Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bringing Every Thought Under Control. Fighting Negative Emotions.

Sitting at my computer in numb disbelief I ponder what the State of California has done to me. After I get through paying Medicare, HMO (they work together), rent, Internet, cell phone, bus pass, food and Netflix I have a whole $12 left at the END of each month! Rage begins to build. Losing all perspective I march down to my landlord's office to tell him of this lousy state of affairs. I do nothing to mask my rage. My landlord's two dogs begin fighting.

I remember immediately that my emotions are out of control and feel bad that I have encouraged some kind of problem between two loving animals. The dog fight brings me back to reality. I have a situation, not a disaster. God hasn't vacated His throne, but I need to grow up emotionally.

When I go to church and play "pity me, like I'm pitying myself" games I get gently, but firmly put in my place. When I am honest and state why I'm upset, I am comforted and gently reminded that I am still blessed. (But it is alright to be sad, or angry. You just can't attempt to stay in that unhappy place).

Oh how I hate hearing similar things in church all the time. "I was mad because I had no shoes, until I saw a person who had no feet." This encourages perspective and gratitude. (From time to time I detest being told I should remember to be thankful).

I heard from a friend last night. She was very down. Thank goodness I have learned a bit of restraint. I don't like looking at someone Else's depression when I feel close to depression myself. I resisted the very real temptation to tell her to "get over it."

Like me, she loses perspective, getting mad, jealous and envious. With those things ruling her mind, she then settles down to remember what a total failure she is. (Man, I flirt with this stuff constantly).

I have made some money with my work. Being alone in a house with a cat, or a dog can be difficult. Without the weekly church meetings, it is very easy for me to get lost in ME. Before my friend called, I'd been pondering my choices about my money:

Go to hotel for a night with an expensive dinner OR
buy new walking shoes, a computer desk and new shelving.

I cannot do it all. I fought despair all day, but gave in a bit with a nap. I felt my attitude deteriorating into apathy, despair, rage. Coming up the rear - good 'ol self hatred. (You know you could have gotten off the system and gotten a real job, if you weren't such a lazy failure).

That last bit is a total load of garbage. Back to what I know works.

God I am thankful for ...?
God I trust You and I will continue to put you first in my life.
God, help me to start thinking of someone else, who isn't blessed like I am, RIGHT NOW!

My friend and I had a good long talk. She thanked me for helping her get perspective. I have to thank her for showing me how important the constant reinforcement of church has strengthened me for the times my work forces me to be alone. I clearly see that my emotional strength and stability comes from hanging around God and His people.

Yes, I need medication. Without it, I believe I'm a spider who needs to be killed. But with a stabilized mind I have some say as to how depressed I become. The consequences of letting myself fall into a total emotional collapse are harder to recover from, then the effort it takes to stop an emotional slide before it turns into a physical, chemical reaction. Said reaction would require medical intervention. Funny, I believe I'm learning to actually grow up.

I know my friend faces similar temptations. Thankfully, she has the means to secure some therapy. A process which will unlock some of those terrible prisons of her past. She claims I helped her. God helped us both. I prayed to Him as I spoke to my friend. He answered questions for both of us. I see growth and hope.

Financially, it isn't as grim as I first stated. I save some money each month which brings my play money down to $12. Maybe I can accept having to WAIT until I've saved the money before I just go out and buy something? What a concept. It seems silly, but if I save money first, I can give myself those lovely moments of having money to just "blow". Maturity requires planning, whereas letting myself just be impulsive causes me to borrow money. I'm tired of having people ask me, "But, what happened to the money..." If I never hear that question again, this self-discipline thing will have been totally worth the struggle.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gads, My Life Has Been Totally Transformed: Different Calendars For Different Things.

I am in love with Gmail and most things Google. They offer a calendar with your account and it is great. It is easy to add or delete or change an event. They also included the ability to have shared calendars with friends. I get the concept, but most of my on-line friends live thousands of miles away. They also haave a way for one person to have several different calendars.

I stopped and pondered why in the world would I want to have more then one calendar when I'm the one involved in all activities listed on said calendar? (One color calendar).

When you start really moving from surviving to thriving, you have more energy to do
things. Events started to overlap. I found myself attempting to figure out overlapping job duties. Cat job ends in the morning and dog sitting starts as soon as I leave cat gig. Now I had a reason to visually understand when different events were happening on the same day. Coloring Book 1A. (Multi-color calendar)

Make separate calendars for dog , cat and church. I hated the thought of having to re-enter events from one calendar into another. But all I have to do is go to the calendar drop-down menu within any event and select a new calendar. BAMB! New color for an already established event! Darn, what a concept!

Long ago, back when I had a paper week-at-a-glance book, I learned that if you didn't make it into my calendar, you didn't exist. I have a terrible memory for details like that. From time to time I'd double-book myself at two events at the same time! Lunch with Cathy AND cleaning a house somewhere. That book with all my events in it saved me more then once.

Now the same thing is all on-line.

In having to do this I am stunned to remember the time when I had very little to do and even less willingness to engage with events (even if I did have something to do). Now I have all sorts of things happening all the time. Just the way I like it.

Calendar reminds me of re-occurring stuff like bills (I choose not to pay on-line automatically), Dr. and social appointments, work and the mountain of church details I need to know.

Tools don't make sense until you have a need for them.

Once Again I comprehend: I've moved out of even recovery and into having a "real life."

I rarely have to stop, turn around and face some memory which I need to "process". Depression does come, but most of the time it is like being tempted to visit an old habit. When I don't want to do, or face something. I feel that pawl come over me. A feeling like I've lost everything good in the world. I have decided to fight that with a dose of reality.

Yeah, I have financial issues and problems, but: " THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE AND I WILL rejoice in it." (Psalm 118:24.) I start to find things that are good with the "right now." I hate the rain, but I'm dry and warm on a bus. I'm thankful to have somewhere to go. I'm thankful there IS a bus. AND I'm thankful I am not so disabled I can't ride said bus. I find the more I practice the above, the faster the depression leaves.

Now I am growing more of a conscience. I used to "lift" certain material off the internet with the help of friends. I discovered I can't do that anymore. When I tried it last week and went to church to pray, I couldn't pray. I knew I had to fes up to bad behavior and resolve to get rid of what I'd swiped. I had to make up my mind to steal no more. OUCH!

Close friends are more then happy to teach me all those "little things." I never learned in childhood. keeping yourself honest with others and yourself stops a whole lot of people issues, too.

To living life!