Self-destructive Habits and Gerald

IMG_4238I found a cat on my doorstep, trying desperately to get indoors. As I am horrifically allergic to cats (as in eyes waters, sneezing, rash, asthma and eventually death) I obviously could not allow him inside. However, my destructive impulses did take the opportunity to override my sensibilities and rub the cat lovingly all over my face.

I also included my family in my joyous because I felt they needed to know the joy I was experiencing in that very moment. My Mother, sadly, did not revel in the happy, kitty loving moment with me. She was more concerned about my physical well being. Bless her.

 

For your entertainment I have decided to include the text conversation below.

Having a love of animals should not be considered a self destructive habit but apparently in my case it is. I have been put in the hospital twice due to an asthmatic reaction to a pet of the adorable variety. However I have a theory that my body will eventually come to terms with my fluffy habit if I just continually expose it to all the animals – starting with Gerald. Why does that sound dirty?IMG_4234

Anyways, Gerald provided me with love and cuddles for about 5 minutes before he got antsy and tried to get away. But that 5 minute cuddle fed my soul for days. Really, cuddling animals could be an addictive habit I’m sure.
Hopefully I will run into Gerald again soon for more love I’ll keep my asthma pump at the ready just incase.

I’m not entirely sure what this post is about, but that’s what you get for writing late at night when you’re half asleep and on pain killers because you kicked a man’s elbow…

…I’ll save that story for another time.

My Attention Light is Blinking

Sometimes I will send annoying texts, repetitively poke someone (in a non-sexual manner) or just generally behave in an annoying and obnoxious manner. Sometimes I just simply but my head into the person like a dog wanting love. When any of these things happen it is because my attention light is blinking.This is an actual system that has somehow gradually developed with my friends and family. I can just tell them now that my attention light is blinking and that I require love and affection. I can be quite a needy person… when I’m not busy being completely aloof.I always justify my need for attention by explaining that I have Attention Deficit Disorder and so really, by receiving attention from others they’re really just helping me with my deficit…

These days, attention seeking has negative connotations. If we seek too much attention we’re called “attention whores”. If a Facebook post is overtly emotional we say the person is just looking for attention like it’s a bad thing. Or the one I hate the most… how self-harming is a cry for attention, which in a sense can sometimes be true but it is too often said in a way that trivializes the persons actions.

I know I’m not the only person who has had these thoughts, I’m pretty sure I read a blog on this very subject not too long ago (and to whoever blog’s it is I apologise, I couldn’t find the article again to reference it). But I whole heartedly agree that asking for attention should not be considered a bad thing. We all need attention and we should all be willing to give our attention to others. Sometime’s all a person needs is to feel noticed, and if a person feels the need to hurt themselves in order to be noticed… I’d say they’re entitled to ask for some attention.

Don’t be afraid to ask for attention when you need it, and don’t be stingey with your attention when you see someone else crying out for it. Let’s all be a little bit more giving, and a little bit more loving.

Kumbaya, Namaste, Gesundheit etc…

(but seriously, it’s nice to be nice)

Motivational-ish quote of the day

I just came from watching The Secret Life of Pets with my mother. Which was an interesting experience since there were a lot of other kids there with their parents as well. Only difference was the children were about 20 years younger than me. Still, I’m young at heart. Besides, nothing cheers me up more than animated anthropomorphised animals going on wacky adventures.

I also got a massive metal bucket full of sweet ‘n salty popcorn which was awesome, and I’m going to keep it as my future sick bucket… because I get sick more often than I eat popcorn and every household needs a decent sick bucket.

Anyways, I digress. My point is that there was a poignant moment in the movie where Max is swimming for his little doggie life towards a life saver and Duke is cheering him on by saying. (This may be paraphrased as I don’t remember the quote exactly):

“Keep going! You’re doing great! Well, not really… But you’re not drowning so that’s something!”

And there, right in that small moment… contained the perfect metaphor for struggling with an illness, mental or otherwise. Because half the battle is keeping your head above water.

So When you’re being hard on yourself because you haven’t got much done that day, or that week… or that month. Just remember: You’re not drowning… so that’s something.

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My amazing popcorn bucket that’s soon to be my sick bucket. Everyone needs a good sick bucket.

