Evening peeps! I’m catching up on the laundry that I have been procrastinating!! And watching South Park in the process, obviously. Haha. Shelia has not brought her brush down on Sin Jawns yet, so it has been a great evening to catch up on the laundry, and TV.
As I mentioned in my previous entry, I had another session yesterday with my new counselor. Procrastination has been my arch nemesis for months now, so what we began to discuss were different ways to approach my procrastinating. The subject went from how to fight procrastination to why, deep down, I procrastinate.
It’s a hard subject to really talk about, because when it comes down to it, it is really horrible reasons why I procrastinate. But really one thing that came out of the session is how my mind is so corrupted with negative thoughts that I have myself set up to fail before I even start.
I was raised to believe that keeping the home neat and tidy is very important. I still believe that to be true, however, perhaps not to the same extent as I was taught. I really do not have the time to spend every free moment having my home in the same condition as my mother had in my childhood home. I have really been hard on myself because of that fact. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even try because there is no way that I can have this house perfect. The house we’re renting is older and really hasn’t been renovated in a very long time. It isn’t the most inspiring house to keep clean.
When it comes to this house, yes, it’s older and on the best of days I refer to it as a shack. Shack sweet shack. However, the convenience outweighs the cosmetics. This house is surrounded by grocery stores and great restaurants. I’m close to one of my favorite parks and it makes a fantastic walk in the summer and I’m close to downtown. It’s a somewhat close walk to work, or at least a fairly quick bus ride. And the boyfriend and I are here doing it ourselves. We have definitely had help from our families over the last couple of years but we are becoming stronger.
But when my mom says to me that I should check out the small one bedroom basement apartment just up the street from my sister because the house I live in now “you can clean it as much as you want and it still won’t look tidy.” It’s a blow.
I’m trying to decipher my negative thoughts from fact. The negative thoughts have built up to such a fucked up perception on everything my brain automatically goes right to the worse case scenario. My brain has been hardwired this way so long that it’s very hard to untangle this. This is why I have been seeking help. I feel as though I can’t be left to my own thoughts because the negative thoughts come much faster than anything positive.
Perhaps my mother didn’t mean anything by that comment. But that comment cut deep. And I felt that I couldn’t speak up and say that it hurt. I just took the hit as the truth and just fumed. I tried to say that I have another half that I have to discuss moving with. Plus I have my fur baby which takes a lot of apartment choices out of the equation. So I made those statements and then the subject changed.
However, that statement has been eating at me the last couple of days. And it’s a comment that I brought up with my counselor. He asked me why I didn’t tell my mother that it hurt my feelings. Perhaps it’s because on some level I agreed with her. And perhaps, that is why in the end I have not put my energy into cleaning this place.
What is the point of cleaning when it can never look clean? It will definitely never look as clean as the house I was raised in! But why does that matter?
What I have been telling myself the last couple of days is that… well… it doesn’t. I work three jobs. I do not want to be spending my free time cleaning and scrubbing my house. It perhaps will never fit the the criteria that my mother has set out for it. I am working towards getting to the mindset that I am cleaning it for me. I want to be proud of my accomplishments. I have accomplished and enjoyed so much of my life that there is a cloud over it of my expectations I had set for myself, perhaps fueled by what I thought my parents wanted for me.
So why am I sharing this with the blogging world? Perhaps you, the reader, are experiencing the horrid enemy that is procrastination. The following are things that perhaps I have always known that only recently have been swimming up to the surface that I want to share.
- Be who you want to be, not what others expect of you. Do what you want to do, not because others want you to do it. Never lose yourself because you have surrounded yourself with the wrong people. Currently I have reached a point that I am negative enough, I don’t need others bringing me down around me.
- Rid yourself of the expectations of others. If they have a problem with you, then that’s their problem. The older I get that is something that I am trying to shed myself of. It has been a battle. There is a fine line inside of my mind of what my expectations are for myself and what has been hatched through the influence of others. Deciphering that is really what I am going to be working on. What do I really want out of this life?
