Monday, October 20, 2014

Survey for Jenn's Psych Research Class (IPFW PSY441)

Survey for Jenn's Psych Research Class (IPFW PSY441): This is a quick survey that will ask you some questions about yourself and about some pictures you will be shown. It takes 5-15 minutes and it COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS. Please take the survey and pass the link to everyone you know!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Been There, Felt That

I have 4 extremely busy kids. At one point this summer we had 15 activities that happened 1 - 5 times per week at the same time: 6 baseball teams, 1 soccer team, 1 hockey team, 1 dance class, 2 kids in marching band, 2 weekly therapy appointments, and 2 weekly social appointments. In April, we only had 3 of those 6 baseball teams and marching band hadn't started but we also had 3 kids in 2 choirs, 3 kids in 2 scout groups, 4 kids in 3 school musicals, and a wide variety of after-school clubs. Plus Hubby works more than full time and all 4 kids plus myself were in school full time.

I practically live out of my car because I am taking someone to or from an activity or running an errand or to the dentist or doctor or to/from an friend's house or something along those lines. For there to be a space on my calendar that doesn't have anything scheduled - an entire DAY - I literally get scared. (For the record, I don't push the kids into activities. If anything, I have to hold them back.)

This article I linked to really resonates with me because I keep going. I make sure the kids get where they need to be semi-almost-kinda-not-quite-but-close-ish on time with mostly-usually-unless-I-forgot-or-lost-it-again what they need to have. I juggle the schedules and can usually tell you who should be where on any given school evening. I get good grades - straight A's (if an A- counts as an A) and I can smile and carry on a coherent conversation with other parents at events, which I almost-always-without-extra-qualifiers attend.

Friends and family assume this means I'm doing good. I hide the cutting pretty well and I never discuss the constant suicidal urges. I try not to even let them know when I am spiraling and can pull it off to some degree. If they knew how dark things are inside my head... it wouldn't be pretty.

But I know that there aren't any additional resources for me. I see my med-shrink monthly. He informs me that there is nothing more meds can do for me; it's all psychological and not biological now. I see my talk-shrink weekly; not making much progress there either. I slide downward, realizing every day how unlikely it is that things will ever improve beyond where they are now. Baby steps, maybe, but things seem to be plateaued with little hope of further significant progress. At this point, I'm just not that sick and what sick I am is all in my head.

I want out.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Need to Read

Grrr. I want to read. I would love to get into a great series but I have no idea what I want. I don't do mysteries and crime stories but I love psychological mind-fucks. Horror, thrillers, paranormal, even fantasy are all fair game but I don't want vampires and cliches. I don't like war stories so that rules out a huge chunk of series and I don't like crime/mysteries so that rules out another massive chunk of the market. I'm bored with the Jodi Piccult style emotional dramas. I want something dark and twisty and seriously fucked up in the head.

And I have no clue how to find any books (let alone series) that fit those requirements. Urg. Maybe sleep is better than reading after all. It's not like I'm doing so hot at following storylines these days. Grrr.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I'm Lucky: I'm Not at High Risk for Addiction

I think it's a good thing that I don't have what's referred to as an "addictive personality". I have access to a wide variety of controlled substances and medications with high risk of abuse or dependence. And, the part that spooks me a bit, I really like the way some of them make me feel. But I've never had to struggle to not abuse them. I think longingly of their effects but not even strong enough to be considered a craving and they are relatively easy to resist.

"Man, that [insert drug name] makes everything in my head slow down and takes the edge off the pain in my soul. I want some."

"Yeah, that would feel good. But that isn't the way to make those kinds of pains go away. It doesn't last long and makes doing other things extremely difficult. Besides, addiction is ugly and this is a great way to start down that road. Do you really want to get hooked on something that would end up controlling you to the point that it would become more important than your kids, that would lead to being willing to lie and steal and put people and our family's lifestyle in jeopardy?"