 

Mindfulness makes me cry

 

My therapist has been insistent that I try mindfulness. Now I’m no stranger to meditation, it’s something I’ve practised many times. I like to think its something I was quite good at… but lately this is not the case. My shrink suggested this app called Headspace, which gives guided mindfulness meditation exercises. It’s actually a pretty neat little app and I’m sure it works great… if only I could get through a session without crying 5 minutes in.

“You cry?” she ask’s with genuine bewilderment.
I nod.
“Well then you can’t be genuinely in the moment, you shouldn’t be thinking of anything.”
“I’m not! Other than breathing and “the feel of the floor against the soles of my feet” I reply, maybe a little on the defensive side…
“Well, um, obviously you have some deep-seated emotions you need to work through”
I slow blink at her, I know this, this is one of the very reasons I go to therapy.

This woman is not instilling me with much confidence.
I think the issue with mindfulness is the fact that it brings you into the present moment, and I am presently sad. That’s kinda what depression does, being a day dreamer has always been my escape. I find being present in the moment and myself exhausting and somewhat… well, depressing.
I think, instead of mindfulness I will try Mindlessness. This article in The Guardian explains that “Mindlessness operates on the basis that your mind and body already know how to take care of themselves.” It goes on to say that “To be truly mindless, you need to rely on a combination of snap judgments, uninformed intuition and absent-minded daydreaming. All the things I’m best at, in fact.” Which honestly sounds much more my steam at the moment. In fact, I would say I already have mindlessness down to an art form.
However for the sake of my dear shrink I will give the mindfulness the old college try. Perhaps I can get to a point where I don’t start sobbing uncontrollably to guided meditations… I’d take that as a win.
On second thought, maybe there is some benefit to just engaging with sobbing for no apparent reason… I call it Sadfulness meditation. I could hold classes in sobbing, wailing and generalised despair, they always say misery loves company.
I may just start my own movement…

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The Waiting Place

Limbo, no mans land, the place between where you were and where you’re going. I’m at the pit stop of life.

A year after graduating, no job, and waiting to hear if I’ve been accepted to do my MFA. And if I haven’t?  Then what? Do I have a plan? No. I can’t seem to plan further than the day ahead of me and even that’s optimistic sometimes. I can worry about my future no problem, I worry about when I have kids, about the future job I don’t have, and other issues that are actually yet to exist. Worrying is much easier than planning, I’m a most efficient worrier of the past, present and future. If I could get paid for worrying then I’d be the most overly concerned millionaire in existence. As it is, you don’t generally get paid to be a professional worrier… I’m tempted to say scientists that worry about climate change are professional worrierers (that’s the correct plural right?)  but I also like to think they do research and solutioning (also known as problem-solving)  in-between their worrying. Philosophers are great worrierers, but again I don’t think anyone paid them much either. Please let me know if there are any other professional worriers that have slipped my mind.
Anyway, I digress. My point (I think) is that I am currently in the waiting place, which if you read Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss then you’ll know it’s quite a useless place.

“… for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.”

 – Oh, the places you’ll go by Dr Seuss

I hate waiting. It’s such an uncertain state of being. It’s nothing but anticipation, just waiting to react. I feel like, while I’m in this state of waiting I should be doing something productive. However, the waiting act seems to have played havoc with my anxiety, the lack of structure and stability that the waiting has brought upon me has equally fucked with my ADD. The anxiety, confusion, self-doubt and general low self-esteem has just led to a perfect mind storm of emotional hell. I am, as my shrink puts it, in crisis. I feel as though I have been slowly climbing to the peak of the worlds highest anxiety-coaster (which is like a rollercoaster but with more dread) and from the very top, plummeted down into the pits of despair. Worst. Ride. Ever.

Now I’m back at therapy, back on medication. Although this is new and exciting medication that doesn’t allow me to drink any alcohol, makes me feel phenomenally ill and dizzy, but that should calm down after a week. Suddenly, I don’t mind waiting. I’m quite grateful that my life is on pause. I don’t feel too much pressure get better quickly. I can take this time to look after myself, learn to love myself again. Interestingly enough, this crisis has reignited my desire to write after months of writers block. So there’s a sliver lining.

So I’ll wait for a bit, because when the waiting is done… Oh, the Places I’ll Go!!