Maladaptive daydreaming

Ever since I was a little girl, & I mean YOUNG, I’ve always been daydreaming. I remember living in Alaska & being 2-3 years old & letting my mind just wander. I would create different scenarios, different characters, & be completely happy. I would sit in my room for hours & just look at the window & pleasantly sigh. I was a very lonely child so my mind was, at times, my only friend. Isn’t that funny? Only to betray me later in life. πŸ˜‰

It’s all good. I’m getting better. No need to be sad, right?

Anyway, it’s only recently I learned that this is called maladaptive daydreaming. “Mal” meaning “bad” but I don’t see it like that. I guess because it’s an escape? But to this day, I will find myself daydreaming. It doesn’t keep me from doing my job or other responsibilities so it’s not “mal” for me. It helps me relax, calm down, & unwind. When I can’t sleep, I’ll let my mind wander over to my happy place. I’ll imagine I’m at the beach with LH, sipping on the best old fashioned I’ve ever had. Or I’m on the couch with a good book & no distractions. Or I’m dancing & laughing with LC, who always makes me feel accepted just as I am. Different scenarios like that really help me.

So, for me, it’s not maladaptive. It’s “benadaptive.”Β  πŸ˜‰

I couldn’t decide which one I liked better so you get both! πŸ™‚

 

“The Doctor is In”

Feeling extra feisty & blunt today. Just head’s up – I’m probably not gonna make any friends with this post & I’m alright with that. πŸ™‚

For those who are unfamiliar with Peanuts & its characters, Lucy Van Pelt is a little girl who offers “psychiatric help” for mere pennies. Charlie Brown comes to her with some issue he’s concerned about. She offers (usually) helpful advice after he happily pays her fee. It’s a nice professional relationship. He gets help, she gets paid. Everybody wins.

I was thinking about these characters the other day. Some days, I feel like Lucy. There are several “friends” who I only hear from when they need help. Sure, they’ll feign interest in my life at first but inevitably it turns to all about them. “Hey, SC! How are you? How are things?… I need your advice on something.” Sigh, sure, what’s up? I’ll begrudgingly ask. It’s never just the one time. It’s every day, all about them, & I get no benefit from it. Not even $.05. πŸ˜‰

I don’t mind offering my opinion & help. I mean, that’s why I went to college & majored in psychology. However, I DO mind when I start feeling like a “free therapist.” Just like any other profession your friends may have, there’s a line between simple, free help & abuse. Don’t cross it. For example, you can ask your buddy who’s a mechanic if your carburetor is busted. Don’t expect him to fix it for free. Pay the man.

Please, don’t get me wrong. There’s a difference between venting & wanting to change & just being a whiny bitch. Venting doesn’t bother me. Never has. Sometimes you just need to get something off your chest & that’s fine. It’s healthy. Asking a friend for advice or to get their honest opinion on something you want to change is admirable. Many times they can see the answer you’re blind to. I love asking my friends & they open my eyes to something I hadn’t noticed.

HOWEVER

Daily whining, “woe is me” bullshit gets on my nerves after a while. Find an outlet or a therapist. Or both. I don’t want to hear every fucking day about your problems when I have a shit load of my own to deal with. Especially when they are the same problems you had last week, last month, last year. The issue is YOU. You don’t wanna change & you need to. Bitching about it doesn’t do shit. If you’re unhappy with your life & your situation, CHANGE IT.

You have the power to do that. Stop making excuses & wasting everyone’s time. It’s a victim mentality. Or worse, martyrdom. Hate your job? QUIT. Hate your partner? BREAK UP. Hate the way you look? EAT HEALTHY. C’mon now. You know this. You don’t need me to tell you what you already know.

And if you don’t know how, I’m more than willing to help. But I don’t help those who abuse it. This isn’t a “get out of jail free” card. You have to put in the effort & I’ll support you. If you throw a tantrum & expect a handout, you’re on your own. Bye, Felicia.

I was talking to Dr. G about this a little bit in therapy today. She said it’s good for me to distance myself with negative people. She said they are “emotional parasites & they will suck you dry.” Damn. That’s so true.

So between thinking about what she said, my own personal frustrations, talking things out with LH (God, I love her!), & feeling inspired from this book I’m reading, I decided to start applying these changes today. Again, I’m more than happy to offer you the best advice I can & I will stand by your side & support you as you work hard. I can recommend doctors, medications, things that worked/didn’t work for me, healthy outlets, & point you in the right direction. I’m always available via text, email, phone call, snail mail, smoke signal, whatever.

I will be there until the end. It’s up to you when that is.

Until then, this “doctor” is in. ❀

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December Goals

Last month of 2018! Let’s make it great!

