22 April 2016

blind friend date

I did it. I went to something from Meetup.

I went to a brand new place, to meet brand new people. It was intimidating and scary and I obsessed about what to wear and I wore my new power lipstick and I called my mom in the parking lot for support and my heart was racing right up until the moment that I walked up to the first person and opened my mouth to say hello.

After that, it was gravy, baby. I'm SO PROUD of myself. I'm surprised at how outgoing I was, and how NICE the girls were, and how similar we all were, yet so different and interesting and new. It was easy and fun.

This particular event was a girl's night out type of group.It was so refreshing to enjoy an evening where nobody asked where I've been for the past few months. Nobody guilted me for not attending X event, nobody knew my drama or asked about it. We were all just new people wanting to meet new people.

The event was at a nearby winery which I've been dying to try but have been too intimidated to. It's a really nice place. I'd go again. I got there way before the rest of the girls, so I surprised myself and asked a nearby group of girls if I could crash their group until mine arrive. I got an incredibly welcoming response. (They were teachers, of course. They're always lovely)

So, I popped the bubble. I think every other event will be less intimidating now that I've gotten that first one out of the way.

Go. Me.

21 April 2016

therapist homework

So. I have a therapist now. I feel so odd saying that. You know I'm kind of a psychology junkie, but I never thought I'd be on this end of it.

It was weird at first but then he seriously used the word sexting and I decided I like him.

I like the techniques he uses- mind over mood, cognitive therapy. The idea that thoughts and behaviors and feelings are all interconnected and can be manipulated. Wrong and right is subjective.

I made it very clear when I first walked in that I know I need to focus on me.
I am under no illusion that I can fix anyone else.

I decide how I react to situations and I decide how I feel. I can learn techniques to improve communication between myself and others. I can improve myself, I can repair my self-esteem, and I can improve my relationships.

My ultimate goal: No matter what happens, I will be okay.

I know what I need to do, and what I want to accomplish, but it's so overwhelming. I felt like an unbiased third party would really help me sort my thoughts and guide me. And it has.

After talking a while, I was given a few techniques to help cope with the anxiety.

He told me to set aside an hour a week to focus on my worries. Whenever I felt like worrying, tell myself to leave it for my "worry hour." During that hour, he suggested writing down all of my worries. Then each week I'd be able to look at my past worries and see that 1. Hardly any of them actually came true and 2. I don't care about them as much as I used to and 3. The ones that persist, I can address.

I've always found therapeutic relief from blogging, so I figured this technique would work for me.

I went out and bought a special notebook just for my worries. I picked out one that gave me joy when I looked at it. It's purple with gold polka dots.

At first I used that worry hour liberally. Like every day. And then, less frequently. And he was right. The worries did not (yet) come true, and were replaced with new worries that are theoretically just as useless at the old worries. It still doesn't prevent my worries, but what a neat tool.

My other "assignment" was to find a hobby. Something to focus on, something to provide an enjoyable distraction from the worries.

Oh, if that hasn't been the ultimate struggle of the past few years. The problem is finding something that I like that I'm ready to commit to. I like a little of a lot of things.

I joined a few meetup groups, including a book club, so I figure that's a start. Maybe I can simply do a little of a lot of things, and that will be the perfect thing.

20 April 2016

Make it

I bought myself a new lip color today. Not so much a lipstick, because they always seem so heavy. I have a hard time picking a good color. I either end up looking like a slut, or like I did nothing at all.

I love my little Tarte balm, but it's pretty sheer and its thin formula can feel kind of runny on a hot sweaty day.

I ended up getting one of those Clinique chubby sticks, which is more sheer but still significant.

The whole point of this story is to say that I felt the need to buy a new lip color to make myself feel more powerful. More put together. Like when I'm feeling schlumpy I can bust it out and put it on and feel fabulous. A good lip color can do that.

I feel like every woman needs something like that in her beauty arsenal. Mine has always been mascara, but it's time to punch it up.
I mean, how can I pour myself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull myself together if I don't even have a good lipstick??

