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MindSay's mission is to enable the writer within ourselves.
Join now. Free accounts may setup a profile and comment on blogs. Paid accounts ($1800/year) have access to MindSay's publishing platform.
just woke up from a dream where i'm living next door to these people, really nosey, presumptuous people who keep walking into my house. it's an adult mother and son, but also some (maybe foster or adopted) kids. my sister, and some random people, are also staying with me in this huge basement i have.
somehow we end up in a conflict, and i am in a position where i have to kill the old woman. i don't even remember why, or how, just that afterwards, i was obligated to go to their house and watch the kids.
it was a really fragmented, nearly incoherent dream, with a bunch of vivid moments.
i feel like i didn't sleep at all.
i can hear myself laugh.
i am a person who has tried out many laughs in my life, because each one has helped me feel slightly less anxious at that exact time.
my dad had a girlfriend once who laughed like this: her entire body would curl in on itself, and her face would scrunch up, but the only sound would be a kind of hissing through her teeth.
"tssssss, tsssssssss, tss tssss, tsssss.”
i loved that sound, and practiced it for a few years before discarding it, although now i can't remember why i stopped.
my aunt cindy laughed loudly, expelling a rough, smoky sound with a type of cackle at the very end. it made everyone turn their head. it was infectious, and rowdy.
i have finally learned to laugh from my throat, unabashed. my voice has gotten a rough edge from years of smoking, and my laugh reflects that. i have discovered that i'm capable of laughing loudly, of fully allowing myself a natural sound of joy, even if it's potentially obnoxious :)
to myself, i’m starting to sound like my aunt cindy :)
“Rule your mind or it will rule you.”
I’m discovering the truth in that statement.
When I was struggling with quitting self-injury, one of the biggest things that helped me was discovering the change in perspective I could achieve by recalling the head space I was in while on vacation at my grandparent’s beautiful and relaxing home in Sarasota. It was a really good head space. I think I just discovered the head space that may be helpful for me while working through this period of depression I’m currently in.
It’s sort of a mental trick I play on myself. I’m not sure if other people have experienced this as much as I have, but maybe some of you reading this have had an experience where you literally felt a sort of ‘paradigm shift’ occur within yourself. We go throughout our days with certain assumptions about the world and about ourselves and how we relate to everything around us. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in unhealthy or negative ways of seeing and experiencing things. But… our brains don’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined. To our brains, it’s all processed the same, although in our ‘mind’ we normally know the difference. The trick then is to make a mental leap to a different approach. It’s not an intellectual process, but more of a mental and emotional one.
I’ve always experienced a lot of things pretty intensely, so I can recall pretty clearly the feeling and the perspective I had at different points in my life. If I imagine I’m in that experience again… I can reproduce the feelings of that time and bring them into my current reality, and function from that base point of perspective. It helped me get through a self injury crisis, and I’m feeling like it’s going to be a big help right now as well.
It’s not the solution, but a tool.
I am feeling somewhat better today, although I can feel the depression just under the surface, I’m trying to focus on being healthy instead of wallowing in the depression. I think a couple things helping with my improved mood, though, are the fact that the sun is out today and it’s a very nice day outside, and I got a call yesterday about a job I applied to (I just returned the call and had to leave a voicemail, which I hate doing, so I hope she even calls me back because I feel like I probably sounded really nervous in the voicemail) and I had a good night last night. I also went out to Michael’s craft store this afternoon to pick up some more white acrylic paint to finish up a painting I started last week, and while I was checking out I ran into an old co-worker and had a pretty nice interaction with him. He told me good luck on getting a new job and offered to give me a good referral if I need one. So, see – just leaving the house and functioning normally, “faking it ‘till you make it”, can have some positive results and provide little boosts like that in the right direction. Little things like that are just what I need right now. I guess it’s these little wins that I can ride on until they turn into big wins – like a new job, or the warmth and joys of Springtime once that hits us full force.
Yesterday I wasn’t at work for 15 minutes before 2 people asked me if I was okay. Yikes.
Eventually as the evening at work wore on, I got into a better mood. I was off for nearly 3 days straight before that – it seems like when I do spend too much time alone, and don’t make productive use of myself and take a lot of care with how I’m thinking, that alone time really amplifies any sort of negative emotions I might be experiencing.