– A snapshot –

SPIRITUAL:Β  6 β†’ 7
MENTAL: 6 β†’ 7
PHYSICAL: 6 β†’ 7
SOCIAL: 7 β†’ 8
CAREER: 7 β†’ 8
FINANCIAL: 3 β†’ 5
FAMILY: 7 β†’ 8

– The details –

SPIRITUAL: 6

  • I’ve been doing some reading, praying, discussing, research – basically, anything I can to work through some of this. As you know, I’m trying to wipe my spiritual slate clean & start over. I’m trying to keep things easy for now. Any deep spiritual topic is immediately turning me off so these are my baby steps.
  • GOAL: To continue to research & to take things at my own speed. Sorry, Rabbi, but I’m not there yet. And you know what? That’s okay. πŸ™‚

MENTAL: 6

  • I’ve been very strict with what I allow myself to get mentally committed to. For example, it’s not worth it to me to be sucked into some Drama Mama’s issue. They’re not gonna change & all it’s gonna do is stress me out. So pass.
  • GOAL: To continue to put my needs forward & to not be afraid to say, “no.”

PHYSICAL: 6

  • I took last week off for the gym. Between my wrist trying to fully heal & a few days of an upset stomach, I figured it was due. I went back this morning & dialed the weight down about 10%. I’m doing good. My wrist doesn’t hurt at all & my stomach is happy.
  • GOAL: To continue working out & to give myself permission to listen to my body & take time off as needed.

SOCIAL: 7

  • I have a really good group of friends. I feel like I’m finally creating real friendships with real people. Hopefully, I’m done with this flaky shit. By not engaging with others & that behavior, I think I’m naturally weeding them out.
  • GOAL: To look at my calendar & schedule times with some friends. If I don’t schedule it, it won’t happen & that’s sad. 😦

CAREER: 7

  • Things are going really well! Sometimes I have both Job #2 & Job #3 asking me to sub which is kinda nice. Nice to know that I’m needed. πŸ™‚ Too bad I can’t be in two places at once, right? I am subbing a good amount for the next few weeks so we’ll see how that goes.
  • GOAL: To challenge my students as well as myself before the winter break. Maybe offer some kind of contest? Hmm… I’m not sure yet.

FINANCIAL: 3

  • This has taken a hit. I’ve had a few hiccups with my pay & trying to get that all taken care of. I believe it’s all figured out now but it’s been pretty tight lately. I’m not a fan.
  • GOAL: To not give up! Keep trudging through this clusterfuck. Things will readjust here in another week. I can do this.

FAMILY: 7

  • This is one area that I feel really confident about. I’m really happy with how things are going!
  • GOAL: To use this holiday season to slow down & to love on my loved ones

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My love for villains

When I was a little girl, I used to get so annoyed with watching Disney movies. The damsel in distress was always some white blonde with blue eyes. The villain was always some olive-toned brunette. I would get irritated & say, “Why does the girl who looks like me evil?”

Representation matters, people.

I always felt the “villains” were misunderstood. Maleficent was publically rejected so no wonder she acted out. I would too. Triton fucked over Ursula so she saw an opportunity to fight back. Again, I can see it. And Shere Khan going after Mowgli? He’s a fucking tiger. That’s what they do!

It wasn’t until I was freshly 11 years old when I felt what I assume other children of Aryan races felt by Disney movies. I watched “Beauty & the Beast” & was immediately captivated. Belle was a brunette who loved to read & was judged by everyone else around her. Same, fam. Here was a heroine I could relate to.

The next year or so, Aladdin came out. Another brunette – of color, no less! – but Jasmine was portrayed as this glorified sex kitten to be married off at 16. Sad trombone. Not at all what I was looking for.

But Belle! She & I had instantly connected. I had the Barbie couple set (Again, a Barbie that wasn’t a blonde was huge for me) that I played with nonstop. I watched the VHS so much that it wouldn’t play right. I had books, cassette tapes, sticker books, & any other form of print media I could get my hands on. I started to wear my hair in a low pony with a blue ribbon around it. If I had a blue dress, I would wear it out.

I couldn’t get enough.

But time moved on & new movies came out. Once again, I didn’t relate with any of the characters (until Mulan came out like the badass motherfucker that she is!). Belle is still the one for me. Even typing this out, I have a Funko Pop of Belle in her iconic blue dress on top of my monitor. πŸ™‚

But she is the only heroine in the midst of villains. There are some I still feel a connection towards. Morticia & Wednesday Addams are serious goals even though they’re not technically villains. Megamind & Elsa in “Frozen” speak to my soul like no one else.

