Wednesday, September 18, 2013

give yourself credit where credit is due

i'm blessed to have amazing friends.

who are there for me when i'm struggling.

i'm sitting in my rocking chair. the chair s and i should've bought when instead we got abby :) live and learn.

i haven't sat in this chair since it was in my apartment. memories.

i have been crying - crying - crying. and it is because (i realized after talking to my friend, st) growing - growing - growing hurts. what do babies do when they are growing new teeth? they cry. what do i do when i am growing new dbt skills? i cry.

my life has changed recently. from mostly recovery to living. living is participating in life again - with a part time job, an activity in the community (choir) and a service calling in my church. these three things together have rocked my little sail boat and have turned my world upside down and inside out. i have cried for weeks. in fact, my eyes are tearing up now just thinking about things.

i fear failure. and one day i'm going to do a post on all of the *wonderful* things i have failed at in my life. because as susan and i have talked about, it is really through our failures that we find out greatest successes. but today is not that day.

failure is still something i fear. in any and all forms. failure to do a good job at work. failure to have enough food at the church function. failure to hit all the right notes at choir practice. any and all failures are tragedies to me. i'm working on it, but it's a s l o w process.

so today, i have been thinking about quitting the choir. the thought of singing the difficult pieces, memorizing the music, performing at the high standards they have, etc, has to me been like a perfectionist on steroids. i have been going out of my mind with all of the "what if" scenarios on how they discover that i just don't belong.

i did my first dbt skill - a pros and cons list. and came up with a good number of both but the cons were more convincing. i showed my list to susan and she said, "i think you need to do a check the facts." enter sigh. i say, "you think i should stay in the choir!" she replies, "i'm not going to say anything but i think you've already done the hard part and now you're in." hmmm. so i cry.

all the way home. and i cry in my room. and i hurt. my chest feels like it's breaking in two. the pain is indescribable and unbearable. "i HURT!" i say/pray/yell to god. more tears. tissues. sobs. pitiful. anger. i WON'T do any stupid, f*ing, dbt skills! i won't feel better! i won't i won't i won't! tears. streaming down my face. finally. a small flicker of acceptance. do one mindfulness practice. 

breathe. focus on breath. breathe. focus on breath and hands. breathe. focus on breath, hands, and sounds. breathe. well enough to do a work task. calm enough. 

still calm. i'm amazed at this point. a thought. call st. she's in the choir. she's your good friend. she'll give it to you straight and she can help. i call and am met with compassion, love, acceptance, facts, understanding. "you have the talent to be in this choir. you deserve to be in this choir. it all boils down to what you want. what to you want? i am worried about memorizing the music too. look at you using your skills! what would susan say to you? what skills would she want you to use? you are doing a great job using your skills. you are practicing them and it's hard in the beginning but give yourself credit where credit is due. give yourself a standing ovation! things are choppy in the beginning but you practice them and soon they will become smooth. isn't that the goal? and what you're doing right now will help these skills become second nature to you."

and all the while a gentle thought - from god - 'you know i sent her to you, just for you, just in this moment, to help you, and all of these things are the things i want you to hear, know, believe.'

her use of the word choppy brought up the image of a boat. here i am sailing again. and yes, i'm in the boat and the water is choppy. i'm feeling the effects of rough seas. i'm sea sick. i've been on the waters for 6 months now and hell, i just want off the boat. but i'm learning to sail. i'm learning to sail to smooth waters. and i have to sail in the rough first before i can get out to smooth. 

i'm so grateful for her. for her insights. for her love. for her compassion. for her caring. she's right. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

50 first dates

i have watched the ending to the movie 50 first dates over 10 times in the past 2 days. i just can't help myself. to me it is so romantic.

and then it hit me. it's more than romantic to me. it's hope-filled. this man falls in love with this woman who has lost her short term memory and wakes up every morning not remembering him. if he could fall in love with a woman with such a big physical difficulty, don't you/i think someone could fall in love with me - someone who has mental health difficulties?

i know it's just a movie - but in real life, people aren't perfect. i was at lunch with my uncle in ca and he said that you just find someone who's oddities are what you can put up with.

i know that my life is and has been going according to god's plan for me. it hasn't been what i've wanted. by my age i thought (and had planned) to be a certified speech therapist, be married and have one maybe two kids. but these other paths he's been having me go on have been much to my benefit. i could not have handled the pressure of graduate school and a mental health disorder. or been able to take care of a husband and kids. 

as much as i want to have kids and be married at this time in my life, i know it's my time to be patient, learn and really know the dbt skills and apply them to my life, and then later i'll be blessed with the things my heart yearns for. it's hard to watch friends and family have what i want - but they are kind enough to share their babies, so it all works out in the end :)

and i guess what i'll take away from my movie watching is that there is 
the possibility of love for the imperfect.