Today already feels like a little bit of a better day. I made a little to-do list for myself for today, especially since my vacation is right around the corner – I want to make sure I leave the apartment in order before I’m gone for 10 days. Except I’m having trouble finding someone to care for my new fern while I’m gone. It’s doing really well so far, which if you know me at all you’ll be amazed by. I’ve had it almost a week now, I guess.
So last night I came up with what I think is going to be a really great solution to my internet problem. And yes – I DO have an internet “problem”. I use it way too much, and for social media. What I notice happens sometimes during these stretches of time I have alone to myself, is I get into a downward loop. I’ll use Facebook, maybe post something, and then come here and post something, and then check out Instagram, and my emails… and the first go around, it’s fun, because I have notices from people and interactions. So I return the interaction likewise, but then I turn around and loop through these things again. But the second time around, there’s usually not anything there. Or the 10th time around. And it doesn’t feel really nice to keep seeing if people contacted you and they didn’t, or if there's anything new to read or look at and there’s not. It’s like this psychological addiction, though, where it’s hard to stop myself once I start. Maybe I start on computer, but then it carries over to my phone when I’m off the computer, then it carries over to my tablet when I delete all the social media and even the browser off my phone. There’s always access to it.
So I did smoke last night, which is fine. I came home, and made a conscious decision to avoid the computer. I called Jeff instead, got myself something to sip on, and decided I’d sit and watch a movie. NOT a TV show, which are easy to fall into and binge watch until 2am. One movie, with a clear ending, a clear indication that it’s time to get into bed and shut everything down.
Oh yeah – the solution. I never mentioned what it was.
So I have a new “boundary” with my internet use.
After 5pm, I can’t use the internet. Obviously if I’m not at home and looking for a place to eat out of town or something, I’ll probably use Yelp – I’m not going to be THAT strict about this. But the idea is, my computer gets powered down, and the tablet gets powered down – and PUT AWAY. My mom used to always tell us growing up, when she was teaching us how to clean, that we should “have a place for everything and put everything in it’s place”. Well, I don’t have a “place” for my tablet or phone. They just… exist constantly through my days, like their ‘place’ is glued to my fucking palm. Especially my phone, obviously. So instead of trying to tell myself I can’t use social media anymore, or placing some other anxiety-inducing limits on my use for an indefinite amount of time (forever), I just create a healthy boundary instead with those things. Computer off at 5, unless something VERY pressing that I have no option but to complete at an opportunity after 5 (let’s say I forgot to pay a bill earlier that day that’s due by midnight). Tablet will be kept in a cubby I have in this little table next to my front door. That’s it’s ‘place’ and after 5 it gets turned off and put there when I’m home. The phone turns purely into a PHONE after 5, as well. Only to be used for calling and texting. ONLY. After 10:30 – it gets powered down and put away as well, with the tablet. I don’t need to call anyone after 10:30 except maybe Jeff, and in the unlikely case of an emergency I can just power it back up in a minute.
