Tag Archives: therapy

The Me I Could Be/The Me I Could Never Be

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t updated in so long. I really had no idea how much time had passed. Time keeps drifting through my fingers. I’m sorry that I’ve been a crappy blogging friend and haven’t been around.

I’m okay. I’ve remained cocooned in a bubble of self-isolation. My emotions seem to be a yo-yo, though.

The week before last, I visited my family. A week ago, I went back to work. For some reason, my anxiety was working overtime, and I kept thinking I was on the verge of a panic attack. I thought I could feel everyone hating me. Then I had this conversation that seemed to insinuate people there liked me. And for the rest of the week, I noticed other small signs that appeared to indicate that idea.

I went to therapy, and we talked about how I wasn’t content with the status quo in my part-time job situation. We were discussing this job I’m thinking of applying for. I doubt I would get it, but I was thinking of applying as practice. My therapist thought that would be good because I would put less pressure on myself with that goal.

Anyway, after the session, something clicked. I had this vision of the me I could be. Of what I used to be like before the big break, my competitive, success-driven self. My self that strives for competence and always achieves it. (Well, except for the pesky social anxiety, which was ten times worse in the past. I think even though I don’t take medication that strictly addresses social anxiety, it helps. Of course, I think all my problems are tied together and influence each other, but that’s a subject for another post.)

I felt this understanding that my perception of what people think of me is sharply different from reality. That if I feigned competence, people would believe it. (Because really, half the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.) That I could hold a higher position and do well at it.

But then something in me flipped. I knew that this vision of the me I could be was actually the me I could never be. Every time I imagined myself succeeding, I imagined myself failing spectacularly afterward. Making stupid and costly mistakes. Anytime a person wants to talk to me at work, my first thought is always I’m in trouble or didn’t do a good job. I feel like that result is inevitable. I also had urges to sabotage any success I may have. Like I can’t let myself succeed ever. Because I don’t deserve it. Because I’m always panicking, and I’m gonna choke.  I might as well prevent the future disappointment by sabotaging myself first.

Then I started thinking that if anyone who likes me really knew what I’m like inside, the terrible person I am, the messed-up person I am, they’d be revolted.

It’s just really no one’s ever liked me. For much of my life, I had no friends. I have only one now. The idea of people liking me doesn’t compute. I’m overly sensitive to it. My therapist and I once talked about my biggest trigger, rejection. Perceived rejection. I can see little things as rejection. In general, I’m just much too sensitive, like easily shattered glass.

After I realized that the me I could be was the me I could never be, all I wanted to do was cower in a corner. I can’t go through the big break again. I don’t think I could make it through another one. For the past three years, my life has revolved around laying low, my priority being to prevent any repeat of the big break. Three freakin’ years. I’m pathetic.

Even after all that time, my will is a crushed feather. I’m all uncertainty and indecision.

I’m too broken. Thus, the me I could never be.

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My Mind Is Bound to Ramble

I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post. Time has been going by much too quickly.

I finished Season 8 of Supernatural. I loved the finale, but there are a few thoughts I had about it . . . but I won’t waste space here rambling about something most readers don’t know about. Plus, if you ever do watch the show, I don’t want to spoil it too much.

I’ve been working a lot on my Supernatural fanfiction story. I have actually posted it online somewhere, but it’s a bit embarrassing, so I’m not going to link to it or anything. Funny thing is that this story has helped me get my creative energy back, while my short stories didn’t. With the latter, I’d struggle with what to say. Part of it could be because I’m not as concerned about the quality of the fanfiction. Don’t get me wrong, I have a standard to maintain, but the other stories require more attention to polishing, especially if I want to try to submit them somewhere. Except I don’t even know who the audience could be for my latest short stories. I’ll keep pondering the matter, though.

