much overwhelm, anger, and some dismay. Like almost every person I encounter reminds me of some past situation in which I was powerless. As a result, my conversations have leaned into the negative pretty heavily. On one hand, I am speaking my current truth. On the other, I don't want to be around anyone.

I think about how I plan to move away and start over again. In a whisper my inner critic tells me I'm a coward and quitting too soon and not working hard enough. My inner cheerleader thinks I'm brave, and willing to face a difficult decision that many people turn away from.

I'm slowly re-calibrating and getting ready for the next phase of my life. I haven't done it yet, but will be looking for a new therapist. This isn't a terrible thing. We may have reached a natural end in what I can gain from my work with her.

*shaking is gone. Just really sleepy now.

I really need to monitor my autocorrect better. Lots of complete nonsense sentences lately.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 04, 2018, 12:09:08 AM
i'm with your cheerleader.  yah!
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on March 05, 2018, 10:48:58 AM
Woke up from a vague but troubling dream and ended up in a rapid panic spiral. I don't feel very coherent in thought.

I'll be finding my company's employee emergency assistance number in the morning.

I've been up for 2 hours, and had almost convinced myself I need to go on leave, which triggered an EF about the time I was on leave 17 or so years ago. The forms, the interviews, the group therapy.

I'm hoping that by noticing this spiral and acknowledging it, I can calm down. I need tomorrow to be a good day, a productive day. I'm behind answering feel like there's little chance of success without working unpaid overtime and letting myself be exploited.

I have a coworker who took leave last year (and her workload was dumped on me). I plan to ask her about that, though. I want to know what her experiences have been like. I suspect similar to mine, but she says she loves her job.

I've been trying so hard to stay in the moment lately. Mindfulness of sensations does a tiny bit. Visualizing putting feelings in a box does nothing. I'll try to take moments to check my breathing but things come so fast at work that the only chance I get is when walking from one task area to another, if I don't get interrupted by someone. My last resorts that I can remember now are visualizing a reverse spiral, and visualizing my safe place. At least I remember them this time. Usually in a panic attack or EF, I don't.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: radical on March 05, 2018, 08:21:34 PM
With you in spirit MFTB.
It sounds like you ae managing this really well.  I know how painful it is.
Wish there was more I could do
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on March 05, 2018, 08:54:35 PM
so glad you're remembering those ways of getting yourself back on track, mftb.  that's wonderful news.  well done.    :hug:
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on March 14, 2018, 03:47:29 PM
I went away for a long weekend and had a great time. But it wasn't enough time away for me to feel rested. I went home sick yesterday right after getting to work, and I am home sick today too. I'm so frozen. I feel like I can't cry anymore. Crying now consists of a tear or two leaking out and that is all. My insides are a total tangle.

I went to my Dr yesterday for my physical symptoms and she said she couldn't detect any physical reason for them. So this is the second time lately that I've been told the medical equivalent of "it's all in my head". Probably.

We're increasing the dosage of my meds. I don't know if it will help me through the next few months but I hope so.

I'm hoping I can pull my life back together a bit today. I've got myself in a difficult spot in life with not much support, so I have to work harder at caring for myself. Put some good habits back in place. Hopefully the rest will feel a bit better tomorrow.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: DecimalRocket on March 17, 2018, 02:33:46 AM
Ah, thatís tough. I donít know what to say. Other than that it sounds terrible, and I wish you the best of luck to heal.  :hug:
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on March 25, 2018, 05:06:31 AM
This place has become pretty sacred to me. I think what I write here is the most clear and honest description of my experiences in life. And still I question so much. Question myself so much. Play the parts to get by, but the script kills me a day at a time.

Even for friends, it's the same. I'm currently playing "helpful friend" and giving up a weekend to volunteer at an event my friend puts on. He makes money on it. Why do I do it, when I'm not well? Because I'm playing the part of a person who is well. The part of a good friend. Because this is what normal people do, right? Help each other.

Would he have my back? Probably? But none of it really connects on a deep level. Everything feels superficial these days, except for overwhelm and desperation to leave.

I still laugh and can have fun. It just seems that they're anomalies in the sea of my boring depression. They don't last, and I don't feel at home in them for long.

My hope is that in a few months I will be writing a new script in my life. That this will be worth it for what comes next. Hope is somehow still there when not much else is. And just after I hit my breaking point, that's when things will ease up. That's been the pattern of my life, as much as I am aware of it.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on March 26, 2018, 01:03:17 AM
I think my meds have kicked in. Wow am I angry. About work, and about life, and the notion of respect and the actuality of it. I think I've maybe hit the dose that's allowing me to connect with the feeling. Not sure if it's meds, or maybe my life does suck that much and I can't fake/take it anymore.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on March 26, 2018, 11:24:26 PM
Lately I feel something akin to sympathy for my mother. She was obviously way out of her depth, way too young, and completely not ready to raise kids. She managed somehow. Sometimes kinda. But so much of what happened in those years scarred me for life, and I don't forgive her for that, nor for her eternal selfishness.

The irony is that lately I see and feel it in myself. All of this anger I've been feeling and expressing. I sound like her. All of this exhaustion and wanting to do nothing but sleep. I'm becoming her. I know why. I'm feeling stuck. Imagine that plus two kids she didn't want.  No wonder she was so unhappy. Not that that should have been for me to feel.

I have another friend who has a very rambunctious son. She yells at him a lot and is rough with him. It triggers me a lot. I think it's abusive behaviour that will get worse as he gets older. I haven't said anything. I don't know what to say. She doesn't hit him or call him names, but she's mean and grabs him and yanks him hard.

I'm not a mother. I don't know what it feels like from a mother's perspective. I only know a child's perspective. My perspective. Which is valid, although most of the world seems to not see it that way. 
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on June 11, 2018, 10:44:24 AM
I've been having trouble admitting to friends that I plan to leave and move away. It's all so simple and so complicated at the same time.

I don't want to be a drain on my boyfriend when I get there, so I want to find a job first before moving but that is very hard to do from across the country. The longer I stay here, the more into debt I am going. I am travelling for work again soon, which will help make a bit more money. Work, however, is increasingly awful all the time, to levels I won't go into here. So I'm struggling to make it to the fall, and feel that I can't leave yet. I feel like I'll need a big chunk of time not working after this job just to undo the damage it's done. I am afraid to ask for this.

All of this has eroded my sense of self-worth. Don't deserve to go or take time away, can't afford it and afraid to be a burden. Not functioning to boss's satisfaction at work which I let make me feel unworthy of help, hate being there, feel traumatized and demoralized by the toxic environment.

It's quite the corner I've painted myself into.

I've considered medical leave but my Dr is more interested in keeping me working, despite me visiting repeatedly for stress and most recently nightmares. She suggested a CBT program that I will be away at work during. And how do I tell her my past therapy was CBT based and I am still this way currently? I definitely feel like I am falling through the cracks and need more help but can't seem to find it. All the resources out there seem to be for someone else. Younger, older, richer, poorer, etc.