"Bleh. Killjoy."

"I know. Get over it."

And that's all there is to it. There's no back and forth, push and pull, internal fight about whether to indulge or abstain, no fierce battle of wills inside my own self. I don't have to wrestle with demons to avoid falling into that horrible trap. I don't even worry that I could get to that point.

I am SO lucky. And I know it and am grateful for it every time I consider making that kind of bad choice and don't do it. It isn't that easy for others. It's a battle every waking second for some people. In the same way that it's a battle every waking second for me to stay alive and not jump ship, for some people, the mere presence of high risk substances is playing Russian Roulette. I am infinitely thankful that I don't have that problem. I wish I could isolate, bottle, mass-produce and distribute whatever it is that lets me be this way. Maybe I could trade it for desire-to-live, self-discipline, and anti-laziness potions.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This Should Be Fun

Our traditional 4th of July party is on schedule for Monday. That means the traditional pre-party cleaning hell is also on schedule. The house is so horribly trashed that we have planned cleaning for all day tomorrow and and all day Sunday. Kid-4 has already thrown one tantrum about this at which point Kid-1 screamed at him. (All this was before the fist fight between Kid-3 and the neighbor boy whose temper is every bit as bad as Kid-1.)

Tomorrow is gonna be fun. (SHOOT ME NOW!)

6 minutes (ultra brief)

The 6-minute method:

This is the super-short version. I hope to elaborate more later but want to get this out before I forget (again). The 6 minute method is intended to overcome motivational inertia or delay/minimize acting on counterproductive desires.

To do what you don't want to do, tell yourself you only have to do the activity for 6 minutes. Don't set a timer. Hopefully by the time 6 minutes is over, you won't be watching the clock and will be involved in the activity. But if you do see the time is up, tell yourself you did it for 6 minutes, you can do it for another 6 minutes. Do that for as many sets of 6 minutes as you can. When you do finally stop, remember you succeeded because ANY set of 6 minutes is more than not doing it for any minutes at all.

To NOT do what you want to do, tell yourself to wait 6 minutes before doing it. Don't set a timer. Hopefully by the time 6 minutes is over, you will have found a better alternative to what you want. If you still really want it and still really shouldn't, tell yourself you waited 6 minutes, you can wait another 6 minutes. Do that for as many sets of 6 minutes as you can. In the meantime, try to set into place something that will distract you from your desire, replace it with something more suitable, or become self-limiting so that something external stops you from being able to go after the counterproductive urge. Frequently, cravings pass or the situation in which they are available end. Try to last. If you cave in, remind yourself that you held out for longer than you wanted to.

6 minutes...

fold laundry for only 6 minutes
wait for 6 minutes before getting that bowl of ice cream

PS - it's 6 minutes for a reason... 5 minutes is a short amount of time. it's manageable, palatable, doesn't sound like a life sentence or an eternity. But it's easy to clock-watch 5 minutes. It's easy to see it on the clock and it's even easy to estimate 5 minutes in your head because we do it so often. But 6 minutes is just enough longer than that to make it not intuitively guessed without being sufficiently longer to feel infinitely longer.

Crash and Burn

For the record, I am not crashing and burning. I am just fine. Peachy, in fact.

Do you believe me? Neither do I. Neither do any of the people around me.

That's why I'm back here. I can't talk to them. I can't make a bad situation worse. They are so stressed already and a big part of that is because of me. They worry about me spiraling or they are having to cover for me or they are having to smooth over things that I have stirred up or they are just plain frustrated by me and and sick of my crap. I want to get it out, to vent and rant and whine and despair, but in a place and a way that I won't hurt anyone.

Is that even possible? To be miserable and to express that unhappiness - without hurting anyone?

When my family hurts, I hurt. Even when it has nothing to do with me, I hurt. I hurt especially when there is nothing I can do to fix their hurts. So perhaps my very existence hurts not just me but them... again.