Something about this movie I watched last night reminded me of what it felt like during some warm years of my childhood when I was sort of starting to come of age, I guess, around 6th and 7th grade, and I didn’t use the computer yet except to play this stupid science game my mom got us. I didn’t use the computer AT ALL. And cell phones weren’t a thing back then, especially for kids. That was around 2000, 2001. So I wasn’t a small child anymore, I was maturing, but without a cell phone or computer. It wasn’t until the very end of 8th grade that I got into using the internet and the computer all the time to chat with people in AOL chat rooms, play Yahoo! Pool late at night and chat with people, and use MINDSAY! And I’ve basically been practically glued to technology since then. So my point is, I can recall what it was like to be in that mental space. For whatever reason, I don’t know if this happens for other people, but I always feel like when I watch a movie or something while high, I can really step into the characters’ shoes. I can really step into their perspective and almost see the situations in the film through their eyes. Which I guess is what the filmmakers are probably trying to do, and often you do have this sort of reaction while watching a movie anyway I guess, but when I’m high it becomes so much more of a real and emotional experience. And something about the movie I watched last night (The Great Gilly Hopkins – it’s on Netflix and I highly recommend it) took me into this mental space and it clicked as to how I could get back to that again. I remember my evenings in 7th and 8th grade, at the start of my adolescence – I’d come home from school, make myself a snack, watch a little TV or listen to music, go ride my bike or play with my little sister (yes, I straight up PLAYED outside up until my freshman year of high school – crazy to think of that happening today, seeing as it’s rarer and rarer even for little kids to go play outside these days), or if it was a Friday I’d call my best friend to see if she wanted to hang out that weekend. At bed time, my family might sit together and watch TV shows, then I’d get in bed and go to sleep. Sometimes I’d read a book in bed, or write in my journal, or just lay in my bed and think about life until I fell asleep. And life felt – full. Complete. Of course, I was still in the protective cocoon of my mother’s loving care, but now – I’m responsible for myself. My mother set these boundaries when I was a child – don’t eat too late, don’t stay up too late, don’t sit and do one thing for too long at once. Mother knew best. But it’s like, once the internet came into my life, that all went out the window. I’d stay up super late in 8th grade playing pool and chatting. And now that I think about it… that’s coincidentally right around the time I started self injuring a lot. I’m not saying the internet caused that, but I was having a hard time coping with some things going on in my life at that time, and the internet offered an escape rather than forcing me to sit with myself and try to deal with it all. Who knows, though, maybe without the internet I would have just “dealt” with it by going off the rails in some other way. Maybe that was better than whatever else I might have gotten myself into. Jeff spent his same years between 9th grade and high school graduation that I spent glued to screens, doing drugs, partying, and getting himself into trouble. Maybe I was better off.
The point is, my understanding on how the internet should fit into my life shifted last night while watching this movie for whatever reason. I want it to fit into my life like that computer game fit into my life when I was in 7th and 8th grade. I played it once in a while, for a little while, but it was only ONE part of my entire life. It didn’t pervade every moment of my day, all the time. The internet is a powerful, powerful tool. It’s amazing, but with how companies are building websites now, it’s seriously addictive for some people. Our devices are seriously addictive, I believe. Especially if you’ve been using technology for a long time – I’ve been glued to technology for coming up on 20 years soon – it can become difficult to remember what it’s like to live without it, to just be with yourself. Some people can allow themselves unfettered access and their lives aren’t harmed at all. But mine is. So this is my solution. No technology except for urgent/emergency purposes after 5pm. After 5, I can read, write, paint, play guitar, watch a movie, write in my journal, wittle wood, do whatever the fuck. I just can’t do any of it on an electronic device. Before five – I can do whatever on whatever device. I think that’s very reasonable. It doesn’t induce anxiety because I’m trying to restrict myself too much by saying “No more Facebook”, and I also think that the time I spend away from tech after 5 will help me to build up skills to not fall into a rabbit hole when I DO use it unfettered before 5.
To a lot of people this probably seems like I am WAY over thinking this. But I don’t really think I am. My perspective on my attachment to the internet and my relationship with it might be a little extreme, but I think it’s probably more likely just become such a problem for so many people that we don’t always see it. It’s become the new ‘norm’ and yet at the same time so many people are feeling more and more depressed these days.
We have to make time to engage with ourselves, give ourselves a chance to complete a thought, to wonder, to go through logicla processes to figure something out on our own before turning right to our phones for answers. To create our own answers, our own solutions, our own IDEAS. I started turning to the internet for EVERY question – even stuff in my life that’s highly personal and I should decide for myself, I wanted to read about the input and experience of others, so I’d Google it and read forums and stuff. But that didn’t allow me to sit with myself and discover how I FEEL about whatever it is. Other people’s perspectives can be really helpful and useful, but they should never replace our personal sense of agency in ANY way.
Anyway – I feel good about this, because it’s a solution, like I’ve already mentioned a few times before, that does not restrict my use in a way that causes me to feel anxious. It’s a gentle boundary, like the boundaries my mother set. It’s a boundary set not in anger towards myself, or shame – but with love and care. And that tone is important for living a positive life.
There's still a lot more I need to address, but I think I’m started on the right foot, and hopefully this new ‘boundary’ will be a positive boost to the other stuff I need to address.
