June 30, 2020 at 10:40 am #360083
Good to read from you. I am fine, considering the end-of-the-world feel to this pandemic, as infection rates are up in the U.S., higher than since it all started (seems like such a long time ago).
“My perception of reality this week was very much rooted in shame but I was able to tell that this wasn’t true to reality”- this is what sanity is about, being able to tell the difference between how reality feels (subjective perception), and how it truly is(objective/ rational perception).
“my director of the lab asked a question about a sample and I answered honestly but I was very afraid of getting in trouble”- that’s the child Zeeza being asked a question by her mother, or her mother’s boyfriend, and being very afraid of getting in trouble.
“So it is like I am constantly looking for when or how I will be punished for doing the wrong thing”- we keep re-experiencing our childhood experience.. until we don’t anymore. I remember, a few years ago, I talked to a neighbor at the end of my daily walk and I felt intensely ashamed and inferior while talking to her, thinking/ feeling that.. she is thinking little of me. There was no objective reason for me to think/feel/ perceive it this way, she wasn’t disrespectful of me, and she looked very unkept, dirty old clothes, but I felt inferior nonetheless. Fast forward, when I talk to people, I no longer feel shame. I feel equal to them instead, what a relief! It just happened that my perception caught up to objective reality, sometime in the last couple of years or so.
Good to read your brother is doing better!
“After weeks of silence my ex texted me last night.. He wanted his soup bowl back”- for crying out loud, it’s just a soup bowl.. but it .. wasn’t about the soup bowl, was it. It was about Punching you (“I am blocking you and I hope this d** making you C***. I kinda hate you”- punch, punch, punch!
“I don’t have to respond”, no you don’t. Enjoy cuddling with your pets. I find much comfort with Hunter the beagle, he is so cute!
anitaJune 30, 2020 at 11:22 am #360086
I can understand the end of the world feeling with this pandemic. I haven’t spent much time outside of my house and work and it is hard to realize how different life is. What is helping me hold onto hope is the human trial vaccine that I heard about in March. They are working on this vaccine in Seattle by Kaiser Permanente. I haven’t seen anymore articles recently about it but the hope is to have mass distribution around January. In the mean time I am trying my best to always wear a mask and keep a distance. I hope your COVID thread is going well. I have read it a couple times to help me stay up to date because it is stressful to read it all in the news so thank you for keeping it in a space that is clear. I haven’t read it much recently because I am not prepared emotionally to read it. I just tell myself to do my best on my end by distancing and wearing a mask.
It makes me so happy that over the years it has become easier for you to have true to reality thinking. I feel like I am moving that direction because I can recognize when I am in that space and check the facts to verify what is going on in the present moment. This gives me hope. I keep reminding myself that I am not bad and that it is okay. It is healing to be able to zoom out and see the truth and I am so grateful for it. And yes I think his intention was to punch. I hope that is the end of that. Thank you for giving me space to vent about it. I did not want his words to sink in and sharing it helps it not keep spinning in my head.
Awe please give Hunter an extra hug for me 🙂
June 30, 2020 at 1:52 pm #360113
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Zeeza.
I will give Hunter an extra hug for you, promise!
I hope an effective vaccine will be available for mass distribution around January next year. And yes, until then “best to always wear a mask and keep a distance”, particularly in enclosed spaces (I don’t see a reason to wear a mask outdoors when socially distanced).
I didn’t know you read any of my Covid-19 thread, thank you for letting me know that you read it before and that it helped you a bit. I understand you not reading my posts there when you are “not prepared emotionally to read it”- you are not required to read any of it, of course. It helps me to post there, so I do. And I figure: it might help someone else, and if it distress anyone, the distressed person can choose to stop reading it at any time, and not visit the thread a gain.
I agree, you are moving in the direction “to have true to reality thinking”, and you have been moving in this direction for a long time. It makes me happy!
I too hope this is the end with the Punch man. You are welcome to vent anytime instead of letting Punch-words sink in.
anitaJuly 7, 2020 at 12:20 pm #360947
Thank you for giving Hunter an extra hug for me! I hope your week was fulfilling and you are well?
This week we had a lab meeting and the lab director gave me a kudos for getting deeply involved in my training. It felt nice to be recognized but also motivating to step more into my role by investing more time to learn. I made a list about things I want to learn and other activities I would like to do. It can be very difficult to know what I want so to have an inner drive tell me “hey I want to watch the sunset!” or being able to tell what food cravings I have is a night and day difference compared to not knowing what I want and feeling like nothing sparks an inner drive. I feel like I am having a stronger sense of identity.
