Tag Archives: motivation

thoughts and ramblings… (apologies for this wall of text)

I had my usual appointment with TM today. I struggled to explain to her what was different about this weekend. She asked what the motivators were for my change in attitude. I couldn’t put my finger on the tiny “half-spark” of internal motivation for the change, but I also could not adequately describe the difference in external motivators either. At one point, I tried to explain that I disliked being a cause for concern. I don’t think I explained the “why” behind that very well though… Just now, reading through an older post from another blog I follow, I found a wonderfully concise and accurate description:

“I have always reacted badly to emotionally affecting other people; it’s like I should exist as a neutral entity. Especially when it comes to people who matter to me.” ( blogged about it in this post from last year)…

I’ll have to try to remember this the next time I see TM.

Anyway, we talked about the weekend, and she challenged me to find what it was that allowed for that tiny bit of internal push to change how things turn out. I kinda thought about it already while running errands on the way home… I don’t think she will like the answer (though maybe she will be able to put a positive spin on it): Since I don’t have a fool-proof, guaranteed-to-work method to kill myself, I might as well work to make the interim as pleasant and productive as possible. If I’m in crisis and falling apart at the slightest sign of stress, I will certainly not be making the most of this time I’m “stuck” here. I will also never progress past the initial “dump” of info in therapy. I need to be able to get past this point.

To that end, TM pointed out what should have been obvious to me but wasn’t: I’m still pretty depressed. We talked about what my barriers are to accomplishing even the simplest things. I had reported to her Friday that I had tried several times between Tuesday and Friday  to go to the beach without any success. She wanted specifics around what had me turning around. I explained that it should have been easy enough for me to go, since I always have a “beach bag” in the car (shirt, shorts, blanket, towel, bathing suit). I could simply head out and either change when I got there, or go in jeans and change into dry shorts after. But I would get stuck on all the steps needed to make it to the beach. Sometimes I would start to go, get much of the way there, then turn around because the remaining effort was just too much. The slightest hinderance to making the full journey (which is really only about 6 miles or less, and maybe takes 20 minutes) had me losing my resolve to go. It became overwhelming to think of having to make all those turns, go through all those lights, find parking, gather my stuff, walk “all the way out” to the water, find a spot to consider “mine” or walk along the shore… And if I decided to go in the water, I would have to make sure my stuff didn’t blow away, and my valuables were safely hidden, and battle the waves to get to a point where I can just chill… It was so much easier to just turn around and go home. (I also described my thought process around going to the mall several weeks ago to exchange my bra. She was surprised at how far I broke it down, and admitted that having to think about doing all that would exhaust her also). She agreed that my miles-long list of “steps to get there” could seem to out-weigh the single acknowledged gain. This was where she pointed out “what [I] probably already know, but…” that’s all depression talking. I sometimes forget that depression can also manifest as a lack of energy or enjoyment from things. I’m so used to it being a horrid, hopeless, lifeless mood that as soon as the mood lifts a bit, I don’t see the depression anymore. I think the universe has been trying to bring this to my attention of late. Not only has TM now pointed it out, but I had followed a few forum posts where it was suggested that the poster still was experiencing depression despite the lack of depressed mood. It was more of a behavioral presentation. If I take an honest look at myself lately, I have to admit I’m still obviously depressed. Not only do I find it incredibly difficult to motivate around anything or take enjoyment out of what used to be enjoyable activities, but I also actively battle a higher intensity of “self-destruct” thoughts than would be considered my baseline… So much for moving past the depression. :sigh:

Anyway, she left me with cognitively challenging homework this week (a good balance to the emotionally challenging timeline from last week). I’m supposed to document (timeline or otherwise) some happy/good events in life. I laughed at her and said it would probably all fit on a post-it, compared to the large piece of brown paper I brought the other timeline in on. We laughed, then commiserated on the salience of negative or traumatic memories as opposed to positive/happy ones. I pointed out that we probably wouldn’t have gotten very far in the history of humanity if we forgot tigers might rip our arms off when we tried to cuddle them in the forest. She laughed at that. I like that we have a similar sense of humor, and our thought-process is somewhat similar. I again almost asked her if I could take her with me when I moved…

The other piece of homework was more of a reflective exercise: to figure out what happened to give me that internally motivated little half-spark of hope that helped me get through the weekend. That is so much more challenging. I can easily figure out the external motivators: L, the animals, not wanting to wind up in the hospital, not liking the feeling of causing others to worry or be concerned… easy-peasy. Internal factors though? maybe the discomfort with causing worry? (because it has changed somehow from not feeling worthy or deserving of worry, to disliking the feeling I get within myself when others say they are worried. I know I’m not describing that well, but…). So yeah, I dunno. This one may take me forever to accomplish.