I’ve finally started editing my novel, working on a chapter a day. That pace might change once I get further into the story because the chapters get longer. Well, toward the very end they get almost ridiculously short. So far, most of my editing has consisted of deleting things that are irrelevant or rewriting sentence that don’t make sense. I have a hard copy I wrote notes on, and I follow along with it, but I also go with my instinct at the moment. I’ll read a few paragraphs then look at what I wrote on the hard copy. Oftentimes, the phrasing I want to change is the same. What I want to change it to is as well. I like reading both copies as I go through the story, getting two perspectives (current and past) on the initial draft.

There have been some things I’ve been meaning to write about, like therapy, or Asperger’s, or empathy. Maybe one day I’ll get the motivation to write those posts.

Speaking of therapy, my therapist is moving to another practice. Luckily, I get to follow her. Problem is, that practice is at least 30 minutes away. But I really do think she’s the best therapist I’ve had so far, which is why I’ve been meaning to write about sessions with her. I don’t want to gamble anymore with the therapist bin; it could be years until I find another one I like, if ever. So that’s why I’m going to continue to see her.

When she told me she was leaving the place I currently go to, I teared up because the news was unexpected. More so because I didn’t want to look for another therapist. She asked how I was feeling about the situation, and I said I just felt like I wanted to give up rather than do another search. My one thought was to ask if I could see her at the other practice, but bringing up the idea made me nervous, almost shaky with panic. After me talking about how anxious I felt about what I wanted to say, I eventually made the request. I don’t know why bringing up the idea made me that panicky. I’ve revealed other things before that should’ve been more likely to induce anxiety. It probably goes back to my fear of rejection and blah blah blah.

Anyway, at the current place, she had to make sure I could get approved for meds only. Because apparently they don’t like you seeing a pdoc there if you’re not seeing one of their therapists. I was afraid of how things would go, but it seems they’re working out on that front.

Well, that concludes today’s ramble.

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Little Anomalies

I was going to write about how I experience empathy, but I’m suddenly tired and unable to think. That’ll have to be for some other time, like in a couple of weeks.

I’m going to visit my family tomorrow, and I’ll be there for about two weeks. So, I probably won’t be on here. Not that I’ve been on here much lately, anyway. I haven’t been very good at keeping up with blogging lately. But my summer shouldn’t be too busy, so perhaps I’ll be on more regularly in June.

A couple of odd things lately:

I’ve started experiencing intense smells in my dreams. I thought there weren’t supposed to be smells in dreams? And that if were are smells, those smells were intruding from real life. But these smells are most definitely not from my sleeping surroundings. I smell things that couldn’t possibly be there. All sorts of things. Cake. Mud.

I’m curious as to why this is. I’ve never had a keen sense of smell to begin with. Why would I suddenly begin smelling things in my dreams?

I’m also someone who usually sleeps curled up, as scrunched into myself as possible. If I’m on my back, which I am often, I lie rigid with my arms around a stuffed animal, behind the pillow, or alongside my body. My legs are then crossed at the ankles or just stretched out straight right next to each other.

But lately, I’ve begun to sprawl out in my sleep. Consistently. I have to be sprawled out to fall asleep, often, too. Why would my sleep position suddenly change so dramatically?

**********

I think I’ve figured out why Supernatural resonates with me so much. For some reason, it puts me in an artistic mood, the same mood that impels me to write my stories. I’m not sure how to explain what this mood feels like. It’s got ingredients of inspiration, flashes of emotions and tableaus, bursts of creative energy. Then when I write, it’s like I go into a half-trance, like I’m here but also placing myself in another place. Occasionally I have to pause and sit there, perhaps close my eyes, until the right mood arrives for the part I’m writing. Like something in my brain has to percolate and I have to wait for it to finish until I can fully articulate it.

This artistic mindset explains the weird impulse I’ve been having to write fanfiction. That is not something I do. I don’t want to write any of those novel-length types, just really short pieces. I keep getting glimpses of imagined emotional moments that I feel like writing. I’m not silly enough to have acted on the impulse (so far?), thank goodness. Fanfiction is not a world I wish to deeply involve myself in . . .

I’ve also gotten snippets of an idea for a non-fanfiction short story; it revolves around thoughts about God and angels.

*********

I’ve been thinking about my lack of ambition again. I’m afraid to strive for anything because of the big break.