I have been checking in with my friends in regards to how they are coping with COVID and one friend was having a hard time with employment but she was able to get a job at a grocery store. I sent her some money because I didn’t want her to go without food or anything. She didn’t ask and I realized maybe I was crossing boundaries in doing that so I asked her if it is okay and let her know that I am sure if our positions were swapped she would do the same. We have been good friends for about 12 years.
I find meaning in my life when I am able to connect and support others and feel supported as well. I also find meaning in my work. I am starting to find a more intrinsic meaning where I value my thoughts and vulnerability so that I feel loved on my own. I plan to paint a supernova today and I am excited to see how it all comes together. I hope you have the best day and thank you for being my friend 🙂
ZeezaJuly 7, 2020 at 1:02 pm #360955
So good to read your recent post. I am fine, and thank you for asking and for being my friend!
Good to read that the lab director recognized your good work, for being deeply involved in your training, and good to read that you are motivated to learn more, that you find meaning in your life, feeling more connected to others, supported and supporting of others, feeling loved on your own, and that you are experiencing a stronger sense of identity. Reading this makes my day!
It was generous of you to send your friend money, very kind. Reminds me that you talked about budgeting some time ago, I hope you are budgeting and managing your money well, see to it that you have enough before you give money away.
I bet the supernova you paint will be beautiful.
anitaJuly 14, 2020 at 12:27 pm #361693
I did start on my supernova and it is pretty so far. I am painting it on a block of wood so maybe I could turn it into a positive energy table if I give it legs. It could almost be a dinner tray with the size. Thank you for sending me encouragement. I definitely would like to finish it.
And Yes I am trying to be better about budgeting. I still have savings but I would like to get a new used car before my car breaks down. My dog is a senior citizen and I am having a hard time letting him out when he needs to specifically when I am sleeping. Yesterday he woke me up in the middle of the night to go out. He is a very good dog. However my sleep is so important that if I don’t sleep well enough I become so emotional. I started my day with a lack of sleep and felt negative voices coming into my mind. Such as ” I can never have a moments peace.” and I realized that these were things my mom use to say and an attitude my mom use to have and that I can have peace and snuggled my dog for an hour and since i couldn’t fall back asleep I went to work an hour early and brought donuts. Looking back now it was probably a bad idea to bring donuts for social distancing. At the time I thought it was okay since the donuts were picked out with tongs. I tried my best to move through this day with a positive attitude and reframe the negative self talk. I was very jumpy and emotionally reactive to incidents throughout the day. I think as a result of being distracted like this I made a mistake. It was a very simple mistake and one that couldn’t be learned from except if I double checked my work. I processed a data file from a previous day that was already processed so the hours I spent working on it was for nothing (except maybe practice?) my managers were solution oriented when resolving this issue and said mistakes happen. But my mind took this ammunition and I started to physically feel bad. I was trying so hard to be positive and I am really proud I didn’t cry or make a scene about it just said I hope I can work as efficiently as possible to resolve this issue and thank you for your patience. I tried my best to contain the feelings all day so I could work and release it all when I got home.
I wonder how I can not personally identify with my mistakes and successes where if I fail or succeed it doesn’t impact my sense of worth intensely. I am thinking the lack of sleep perhaps made me more susceptible to it but I am hoping to keep growing a connection with myself so that I can cope with mistakes better.
I want to get my dog a doggie door and perhaps fake grass on my back deck. I am thinking this will relieve stress on my dog and stress on myself. I feel so guilty when he needs to go out and I am not there (such as at work) or when I am sleeping. He is about 14 years old so I don’t blame him for not being able to hold things. Every 4 or 5 hours or so he needs to be taken out. I have a lot of guilt and fear of not being a good pet mom. I saw a flea on my cat and gave him a treatment. I don’t see any fleas on my dog but he recently had a treatment too. I think shampooing all my carpets, installing a back deck set up for my dog, and making a vet appointment is all in order. My dog’s teeth don’t look the greatest. He has a professional dental cleaning each year. Last time they had to pull some teeth. He is over do. When I try to brush his teeth I try to act like it is a treat and have him lick the tooth paste. But he doesn’t like to lick it and I tried switching to a different kind. I have tried giving him enzyme dental chews and food that is soft and firm mixed so he has something to be abrasive against tar.