For a long time I didn't write because I didn't like the negative tone in my words. But this is me and my experience. For now I am negative because I am struggling.

Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on June 14, 2018, 02:41:15 AM
It takes me so long to process how I feel about things. This is because it's rarely just one emotion that I feel when something happens. But rather than there being a mix of emotions, even though that's how I'd describe it to others; because that's relatable, it's more like layers of sediment in a river delta. As soon as something stirs my surface, my waters become murky and I have trouble expressing myself clearly, or at all. Then I have to wait for everything to settle and dig through all the layers of my emotions to determine my base feelings and the reasons for that before I can express what I feel. Few understand that, and fewer have the patience for my process. So I get stuck feeling, and the world moves on without me. Whatever I feel and the time I need isn"t relevant in most people's worlds. It's probably the main reason so few really know me.

I cried at work last week. My manager came and criticized my work and told me it had to be redone, while I was literally on the last step of a project, in front of an intern, another team member, and a coworker from a different department. I was so angry with her I had to walk away. The anger and humiliation choked me and I couldn't even speak. I made it to the bathroom but I'm sure everyone knows I cried.

I have no pride in my work there because every time I think I have a reason to feel good about my work, it gets put down by someone. Everyone has an opinion yet none of them have the skills to succeed in my job. And supposedly, neither do I. Yet I don't get the tools, time, resources or training to succeed. I guess I'm supposed to perform magic. I can't wait to quit. I work so hard for so much abuse and it's so demoralizing. This is all so painful for me and I don't know why I ever thought I was strong enough for this. I'm not. If I had understood that going into a creative job would be entering an abusive relationship, I wouldn't have done it. I've had enough of that in my life.

The major plus I am trying to focus on is that I met my boyfriend because of this job. I never would have otherwise.

And I suppose at the end of this, I will have seen "the difficult thing" through, and somehow proved my worth as a person. To who? The world, my family, and hopefully me. It's so easy to say that all doesn't matter. But I don't actually know how to get past it.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on June 14, 2018, 08:17:52 AM
Sleep seems to have settled into 4 hour chunks, with a 2 or 3 hour break in the middle this means that in order to get enough sleep, I need to budget about 11 hours of low-key resting time per day. If I do too much in that 3 hour window, I can't catch my second sleep window. As it is, that second sleep is usually shorter during the week - only and hour or an hour and a half. But I don't fight my being awake. It only makes my anxiety worse.

I learned a few things about my physical/sleep health recently. I snore, and I think I may have sleep apnea. I find with my meds that sometimes I sigh heavily but it's closer to gasping, as though I am catching my breath after holding it. I suspect this happens in my sleep, too. My boyfriend visited recently and told me that I talk in my sleep. I can hold down a conversation and very clearly confirmed that I was asleep. I had no memory of this upon waking.

I've had more vivid nightmares lately. Whether this is because of daytime anxiety, memories of trauma, or both, I don't know. But I've woken up a few times in a panic attack. I saw my Dr and now have a prescription for Ativan, which I can't take unless actually having a panic attack because it's so strong I get narcoleptic for up to 12 hrs. But it's there for emergencies.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on June 14, 2018, 01:46:13 PM
i totally relate to this - i've slept in chunks for many many years.    :hug:
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on June 18, 2018, 08:11:39 AM
Had a nap due to the heat today, and so am awake late. Head has been running in circles. (Think Homer Simpson spinning around on the floor ŗ la Three Stooges)

I was outside lots this weekend. It was exactly what I need in my life as much as possible. Was also grateful to "the evil corporations" that developed our country enough that there are roads to get to the beautiful places, and paths so that I can visit safely. My first hike of the day I was legitimately afraid of encountering a bear. It didn't happen. Second area I visited was beyond beautiful. Again made accessible by development. I think often of how hard it must have been for pioneers. Yet it rarely occurs to me to wonder how it was for the indigenous peoples of Canada. Did they fear surprising bears in the woods the way I do?

So, despite being a misanthrope, I don't qualify for hermit status. Interesting because I want to live close to nature. Like most people, I suppose. And even though it's a simple life I crave, I find myself working harder and harder to chase it. I will likely have to settle at some point for what I can get... Like most people.

A lot happened in life. I bought a car a couple of months ago. Also had my first minor fender bender already. Beginners Luck!

Personal side of life is decent. Professional side sucks. Need  a job where I won't be overwhelmed... If that exists. I wish on one hand that I had a concrete diagnosis so I could work within my limits without being punished. Although, loads of people are discriminated against with a diagnosis, so it might not help.

For now, just have to spend as much time outside as I can. Make the next few months enjoyable whenever I can.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on June 18, 2018, 02:27:17 PM
yeah, that whole 'progress' thing does have its pos. and neg. sides.  i'm just glad for you that you have access to nature; also glad you didn't meet a bear!

i'm with you on the environment angle.  i'll be moving to a place where our backyard is forest and we can hear the ocean.  quite the wonderful combination, to my mind. 

i do hope you find a job that's less overwhelming, more in line with what you'd really like to be doing at the pace that's right for you.  our invisible illnesses/disabilities/whatevers can really set us up to feel uncomfortable.

i've often thought of the pioneers as well, altho my people made their journey over the ocean to get to america.  still, hardy stock, against all odds, and a spirit that would not be put down.  it's served me well over time.   keep taking care of you, mftb.  love and hugs to you.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on June 22, 2018, 06:45:07 AM
It's the solstice so apparently I have insomnia. Haven't even been tired. The whole day has gone by weirdly fast, though.

I started packing for my work trip. My clothes are now whittled down to the point that they almost all fit in my suit case and carry-on. I intend to give away the rest before I go. I intend to be moved by year end. I m still home for another week. Maybe it's weirdly early to pack. I think this is anxiety's handiwork.

It occurred to me tonight that I don't truly feel safe with anyone. I was watching a show with witty banter where the characters lovingly, jokingly insult each other. I realized that some of my coworkers have that, too. I don't think I will. Sometimes I think I'm missing out. But I only make jokes like that when "on"... Overcompensating to fit in. I'm too self conscious to think it's ok to make those jokes much. Too self conscious to take the. With a grain of salt if they were made to me. Just one word heard wrong and my ICr starts screaming that it's true and I'm horrible. Plus I'm not fast enough to be considered witty, I don't think.

I think wit is symbolic of feeling free to share my thoughts without fear of judgement. I'm trying to foster that with my boyfriend. He has done nothing but prove he is supportive and trustworthy. It's scary. I feel so vulnerable. I think in the past I have sabotaged things when I felt that way. I don't want to this time.