Today, I described it to my therapist as a “pretend breakdown.” She asked why I called it a pretend breakdown, and I explained it’s because I wasn’t truly non-functional. Wouldn’t I be non-functional if I had a breakdown? Problem is, it’s hard for me to tell, since blending in and not drawing attention to myself are big motivators for me. The therapist didn’t say much in response to that, so I assume she agreed with me. I kept getting irritated during therapy today and thought she was acting like she was bored. Logically, I know she wasn’t, but I wanted to start cursing and getting angry and telling her to fucking pay attention and that if I was boring her maybe I should just leave. Luckily, I reined in those impulses. See, these are the sorts of instincts I have, and with very little justification, and that’s why I feel I’m a bad person.

Then I talked about how hollow I felt, and she asked if I’d ever found anything fulfilling. I said writing, but then I’d sometimes begin thinking it was pointless and lose that fulfillment. She said she thought I could talk myself out of feeling fulfilled. That could perhaps be true. She asked if the point could possibly just be the fulfillment itself. But I can’t fully buy into that, because why should the point just be to make myself satisfied? If it doesn’t serve some other purpose, if all my writing does is sit around and no one ever reads it, what’s the use? It’s a lot of work for very little.

Anyway, back to the big break. I’m afraid. I’m afraid if I have any ambition, reach for anything, I’ll have another big break, and I’m not strong enough to go again through whatever that was.

For some reason, toward the end of the session, I started feeling emotional. We were talking about my upcoming visit to my family, and suddenly a rapid montage of the past played in my mind. I remembered everyone not getting along. Then I imagined lots of shouting and me inwardly cowering and wanting to run away and not get involved. Brief feelings that everyone hated me, intense feelings of self-worthlessness. I didn’t explain all that, though.

If you read my blog at the beginning, you might dimly remember when I used to whine about my childhood. All of that just briefly took over. That’s not a can of worms I’m going to open right now, ha.

Now, my family never hated me; I just felt that way. If anything, these days there are moments when I can almost feel their love radiating off them. This has to do with what I wanted to say about empathy–sometimes I feel as if I can perceive people’s emotions radiating off them when they speak. Maybe that’s absurd. I don’t know.

Oh, gosh, I can’t believe I wrote so much. I’m done with my random rambling.

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I’m Back

Sort of.

The next three to four weeks will probably be hella busy. It’s the last few weeks of the semester, and I’ll have tons of assignments to grade. So that means keeping my indulgence in addictions to a minimum: blogging, Supernatural, probably reading, etc. I’m often not good at juggling tasks, and I want to try to get into creative writing again.

I have two short stories to finish and a novel to edit.

Actually, what I kind of want to do, since I’ve apparently become a fangirl addict, is write some Supernatural/Doctor Who crossover fanfiction. I imagine the boys going off to investigate a case, and then there’s the Doctor. Then Dean’s like, “Ghosts are one thing, but aliens?”

I’ve never written fanfiction in my life. Maybe I need help, ha. I confess I have read the occasional A Song of Ice and Fire fanfiction, but not for ages. Once, I went through a phase where I read Horatio Hornblower fanfiction.

Last night, I watched the Supernatural episode “Ghostfacers” and now I can’t get its song out of my head. It’s one of the most hilarious things ever:

(The link won’t embed or post as a straight-up link, so you’ll have to click to go to YouTube after pressing “play.”)

My favorite line: “Stay in the kitchen when the kitchen gets hot!”

Embarrassing admissions aside, I’d like to explain a little of how I reached this point.

If you’ve stopped by here over the past month, you’d know that I haven’t been doing well. I’m still not, really, but I think I’m better. I think I can face returning to blogland again. I can stop being negligent and read a few blogs. But I can’t be as present here as I’ve been in the past. As I mentioned, I’m often not good at time management. I have other things to do like work and creative writing. And of course trying to figure out how to heal. If that’s even possible. I’m such a mess and have been for a very, very long time.

How did I get better? I’m not sure. I can trace it to a couple of instances, but I’m not sure precisely how those instances helped.