Of course, Maleficent is up there really high for me. I felt like she was cast out among the village just for being herself. Then when she shows up for the birth of the new princess, she gets some major attitude. What the fuck, right? She’s venturing out & trying to socialize.Β And so, she’s like, “Fuck it. Y’all want to be dicks? Fine. Suck on this.” and goes HAM.

God, I LOVE IT! Power, man. It’s like a drug. I can totally see her lashing out & just feeding off of their fear.

Sigh… Just perfect.

Get your revenge, Maleficent. Show them who’s boss.

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My religious experience

It’s a quiet Sunday morning here in the Midwest. It snowed a few inches so everything looks clean & pure. My house is quiet & dark. Ahh…I love mornings like this. I don’t have to go anywhere & I can just be.

If this was a few years ago, I would be waking up to go to church. I would be shlepping my ass & looking for any excuse to stay home. Why, as an adult, I needed to find an excuse is complicated. I’ll do my best to explain it…

In 2009, I moved back to the Midwest from the East Coast. I immediately started to go to this church (for privacy’s sake, let’s call it X). Let me start off by saying I don’t believe there is a perfect house of worship. I think you find a place that best lines up with your beliefs & you go with that. At the time, X was it. There were some differences but I didn’t think they were too major (at the time) so I just ignored it.

After a few years, X announced they were going to dive into media. That’s when everything changed. Pride was prevalent & suddenly it became important that you “acted right” when the cameras were on you. I had an assigned seat. Seriously. I was expected to be there all the fucking time with no regard to my work or personal life. Slowly but surely, I noticed how I was changing. I was saying things I didn’t believe but I wanted to please the pastors, whether they heard it or not. I was no longer concerned with doing what God wanted but rather what X wanted. To say I was manipulated is an understatement.

Within the last year or so of being there, SO & I had checked out. We were done. I vividly remember one Sunday during service & we were both like, “Why are we here?” We were going through the motions but we no longer believed their rhetoric. Some issues had just gotten ridiculous. It reminded me of the Spanish Inquisition – convert or die.

We knew it was just a matter of time before we were gone. At the time, we didn’t know that we would be kicked out within a week.

There was a personal instance that erupted the next week. The pastors told us to fall in line & do what they wanted. As adults, we respectfully said no. The issue was handled on our end. It just wasn’t what THEY wanted (even though it had nothing to do with them). Their so-called love for us stopped dead in its tracks. We were blocked, unfriended, shunned, & kicked out. Our jaws hit the floor.

Being broken from how I was treated, I started to go to Y Church. A few friends of mine from X also left around the same time but for their own reasons. We were all kinda spiritually bored & weren’t happy with various issues. One friend was getting divorced & was literally kicked out & was told they weren’t welcome there. Another sent cards & poured their heart out only to be ignored as if their 10-15 years of service meant nothing. Another friend was hurt at the treatment of others & they didn’t nothing to heal them. It was a very difficult time for all of us.

Anyway, I started to go to Y. I really liked them. Unlike X, they were a bigger church so I could hide & be alone. This was the first church I had found in my whole life that actually practiced what they preached. I knew Y would be a great healing center for me but I also knew it wasn’t going to last forever. I felt like it was my “spiritual rehab” if that makes any sense. The difference between X & Y is staggering. Night & day, really. For the first few months, I would just sit in service & cry.

I went there for about 2 years. I felt like I was well enough & I wasn’t getting that much from service anymore. It was time to move on. It had nothing to do with the people or the teaching or the church itself. It’s still a wonderful place & I do recommend it. For me, I knew it was a “rest stop.” A place for my soul to heal in a safe environment.

During this time, I was also making my peace with who I am as a person. I got the tattoos & piercings I felt like I wasn’t “allowed to have” (X had twisted Scriptures to support their beliefs regarding anything & everything they had a personal vendetta against. Everything from Islam to body modifications). I made peace with my sexuality & no longer felt like I had to hide who I am or constantly repent because I was attracted to someone. I went from a closeted left-leaning Libertarian who was told which Republican to vote for to a free woman who could do whatever the fuck she wanted. I went from failing to hide my mental illness & crashing hard to realizing I needed medication & got the help I needed to be mentally healthy. I went from being unable to celebrate & unsure of my culture & identity to fully embracing my Jewish heritage.

After Y, I had six or so months of not going anywhere or doing anything. I was a PK (pastor’s kid) so I’ve been raised in the church my whole life. I was burned out. I needed a breather. Then when I was ready, I knew that I wanted to pursue this Jewish side of me. And so, I dove in & found a great Temple. I don’t see myself here for life but for now, it’s been really good for me. I’m getting a lot out of it & I look forward to going.