Watched a show in which two characters are depressed and going through a slob spell. One of them gets manic and starts cleaning. I related waaaay to much to it. I don't think I'm bipolar, but that "maybe" always sits in the back of my mind.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on June 22, 2018, 01:51:10 PM
good for you for recognizing sabotage tendencies, getting a hold on that, and not wanting to do it this time.  nicely done.  i know it's scary, i appreciate that feeling of vulnerability.  sometimes it's helped me to understand the reality (his support) and the irrational fear (the past).  i hope you can keep yourself in this supportive present.

keep taking care of you first, always.   love and hugs.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on June 23, 2018, 12:06:58 AM
It was an angry day. I cannot manage everything being thrown at me. Nor do I want to. Nor am I convinced that anyone else really has, except possibly 1 person. I think I quit my job, in my mind, 50 times over today.

A few years before I got there, they had a strike. It lasted a year and a half. Nothing was sufficiently resolved, and so these years (or even decades) old issues are still there. Still making each task take many times longer than it should. If it's even possible with all the roadblocks that pop up. I feel cometely set up to fail and it enrages me to be held to impossible standards.

I just want to leave. I want someone to say that I should do what it takes to get myself out of the toxic mess. To take the time I need to get better. I want someone to say that they have my back. No one has, and I can't do it alone. I need my paycheck.

I've found dark thoughts drifting through my mind in the past couple weeks. They don't stay long, but they do keep coming back.

I'm not sure how long I can handle this job and the futility of fighting for it. I'm emotionally exhausted.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on June 23, 2018, 02:53:20 PM
with all that that job entails emotionally, it doesn't surprise me that either thoughts of quitting or going to dark places in your mind are happening.  i wish there was a way you could get out, find another job with a less toxic environment, and find at least a little peace.  standing with you, mftb.  thru all of this.  sounds like it totally sucks.

sending a hug filled with love, warmth, and best wishes for a pos. outcome to all this.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on June 30, 2018, 08:47:24 PM
Dealing with intense physical exhaustion today. My body aches and my brain is foggy. I can barely keep my eyes open.

I may not leave my bed today.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on July 11, 2018, 11:38:52 PM
I've been working in the new location for a week and a half. It's mostly been good. I've settled in, done lots of sight-seeing, and spent time with my boyfriend.

Just a lot of little things in this job are happening that seem abusive or stupid to me, which I had mostly been shrugging off, but starting to add up. I'm trying to remember that everyone is under pressure here.

In this role I am building on work from my previous trip. Things I was required to communicate but not given enough time to complete are causing complications now. While I do accept that it was my role to do certain things, much of that work, and this work now, is out of my hands. I have people frequently questioning my decisions or not listening to me when I do answer the questions. I'm tired of having the same conversations over and over, while still trying to jump through the company's  hoops, and complete my tasks with inadequate tools. Feeling like a failure today. Hopefully this will pass before it becomes more painful.

I wonder if I could just do nothing but focus on healing for as long as I needed, what would I end up doing after that? It certainly wouldn't be what I am doing now.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on July 12, 2018, 04:48:42 AM
Trying to hold the fragments of a dream. It was somewhat a memory, but then it went further. A final exam essay I wrote about indigenous people and the challenges they face in America today. The essay had earned me an A+. Somehow I ended up discussing it with an estranged friend, who is First Nations. In real life my essay was based on a short story by a famous American Indian author. In the dream, I based  it on the work of a famous white author. Because of the source being outside, my friend stopped me in my tracks and refused to hear me, even though I was on his side. The source was enough to sew mistrust. I wanted so badly for him to hear me but fell silent. No matter how much of "his" pain I empathized with, I was letting mine eclipse listening and learning.

No matter if it feels like it, I am part of a majority that profits from exploiting and abusing others. And then I tried to excuse myself by claiming I understood. In doing so, I was essentially also profiting from the pain of others.

One of the oppressed who is also an opressor, rewarded by one of my own race. An abuse victim myself, I still benefit from abuse. And then I wanted him to absolve me or something.

I don't know if I can hold any lasting learning from this dream. Listen more and be humble, I suppose.

My inner critic is strongest in my dreams. I just don't know what to do when I wake up thinking it may be right.

As I struggle to heal myself, I have to be selfish, even though that goes against my ideal nature, to the exclusion of others who are suffering more. Is healing worth it if I can't help others while on my path? I'm hoping I will still have a chance to both heal and help, but I am terrified of feeling pains greater than my own, when mine have already burdened me so much.

That is possibly the narcissistic flea of my abuse. I maybe could do more, but don't actually want to if it will cause me more discomfort. Not a nice reality to acknowledge in myself.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on July 18, 2018, 02:40:56 AM
My thoughts have turned lately to what my life might look like if I was primarily focused on self care. This has been a nice part of being away from my home location this time. The work is about executing, rather than planning with limited information. Overall, I like that better. I still get overstimulated at times, but it's not so desperately overwhelming as at home.

There's been much talk this year of how women live in rape culture (and still do), but now I realize that it falls under the greater influence of abuse culture, and that permeates everything, especially workplaces.

So if my work is just work, and I accept that I can't do as much as I had been doing at work once I put my needs first, then I need to look for a couple things. Either less responsibility, or less time at work.

I guess I'm accepting that recovery for me won't be a path to some kind of middle-class independence. It's more likely to be a rejection of it, because every employer I have worked for has been abusive in one way or another. I know now that I need to work much more independently, or with instruction that is clear and concise. I don't think I have room to be flexible in that. It costs me too much.

A focus on self-care means I am placing my emotional and physical health above my job responsibilities. This is literally the opposite of what I was taught by an instructor who said that there will be times where you have to go to work with no sleep - just make sure you shower. It means actually calling in sick more, going to the Dr more, and acknowledging that I need more help to function daily.

On one hand, writing this is triggering, because when I first acknowledged my mental illness, my world fell apart and I ended up on welfare for a while. But on the other hand, I am approaching my needs with awareness this time. It doesn't have to be the same as in the past. It's not even likely to be. I am not in crisis, I am just exhausted.

Still, not being in crisis exactly, being able to put on the show of normalcy, I don't know how to cope with the outside world. All I can do is live one day at a time, and think in terms of time either away from or back in my safe zones. All I can do is create my own little world, no matter how small, since the big one, though beautiful, is full of such rubbish humans.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on July 23, 2018, 05:08:02 AM
It's the middle of the night where I am. I had a very full weekend and it was fun, but it left me exhausted and asleep by 7pm...and so I am awake now.

Someone told me that the sleeping in chunks tendency is like an instinctual trait, left from times when we needed to wake and stoke the fire or add another log... That 4-5 hours is about the longest an average camp fire lasts on it's own, and at that point a person would start to feel colder and wake up.

That could be balserdash, but it makes enough sense that it gives me a little comfort, and it's a nice way to spin the chronic insomnia.

Over the past year or so, at points, I have realized aspects of my progress. Most have been good. But today I am wondering about my emotions deadening from my medication. I am wondering about whether or not it's a good thing. And the irony is, I still suffer, although possibly not as much. It's really positive experiences I am noticing are curbed.

