wlotus: (Face)
I have healthy coping mechanisms for anxiety.

Feeling anxious is not a sign something is wrong with me.

I do not currently have a label to neatly categorize my spirituality. That is okay.

I do not have to feel threatened by other people's spirituality.

I am normal, through and through.
wlotus: (Blackberry)
It is refreshing to lay down at night, drift gently into sleep, and stay asleep through the night. It is also nice to not be eaten alive with anxiety during my waking hours.

As I rode the train to my internship this morning I marveled at the normalcy of life. I wonder where I got the idea life was supposed to be a constant high, a constant push to do the next "big" thing. T and I spent yesterday at home, and several times I forced myself to simply BE STILL. Every moment need not be filled with activities (I assume) others can look at and judge "meaningful". Sometimes the most meaningful thing I can do with my body is nothing. I did that on the train this morning, too, and it was surprisingly refreshing.

I've completed my internship tasks for today, so I am going to spend some time studying. That is all that is on my plate for the morning. I admit, I feel a niggling sense that I need to program more of my day, but I am resisting that urge. After all, it hasn't been long since I got my brain back, so I want to relish the quiet. :-)
wlotus: (Tending the Flame)
Yesterday's Daily Om was just what I needed to read at this phase of my life.
The Wisdom of Fear )
wlotus: (Deep Thoughts)
I am thinking forever about certain things rather than taking things a day at a time. I have a natural tendency to do that; I did it as a child and would drive my parents crazy with it, at times. For example, here are things I fear right now:

1. Never being healthily slim/toned, no matter how much I exercise and eat healthily.
2. Never making a comfortable living outside of working a soul-sucking job for someone else.

I am not interested in justifying either of the desires underlying those fears to anyone. I am, however, interested, in learning how to change my tendency to think "negative forever" so it no longer haunts me and keeps me feeling a low-level of stress and fear every waking moment. Does anyone have any ideas?
wlotus: (Fallen Angel)
A couple of people's posts this morning have me thinking about my own mental state...specifically, how it affects my approach to life. When I think about who I was as a child and compare her to who I am now, I look as though I am afraid of my own shadow. I am not afraid of my own shadow, but the difference is that stark, even after much growth and healing over the past decade.

Back then I was fearless, barreling into new experiences headfirst with no doubts about my ability to (if not master the experience) adapt. But now? While I am far more open and adventurous than I was in the late 90s, you would still think I had opened my eyes one morning and seen the most horrible monster ever! I have to talk myself into interacting with others, both in person and on the 'phone (and occasionally online). I feel an unpleasant shock when I see a name I do not recognize in my email Inbox or LJ comments, sure I am about to be roundly criticized or attacked for something I said. I have to talk myself past crippling self-doubt to try many new things. Left to my instincts, I would hole up in a corner of my bedroom and never come out.

I was not born this way, and I cannot medicate this away. While the Lexapro has kept things down to a dull roar, the change only comes from being aware of and pushing through these tendencies. The meds help me think more clearly so I can work around them.

Even as I celebrate my self-awareness and strength, I am mourning the loss (she is not lost, only buried) flattening of the bright-eyed, bouncy, bold little girl I used to be. This is far more than a healthy respect for reality; it is an acquired crippling that takes a lot of energy for me to overcome.

Perhaps it will be less difficult to push though the inertia in time. I sure hope so. It takes far more energy to live life this way...energy I could spend on the living rather than on convincing myself to live. I am getting quite good at the convincing, don't get me wrong, but I wish I could just do it.
wlotus: (Fallen Angel)
Last night I watched "The Ten Commandments", an old favorite I used to love to watch every year with my mother when I was growing up. It is the first time I watched the movie since I renounced fundamentalist Christianity. To my surprise, the movie (specifically the narration which was directly from the Old Testament) triggered all of my old fears and shame and sense of not being good enough, a side effect of spending so much of my life worshipping and trying to please a punitive, all-male God. Also to my surprise, I had one of my (now rare) recurring dreams of being unable to accomplish a necessary goal. Every time I took one step towards the goal, I remembered five more steps I had forgotten, and time was quickly running out. I woke up after nine hours of sleep feeling mentally exhausted.

