Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

Remembering…

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I found this image on Pinterest and really liked both the visual and message printed at the top of it.

65a95e7e142348d485fc7a7112b11e7d


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What is Normal?

Artist: Marie Jameeson

Artist: Marie Jameeson

This past Tuesday I met with my new counsellor for some individual counselling. We discussed (I discussed) a variety of things but one thing I said sticks out in my mind, that is I said I wanted to stop apologizing for who I am all the time. I don’t literally apologize to everyone all the time for who I am but it feels like that’s what I’m doing. It feels like I try to be “normal”, fail and apologize to whomever is asking me why I haven’t done such and such. I hate it. Does anyone else do something like this? Try to fit someone else’s version of normal then end up making excuses for yourself  when you can’t meet their standards?

I’m sick of trying to be someone I’m not. People are going to have to get used to the fact I am NOT going to please them. This happens mainly with my family where a relative asks me why I haven’t done something or other yet and I end up trying to think of a reason that will either get me off the hook or garner sympathy. Both are actions I dislike and don’t want to keep on doing. I shouldn’t have to do these things but no one else in my family acknowledges the gravity of abuse that occurred-both for themselves and in my own case. All of my aunts and uncles and remaining grandmother experienced abuse in some form. But they won’t address it and I feel unable to talk with them about my experience because of their own denial. How can I expect any form of validation from a group of abused people in denial? As far as I know I’m the only person in my family to go to therapy-apart from one aunt I never knew growing up.

From now on I will do my best to resist trying to be someone I’m not for my relatives. If they can’t accept me for who I am I’ll just make sure our communications are minimal and infrequent at most. We already don’t talk very often and a lot of this is to do with the fact there has been some tension since I began behaving more authentically a couple of years ago. Since then the communication has become limited and I can’t say I’m sad about it. Although I do wish my relatives could be more open to greater authenticity in how they live their lives and the way I live mine.

What do you do with dysfunctional family for communication issues? Do you avoid the people or have you learned how to be honest and not be bothered by the tension this often creates with unhealthy people?

©Natalya, 2013.

 


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Last Confidence Building Session Coming Up Tomorrow

Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness t...

Clinical research shows Buddhist mindfulness techniques can help alleviate anxiety , stress , and depression (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m feeling a tad let down by tomorrow being my last confidence building session. Not too sure I’m loads more

confident than when I started. I think I have more confidence now than a couple of weeks ago but it’s hard to tell. Perhaps I can work on it on my own time if I find a self help workbook kind of thing. Anyone have experience (successful) with confidence building/increasing workbooks? Or even just self help books on confidence? I think a fellow blogger tried this route but I didn’t get to ask them what the outcome was.

Anyway, I was supposed to have worked on doing meaningful activities all week(for the workshop) but I didn’t really manage it. At best I was able to do several days but certainly not the entire week. I’d planned on getting outdoors but it rained a lot last week and I am not very ‘outdoorsy’ so felt a disinclination toward venturing out. Friday was alright but I just wasted it not managing anything more meaningful than a 40 min. mindfulness meditation which I do regularly anyhow (or try to).

The thought has occurred to me that I’m a bit ‘sluggish’ from the decreased daylight and steady stretch of rain and gray skies we’ve been having here. Every year I develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) so it might be that, although it isn’t even October yet officially! Normally I think I can make it a bit further than the end of September before the S.A.D. hits. Oh, I don’t know. Hopefully the rain goes away for a little while. I am starting to feel like I’m living on the other side of the country where it typically rains more often than where I’m at. It could be the tropical storm moving up the coast giving us the lousy weather.

Maybe I should find myself a S.A.D. lamp and try that. I hate feeling unmotivated to do anything. Right now I

English: A 30 kHz bright light therapy lamp (I...

English: A 30 kHz bright light therapy lamp (Innosol Rondo) used to treat seasonal affective disorder. Provides 10,000 lux at a distance of 25 cm. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

can blame it on the crap weather but if it is like this when the sun returns I won’t be doing well! Sorry for complaining. Tomorrow I promise my post will be more positive!

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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The Courage to Change

Change is hard for everyone no matter who you are. Some handle change better than others but that’s not my

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, from The Wond...

Dorothy meets the Cowardly Lion, from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz first edition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

point. My point is everyone has some degree of trouble accepting/adjusting to change in their life, however that manifests itself. If any of you reading have experienced trauma or abuse in your life you know that moving past the pain is a huge effort. To not stay stuck in the memories and negative beliefs from our past can really challenge the best of us. Some of us get trapped in self limiting ‘stories’ about who we are as people identity wise. Our pain becomes our identity to the degree we can’t see any other way of being in the world apart from ‘damaged’ (or insert your word of choice you use to describe yourself negatively).

What we must do is not let our present slip through our fingers as we find ourselves in safer contexts but stuck in the past. This is at the heart of dissociation. It doesn’t matter if you have a diagnosis of DID, PTSD, BPD, or whatever, it only matters that you are wasting precious moments in the here and now thinking of your haunted memories. I realize the memories aren’t always in our control until we’ve learnt techniques to manage them from our therapist but assuming you know enough now to manage unpleasant/scary memories, isn’t it better we employ all of our strength to stay present in the present?

