Saturday, May 17, 2008

.can't we give ourselves one more chance.

I have no idea why I've neglected my blog so much lately. I guess my best excuse is being so tired and so busy. In the last couple of weeks I haven't had much time to get down all the things I walk around "writing" in my head. Thus, a lot of it has been lost and I can't seem to get on the track to writing about the things I meant to. Therefore, this will probably be a completely pointless entry but I want to talk about what I've been up to lately.

For my belated birthday, Kathy and I went to Andie's which is a mediterranean restaurant in Andersonville. It's really nice and the food is delicious. The drinks are served very strong and I was tipsy after half a raspberry martini. This could also be because I am a lightweight, of course. We liked it so much that we went a second time on Mother's Day with her mom, brother and sister-in-law.

Last week, I accompanied a couple of my favorite co-workers at the library to the Reaching Forward library conference in Rosemont. I know a library conference might not sound like a lot of fun to most people, but I loved it. The workshops were just okay, but getting to browse the vendors and talk to the other shelvers made me feel human again. I don't know how to explain it but lately, I've been feeling so daft and lackluster that working on my social anxiety felt like an impossible mountain to trudge. If you are someone who is nervous about looking dumb and boring in social situations a majority of the time, it's hard to imagine bothering when you are feeling especially vague and aimless in your conversation skills. It was really nice not to feel so wrong in everything I was saying and to laugh and feel good about being social. I don't know why I've been feeling worse than usual, though.

I think the last couple of weeks have brought up a lot to think about for me. I've been thinking about the things that are important to me: trying to take care of myself physically and emotionally, having the time, space and peace of mind to be creative, enjoying my life and living it every moment (not that I feel like I need to have excitement every second, but it's hard to explain - having spent so much time with death and realizing mortality makes it very important to me to know than my life and time are not wasted; life is, afterall, very short). I've also been thinking about the past a lot lately. In fact I've been having trouble getting my mind off some things - mostly negative, mostly things that are unresolved or are rather insoluble or irreparable. My head has been so muddled with these thoughts lately, intrusive as they are, that I feel like it has wrecked my mood and probably hasn't helped my opinion of myself much, either.

I finally saw my therapist, Charlene again yesterday. The good news is that I really like my new therapist. The bad news is that she's only going to be at my counseling center for another month and then I will have to work with someone new. But for now, I feel like we get along well and I can talk to her. It's funny how much I opened up to her already. We're going to actually be meeting weekly - another new thing for me, but I think necessary for me to work on the things that have been bothering me, clouding up my head.

Charlene and I talked a little yesterday about what I want to get out of therapy. We worked on my treatment plan first, but then she asked me the type of person I wanted to be as opposed to who I am. She said "can you visualize a certain character or anyone that has the qualities you are seeking?" and that's my homework for the week: to figure out who I want to be, as I said I am not happy with who I am.

I always stumble during the treatment plan on what my strengths are. I feel peculiar sayings that I am something and I use the words "kinda" and "sorta" a lot. I did say I am "pretty creative," which may be a step up but probably not much of one. I feel strange seeming sure that I am anything good because I hardly feel like I am and plus, saying that I am leaves it open to people correcting me. "Actually, Louise, you're not very smart, not terribly funny and you're completely devoid of any literary talent." I guess that somewhere deep down, that's what I am afraid of someone saying. And I would probably assume they were right. Not just because I've felt bad about myself lately, either. This is a more regular issue for me: being sure of myself and showing that confidence.

I'm starting to work on this, though, along with trying to create other habits. I'm also trying to do regular work on the things that I know will be good for me: writing at least an hour a day, even if Monday through Wednesday I have very little time and mostly just time with pen and paper. I know that typing is a better way to write for me, because my brain moves too fast for a pen. However, I have to work with what I have and this is it. I want to also try and spend time at the YMCA every week - it's why I bought a membership, because I want to feel better about myself physically.

In direct contradiction of what I've said about being depressed and feeling especially bad about myself lately, I will say that the weather has actually been making me giddy. I feel like being out in the sunshine and blue skies all the time: sitting on the deck, planting flowers (something I did for the first time recently and liked), walking all over the city. Kathy and I went to Merrimac Park today to fly my tree frog kite (we both bought kites recently - hers is rainbow-colored, mine is a somewhat psychedelic tree frog). The wind kept changing and the sun was too high, but it was beautiful -- all the wide sky and all the green space. Being inside feels so dark sometimes.

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