Now I do.

19 April 2016

What's good with you?

I have a new coworker who has an interesting perspective on life. Sometimes, the right people get placed into your life at the right moment and the smallest thing can become significant.

Instead of asking, "How are you?" and getting a stale, "Fine, how are you?" response, she asks,
"What's good with you?"

If someone asks you that question, you have to think about it. What's good with me? It kind of forces you to dig for something positive, even if you're having a really shitty day.

I mean, it made me feel better when she asked me that. I thought for a second about all the suckage lately, then I felt odd not responding, so I focused on what is actually good with me.
I have a good job. I have a roof over my head. I have my health. I have a loving family. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Have you ever dropped a bit of dish soap into grease? And it kind of slowly breaks up the grease puddles bit by bit until it's cleared up? It kinda felt like that. Like it cleared up some of my worry so that I could focus on the good. A simple everyday question did that.

It's the perfect lowkey psychology hack. It doesn't dig much deeper than the standard, "how are you" and is intended to elicit a positive response. By casually forcing everyone around you to search for positive thoughts, you can easily affect your surroundings, which affects yourself. The positivity trickles and waves around, even if it's the smallest amount.

How about that, huh?

15 April 2016

Never thought

The last week has been brutal. Like, allll the emotionals man. Anxiety like I've never known. I've been thrown through so many loops I can't even keep up. I don't deserve this limbo.

Finally ate my first decent meal besides a bowl of cereal in the morning and like a pretzel at lunch every day.

New experience this afternoon.  Gotta stay positive, man. At least I'm learning some coping tools.

I am only getting stronger.

14 April 2016

Again, same

Another restless night ahead of me.
Another day of not being able to eat.
Too late to try the Xanax mom gave me.
Tomorrow I'll wake up, hold my head up, and continue on.

I don't get weaker. I get stronger.

Every day something evolves, ever so slowly, in the right direction. I just gotta remember to look that way.

07 April 2016

today's trip to the vet

Trips to the vet make me nervous nowadays.

Even though every time it's the same. Pumpkin howls through the car ride, has meow-offs in the waiting room with the other kitties, and Dr. Hendrix is an absolute pleasure. He and his staff are awesome and today he even shook/held my hand and asked me how I've been after he examined kitty.

Today's appointment went fine. Overall, she's a pretty healthy kitty. However, she's had some oral issues. They have been hesitant to do another cleaning because her age and anesthesia don't mix well.

A few months ago, we tried some new food. Which I don't love because it's all carbs and pumpkin has gained weight and has become a water-drinking fiend. She's like a crack addict for water. It's ridiculous.

The vet said the new food has actually done an amazing job on her teeth. A little gingivitis, but a big improvement-- on one side. The other side isn't as good. I've noticed that when she eats, she favors one side. And it makes sense because she's got a rotten tooth on the other side. He probed it and she did NOT react favorably, so it's obvious that it bothers her.

The vet expressed his concerns about a full teeth cleaning, even though the gingivitis would improve, because of the age + anesthesia factor. I asked his advice, and he said that if it was HIS 13-year old cat, he'd get the rotten tooth pulled and skip the thorough cleaning, to keep the anesthesia time to a minimum, and he'd do it only if her kidney function labs looked good.

So yes, I may choose to get Pumpkin's tooth pulled (if her labs look good) and she may not recover from the anesthesia and she may die. Or I may choose to skip the procedure and avoid the whole 'dying during surgery' issue altogether. That sounds like the best option to me.

However, I've experienced tooth pain. I know it can be excruciating. And I'd rather take the chance of her dying on the table than let her keep living in pain for my own selfish, kitty-loving reasons.

So. While I haven't actually scheduled the procedure yet, I know I need to and it's in the back of my mind. I'm probably over-reacting because they won't even DO the procedure if her kidney function tests are abnormal, which is the real risk of anesthesia, and even then we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

But that's the latest news on my punk.