I did a thrill-seeking activity today. I had done it once before on a smaller scale, not Ike today's dramatic setting and size. Today, I barely felt nervous, and had only a short peak of adrenaline for maybe a minute before and a minute after, and the I was tired within a half hour. The first time I did it (8 yrs ago!) my legs were shaking for an hour after. It's an interesting change.

I've also noticed this in love. I know that I love, but the butterflies don't come anymore, even though my boyfriend and I have great chemistry.

Good experiences are still good, they're just a lot more low-key. I hope they will prove to be just as memorable, regardless.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on July 29, 2018, 11:52:06 PM
POSSIBLE TRIGGERS for parental bereavement in this post.

Things are moving along ok out here. At least from my end. I have no control of anything and for once I feel some perspective and am not taking it devastatingly personally like I normally would. I am not a failure because there are significant delays. I am doing what I can to work hard and be productive. For whatever reason, the industry I am in is short-sighted and adverse to allocating adequate resources to allow a project to run smoothly, or at least smoother. It's not on me to fix that.

I successfully asserted myself when a co-worker / supervisor kept interrupting me. It's ironic because I do this too, to get a word in edgewise, but also when I am impatient. I recognize it's a control thing, and I do it more when I feel like the other person is monologuing to dominate the conversation. Not equally giving as well as taking focus. So in this case I just kept on talking while he talked. He thought I'd drop off and listen but my sentence was longer and I just kept going. Didn't call it out, didn't get annoyed, just didn't give him my attention while I was working through my idea. For myself, I recognize I do it, and I'll try to be aware and do it less. I don't know if I needed to do it, but I got fed up with being cut off by him repeatedly, and I'm not very patient with rudeness.

I'm probably not writing as much as I should. I know I shouldn't should, lol. It's just that I feel like I have so much to put down when I get here that I end up missing realizations and explorations. I'm doing what I can, and that has to be enough for now.

Been thinking about fatigue again. Working on recognizing and appreciating my limits. Am generally listening to my body better these days. I don't do much after work but sleep. Physical work makes much else almost impossible. It's ok for now.

I read an article about the grief of losing a parent unexpectedly as an adult and the physiological and psychological effects that has. Basically nodded along the whole read. Made my chest tight for a half hour or so. Again, irony. The anniversary of my dad's death is in a couple of weeks, on my 2nd last day of working out here. He died of a heart attack.

I am homesick. But also homesick for a life that's not actually mine. A life I want. One that feels out of reach, because in order to have it, I will be disappointing people. I can't avoid that. Everyone wants something different.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on July 30, 2018, 04:02:39 AM
Today has been an unexpectedly introspective day. It's a good thing. I've enjoyed working out here in general, and certainly exploring in my off hours. But my self care could be better. 

I realize now that around the time my therapist went on mat leave, my progress had plateaued. In the 10 months since, I have been backsliding.

Today, somehow, something in me woke up and I see that I'm ready for another leg in this journey. Because of that, I'm now impatient to go home. Also, it would be nice to skip the final weeks of work chaos, even though that's just a dream.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on July 31, 2018, 03:28:42 AM
TRIGGERS in this post for self-harm/injury, eating disorders, suicidal ideation, destructive behaviour and inner critic/negative self-talk.

An Internet friend of mine posted on her Facebook today that she is in treatment for an eating disorder. She is pretty open about her struggles with ADD, anxiety and depression. And now this. I want to be supportive but it's triggered me into negative headspace. I feel very alone and unsure how to show my support in a more meaningful way than an electron heart. Not sure that my support would even matter. She has many, many online and irl friends. I don't think my voice matters significantly to her.

It's triggered me in a few ways. The big thing is a huge amount of shame I feel. Mainly like I am not worthy of help for my own struggles. She is severely obese and has a child. I could lose 30lbs and have no dependents. There's no comparison of needs there. And yet I feel needy, and ashamed of my need.

It occurs to me that my country's healthcare system does contribute to my feeling worthless. I would be more motivated to get help if I hadn't been outright dismissed more than once by doctors. And if our system provided treatment for people at more levels than urgent. For me, anything less than dire has been met with "wait and see", "it's in your head", or "that's not what you're experiencing". I had written examples here, but deleted them when I realized I was just trying to convince any readers that I had been done wrong. It doesn't matter.

I feel narcissistic because her pain has triggered this in me. It's not about me. And yet here I am and it is about me because I empathise and am reminded of my own struggles.

Once things go well for a while, and people see that I am reliable, things start coming at me faster and then I get overwhelmed and can't keep up. I struggle to maintain boundaries and then my routines go, and I start to spiral out. I would say I am early spiral now. I picked until I was bleeding in several spots.

I also overate today. Then I came back to my room and ate a bunch of fudge. It had been intended for coworkers. Now I have to eat it all and buy more for them, so I take a health and monetary hit. Double self-sabbotage.

I don't know the definition of an eating disorder, but I'm sure I have one. I eat to forget, feel better, and sometimes to punish myself. When punishing myself, it is because I am trying to destroy myself... To kill myself a bit at a time. That would probably sound absurd anywhere but here.

I've had intrusive thoughts for a couple months that I don't want to live. Not that I would act on them, but the thoughts come in once or twice, nearly every day. I think maybe they are always there but lately I have been consciously noticing them.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on August 01, 2018, 03:00:36 AM
This post may be triggering re: boundary violations and touch.

Today I'm thinking a lot about interactions that are perfectly normal to others, but foreign, uncomfortable, and even scary to me.

I saw a co-worker braiding another co-worker's hair. Like a mother would do for a daughter, or close friends.

The last time I clearly remember a friend braiding my hair was in junior high school. It may have happened in college, too, but I don't remember. I remember that it feels lovely.

The other thing that struck me happened today. A co-worker wanted to show me something and grabbed my hand, leading me along. It wasn't done maliciously, but it blew past my boundaries ans she didn't ask. She's half my age and so sweet that I didn't get mad or pull away. Just went with it. It startled me but happened too fast to get wrapped up in it.

These things made me think about the vulnerability so many people have no problem sharing with others. The lack of fear. The way it doesn't occur to them that someone might not want to be touched.

I am basically ok with being touched by my friends, but that's usually it. Would that ever be able to change for me? Can I change, and do I want it to?

The wall I built protects me, but also keeps out the kindness in others. I am living a clichť.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on August 10, 2018, 03:18:50 AM
I am worn out. Physically sick. Missed work today. I literally can't handle working hard for so long - my body eventually gives out. I was actually being pretty good to my body, too. Eating a fairly balanced diet and was highly active every day. Didn't matter. My immune system isn't as robust as some people's. And so I spent the day off work sick, and probably should tomorrow too, but won't because the project ends next week, and I'll be heading home. Then I can start crafting my next stage. But one thing at a time, first, more sleep.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on August 10, 2018, 07:35:31 AM
One of the toxic traps I keep stepping into is insidious ableist thinking.