On another note, though TM offered the possibility of a scheduled phone check-in, we ended with leaving it up in the air. I told her I really wanted to prove to myself that I can be self-sufficient (because I used to know how to do that at one time). She made it a point to say that neither calling nor not calling her would mean a failure of any kind. I’m glad she has been listening to all my fears, lol. While I still am seeing calling her as a failure, I will keep playing her statement over and over again in my head. Regardless what happens this week around seeking support, I will not have failed… (some day, I might believe that).

 

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today’s grounding activity: the beach (more pics added)

wpid-20150223_162516_024.jpgSo, in an effort not to sleep all day today, I dragged myself kicking and screaming to the beach (not really, but damn near close to kicking and screaming, because all I wanted to do was curl up in bed all day)… I plopped in the sand for a while, then decided to take a walk down south to try something different. I walked just over 5 miles total, and it was nice. The beach was mostly empty since those up north got screwed out of February vacation. I plugged my music in, rolled up my jeans (yes, I went to the beach in jeans…), and trucked it up and down the shore. I had wanted to go from pier to pier which would have given me an 8 mile round-trip, but I turned around just after 2.6 miles. My lungs were starting to hurt.

Along the way, I thought I passed De running with a friend. I couldn’t tell for sure, but it might have been her. The woman smiled, waved, and said hello to me. No one else on the beach did that, so I’m assuming she knew me or thought she knew me. It would have been easy for her to recognize me because I have a pretty distinctive and large dragon tattoo on my right leg… I know De is a runner, and at one point we had discussed her penchant for running on the beach at least a few times a week… I’m not sure if I really want to know whether or not it was actually her. On the one hand, it would have been nice to see her, on the other… ugh. transference city. So I stared at the sand as I walked past her a second time. I did turn to look afterwards, but the hair seemed too light in color… :shrugs: I dunno…

Anyway, the beach was fun (let’s ignore that every other step came with the thoughts: I wonder if there are sufficient rip currents today? If I wandered in fully clothed, could I drown myself? If I push myself hard enough on the beach, can I induce an asthma attack or cardiac issue that would mean my death? – coz let’s face it; I don’t think I’ll ever be free of those types of thoughts. As that Hyperbole & a Half panel states: It’s not that I want to necessarily *kill* myself, I just want to become dead somehow).  I then treated myself to ice cream. I had thought about sushi, but the place was more expensive than the $4 ice cream (or at least that is what I am going to tell myself. shhh….)

I watched the sunset while eating my ice cream, and I chatted with L through text. It was a nice change of pace; that “pattern interrupt” that TM was looking for. Thank you S.G. (of Girl in Therapy) for convincing me to go! ❤


giant, huge, enormous walls

I managed to sit for 5 minutes today (at L’s insistence and with the help of a timer).  I could not stop my mind from racing and jumping and just generally running amuck to escape trying to be still.  This lack of “stillness” is causing huge walls to barricade me from any progress in therapy.  When I try to sit and just “rest” without thinking of a million and one things, my head resists, and I don’t end up with much effort put forth in changing that.  I think I have grown lazy.  I just don’t put much effort into anything anymore.  I do what I want, when I want, and without much regard to anyone else.  It’s messing with me & L, and I’m sure it’s messing with me & mom.  I need to take a step back.  I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing with my life.  I need to step up and return to volunteering (at least it forced me to do something).   I need to stop being so selfish and self-absorbed.  And I need to stop running from myself.  The world will not come tumbling down if I stop running from whatever it is I’m afraid of facing.  I have supports, and I have resources (albeit not the best ones) for extra support if needed.  I just need to stop and breathe.  I need to not only remind myself of this, but also put it into practice.  I think I have inadvertently given myself permission to slack off way too much.  Time to kick things into gear again and start working.  I not only have a ton of work to do in therapy, I have a ton of other things to do as well (art, animal care, cleaning…).  Just because I don’t currently hold a paying job does not mean I can allow myself to continue to be this dead-beat wife.  Get off your fat, lazy ass and do something already.  Take the dogs for walks, clean the house, find the missing cat, work on training, work on art, try to find a part-time job.  Get over yourself and DO something! (just don’t crumble, coz then you are truly worthless).