I definitely feel what is different is that I am more solution oriented and not stuck in a helplessness mindset. I will do my best to keep problem solving and hold hope that it is possible. I have convinced myself that somethings are unsolvable such as I will always wake up in a state of fear or anger and I have learned to calm myself each morning and reset. I guess I am learning how to differentiate between acceptance and taking the initiative to problem solve. Sometimes it feels like the harder I try the more difficult it feels if I fail. It is like there is an underlying tone that If I succeed or fix this problem then I am not useless.July 14, 2020 at 1:08 pm #361696
A positive energy table with a supernova painted on it, what a delightful idea!
Too bad your dog woke you up in the middle of the night when your sleep is so important to you. Before I read your idea of getting a doggie door, I thought about it myself. I personally think that you are an excellent pet mom!
Negative self talk does tend to increase when we lack sleep. Like you wrote, lack of sleep made you “more susceptible” to feel bad/ worthless about making mistakes. Sometimes all we can do when not getting enough sleep, is to go very slowly about the day, do what we can to survive it with minimal damage.
Processing a data file twice is useful as practice. You did well not crying or making a scene at work, and I don’t see how bringing donuts to work is bad social distancing idea because people don’t have to rush all together toward the donuts.
“I am more solution oriented and not stuck in a helpless mindset”- I feel very good reading this.
“I am learning how to differentiate between acceptance and taking the initiative to problem solve”- you can start your initiative to problem solve with acceptance first, accepting that you will not problem solve perfectly, that you will make mistakes somewhere along the way, that you are useful (just not perfectly useful at all the time), and that it is possible for you to not feel badly when you make a mistake– be open to this possibility.
anitaJuly 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm #362292
Thank you for your words of wisdom I didn’t become very stressed out at the end of my week like I normally do. I did make mistakes but this time it didn’t feel like a threat of danger but just grateful to catch the mistake. I reflected and realized my self talk was centered around avoiding mistakes instead of encouraging myself to do my best. I was able to get better sleep mostly but did have a couple nights with only 5 hours of sleep and my mind didn’t become too susceptible to being stressed.
The doggie door hasn’t arrived yet but my dog is on a chicken rice diet and that seems to agree with his tummy better overall.
I am becoming more adapted to my new role. It can be a bit daunting to be looking at data for hours a day so I have been listening to music while I work and moving around when I can. I am trying to imagine what this would be like longterm. Sometimes my brain is fatigued afterwork and it is hard to make decisions so I am hoping my stamina will increase. I have been vigilant about taking scheduled breaks but most other people who do data review eat in front of their work. I eat outside. I felt a little bit of pressure to work through breaks since most people do but it is more important that I remain efficient by taking care of myself instead of trying to match others.
“you can start your initiative to problem solve with acceptance first, accepting that you will not problem solve perfectly, that you will make mistakes somewhere along the way, that you are useful (just not perfectly useful at all the time), and that it is possible for you to not feel badly when you make a mistake– be open to this possibility.”
This frameshift has been so helpful. Reminds me that as children we learn through play. Instead of looking at tasks as taking so much energy it has become more automatic to do my dishes regularly and not be met with resistance within myself. Problem solving is very much like the scientific method. Sometimes data supports the hypothesis and sometimes it doesn’t which is the fun learning part!
I pulled out my old audio equipment I use to play with and make music with. I haven’t finished the positive energy table yet. But it is nice to feel safe and supported enough where my inner child is coming out.
I woke up this morning with a message from my ex on social media. I blocked his phone. I didn’t open it. While I am driving I find my mind wandering to him it is like I can almost feel the anguish he is thinking towards me. I skip songs that play at work that remind me of him. Overall I am not thinking of him much unless I am driving. I have noticed that on Sunday Mondays I become very stressed sometimes in a PTSD state of fear trying to protect myself like how I was feeling afraid of mistakes last week. I am wondering if this emotional stress has become a habit of how it felt when I was still with him. Typically friday/saturday he would be on a drinking binge and then on my weekend we would be discussing what was said or I would be able to see him sober. So it was like a weekly cycle. So on that note it is nice to end the week on a positive note to have momentum for another wholesome week. I am curious to read his message but I am also remembering opening them hurt. and if I open it I don’t want to start communicating again. I think the curiosity comes from wanting to hear that he is doing better but I don’t have any hope that things would ever work out between us. Another part of my feels obligated to check in with him because we were close for awhile. I know nothing good would come from it so I am doing my best to not open it.