- Obviously I believe that you it is great to be caring and loving to others, but if the people around you want you to adapt to what they want rather than to be you, perhaps they are not worth your time.
- One thing that I am trying is self-talk. Which is talking to myself out loud as I would a friend. Those suffering with anxiety and depression have a tendency to be hard on themselves (I mean, duh right?) with their thoughts and what their internal monologues. So saying these things out loud help to hear how these thoughts are so askew. Yesterday when I was saying things to my counselor and when I heard myself the statements sounded so absurd once they were out in the open.
- i am also trying to write three good things that happened to me each day. From something as simple as I finished a load of laundry to I won a match in pool, or I had the chance to spend time with my loved ones. These are documented times when I was happy and thankful to be here. Some days it really helps to have those reminders.
- I am also trying to make a list of things that I want to accomplish in the next month. Including getting my hair and nails down. I already did my Bagel Cafe trip as my treat of the month. Haha. Trying something new, which is going to be the BlogJam info session on Friday. Just little things that will be even little accomplishments that will help this process along, even if they are trivial things but they are things that I want to do for me!
And yeah, this is one of my longest blogs I have made in a while. But I think it’s important for us to share our journeys because you never know who you will help. I have been reading some entries that really touch me and keep inspiring me to continue writing. Right now, the blog is something that keeps me, well, being me. It is my way to say what I am bottling up and helps get it out there, even as something that I can re-read and say “wow, that’s fucked up even for me” or “you know what? I am actually making progress. Even if others can’t see it, I can.”
And for those of you who have someone in your life who is dealing with anxiety and depression, some things that I have noticed that really cuts deep that people do that I would like to see you stop or at least try to stop doing:
- Stop discounting the work that they have been accomplishing. I have had good days, bad days, good weeks, and bad weeks. I will relapse and have bad times. I accept that I am not perfect. When people make cracks like “I thought this was helping you” or “you shouldn’t be sad”. Should is a horrid word!!! Think before you say “should.” And please keep in mind that half the reason people like me are in this mess is because of the fact that their perceptions are so fucked up that a snide remark that you think is innocent is tearing them up inside and making them doubt the progress they have made.
- Instead of harping on the bad, focus on the good. Instead of being discouraging, perhaps try to approach your friend or loved one in another way. When I have a bad day I don’t want to hear “should” or anything that is bringing me down. I want people to remind me of the good I am doing or even be a sound board and give me lifting feedback rather than damning remarks.
- A practice that I haven’t tried personally but I think it is a good one if you would like to understand what is happening in your loved one’s mind is going back to that self-talk I mentioned earlier. Be the mirror. Have your loved one say out loud what is going on in their mind. Take what they are saying into consideration and have them question it. There are mental filters that we all have that shape our internal thoughts. Ask them why they feel this way and have them continue the out loud self-talk until they break it down to why they are feeling this way. Once your loved one becomes comfortable, you can switch roles. No one wants to hear their loved ones speak so down on themselves, so when they hear those words coming out of your mouth, it could even open their eyes to how how harsh they are on themselves and can help untwist the negative thinking.
Okay, so to recap, procrastination is my enemy! Obviously there is a deeper issue to why I procrastinate other than I don’t want to do it. It is tough to un-boggle yourself from what you have grown accustomed to thinking , acting and feeling. It takes a lot of self- exploration and taking the time for yourself. If those around you haven’t been supportive of you and appreciate what you are doing, perhaps you might want to question what their benefit is in your life. If you want to be that support system for the person in your life who is experiencing depression and anxiety, lift them up! Remind them of what they are doing well and try to keep the snide remarks to a minimum. Be that support system, not the slap in the face that reminds them that they are not where they want to be.
Now is my time to bid adieu. I think I actually typed the length of a typical essay I would have struggled to type while I was in university! Once the words start flowing, das it! Haha.
Cheers and stay smiling!