First, there was this past Tuesday. My anxiety reached almost sky-high levels, and I was a quivering mess at work. I felt as if I could barely breathe, and my head was pounding. I seriously started to contemplate quitting my job and just lying around by myself, but I knew that wasn’t realistic, obviously. Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone to work that day, but it’s hard for me to know what my limits are. Besides, I somehow made it through, and to me that makes it seem that my anxiety couldn’t have been as bad as I thought it was. I’m just being melodramatic.

These days, my therapist appointments are on Tuesday afternoons. Right after work, I went to therapy. So far, this therapist is pretty great. I find it much easier to talk to her than I did to talk to the other ones I’ve seen; I don’t know why. Every week, I’d brought up my anxiety, but my anxiety just kept building and building. She pointed that out when I mentioned my anxiety once again this week. I told her about how anxious I’d been all day, how shaky I’d felt. We talked about my coping strategies, and the only one I could think of was trying to steady my breathing. That’s what I do, but it’s really only a stalling tactic until I can be alone and have a panic attack. It doesn’t eliminate my anxiety, just help me delay my reaction to it.

After the appointment, though, I felt better for some reason. Maybe because I didn’t have to work to hide my anxiety, yet I hadn’t been hiding it in my past therapy appointments. I didn’t actually have a panic attack while with the therapist, so that didn’t dispel my anxiety. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still there, and it’s still strong, but it’s somehow grown more manageable. (Knock on wood.)

A few days later, the weather started getting sunnier. That made me feel better, too, though I don’t know why. I don’t like warm weather, and I don’t have seasonal affective disorder. In fact, I quite like gloomy weather. For some reason, I’ve always found it adventurous and sometimes even fun.

I’m going to see if I can snap out of my fast food binging, too. We’ll see. Maybe it’ll happen naturally; if I try to force it, the craving only grows stronger.

Well, I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading blogs more regularly. I know it will be this week, just not which day. I’m going to try to make myself write a little every day (or edit); it’s easiest for me to write if I can make myself do a little every day.

And now, I’m going to go outside and try to write. I think I’ve earned it.

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Mired, Giving Up, and Hiding

I just can’t do it anymore. I’m floating, and hiding it is the only thing that keeps me holding on. There’s too much pain in my heart. Not me wallowing in my depression and self-pity, although there is that. It’s pain at everything in the world. Which sounds fake and stupid and cliched, but these days lots of things seem to evoke a throbbing in my heart.

No one can help me. It’s partially my fault because I’m isolating myself, but I can’t stop isolating myself. My anxiety ensures I can’t climb out of the well. I feel like I need love and support from someone, but who? Not my family. They’d probably insist I do things I know won’t help, like live near them or something. I don’t have any friends. Well, I have one, but she’s not the sort of person one can expect the loving type of support from. Fellow bloggers? No. It’s not because I doubt the bloggers I know and am connected to, but it’s because I have nothing to offer at the moment. I haven’t for a couple of months, and I probably won’t for much time to come. I can’t just take, take, take. It’s unfair of me. It would be much kinder, and less selfish, if I just fell off the blogging map altogether. I’m too selfish to read other blogs at the moment and be supportive. So I have no right to take anything. I am a believer of quid pro quo, and I would be a hypocrite, fail in my principles, if I couldn’t participate in a quid-pro-quo way.

I’m not going to kill myself or anything. At least, I don’t think so. But I can’t sustain the status quo, either. But what am I going to do? If I don’t continue the status quo, I won’t be able to forgive myself. I have to go about my life, give a facade to the world as if I am capable. But I’m not capable. I am weak. I can’t even live a normal life like an average person. I can’t handle life, and most people can. I’m at the bottom of the rung of humanity.

I cry easily these days, way too easily. On Tuesday, I accidentally spilled water on my desk at work. My first instinct was to cry, but I held it in. I was with a student, after all. Then I had my therapist appointment later Tuesday. We were talking about Spring Break and my family, and for some reason tears started leaking from my eyes. It was a subdued form of crying because I normally sob as I cry. I didn’t (and don’t) even know why I was crying. My past with my family doesn’t even bother me much anymore. Not that we were talking about the past, although I guess we were since the therapist asked me about their responses to my problems, etc.