Like with being sick right now, I had to realize that I was mad at myself for "letting myself" get sick. I heard others say that they couldn't "afford to be sick" and then my inner critic started up with me that I'm somehow inferior because I am sick. But I'm not. Our working conditions aren't the healthiest, and the fact that more aren't sick is either luck or physiogy or both; neither of which are anything I have control of. I still feel guilty taking a sick day. But it's not my shame I'm feeling, it's theirs. It's like a subtle bullying.

I'm pretty sure I'm sick enough to stay home today, but if I don't get my timesheet signed today, I don't get paid properly. And even having done all that, I didn' t get paid on time last week. My bank's fault, it turns out. And it was rent cheque payday. So all that extra stress plus dirty working conditions, and here I am sick. I shouldn't be surprised, and neither should anyone else.

Still, here I am, sick and unsure how to proceed. And that's what so many better-off people don't want to understand. Being sick wasn't a choice. The only choice I have now is how to navigate the difficult situation it's left me in.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on August 10, 2018, 01:39:13 PM
i think our immune systems have gotten compromised thru stress - i'm sure mine has.  no, it's not your fault or shame that you're sick.  yes, you can now make the choices you need to make to rectify the situation you find yourself in.

i started taking a lot of vit. and mineral supplements a while ago, and i think they've helped me a lot.  i've also cut down my stress levels where and when i could, and i think that's helped as well.  it's a change, tho, one i'm not sure i'm finished processing.

i am sorry you're sick,  i know that feeling all too well, and it sucks.  please, just take care of yourself as best you can, first and foremost.  sending love and a hug full of healing.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on August 17, 2018, 04:28:05 AM
I'm on the eve of my last day of this work assignment. I'm ready to go home. But I have enjoyed most of my time here. I think I made the most of it. It was certainly a rare experience for me. I learned a lot.

It was very hard at many points. I felt like a failure a lot. But there were some notable successes. And tonight, on the eve of the close of the project, I had a woman from another department tell me to my face that she doesn't value my department's work, thinks she can do it just as well with her own workers who don't have my skills or education, and resents the time spent meeting with us. She told us that nationally her team wants to replace everyone on mine because they don't see the value we add.

A night of what was supposed to be celebration amongst colleagues with the end of this years-long project has deflated and left me feeling depressed and insecure about my future. My years of schooling and trying to establish myself feel like they were for naught here. My dream career is nothing but dissolutionment in reality. I am resented for the opportunities I took advantage of, and for privileges perceived that I worked hard for. And still in debt for this supposed privelege.

I had suspected that I was possibly being sabotaged, or at least experiencing active opposition and hindrance in my work. I tried to brush that off as paranoia, but now I think I was actually right.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on August 19, 2018, 11:29:09 PM
Back from my work trip. Resting and sleeping a lot, then back to work tomorrow.

Overall, I was happy with my work experience despite many issues along the way. I chalk that up to experience and growth on my part.

That said, the issues that came up were serious, and I'm not sure how and when to address them.

2 days before the end of the project I was told a significant change was needed. It became a rush to complete it. I made a mistake during the last day that could have been risky to others. It wasn't. I feel it's important to note that I was never trained to do the work I was doing, just thrown into it. I completed my portion of the work.

The mistake was discovered by a supervisor in another department, and he was very angry with me. He angrily ordered me to redo it in front of others, and when I was doing it said I had been cutting corners. I managed to stick up for myself a little, and said I wasn't intentionally cutting corners, and that he was being very rude. But the damage to me was already done.

I was weepy for an hour or so after. He eventually apologized to me. But it's not ok. This has tainted the whole project for me.

I believe this one incident is an example of a toxic and abusive work culture that undermines and exploits its workers. And I think it's probably rampant in the company. At least in my country.

I don't know if I should tell my supervisors or managers about this. I had another co-worker with me who witnessed all of it. If I file a complaint, I don't have faith that anything would come of it. He's "more valuable" to the company than me.

I already know I want to leave my location. I was on the fence about the company. I keep wondering which new straw will actually break the camel's back.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on August 24, 2018, 02:43:20 AM
Triggers in this post for graphic talk of self injury.

Spent the first 2 hours at home after work today zoned out and kinda frozen or at least dissociated. I had things I could be doing but couldn't make myself do any of them.

Instead I picked at my skin. I'm mostly picking at hard scars these days, that just swell up, but sometimes I get some satisfaction. Those times usually end with me bleeding. There's still this big part of me that won't be satisfied unless I self destruct. I ruin my skin and risk infection. A couple of  months ago I think I picked a small cyst out of my beast. It was like a huge whitehead, but firm, round, and left a big bleeding hole in my skin. I cleaned and bandaged it, and have a scar about the size of a pen-cap now. I am repulsed at myself yet compelled to pick. And not just with my hands.

When I was younger I had a weird lump behind my last molar on my bottom jaw. I should have gone to the dentist and had it checked, but my mom would resent me for needing medical care and only took me if things were dire. I internalized a lot of that harshness and neglect.

I worked my tongue around it, for a week or two, as it worked up to the surface, then became like a moveable flap of skin. I worked it until it eventually fell out like a loose tooth. I don't remember much beyond that. But a few years later, when I had my impacted wisdoms out, the Dr said I must have had a cyst that went away on it's own because I have a gap or hollow spot in my jaw bone, which could cause problems later, and made removing my wisdoms harder.

My urge to self-destruct is a good meditation topic. What am I trying to destroy?
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: Blueberry on August 24, 2018, 12:00:18 PM
Hello movementforthebetter,

I know this is your journal and you might not want a response but I feel compelled to reply. First of all I'd like to suggest two Self-Harm Organizations that Kizzie posted about here: I haven't checked them for myself so I don't know how triggering they might be. But I'm sure Kizzie did check them.

I do non-bloody forms of self-injury so I'm unfortunately well-acquainted with being zoned out and injuring myself instead of getting on with whatever.

Could it be that you don't want to destroy anything but that you have internalised that harsh neglect so much that it's destroying you? That's sort of what turned up in my own therapy on a similar topic. My self-harm ideation (which sometimes comes as very violent pictures which I have never carried out and would never carry out) seemingly stemmed from self-hate but actually turned out to be my having internalised the hate my mother showed me when I was a child.

I could certainly not meditate on this kind of topic for myself. It would be far too triggering. It would take me far too far into the subject matter, into the feelings and into the memories. In the past I would go too far into this kind of topic and that turned out to be because of the emotional and physical neglect I experienced as a child. I was perpetuating it. On a deep emotional level I didn't realise I was allowed to set a limit to protect myself. The medical neglect was not as terrible as what you experienced, at least I don't think so. I realise I'm walking a fine line here between giving advice and something else, but please be careful. Please be gentle to yourself.