I wish to go swimming this summer and finally pick up a bathing suit. Maybe I can find an isolated beach. Have you been enjoying the summer?
ZeezaJuly 21, 2020 at 12:40 pm #362295
Yes, the summer is fine. I thought about you last Sunday because I was in Seattle, it was a very warm day and I had a very socially distant visit in the backyard of a house. Afterwards I walked through a beautiful community garden a very short distance away, within the residential neighborhood. There was an empty lot in between houses with homeless people living in tents, and that was an unusual sight for me (I’ve seen tents and such below bridges and such, but not within a neighborhood).
Good to read the progress you are making in regard to your mental health, a delight to read.
“I have noticed that on Sunday Mondays I become very stressed sometimes in a PTSD state of fear.. I am wondering if this emotional stress has become a habit of how I felt when I was still with him”- it’s quite obvious that no contact with the T of your PTSD- like condition is what needs to continue.
And emotional stress can become a habit. My therapist years ago called these kinds of habits, “habits of the mind”. Basically, these are biochemical habits, neurons and glands being in the habit of releasing stimulating chemicals, like adrenaline. Does this idea of biochemical mental habits fit with your studies in biochemistry?
“I don’t want to start communicating again. I think the curiosity comes from wanting to hear that he is doing better”- I don’t trust that he would tell you the truth if you did ask him if he is doing better. I do trust there will be a Punch somewhere along the way, and the feeding and strengthening of your PTSD-like mental habit. Like all kinds of habits, you can’t weaken a habit by strengthening it.
“Another part of me feels obligated to check in with him because we were close for awhile”- reads to me that you had moments of closeness with him, moments cut short by his verbal punches. Reads to me that his dishonesty and aggression did not allow a genuine, ongoing, dependable closeness (the kind of closeness that’s good for you, unlike the one interrupted by punches!)
anitaJuly 21, 2020 at 2:24 pm #362301
That is exciting that you were in Seattle! I don’t think I have seen a tent city in a neighborhood either. Maybe they help with a community garden? I often thought if I were to make a housing shelter I would make it so the roof of the building was a garden. The goal would be to design a building that runs on renewable energy and surrounded by healthy enough land to grow food. Rooting a sense of belonging where everyone can contribute.
Biochemical mental habits is fascinating. I tell myself building new neuron pathways is possible; new habits are possible. The brain has neuroplasticity and one can increase neurogenesis capacity. I have understood that this is done by exercise and practicing a new habit. Looking into further research what also helps increase the neurogenesis is meditation, learning new skills or doing/seeing something new, and of course eating well such as superfoods. My favorite superfood is blueberries 🙂
Trying to imagine how life would be or how I would function if I meditated and exercised. I think I have a better hold on a healthier diet which lets me have energy to exercise. You suggested a meditation website and so did my aunt. I think I will check them out. I use to play a sound generator drone to help meditate. It feels empowering to take accountability for my emotional mental habits because now that I am older I can recognize how much power daily choices have to shape the future even if it doesn’t appear that way immediately. Such as my choice to not be in contact with my ex. I am able to return to a state of peace consistently. When I am at peace I can contribute to life more.
I read my diary that I started last summer. It was meant to be a diary where I could just write and ramble whatever without it needing to make sense. I started it when I left him last summer. I was very manic and I tried to define emotions through colors and on one page I had wrote “aren’t all thoughts intrusive?” which just made me laugh. Each entry almost said the same thing overall though. I would go to this book when I felt like self harming or felt like my life had no meaning. I thought reading this dairy would be hard (thinking I would read my feelings about when I was dark) but instead I saw the same phrases over and over that I had attached to when I was about 19ish such as:
The moment you love you are unlimited.
The Time is now.
Whatever I can conceive, believe, I will achieve.
And I became attached to these type of phrases when I resonated with the idea that I could try to replace all my negative thoughts with positive ones. I just think it is odd that I had no idea I was almost writing the same entry each time. Perhaps sometimes it is better to try to write out all the positive constructive thoughts instead of writing out I feel like hurting myself. Because maybe while venting how I feel I am cementing it further.
At the same time being honest with how I feel is essential. Like learning how to have stronger boundaries. I wonder if this technique I had of repeating the positive phrases to direct myself is the same technique I used to maintain a positive view of the toxic relationship I was in. You are right to trust that punches will come if I do contact him again I trust that too. The closeness I thought I had was an illusion perhaps created by my attempt to repeat positive phrases to create a positive reality.