I don’t know why, but apparently my behavior at the session prompted the therapist to ask if I’d like another appointment on Thursday. I somewhat froze and got all overanalytical. She asked if I’d call if I needed one, and I said no. She said she’d call on Wednesday to ask about it. This was a nice offer; I can’t imagine any of my past therapists doing that. Maybe it’s because she’s young. Maybe young therapists are good because they haven’t gotten jaded by their job yet or something. Ultimately, I decided against it because, nominally, I am okay. I’m not harming myself or attempting suicide, so I don’t need to waste her time. Besides, I’ll see her again this Tuesday, anyway.

Often the only way I can motivate myself to do things is to tell myself I can be a TV zombie if I finish my task in time. This is not my “normal” personality. Usually, I want to do more than watch TV, but not for the past few weeks, unless you count lying there or sleeping. I can’t motivate myself to write, either here or creatively. Maybe it would help, but I can’t ignite myself, so no.

Funnily, one of the few things that provides me solace right now is watching Supernatural on NetFlix. I started about three weeks ago, and now I’m at the beginning of Season 2. I don’t know why the show often emotionally resonates with me at the moment. Probably because I’m overly emotional in general. I could probably write a post with my thoughts on the show, but then it would look like I’m doing better than I really am.

I also have many thoughts about my therapist (mostly good so far) that I could probably document, if I felt up to it, but I don’t.

But still, I’m not okay, and nobody can help me. I’m all alone, and it’s partially my fault, but I can’t be anything other than what I am. I so wish I could give up in some form–suicide, dropping out of society and just sitting around the house, admitting defeat in some way. I am giving up, but in a waffling, drowning sort of way. As so often happens, the motive to hide and blend in is all that keeps me around.

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Truant

The more time I spend away from my blog, the less stuff I can think of to write about.

But that’s not the purpose of this post. Oh, no.

This is an explanation (for anyone who’s still around, anyway) about why I’m playing truant in blogland longer than I meant to. I mentioned my intention to go AWOL for NaNoWriMo right before November, and I’d really thought that I was going to be back as soon as December struck.

But then I wanted to continue working on my novel, and of course, there were the holidays.

I continue to work on my novel. In some ways, it’s as if I spend more time in my novel’s world than the real one. I don’t really, but that’s where my mind seems to constantly dwell.

I knew I wouldn’t finish the novel during NaNoWriMo, but I never thought that, in January, I’d be almost as close to finishing it as I am right now. Like with my 2010 NaNo novel, I figured it would take me until at least May or June to finish it. But as I said, the story is so prominent in my head at the moment, and I keep hopping from event to event and keeping up the flow (although there have been quite a few dried-up wells, too). It’s odd that this novel seems to be coming to me naturally. I’m not a good story planner, but with this novel, I truly had no idea of what I wanted to do other than the beginning and end. I had a basic one-sentence-ish major plot in mind, but that’s just become one of a number of plots that seem to get equal coverage.

I know I’m pretty close to the end of the novel, so I’m avoiding many other activities. Especially in blogging land, I can get sucked in for so many hours that I disrupt the flow of my creative writing. I’ve discovered that even if I skip one day of writing, my rhythm is interrupted. So I try to write every day, even when I’m busy. Just a few words can help me maintain the rhythm.

I thoroughly appreciate all of my readers; I feel guilty for not keeping up with people as much as I should’ve been over the past couple of months. I’ve been a terrible Internet friend lately. 😦

So, here’s my explanation, and I hope you understand.

Oh, and I’ve started seeing a new therapist; I saw her for the second time yesterday. I think that’s a topic I’d normally blog about, but as my thoughts are with my novel . . . not so much at this time. So the old therapist I was getting frustrated with . . . I’ve moved on, and hopefully it will all work out.