“So from Christianity to Judaism…what do you believe?”

You know, I’m not sure. Some topics aren’t as black & white as they used to be. This is what I was discussing with the rabbi. The more research I do & the more I learn about the culture, the clearer the picture gets. And for now, that’s the best way I can describe it. It just clicks with me. Something deep inside of me is like, “Yep. This is it.” So that’s what I’m doing.

I think “Messianic Jew” is the closest to what I believe. Some issues are more Jewish leaning & others are more Christian leaning. I felt discouraged after meeting with the rabbi because I got the impression that I needed to be completely on one side or the other. But, to me, that’s not life. There will always be grey areas.

On top of all of that, there are some “hippie-dippie” issues that interest me. πŸ˜‰ Again, this is an area that was shunned my whole life. As an adult, I’m doing my own research & finding what works best for me. I do find some of it to be eye-rolling but others have really helped me. This is an experience I wouldn’t have had because it wasn’t “allowed.”

I think this is the trick to spirituality. We tend to be pigeon-holed into one belief & blind to the fact that there is common ground among most beliefs.

You don’t have to reject yoga & meditation because you’re Lutheran. You don’t have to reject burning sage in your home if you’re Hindu & it helps you. If praying to the saints makes you feel calm & at peace, then do that.

Regardless of your religion, you do you. Don’t worry about others. This is YOUR life. Live it as you see fit. ❀

A very simplified chart but it at least gives you a good idea of what’s out there πŸ˜‰Β 

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Consistency

In my last session with Dr. G, I was explaining to her how I wanted to be at the finish line now. I don’t have time or patience for this “process” to work out. πŸ˜‰ She smirked at me & told me, “That’s not how it works.”

Dammit, Dr. G. Why not? πŸ˜‰

She also said:

You’re making a lot of positive changes in your life. I know you want to be better now but studies have shown a slower process is more likely to be permanent. And we want this to be permanent. Just stay consistent & you’ll see the changes.

Huh… okay, she’s right…

I don’t need to set up these crazy goals. I just need to keep moving forward. I’ve got good traction. I’ve got great momentum going. I don’t need to kill it but setting myself up for failure.

Dr. G told me to scale back my goals. I need to take things slower. So, in following her advice, that’s what I’m gonna do. She said it’s the little daily changes that’ll build up into something wonderful.

All I have to do is be consistent. Keep drinking a lot of water. Keep taking my vitamins & meds. Keep going to the gym. Keep making good food choices (or start making better choices – let’s be honest, SC). Keep giving yourself permission to rest. Keep laughing & loving others. Keep eliminating drama-mamas & their stress.

Just. Keep. Going.

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One to ten

Probably close to 10-12 years ago, I stumbled upon this self-help website.

God, I hate that phrase. “Self-help.” It sounds so desperate. Makes me think of this scene in Sex & the City.

Anyway, this site was a 90 day (?) free online course on turning your life around. I was deeply depressed & broke & lonely. So I did it. I got a lot out of it & there are some tactics I still use to this day. πŸ™‚ Honestly, I was thinking about thumbing through it again if I can find it.

One of the tasks they have you complete daily is to rate how you’re feeling on a scale of 1 to 10. It sounds tedious, sure, but this had helped me out the most. Seeing my day to day numbers change & slowly increase (overall πŸ˜‰ ) was very encouraging. So on day 38 or whatever, I could look back & be like, “No, I am making progress.”

They had me rate in ALL areas of my life which at the time felt very overwhelming. Now, I just do a general once over. How am I feeling today? Some days I feel like an 11.Β Other days, I’m barely a 1. But I still push myself forward & aim to be a little stronger the next day.

Challenge: Try it out for a week & see what happens. It’ll make you more aware of your overall mood & energy. But, you know, in a good way. πŸ˜‰

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Quick Update!

I wanted to give you two quick updates!

WRIST

So, as you know, my wrist has been hurting for about 2 weeks. On Wednesday, I had a massage. I told JS that I did something & it hurts to move it. She spent some time giving a “therapeutic massage” (painful) to my arm. She said it was very tight & the extensor muscles in my forearm were freaked out. “Just keep moving it. If you keep it still, it’ll hurt more.”

Well, fuck. I’ve been keeping it still. Ugh.

So it did feel a lot better (75%?) but still a little sore. Then early yesterday morning, I woke up to 3 loud pops in my arm. Holy shit. That hurt. But funnily enough, my wrist felt better. I guess everything popped back in place?

I’m still slightly sore but I’m sure that’ll relax with time. I’m probably at 90% so I’m gonna make my peace with it for now & hope for the best. It still kinda pops so I’m sure it’s not quite in place yet.