I admitted something I never expected…

… and it’s not what you may think: I told my wife that I had actually seriously considered giving up our little dog on more than one occasion.  The people who know me in real life would know how incredibly out of character this admission is, but the rest of you may not quite get the full impact.  My animals are my children, and my dogs are held highest of all of them.  My little dog (we shall call him “Fred” to protect his real identity) is joined at the hip to my lab.  He would not know how to survive without her (he is a totally different dog when he is separated from her, shaking and moping even when it’s just for a few hours).  When he’s near her though, he is a little punk.  He has been known to kill cats, and will try for the kill any chance he gets.  We had managed to get that under a measure of control a while ago, but he’s back to his antics again (totally our fault).  Recently, out large male cat has decided to move in with a couple at the other end of the neighborhood.  We think this is because a few weeks ago, Fred managed to slip between my legs and chase the cat, most likely cornering him and hurting him in some way.  After that incident, the cat refused to return to the house.  Today, we had to go pick him up after the couple trapped him in their garage.  I feel bad for him (and our other cats).  They are social.  They miss spending time with us.  They miss the cuddles, and so do I.  I really love Fred, but he’s such a pain in the butt.  I won’t actually move to give him up (I would also be forced to give up the lab who happens to be my favorite dog), but I just need to remind myself that consistency matters a lot, especially with Fred.  There are some dogs you can be more lax with, but then there are the ones that will become a menace if allowed to take any hint of leadership.  Sadly, we give Fred a lot of room to walk all over us.  I need to remember what my trainer friend told me and keep him on a short leash (figuratively).

Knowing that I admitted out loud that I have considered re-homing Fred has messed with my head a bit.  Like I said, my dogs are my kids.  To seriously think of giving one up has only ever been admitted when I was suicidal.  I have moved more times than I can count to be able to keep my pets.  I have bent over backwards and given up a lot to have them in my life.  To know I actually thought of re-homing that little punk because he upsets the rest of the family dynamic has my head spinning…There’s a voice in my head screaming at me; telling me I’m worthless and useless and I just don’t care.  There’s judgement beyond belief for even having the thoughts.  There’s fear and resentment, and there’s anger.  The anger comes not only from what other people think of all the animals, but also from my changing attitudes.  They still fill a void, but I’m finding that they also create a whole lot of drama.  My depression makes it hard to motivate to do anything beyond the basics for them.  They are going stir-crazy, and we are all slacking on the training (especially for the puppy).  I find myself becoming angry at them for misbehaving when it’s all my fault for not being consistent and giving them what they need.  I’m turning more and more into my father, and I hate myself for it…

I look around myself and see all this material crap that I really don’t want anymore.  It feels like all of this is weighing me/us down.  I wish I didn’t waste money on a lot of this crap.  I wish I didn’t have piles and piles of “junk” lying around… I wish I had motivation to take care of things.  And I wish I knew how to remember to save money.  The animals need more flea stuff, and they need to get out of the house.  If I had the money, I would have gotten the puppy training also.  There are a bunch of behaviors I just don’t know how to tackle anymore, nor do I have the energy to try.  The same with Fred.  And I hate myself a lot.  I know I made this commitment to them, but I’m not following through…  I know the steps to take for some of it, but the energy and motivation disappear quickly.  The more I fall into the cycle of wanting to do things but failing, then being hard on myself for it, the more I just feel like crap about everything. I start spiraling down a litany of things that I see wrong with myself: my weight, my social life, my motivation, my lack of working, my self-worth, my worth to others… De is right that I get trapped in my thinking and it just makes everything worse.  But then there’s that tiny voice in my head that whispers possible solutions… Maybe it’s time to start with baby steps to fix things…


More of the same

Today’s session was… I don’t even know.  I was all over the place.  She tried to get me to focus on things, but I kept jumping topics.

