From perfectionism

What Could Be Scarier Than a Great White Shark??

Happy ninth day of Twelvetide. I wish you health and prosperity this day, and a modicum of sanity as we go and be with various family and friends that we may have a genuine love it or leave it sort of ambivalence toward. Living with ambivalence is not for sissies. Let’s assume for a bit that you don’t live in or anywhere near Flint, Michigan, and as far as you know it’s safer than it’s ever been (since that great white shark in the 70s) to dip your toe back in the water. I give you three simple words. NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS If your heart beats a little quicker…

Should I Stay, Or Should I Go?

I almost closed/deleted/whatever my blog yesterday, which I’ve kept since (I think) May of 2007. Anyway, it’s a pretty long time. It’s just getting to be like FaceBook to me, which is why I mostly stay away from FB these days. FB is all about the houses to me. The big ones, the prettiest ones, the ones with adorable kids on swing sets in the backyards, handsome couples walking hand-in-hand down the neighborhood for all to see. Most of the rest of us stand there and admire, whistle, and applaud. Oh, and we can’t forget the likes. The more likes…

Organize, Order, Originate

As I started to work on my wood burning project (which I won’t be able to share with you anyway, because it’s for a family member, and I can’t take any chances online), I got this panicky ache in my chest. I started to think about everything else I have to do before Christmas. I know, it seems just too weird to think about Christmas in June, but not when you’re making all your gifts. So I decided to write down everything I’m making; to get organized, and make a list (not including the wood burning project, since that will…

How Do You Respond To Stress? Part One

You’ve heard talk of Type A and Type B personalities. The first part of this two-part blog series on stress is about the Type A personality. Here are 25 things you might not know (or might!) about this complicated personality: 1. They don’t procrastinate. They hate the idea of wasting time so they do things the moment they come to mind. Why wait and do it later when you can just do it now? 2. They always have a task list — a never-ending one. If there is another day to be lived, then there is another set of tasks…

Performance Anxiety Redux

All right. This is not an apology, this is an explanation. There’s a reason I have been so flaky lately with my posts . . . well, this whole entire month, specifically. Last year, when I tried to crochet Christmas presents, I didn’t start working until like October or even November, and of course didn’t get finished in time. I have a large family. So this year I began in January. So far I have two granny square blankets crocheted. I just have to put them together. I’m working on my third (pictured above) which looks like snowflakes! I have…

The Lake Wobegon Effect

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” — which is the immortal question asked by the narcissistic Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Several psychological studies have shown that in real life most people have a touch of the Evil Queen’s vanity. Including a huge range of measures, from good looks and popularity to driving ability and memory capacity, the typical person believes they are superior to most others. Our misplaced confidence is thought to explain a number of common human weaknesses, including what seem to be irrational health behaviors such as…

Birth Order

Last year, on one of his visits home from San Francisco, my brother Paul brought a t-shirt he’d bought which bore the saying “Mom loves me best.” He wore it to an outdoor picnic at which most of the family was in attendance; it was very funny and caused quite a lot of discussion. Even more funny, he left it with me when he went back! 😛 Paul is the second to youngest of seven siblings. I’m the youngest. My sister Carol is the oldest, then there’s Greg, Steve, Jerry, Jimmy, Paul, and me. My sister said she prayed and…

Venting

When I saw my therapist Wednesday he gave me a homework assignment. He even wrote it down, because otherwise, it would have gone right out of my head. “Challenge absolute thoughts (All or Nothing thinking). Find 15 cliches that relate to adapting to uncomfortable situations. Practice squared breathing exercise three times per week.” I’m not saying the assignment is stupid. It’s very worthwhile, actually. It’s just that I have so  much going on right now. Does he not realize that? The A-Z challenge goes until next Thursday (I think), I’m crocheting one very large granny square per day for a blanket I’m…

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Most people, when they think of OCD, imagine the comedic detective, Monk. While he shows some of the fears, obsessions and compulsions that may indeed be typical, I think it’s mainly a caricature. It was still a wonderful way for people to be exposed to this particular illness. The obsessive part of OCD symptoms usually includes: fear of contamination, having things in order or symmetrical, strong or horrible thoughts about harming yourself or someone else, and unwanted thoughts, especially sexual. The compulsive part of OCD symptoms usually includes: washing or cleaning, counting, checking, asking for reassurances, following a strict routine, and being very orderly. The two…