I still do self-injure but I have also learned to do some self-care which I have been told actually works as a counter balance. Every time I gently brush my hair instead of pulling it out that reinforces self-care neural networks. Baby steps count here.

Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on August 26, 2018, 01:35:22 AM
Thanks for your words, blueberry, it gave me something else to think about and took some pressure off.

In this week of readjustment I had some moments of... Something. New awareness, maybe. At one point I was triggered by a co-worker, in a situation where I couldn't leave because we were repairing a heavy object. I was on the inside corner, and he started verbally barfing his unhappiness to me, unasked. I saw myself trapped in that moment, physically and emotionally, as I have been in the past. I have had other coworkers physically block me in, or even take hold of me.

They don't know that when they do it, I flash back to any one of the instances of violence that left me feeling so helpless. Nor do I want them to know. I would just like for people to be considerate of others (including me) , which is apparently an impossible ask these days!

I didn't feel as helpless this time. Just annoyed. I no longer care much about my coworkers, which sucks. But I have been away so much that I feel excluded from our team to a degree. I felt it intensely the first time I went on assignment. And it's back this time, too. Always on the outside, it seems. It's ok, I can resign myself to it. And it makes it easier for me when it's time to go.

After feeling pretty down a lot of the past week, I found a spark within myself that reminded me: I have to make the future I want. So at least I managed to clean a bit and do dishes. It's a start.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on August 30, 2018, 03:19:28 AM
Been home sick with an infection the past few days. I'm probably sick enough to be home all week, but who gets the luxury of a sick week unless they are almost dying nowadays? We live in such a backwards society. So anyway, back to work tomorrow. I should have had a note for 3 days off, but don't. Didn't want to ask or pay for one. I'm an adult. If they want proof I was sick, they can look at my tonsils.

Antibiotics started helping almost immediately. I've actually been sick for at least a month at this point, and some of my symptoms have gone on longer. I went to 2 different Dr's about my ear in the last year. Both brushed it off, basically saying "allergies". Allergy pills never really helped, just masked some symptoms.

This time, with with a serious dose of antibiotics for a different but related symptom, I am seeing improvement and starting to feel better. It's both gratifying and frustrating.

The fatigue is not in my head. The aches are not in my head. I just don't know what is repeatedly causing them for sure, yet. I'm a lucky health mystery.

Have slept so much in 3 days that I am disoriented. Almost bedtime again, too.

I'll be really behind at work, gonna be hard to catch up. Just gotta focus for a week and a bit more til I have a week off. Then maybe I will rest while healthy. That sounds nice.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on September 06, 2018, 06:26:59 AM
Still sick from a month ago. Not desperately ill, just really annoyingly so. The kind of sick that distracts and drives crazy. It's affecting my sleep, and it is still uncomfortable to swallow. Been to 4 Dr's, including my work trip. No one knows what I have except "not strep". I have swollen lymph nodes and inflamed tonsils and ear pain and pain swallowing. It's a case of wait and see, but after this past month, I'm starting to get anxious. At least I've been persistent. Staying home from work as much as I can afford, going back to the Dr. as often as I think is warranted. I've had mixed experiences with Dr's, but I'm not going to let that deny me the care I need any more. Until I am actually better, I will remind them that I need them to continue treating me, instead of sucking it up and living with it, as I have previously.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on September 29, 2018, 01:40:08 AM
I had a horribly stressful day at work. Trying to meet deadlines and expectations that have no basis in reality, with people who don't care even enough to do the basics of their jobs. Working here has been a 2 year group project from *. But I did that, at least. Today was an early start, no lunch break, and 30 min OT. Barely a bathroom break. Monday marks 2 years here for me. And I plan to quit within the next 2 weeks. I don't have another job, but I can't take it any more. Can't handle the people and the constant chaos.

I've been seeing my boyfriend for 10 months now. Long distance. It's been hard. I love him and miss him. I am going to move in with him in a month. He said it will be ok, he's got my back and we'll get through my settling in and finding a new job together. I feel like I've waited my whole life for a partner to say that to me. It's overwhelming and generous and beautiful and makes me sad because I think this is a taste of some of the unconditional love I never experienced before. I'm so grateful. But also scared. This is unfamiliar to me.

I ate a lot of junk tonight, trying to drown all this stress and emotions. The last 6 months at least, I have been very conscious that I am eating my feelings. I don't have an effective alternative coping mechanism. I feel the wave of feelings bearing down on me and I crave food and know I could choose otherwise. But I feel like only food consoles me right now, so I don't choose otherwise.

I'm trying to be gentle... Hoping that I will get beyond this aspect of suffering in myself without being judgemental and overly hard on myself. Even the moments that feel like failure can be progress.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on October 16, 2018, 03:25:36 AM
Thinking about the nature of loneliness VS. just being alone.

My genes and upbringing have shaped me into someone who experiences the world in specific ways. I had no choice in any of that, and it was very isolating.

Becuase the majority of people tend to assume that everyone thinks like they do, we end up with minorities, who are frequently disadvantaged, or at least misunderstood. I am in the latter category now, after spending most of my life in the first. This might be the first time in my life that I would say I'm not disadvantaged, even though I don't enjoy "success" in most material ways. I believe this is because I still have a bit of control over my situation. I am working to change it.

Making the choice to change a situation can be isolating. Most people would rather suffer than rock the boat. Complain over taking a risk. I am in my position of relative choice because of my isolation and being alone. And yet, without my past, I'd maybe be closer to people, supported, and feel less inclined to change my situation. I'll never know. I sometimes try to see the world through the eyes of others, but I'm probably not that successful at it.

I am alone because it's what I know. I am lonely sometimes because I still need connection, like everyone else. Interestingly, as time goes on, I become more accustomed to lonely, and even find some comfort in it.

I think I'm turning into a character trope. A self-fulfilling prophecy. And overall, this is one aspect of my life I'm not in a hurry to change, aside from wanting a partner to share love with.
If I make being alone my choice, I get to believe I can control loneliness, after-all, haha.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on October 16, 2018, 11:51:13 AM
i hear you about rocking the boat, upsetting the status quo of our lives, mftb.  i am in a similar situation at this point of my life.  i have rid myself of every toxic relationship i've had, and now, except for my d with whom i live (she watches over me, really), my only friends are a couple long-distance who i never see, and the people here.  my connections with others are basically over the internet.

it's a choice i've made, too, and right now it feels right.  at one time i had a fear of not being surrounded by 'friends', afraid of how being lonely feels, but something's changed, and i don't have that right now.  it's rather freeing, actually.  and i don't feel lonely at the moment.

so, just saying, i can relate.  i think it's ok to be like this.  a partner would be nice, but not necessary right now.  i've got things to do that take up my time and energy, and also the time for healing myself, which feels very good.  standing with you on this one, sweetie.  keep taking care of you.  love and hugs.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 01, 2018, 09:48:11 AM
Almost at the end of my run at work. Exhausted and achy every day. Feeling so much anger I don't know what to do with lately. Finding myself numbing out a lot. Just wishing this was over. I don't think being unemployed has ever been so valuable to me. Money would be nice of course, but it's not worth the toll it's taken.