I am aware of the enormity of the challenge for some people to change and realize everyone needs to go at their own pace, so to speak, so I’m not going to lecture. When I was attempting to stop dissociating on a constant basis in 2010 I found it frightening at times. But ultimately, once I’d achieved some mastery over myself the reward was how liberated I felt. It was rocky at first and I stumbled, fell, swore and then got back up again. My eating disorder decided to return for a bit of fun just so I could delay progress by being engrossed in calorie counting and weigh ins; yet my spirit prevailed and I kicked my ED to the curb. I struggled to regain myself (literally and figuratively) after being beaten down by my food restrictions, weight loss and my self-esteem bottoming out. I wasn’t going to stay in the trap my ED had set for me. Sure it snared me but I wedged free.

Thanks to my compassionate and patient psychologist, I made it back to the land of the living. She could have dropped me but kept me on as her patient even after I’d stopped being a registered student (she worked in the university’s counselling services) and saw me ’til I stabilized. I owe her a debt of gratitude for not abandoning me when she had no reason to keep seeing me (we were well past the 8-10 session allotment they allowed students). Some therapists really are gems. I wasn’t paying her so she was seeing me on a purely altruistic basis. With her there to support me I was able to finally quit my constant mood shifts and stay in my body for longer periods of time. The anxiety lessened and my desire for escaping was replaced by a desire for staying present. Thank you to my psychologist and mindfulness meditation! I highly recommend it(the meditation) by the way.

Cowardly Lion's Courage Medal

Cowardly Lion’s Courage Medal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These days I could use some courage! I don’t have a therapist and am trying to deal with figuring out which direction to go in my life. Now that I’m actually in my body long enough to have consistent thoughts I find myself struggling to hear my own voice above society’s. I never used to give a crap about what other people thought but now I am conflicted. Pleasing everyone isn’t possible so why do I feel like I should have to do so? Why am I torn between what I want to do and what I think is least likely to receive doubt and criticism?

At one time I just followed my own will but now I think I’m turning it over to others. I’m worried what people will think of me. It doesn’t sit well with me that I might be considered too idealistic or ‘dreamy’ just because my dreams don’t fit into a box. I’m 30 for pity’s sake! Surely, I can ignore other people’s opinions. I’ve spent my entire life trying to be perfect though. Perfectionism doesn’t let go easily. Its grasp on me is far less now than it used to be but it hasn’t eliminated perfectionist associated thoughts completely. This is what I need the courage to change for! Telling my perfectionist mind to go f**k itself!

I started off this post thinking I’d expound on all my ‘worldly wisdom’ and ended up bemoaning my own struggles. Irony, I loathe you. Oh well now you have a bit of my advice mixed up with my own need for it! 😛

Related link: My other blog I wrote a post on:

http://findinghealthafterillness.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/the-transcendent-child-tales-of-triumph-over-the-past-lillian-b-rubin/

 © Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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The Pattern of Genuine Transformation

The Pattern of Genuine Transformation.

The title is pretty much self explanatory. Article talks about transforming ourselves and pushing past our limiting beliefs.


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Struggles With the Ego

thumb|A sculptor's impression of the sofa in u...

thumb|A sculptor’s impression of the sofa in use Deutsch: Freud Sofa aufgenommen im Freud-Museum London Česky: Freudovo lehátko, na němž uléhali pacienti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I’ve been writing a lot about mental illness and abuse lately but today I thought I’d talk about the impact of our ego in everyday life, and since this is my blog I will focus on my ego and how it impacts me. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s thought a lot about their ego and how it affects them.

This blog is a perfect example of how annoying my ego can be. Everyday since starting this blog I’ve logged in to see how “popular” it’s become by ways of ‘hits’ or views. Also, I notice myself feeling disappointed when I haven’t managed to attract any feedback or even ‘likes’. I check in several times a day sometimes just to see if I’ve gotten any new followers and whether or not any comments I’ve made have resulted in some interaction from a blogger. I think about whether or not I have the ‘right’ design or not and how pictures might help. Gosh darn ego! Grrr

Anyhow, my ego certainly has made itself felt over the past month and a bit. Seriously, ego you need to butt out! Let me just enjoy my blog and stop making it into a competitive thing. So what if I don’t have a tonne of followers or ‘hits’? I only started at the end of July for pity’s sake. But that’s what my ego does, it goads me and makes me feel inadequate if I have the same stats as the day before. Suddenly I’m thinking my blog must really suck! It’s like when my ego is in action I’m the only one who matters and everyone ought to be reading my fantastic blog-because it’s just so da*n great! Seesh. Talk about egocentric.

Another reason I dislike it when my ego is in the house is it makes me singularly focused on ME. Forget spiritual growth when the ego is around. The only growth I’m experiencing is my head! What’s an aspiring spiritualist supposed to do? The scary thing is my ego is a lot smaller than it used to be but it’s still bugging the sh*t out of me! I want to get to the point where my ego has a very small occupancy in my head and I’m able to let what others do and say not affect me. But until then I’m making bargains with my ego to buzz off and leave me alone for a bit 😛

Thanks for reading this self centered post.

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.