Managing

`P.S. You’re not going to die. Here’s the white-hot truth: if you go bankrupt, you’ll still be okay. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you’ll still be okay. If you sing off-key, get beat by the competition, have your heart shattered, get fired…it’s not going to kill you. Ask anyone who’s been through it. —Daneille LaPorte Well, it turns out I’m not the best sort of person to do this sort of thing—-the A-Z Blog Challenge. See, besides writing the blog post itself, we’re supposed to comment on each other’s blogs. But I can barely keep up…

Just Relax

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them. ~Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. ~Chinese proverb Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at other times move forward with it. ~Ray Bradbury It seems like everywhere I go people are talking about relaxation these days. My therapist asks me about my stress level, like it’s something that can be quantified, measured on a daily basis.  I probably…

Gambling on Goals

Goals are so crazy popular, aren’t they? I mean, I went looking for one quote on goals for this post, just one, and they were all so contradictory. Some said set your goals high and don’t stop ’til you achieve them. Others said it starts with the spirit, and if that wasn’t true, forget about it. Then there’s the one who says to set small goals and build upon them. So even the meaning of the word goal is somewhat sketchy. I know of a famous, at least famous on my terms, writing website, which has a whole board (forum) dedicated to the topic of goals and the…

Putting On That Other Pair Of Shoes

Gentle readers, I’ve been trying and trying to write this blog, wanting it to be gentle and light, to bring you good vibes so you’ll come back and keep reading. But my mind and heart are heavy with all the colossal blunders I’m making that I keep wanting to slough off onto my illness. A mixed episode of bipolar disorder is nothing to laugh about. It’s like a modern version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. My loved ones never know who they’re going to be speaking to from one minute to the next. Until I got into Al-Anon, I…

Love Yourself Through the Process

When I saw this cartoon it made me laugh so hard, and I was drinking coffee at the time. 😀 Then I realized it’s all about expectations and how what we think about things make them difficult. I hope that makes some sense. We dive into recovery and expect so damn much from ourselves from day one. God forbid we don’t meet those expectations. So when we can learn to laugh at ourselves it’s f***ing fantastic!! When I told the brilliant Dr. Walker this morning (therapist) that it wasn’t fun making paper cranes anymore, and I told him the whole story about…

7 Do’s and Don’ts in a Manic Phase of Bipolar Depression

7. When you wake up, startlingly wide awake after just a couple hours of sleep at night, don’t listen to your brain when it tells you you’ve had quite enough sleep. Do perhaps drink a glass of water and try to lie back down. If you can get it, this is a most excellent investment: Delta Sleep System. I think Jeffrey Thompson must be some kind of genius, because this puts me to sleep every time, even when I don’t stay asleep because of being manic. 6. Don’t get up instead, lurch over in a drug-induced stupor to make coffee and get onto Facebook. FB is a…

The Fine Art of Letting Go

In my last post I said I was going to write about the worry over my mom and my sister. I also said I was going to write it the next day. Now you know not to trust anything I say. 😉 But seriously, I went to an amazing meeting this morning. And it wasn’t just because it was called the Sunday morning Amazing Grace Al-Anon meeting, either. We read from today’s reading in Hope for Today, and what I heard most of all was about letting go. Boy, do I need to let go. I’ve been ashamed to talk about this here,…

The Problem and The Answer

I’m not often speechless. It’s not usually hard for me to know what to say, but writing in this blog has been so hard for me lately, and that’s not like me. It’s like I feel like I’m supposed to have the “answers,” as if 1) there are certain answers one has to follow as a member of Al-Anon and 2) I know them. Let’s get a couple things squared away. The only “answers” I really know in Al-Anon are told to me (either through the other members, the big book of Al-Anon, my sponsor, whatever) by my higher power.…

We Believe What We Tell Ourselves

When you know yourself you are empowered. When you accept yourself you are invincible. — TINA LIFFORD At the Sunday morning meeting yesterday, when we broke up, I chose to sit at the Hope For Today table. The topic of the reading for that morning was perfectionism, and how, despite being gentle with other folk, we can be merciless with ourselves. As I listened to the other people at the table, I learned something important, something I could so relate to. What we say to ourselves about our imperfection, our blunders, or our stumblings along the way of life is more important…

Wisdom -Where Does It Come From?

That’s part of the inside of my car. The back seat is still pristine. My point is, I think a lot of times we get wiser from making mistakes. Progress not perfection. I’ll clean it today. Peace out.