This is the first time I made the connection between my religious background and those draining, frustrating dreams.
wlotus: (Peaceful)

As I made the latest strategic move in the financial chess game of my life, I thought about how fucking sick I am of the financial stress. However, I realize there will always be some kind of stress in everyday life, even if I were to come upon a miraculous windfall that would make me independently wealthy for the rest of my life. With that thought in mind, I keep living through my current stress, rather than being overcome by it. I may as well live, not just survive, since stress is a part of life.

There was a time when the thought of life always containing stress would have depressed me to the point of suicide. I suppose I would have felt I couldn't live through the stress: in my mind my choices were either completely escape stress or die. (That is what my therapist meant when she told me I seem to believe I won't survive uncomfortable emotions, rather than realizing I have survived them before and will survive them, again.) But it helps me to remember stress is cyclical, not present 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is happiness, joy, and peace in my life, too. And since I know I have survived past stresses when they have arisen in-between the happiness, joy, and peace, I see every reason to believe I will survive present stresses.

There has been healing and growth in me. I have healthier expectations of life and of myself, now. I am glad I didn't kill myself all of the times I thought about and tried it.

wlotus: (Peaceful)

I survived today! As I walked to the subway after tonight's photography class I had that thought and gasped in delight. I seem to do that a lot, lately: consciously celebrate having made it to the end of another day still standing, still in my right mind, and usually clearer about who I am and how well I am becoming the person I have always wanted to be. I am pleased with my progress.

Tonight's class was on photo history, and I now have a slew of photographers and technologies to read up on, if my interest is to be sated. We also have our marching orders for the remainder of the class: work on our final project of 6 photos in a series. I have three ideas: Coney Island (instructor's suggestion, as I've shown several Coney Island shots in class), Bryant Park, or my neighborhood. I'm more likely to go with one of the first two, as I have a lot of shots of them and none, yet, of my neighborhood. We have two more classes, then the third week will be our exhibition. I barely felt the sidewalk on my walk to the subway, I am so excited!

Sleeping Lady, in the style of Tina Modotti
20 June 2008


May. 21st, 2008 02:41 pm
wlotus: (Photography)

I've been doing a lot of that, in terms of both my creative and personal development. I'm left feeling looser, able to move in more directions more easily. It's a great feeling.

wlotus: (Peaceful)

There are moments when I could jump up and down from joy and hoot from exultation.

Barring that, I just stretch and smile and enjoy the sensation of being appreciated.

Today I have felt out of sorts most of the day. The funeral tomorrow is part of the reason. Hormones probably play a part, as well. But today has been a good day. I washed and groomed my locs. I worked out. I scored 96% on a practice exam. (I'm still waiting for the school to assign me a test voucher, so I can take the real thing.) I connected with people who care about me and whom I care about. I ran some errands. Now I am basking in quiet. I don't even have the stereo on, which is odd for me. But my soul needed the quiet. I'm glad I listened.

Spring Is Here
14 April 2008

I Am

Dec. 29th, 2007 10:35 am
wlotus: (Fallen Angel)

I am anxious and agitated and impatient.

I am not (yet) zen.


28 December 2007

Can one hyperventilate from practicing deep breathing?

wlotus: (Peaceful)
It's a quiet day in the office, this day before Thanksgiving, so I have time to do something I've thought about for over a week, now.

Hi. My name is Wanda Louise, and I am living with dysthymia, a form of depression. In times of intense crisis, I have suicidal thoughts. I have been this way since I was fourteen or fifteen years old. I am now 36...a notable thing, since I attempted suicide by suffocation nearly seven years ago.

There. I said it. In public. I decided not enough people do, and since I have spent a lot of my life boldly going where others of my sex or race or religion rarely go, I decided it was time for me to be one of the few to publically admit to being clinically depressed and (in extreme cases) suicidal.

Read more... )

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