I wish I could learn to stop talking in metaphor. I think I would be able to communicate much better that way. But some stuff is just too scary to say outright, so I do the best I can with the words I can say. I was able to tell De what I had written last night: that I love my life but hate my head.  She tried to get me to figure out what it would be like to be out of my head. I think she might want to strangle me at times because I can’t figure things out.  I have no real idea what it would look like to not be stuck internally all the time.  I don’t know what it’s like not to have an escape plan at all times. I don’t know what it feels like without an underlying depression. I know D would say that I may not have felt that way in the past, but it’s not an indicator of the future. I was able to parrot that to De. I also told her that I’m not sure I believe it though.  We talked some about some CBT techniques, and tried to pinpoint what it would take to get me to start to change my thinking. I would start to tell her my experiences with various CBT ideas and then get distracted and talk about something else.  She tried her best to keep me on topic. She also mentioned a few times that to be able to get me out of my head, we will likely need to go deeper in first. Oh, I was also able to express my concerns over her idea of distraction being really good and a sign that I am doing ok. I told her about the stuff that always goes on in the background and how I’m able to function even while falling apart.  It was a survival skill back in the day.  Now it just serves to keep me from getting what I need because I look totally together from the outside. I think she knew what I meant when I said that.  She again underscored telling her if I needed the extra support. That’s when the speaking in metaphor screwed me up again. I’m on that edge where I could likely use the added support, but don’t desperately need it right now (though that could change over time). I wasn’t quite able to be direct about that.  I always worry about being too much and asking for too much. It keeps me from asking for anything most of the time. It also keeps me from accepting help when it’s offered. My mom said she would fill out the Medicaid application for me if I wanted her help.  The stubborn and independent part of me rejected the offer, though I have no motivation or energy to do it on my own.  I just don’t want to be more of a bother than I already am…

Anyway,  De and I also talked about the ever-present depression and suicidal ideation.  Well, I tried to explain it to her a bit, but again I got off topic pretty fast. We ended on the idea of trying art therapy next week.  She will try to get the room, but if it’s booked, we will just do regular stuff. I know I need a better way to express all this.  I’m hoping the art therapy prompts work…

The anxiety about falling asleep is back.  This time I’m worried that I will not be able to fall asleep (though I’m pretty tired right now, my brain is in over-drive), or I won’t sleep well, or I won’t be able to wake up in time. More likely, I will be really tired come morning and having to take the puppy out when L leaves for work just wakes me up. I manage to be unable to fall back asleep until about the time I have to wake up. It’s really frustrating.   Tonight I stayed up because I had to finish a photo book layout so we can order it tomorrow (the day the offer for getting it free expires). I just have to have L take a look at what I did and see if she likes it or wants to change anything.  Then we place the order. I really like the way they come out through shutterfly. The paper and printing is quality (unlike some others I’ve seen), and the software on their site is pretty easy to use. I’m excited to see how this book turns out.  The last one we got (last year for mothers day through a promotion Ellen was running) was awesome.  This one is shaping up to be really cool also. I have one other offer for a free book through Best Buy because of some recent purchases.  I think that one will be a wedding book that L and I put together.  We have one from a friend which is really cool, but this way we can put a story to it also.

Ok.  I should try to sleep now.  My brain is all over the place, but I think I can get it to slow down if I stop trying to write…


flashes of motivation sabotaged by outside forces

So I tried yet again to apply for Medicaid for my state.  There’s always a problem with their system these last few weeks.  Either they cannot access the system and can’t help me with the application, or I cannot access the online system.  Today, I can neither call them nor access the online application.  So much for that slight burst of energy to finish the application process and possibly get some benefits.

If it’s not me getting in my own way, it’s outside forces lately.  ::sigh::  Maybe I should try the laundry now.  I know the washer works and I can at least start a load so L isn’t frustrated with me when she gets home…

I also need to try to figure out the speed pass we purchased over the weekend.  I wasn’t able to get the account set up at all over the weekend, but maybe if I call them, I can get it done today.  It would be nice not to have wasted all that cash on the transmitter if I never set it up.  It would also be nice to be able to use the toll highways without having to have cash on hand.  They say using the speed pass comes with a discount because they don’t have to pay workers to collect tolls, but they don’t tell you how much each toll costs.  I wonder how much of a discount it actually is.  

Woopse, L is home and I have not yet started the laundry.  Guess I should get off my fat ass and do it.  

Ok, laundry started… 

The monthly mood swings are kicking in.  :/  I just want to sleep all day.