This reminds me of the placebo nocebo effect. The mind is a powerful thing! Thank you for helping me navigate true to reality thinking versus magical thinking and remembering the power of our beliefs.July 21, 2020 at 3:39 pm #362311
You are very welcome. No, the homeless people were not helping with the community garden. The individuals renting the plots in the garden are the ones growing their plants and working in the garden. It was wonderful to see though that no one was guarding the garden, a sign said to not pick any of the fruits and vegetables, and no one did. I like that very much.
New/ changed neuropathways are very much possible, the scientific study of it is called neuroplasticity. You mentioned blueberries- I had a blueberry, peach and apple crisp this very morning, freshly made this past Saturday.
Good to read: “Such as my choice to not be in contact with my ex. I am able to return to a state of peace consistently”- if you were in contact with him, no amount of guided meditations and blueberries could undo the increase in stress that such contact would cause you!
“Aren’t all thoughts intrusive?”- good point, except that when we are anxious we get scared of our own thoughts, perceiving them as powerful, running away from them. Mindful guided meditations are about understanding that thoughts are temporary mental events that come and go, so.. let them peacefully come and go instead of perceiving them as solid, dangerous entities.
I am just about to go on my walk. If you would like me to respond to anything in your recent post that I didn’t respond to (or on any other post, past and future), let me know, and I will.
“The time is now”- for my walk, that is!
July 31, 2020 at 9:59 pm #363413
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by anita.
I hope you are enjoying your walks and the summer. I’m crying but it is calming to just type out what’s going on. My dog hasn’t been eating much I can convince him to eat with chicken only. He was at the vet all day today to rule out parasites and pancreatitis? He got sick twice yesterday morning right as I was about to leave for work. He also got sick a couple days ago too. Anyways they have him nausea medication, and two other medications for digestive symptoms. He is on a prescribed wet food diet now it is suppose to be super easy to digest. He didn’t want it. Maybe tomorrow he will? It just makes me really sad when he doesn’t eat. At least I know he has chicken And rice and he can keep that down. The vet said she thought he might have a stomach ulcer because of certain blood counts. So I have an anti acid. He is getting his teeth cleaned on the 12th.
I called so many places to get him seen by someone. Thankfully He was seen. I just feel confused because I don’t know how unwell he truly is, like the degree of his ulcer (if this is the cause to his eating problems). I have had moments of relief like oh he is going to be alright everything is normal to be moving so sad that maybe some health problem I can’t control. I’d like to go with a reality that everything is going to be fine.
my dog and I belong together we are family. I just got real grass for him on my back deck and a litttle doggie door for my back deck patio. I thought it would relieve him of stress if he can’t hold anything for longer than two hours.
I’m grateful he can keep food down and I am going to soak up as much joy together as we can because love is what keeps us alive. I just don’t want to ever have to say goodbye to him ya know? Don’t think I’ll ever be ready for that.August 1, 2020 at 10:04 am #363463
You are doing everything you can for your dog/ your family. You got him real grass and a little doggie door and you feed him with cooked chicken and rice.. and you took him to the vet, you are doing all that you can do. Relax in this knowing.
And do post again soon, let me know how he is doing. I am guessing there is a follow up visit with the vet, to figure out if ulcer is the real problem?
anitaAugust 2, 2020 at 10:11 pm #363598
Thank you for your kind words. I was trying to slow down and take in what you are saying that I am doing all I can for him last night those words rang in my mind. He is doing a lot better! He ate more food tonight where he was much more hesitant and reluctant before. I think that maybe he had food poisoning from wet food (that shouldn’t of been on the shelf?) or from eating something bad? The only definitive way to know if he has an ulcer is with a endoscopy which is invasive. He was okay on his walks the next day after eating. I am so grateful. His stomach doesn’t look nearly as puffy as it did. He has an appointment on the 12th. I haven’t given him any of the medications. It is really hard to mix it in his food or to hide in a treat because eating in general has been hard for him I think because his teeth are bothering him and that is why he has a dental/comprehensive exam on the 12th. I don’t think he trusts wet food anymore which is why he wanted his dry food instead of the prescribed wet food. It was very difficult for me to get him seen with pandemic times. Thank you for listening and being there.
I hope you are well?August 3, 2020 at 10:39 am #363640
You are welcome. Maybe he suffered a bacterial or viral food poisoning- animals suffer infections no less than humans, even plants do. Good he’s back to dry food, less chances of infection with dry food.
Another sunny day here, north of you. I hope that you and your pets are enjoying the weather!