In general, I feel like a screw-up. I can't keep up with life, qnd when feeling pressure from others, I try, but end up in a big, overwhelmed collapse, every year or two. I suppose at least I'm seeing this, and quitting while I still have some control.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 01, 2018, 03:53:14 PM
and, may i add, mftb, that seeing these things, realizing what's going on with us, is progress.  we can't make healthy adjustments in our lives without seeing and knowing what's happening and how it's impacting us.  i don't see it as failing at all, but taking another step forward in knowing what works and doesn't work for you.

personally, i think that for a lot of us, we've begun navigating the world, work, relationships, etc., without the proper knowledge and practice on how to do so successfully.  when we can't make it, like others seem to (altho, we don't really know what goes on behind closed doors), we can see that as failure.  on the other hand, i know a lot of people who look very successful but are really a mess inside, or so very shallow that they don't let anything touch them, don't want to know.

i'm in the first category with certain things, have been in the second (being a mess inside while accomplishing 'stuff') for other things.  we're all so different, i don't think we do ourselves a service to compare to the facade of what is shown to us by others.  we just don't know.

so, may i encourage you to be gentle with yourself on this?  i'm glad for you that you're getting out before any more damage is done, and you're taking care of yourself.  i think those are two positive forces at work for you in your life.  love and hugs, sweetie.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: Three Roses on November 01, 2018, 04:04:47 PM
I can't keep up with life, qnd when feeling pressure from others, I try, but end up in a big, overwhelmed collapse, every year or two.

This was me, too, when I was working. Sorry you're going through this. A safe  :hug: if you want it!
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 06, 2018, 03:04:33 AM
I gave my notice at my job today. My notice on my place last week. I've been avoidant, achy, bingey, distant, exhausted and overwhelmed for months (let's face it, years). I'm hoping this is a turning point. At the very least, I am directing my own life, really writing my own story, however it unfolds. I choose actively pursuing peace of mind, to serve my goals, rather than passively accepting misery. I choose love.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: Three Roses on November 06, 2018, 06:08:41 PM
I love this! Congratulations on taking a new path, you deserve it.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 11, 2018, 04:43:57 AM
The enormity of all the work I have to do on/for myself seem as never-ending as the tides of the ocean. I grow and understand something about myself, only to learn how much more I don't know. How far is it worth it to take the healing journey? I know the path never ends, it's just a question of when I stop walking it. I walk around a tree that was blocking my path only to realize the next hurdle looks like a mountain.

So many things I experience fall pretty closely into, if not directly into, serious diagnoses. But I'm rarely ever seen as worthy of help because I float on the fringes of these definitions. Never "severe enough" or "sick enough". I have an eating disorder, but not a widely accepted or understood one. I'm pretty sure I either have ADD or some place on the autism spectrum, possibly both. But again, I had been conditioned that this is me, and I am bad, so don't bother doctors for my relatively minor complaints. I have no idea how to get help, if there is any. I don't know if a diagnosis would help me tolerate the working world without breaking down every couple years.

So many messed up things my family has said and done convinced me that not only was I the problem, but I was also not worthy of treatment. And I internalised all of it. So now the treatment road is fraught with all kinds of emotional distress that Dr's are unlikely to understand or have empathy towards. I wonder if I'm strong enough for this journey, and if it would even provide me with any improvements in my life.

When I go to live with my boyfriend soon, I will be welcomed into his family, and it terrifies me. I don't know how to navigate my own family, let alone his. And deep down I fear that they will write me off as "bad" , and that they'd be right. This is why being alone can be easier at times... Now I'll have to work harder to keep my past from ruining my present. Or maybe it's my future. Anxiety deals more in the future.

Hopefully just getting this out will help me make sense of it a bit.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 12, 2018, 01:48:49 AM
I've been sick a couple days and already bored out of my skull. Too headachy to do much but rest. On one hand I am enjoying it. I'm getting to some old sorting that probably wouldn't happen without this down time. On the other, I don't have much time left for friends or even just enjoying this city for the last bit of my stay here. Always a trade off. Overall, I think I'm ok with the break. My body can't handle anything else til I get better.

I've decided to start a new journal once I get to the new city. One that is more action, plan, and practice oriented. I think that will be healthy for me.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 12, 2018, 04:31:42 PM
I'm still sick, but got up before sunrise like usual. Feeling a bit better and figured nothing better than a walk to clear out the gunk in my body. It was a beyond spectacular sunrise. Simply gorgeous. I was grateful to have experienced it.

It got me to thinking about what kind of work, if any, I will be able to do day in and out. I think the actual starting point for me is what a healthy day looks like. I can start chipping away at that. Some of it goes back to routines from my past. Some will be new routines.

A healthy day involves me getting up and getting outside. In time to see the sunrise if possible. It involves me spending as much time outside as possible. It involves me going to and/or creating a peaceful environment for myself. As I get healthier again, I'd like to share it with others. I'd like to share the joy of my experience somehow.

A healthy day involves me getting moving. It's low-pressure, low-stress, and relatively low-people.

It will allow me to work on projects that appeal to my natural curiosity. It will be seasonal, which I think is a decent timeframe for a reasonable-sized project. Enough variety to not get bored, but not the vortex of constant change I am currently in.

I saw a friend post an activity on Facebook. It's not the first time I saw something and thought "I could do that". But this one, I know for sure I could... With some effort and some help. And it's a good jumping off point, at least. It's nice to feel some hope coming back again.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 16, 2018, 06:39:14 AM
Jobs on my mind a lot. Remembering my favourite past job, and how I still became depressed after 2onths.

4 work days remain. I'm glad I gave 2 weeks notice. The chaos (not at all an exageration) will continue whether or not I am there. As it is, my remaining time is being dominated and directed and micromanaged and overloaded. 4 more days.

I'm left with a perennial conundrum: what do I do next? I'm a hard worker, but not a model worker. *Everything* becomes triggering at work. I need a slower job so I have time to ground when needed. At my current job there are days where I would need to ground every 2 minutes. It's impossible.

All my triggers build up with no time to dissipate in a work week. When I start a job, I'm terrified of being judged and found lacking, making a mistake and being fired, and lately, being disliked by my coworkers (which generally didn't bother me in the past.). Then before I know it, usually starting at about 6 months or so, I start getting frustrated where I used to be patient. Shortly after that I start getting the Sunday stress about Monday. Then I dread going to work, then the anxiety work nightmares start. I can't effectively process my triggers fast enough when they do occur, and I don't know how, in any normal work environment I can imagine, I can override my neurobiological responses in the moment. And I tried. I took part in a meditation study about 10 years ago. It helped only minimally. I still quit that job.