I forget to mention the adventure blog, although maybe I should post an announcement there, too. I’m putting all adventure blog stuff on hold until I finish my novel’s rough draft so I can keep up my focus with the draft. Since there’ll have been so much time between the reboot and the past installments, I’m contemplating starting it over. New characters or the same ones? New setting? I don’t know. I could also decide to continue the story, as I do like it. But I’m afraid the continuity would’ve been disrupted, and it might be easier to draw people in if I start over. Ugh, but then I’d lose the subscribers from the current version . . . hmm. I could maybe make all the previous posts private so I could start over, or something. I don’t know. I’ll worry about those logistics later.

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What Can I Say?

NaNoWriMo has been over for about a week now, but my novel’s not nearly finished. I want to continue to work on it because I’ve hit a rhythm. Problem is, this rhythm has hit a barrier.

To wit, for the novel’s timeline, I need to include two weeks of mostly filler events. Well, not really filler–a lot of it will have to do with the minor plot points. I’m on this part where my female main character has gotten a surprise visit from her mother. I threw that in there because her mom hadn’t been in it that much, and I thought she should pop in at some point. Now I don’t know what to make the character and her mom talk about. Their discussion has got to somehow segue into talk of the dad (who’s part of a minor plot point).

I’m also stuck on this blog. I don’t know what to talk about. At all. A part of me is afraid to return to blogging land. I’m afraid I just can’t keep up the pace I had before NaNoWriMo. Both the pace of writing and the pace of reading. I already felt way behind on my reading all the time, so if I slow my reading pace, I’m going to be miles and miles behind. Like I am now. I’m afraid of returning only to make it seem as if I don’t really care because I don’t read others’ blogs as often as I should (and I want to). There’s just–things! And I have a one-track mind.  My job. My classes. My novel. And more.

My dad decided to buy me some insurance, so I can still afford my meds even though I turned 26. This makes me feel immensely guilty. I don’t want him to spend his money on me, especially since I’m supposed to be a full-fledged adult now. Part of it is also that I have no idea when things will change, and he could be paying for it indefinitely. It may be forever until I find myself in a better position. I’ve been here for two years already, for chrissakes, and nothing much has changed.

This is going to sound strange, but last Tuesday, I suddenly realized this–all of what I have, is real life. Not that I thought I was living in an imaginary world before. This is hard to explain. It’s just that the reality of everything fell hard on my mind. Then I knew I had to force myself to be more assertive for me to succeed in having a “career,” like people in real life do. Can I do that? I shrink in fear at the idea.

I saw my therapist last week, probably for the last time. We both agreed that I need to see someone else to make progress because it seems like we’re going in circles. I could’ve written a lot about that session right after it’d happened. She basically said she didn’t know anyone who did what I wanted and that she’d discuss it with my pdoc and call me this week about it. (I haven’t received such a call.) She said something about “correcting” my thought patterns, and I instantly got offended. Semantics matter to me. If it’s “correction,” that implies that my thinking before was “faulty,” which it wasn’t. If it was, then I’m going to feel stupid and go back to my depression. My frustration with therapy is the way things have been presented to me. It’s like I’m given this ultimatum that I need to do what they tell me because it’s “what works” and “what makes people happy.” Haven’t these people ever heard of a dystopian novel? What I need is someone to help me understand why I should follow their suggestions besides the fact that “it makes people happy.” It needs truth value and logic value.

Apparently I don’t think like a normal person. This I learned from my pdoc last week. She asked if I had these “unusual” thought patterns all my life, and yes, I have. It’s interesting because I don’t know what I’ve done in her presence that makes my thinking seem “unusual.”

I’m going to end by mentioning that I don’t feel so well right now. I coughed all last night. This morning, I felt fine. But about three hours ago, I started feeling awful. Apparently I looked flushed, but I had no fever. I also felt extremely hot and was fanning myself. I’m still hot, and I’ve turned my heater way down. My throat hurts, and I keep having headaches. They’re mostly on the right, but occasionally they switch to the left. My jaw also feels tight. So now I guess I’ll go relax. Read. Watch something fun, maybe. But I also need to prepare for finals week this weekend.

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