I bought wrist straps to use at the gym. I tried them out this morning. It’s a little awkward for me because I’ve never used them before. But it was a lot easier to grip the bar & I felt like I had good control.

MINI REWARDS

I met up with Dr. G. She’s so cool. πŸ™‚ I was telling her how I’ve been struggling with self-discipline regarding my physical health. She made a great suggestion. She knows I’m all-or-nothing & how I set myself up for failure. She told me to give myself little mini rewards. Whether if that’s daily or weekly or whatever I want, I need that incentive to keep me going.

All day long, I did what she told me to do – take a few minutes to think things through before you make a decision. Yes, it may taste amazing but if you know it’s gonna fuck with you, don’t do it. It’s not worth it.

I rewarded myself last night with 2 cuppas of my favorite tea. And you know what? It felt great. No guilt or regret. I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself of anything. I stayed on task all day & met my goal. I’m really proud of myself. I’m gonna keep this going. πŸ™‚

She spent the last few moments of the session reassuring me that I deserve success. She didn’t have to do that but I’m glad she did. πŸ™‚

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Confronting My Issues: Self-discipline

TR is the bee’s knees!

One of the greatest struggles I have is self-discipline. I’m not sure why but we’re working through it in therapy. Like most of my issues, I’m sure it stems from my childhood. Thanks, Mom & Dad! *sarcastic thumbs up*

There are some things that I’m right on the money with. You don’t have to tell me twice. Sometimes, not even once because I’m already on it. πŸ™‚

But there are others that seem like an uphill climb. My inner drill sergeant is a real hard ass. She doesn’t let me get away with shit. πŸ˜‰ She’ll beat me up if it’s not perfect. Again, working through it with Dr. G.

What has helped a lot is Mel Robbins’ “5 Second Rule.” Basically, make a decision & execute it within 5 seconds. It doesn’t sound like much but OMG. It has helped me out so much. I don’t wanna give away a lot as her book does a much better job of explaining why we get in our own way. But I did want to take a moment to share what has been helping me out. I still have a long ways to go with my discipline & follow-through, but I’m on the right path.

Dr. G says it’s good for me to recognize it & that she’s really proud of the progress I’ve made so far. I told her how I want results NOW & she said, “That’s not how it works. These things take time.” Ugh, time. I hate that. I wanna be fixed now. Is that so much to ask? πŸ˜‰

Anyway, while I’ve been working on that, I’ve reviewed these pictures a few times as a reminder. May it help you as it’s helped me. πŸ™‚

5-4-3-2-1 GO!

Sage wisdom!

Mel-Robbins

Let’s do it!

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I fold

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before but I think it bears repeating.

I. Don’t. Play. Games.

I never have & I never will.

I’m not clairvoyant. You have to tell me what you’re thinking & feeling. I can make presumptions, yes, but if I get those wrong, it’s your job to correct me. Don’t get all passive-aggressive & then be upset because I didn’t ask you how you wanted me to. Bitch, I don’t have time for that bullshit. Say what you mean & what you’re thinking. Life is too short for that nonsense.

There’s nothing really in particular that made me think of this today. It’s just something I’ve noticed in my life within the last few years. I think it started around 4 years ago when I was kicked out of my church. That’s when I started to realize that I was exhausted all the time from trying to please others & failing horribly. They were all playing the game & I didn’t know the rules. And so, I folded. I bowed out. I walked away from the table. And I’ve never regretted it.

Since then, I find myself getting more & more honest. I’m listening to my inner voice, gut, intuition, whatever you want to call it. I’m happier, more confident, & in touch with my own power. And I’m getting stronger every fucking day.

To be clear, I’m not an asshole. I still exercise some tact & I will be gracious. I just don’t jump through hoops anymore for others’ entertainment. This tigress will not be tamed.

And once I’ve made that decision, all of the petty people come out of the woodwork. Like roaches, they scatter when the light hits them. They like their dark corners full of whispers & lies. The truth exposes them for who they really are.

I’ve been accused of damn near everything under the sun. And you know what? I don’t give a fuck anymore. It used to really sting but now it’s more of an annoyance. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “What did I do now?” to someone. It gets ridiculous.

And so, I don’t play. I’ve lost friends, family members, relationships, & almost a few jobs because I refuse to be a pawn in someone else’s game. Is it difficult? Do I struggle? Do I end up alone? Absolutely. But I would rather be alone & happy than surrounded by fake people & miserable.

You be you. People will talk & let them. They can’t handle your power. It’s not for the weak – only for the strong. And you, my friend, are the strongest. ❀

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