Someone mentioned in the comments to my last post that having a routine is a good thing. That’s sort of what I came home from work last night in mind. I wanted to do a healthy routine for the night. I usually come home from work and hop on the computer. But I made a choice to avoid that, and to smoke a little and relax and enjoy a pleasant film instead. That clearly paid off. I keep using my late nights at work as an excuse for why my sleep schedule is off. But if I set boundaries for myself, there’s really no reason that should be happening. Come home, and instead of riding the wave of energy and stimulation I just got on during the close at work, I need to focus instead on winding down from the moment I get home, then going to bed – and ACTUALLY going to sleep! – at a decent hour. Last night I sort of layed in bed for a while, staring off into space, but I eventually fell asleep. I haven't had that happen in forever. Usually I keep myself awake until I can’t function anymore. That’s not healthy. I don’t need to fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow – it's okay to still feel ‘awake’ and lay in bed for a while before falling asleep. But getting into bed and not giving myself something to distract myself with is the first step to fucking GOING TO FUCKING SLEEP. lol
Okay. And I appreciate the understanding and encouraging comments from some of you. This is a great community and you’re wonderful people. <3
Was sitting eating lunch (well, they were eating their subway, I was finishing my coffee) with the other two preschool teachers. We were rambling about our classes and students and conferences…. that sort of “teacher talk”.
Not much later, Alan (our principal) walks in, next year’s tentative “schedule” in hand. (The schedule with which grades have specials and when, lunch times, etc….) He sits down and just chats with us about “teacher talk”/joins in our discussion. He doesn’t offer much else, we were talking a little about taxes and government funds, etc. I SWEAR I heard him say something about “your two classes…. unless we get more to sign up before the end of May” but I’ll admit I was also only half-listening, as sometimes what he says isn’t all that important. I wanted to ask for a clarification, see if I heard right, if that means I’m out my preschool position next year, or WHAT…. but I didn’t. As always, I kept my mouth shut.
Now I’m kicking myself for not asking for clarification.
I do know that he went to their room this morning/yesterday morning and talked about changing times for KEY (like an alternate-kindergarten program that our school offers). I wonder if he mentioned at that time to THEM that they were switching to only two sections of preschool and avoided telling me. I’m not sure.
But I’d THINK that he would inform me the minute he found out.
He DID come tell me when he knew of the possibility, so I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. But I’m no idiot. I DO know that I’m generally the LAST of the three of us to find anything out--- EVEN if it pertains to MYSELF or MY CLASSROOM. *UGH* I guess we’ll wait and hear “officially” what I’m doing. It’d just be nice to know sooner than later.
I’d prefer some extra time to prepare my mind for another grade level as well as prepare things such as professional development, classroom materials, etc.
All this wishy-washiness of our school district is exactly what irks me. I guess sometimes it can also be a blessing in disguise- depending on how you look at it. At this particular time, it’s not something I enjoy.
So I have had a rough month.
I am an objective person so let's look at the facts.
I slept till 2 pm every weekend and averaged 2 days a week at the gym. I ate fast food on average 3.5 days a week. Here's the two facts that were most convincing for me: I either cried myself to sleep or cried when trying to convince myself to get out of bed on average 3 days a week and I also gained 10 lbs. I don't cry. And I haven't gained weight in two years.
I then concluded that maybe it's time for a little medication.
I talked it over with my doctor and she suggested Zoloft because she said you can just quit it you don't have to wean off it and it sounds like this is an episode thing for me not a chronic thing. I agreed... I filled the Rx.... Then I went on line....
Um I read a lot of reviews and I know these things sort of work different for everyone but a lot of ppl even ones who liked it had kind of scary side effects. The ppl who liked it were mostly like "it sucked at first then it was ok" ummm... That's how I'd like to remember this time in my life not the treatment for this time in my life.
And most of them were like give it a month or two before you give up on it... Fuck.... I want a prescription because I already feel like giving the fuck up on it hahahah now I have to dig up more perseverance?!
Ironic side note I played a game w/family this weekend. They were supposed to give the title for if my life was a movie....
Dad titled it "The Impossible Dream" ... Mk... Didn't realize I'd set impractical goals for myself....
Stepmom called it "Someday she'll find him in a land far far away" ok... Sure...
She also said the best thing about being a dog would be you can lick your butt and not feel bad bad about it so.... Yeah....