I thought at one time, part time was the answer. But schedule inconsistency was also bad for me, and even in the past when I worked just 4 regular days a week, it was too much. So maybe I need no more than 20 hours a week. Regular hours. If possible. And paying above poverty, because that's also a big trigger.

Time of work shift is less important, but I'd like a similar schedule to the 9-5 world. I got lonely when I worked nights, though it was nice to have the general quiet.

This isn't anywhere near my full work wish list. I hope I can finally find something that I can do and like.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 16, 2018, 02:53:41 PM
i like these plans you're making, how proactive your thinking seems to be about what you want to do, what's enough, what's too much, what kind of schedule you want.  it sounds like you've already started your action-planning phase.  well done.

if i may say this, i hope you can go slowly with the new family you'll be part of.  kind of feel your way around for a bit, learning about them and their dynamic, and how that fits with what's comfortable with you.  i hope they have healthy interactions and communication - i think that would make things a lot easier for you.  best to you with this.

and, congrats on ending your job.  yep, the chaos will go on without you.  but, you don't need to be in the midst of it anymore.  i also have faith that you'll find something to do that suits you.  it will come to you.

keep taking care of you as best you can.  sending love and a hug filled with patience and acceptance.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 17, 2018, 01:14:14 PM
I woke up from dreams about the east coast... Like, Nova Scotia. I've never been. The dream was pure fantasy and full of false impressions that don't hold up to daylight. But it was full of feelings that are hopeful and happy. I can't remember the last time I had a dream like that. I'm finally excited, rather than impatient, to be leaving my city for my next phase of life. And I have someone who loves me waiting for me, and I love him. I'm too much of a realist and a cynic to think it'll be perfect, but I'm grateful, and happier than I've been in ages.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 20, 2018, 10:53:54 AM
Here I am at 2am. Woke up from a bad dream. Feeling anxious. Suddenly agonizing over something I said today. Was it the wrong thing, and did it anger  a coworker, because he didn't reply to something I said? I know that it's in the past, I can't change it, and I need to let it go. But what to do when these little instances that barely register in the moment pile up, then come crashing down at 2am? Again I'm back to wondering how I can stop what is precipitated by a physiological reaction before it starts. I don't seem able to, and so I quit the job.

I forsee my life getting much smaller so that I can manage my C-PTSD. I think I want it and need it. It would be nice to try and live a "typical" life, but the cost has become too high. Maybe my life will expand again to the point where I can have a career. But I'm nearly 40. It's probably time to stop holding my breath.

One of the things I struggle with a lot is social interaction. I think most people wouldn't believe that. But the truth is that I have pure and strong reactions to things that I can't hide. And people see that as a fault because it makes them uncomfortable. I'm also very direct, especially when feeling pressure. And sometimes people are insulted by this. Ironically, I tend to spend too much time on trying to make others comfortable, because their reactions to me make me intensely uncomfortable. Things like this 2am rumination happen.

Some people would have that happen once and take it as a sign to change something, because it's so unpleasant. But it's a nearly daily occurrence I can't escape from, and I don't think I've ever met anyone who understood that and could genuinely empathize. I can^t change my life enough to not have it happen. I am now focusing on living so I can manage when it does.

My best improvements in social interaction have been made by observing and literally copying how my friends handle interactions. But when I do this to fit into social settings, like a workplace, it feels like I am being dishonest and masking myself, something most people seem to resent. And it has such a high cost for me. If only all these difficulties had been recognized as a child. But they weren't, so here I am.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 24, 2018, 07:36:21 AM
It's ironic, but this is the hard part. I'm done work, and for the last 2 days I've done almost nothing. But I only have a week til I leave so the clock is ticking and I still have lots to do.

With the bad fit/abusive relationship combo that was my job, it's going to take time to get over. I had nightmares and work anxiety like a bad hangover the first night, making me unable to get out of bed yesterday until noon. I went out, but was mostly dissociated or derealized, not clear which. But I was definitely out of it. I tried to ground but felt like I couldn't grasp the present.

Then last night, anxiety making me unable to sleep over 3 hours. Now my internal clock is totally messed up. I saw a poisonous-looking spider on my wall and it's pretty-much undone me. I should be cleaning and packing but instead I've been frozen in bed all day. Even almost forgot to eat or drink.

I look around, and at myself. I see how sick I am. I'm flashed back to when I was forced out of my first apartment in the middle of a depressive spell. It had been crumbling and leaking and I had been fighting the landlord for months and I had nothing left to care for myself. A boyfriend came to help me pack and looked horrified at how messy and undone it all was. I figure he thought I was crazy. I felt crazy at that point. And I kinda do now, too.

The important thing for me to focus on, now that I see these are all past situations haunting me, is just being present. Each piece of garbage, each packed item, is a step away from my past and into my future. I'm stronger and healthier than I was then and it won't be perfect but I can do this. It's going to be full of feelings but I see it for what it is. Everything haunting me is in the past and it's ok to deny the past the power to hurt me anymore. Here's to a more hopeful tomorrow.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 24, 2018, 06:09:57 PM
cheers to that, mftb.  after what you've been thru on that job, i'm not surprised you have sort of a hangover from it.  i like your attitude of leaving the past in the past becuz it can't hurt you anymore.  that sounds mighty healthy to me.  moving forward ,...

love and hugs, sweetie.  i think you're doing just fine.  you'll get your feet under you, and then you'll do what's needed for the move.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: movementforthebetter on November 26, 2018, 06:35:02 AM
Still slogging through the mud of moving. Everything's a mess. I am making progress but it's that awful stage in which stuff is all over, being sorted. It's affecting me a bit.

I tried to chill out and watch tv but my family triggers kept being pushed and now I am anxious with tension all over.

My meds used to feel like they helped calm me and keep me from being so riled up all the time. They don't feel like they help that way anymore. I m scattered, jumpy, irritable and emotional at the drop of a hat the last few days.

In my frantic yet wiped state, my inner critic has found a foothold. It starts with a "why did I do/say" whatever. So insidious.

I think this is all linked. I had my good idea for a business. Then, a few days later, I wondered who I am more like, my mother or father. M doesn't work, she's on permanent disability. Which is where I'm going to end up if I can't learn to manage stress and hold jobs longer. My F always had some scheme or idea. None of them really went anywhere. Both possibilities are depression and anxiety triggering. The I Cr comes in and makes it all worse. I still can't identify that horrible, degrading voice. I still catch myself believing it in times like these.

I told friends about my idea and regret it. The ICr says that's the kiss of death for things I want to do.

I don't have to listen to it. It lies, lies, lies. And maybe someday soon I'll fully believe that.

Writing seems to have brought my anxiety down. Time to put all this and myself to bed.
Title: Re: Each Day A Blank Page
Post by: sanmagic7 on November 26, 2018, 03:57:42 PM
glad your anxiety calmed down after writing - it often has the same effect on me.

and i'll agree with you - lies, lies, lies!

hang tough, sweetie.  you're doing it.  sending love and hugs.