“Be yourself and people will like you”

From pexel.com

I still haven’t decided the fate of this blog, but I don’t want to quit just due to inertia. If I’m going to hang it up, I want there to be an actual decision rather than one day realizing, “oh, I haven’t blogged in awhile. Oh well.” If there’s going to be an end, I want it to be definite. And I want to make that decision, one way or another.

So I had lunch with an old, good friend today. We don’t get to see each other often as our schedules rarely mesh. It’s been so long since we’ve gotten together that she actually asked me if was pregnant. =D No, not pregnant, thank you.

It was nice to see her. We used to work for the same company so she was filling me in on all of the gossip and news. We’re both cat enthusiasts so we spent a long time talking about our respective clowders. A good time was had.

But it got me thinking today – for as much as I say I have 4 friends, I really do have more than that. Sometimes life keeps us apart, but they’re still there in the background, the friendship just as strong as it’s always been. This particular friend has always been there when I needed someone – and I mean always. Sometimes she sends me random cards or candy for a holiday, or sometimes just because she saw something she thought I’d enjoy.

It was nice to see her and catch up.

Saturday I managed to stave off a major panic attack. I’m quite proud of myself for this. I was driving on the highway and all of a sudden my engine light came on, along with another light. I felt the panic rising. What was wrong? And more importantly how much was this going to cost me? We have some savings, but not a ton. I managed to hold it together and call the nearest dealership and made an appointment today. Luckily all of the issues were pretty minor – a brake sensor, a valve, the button that I push to start the car. All told under $500. Unfortunately they didn’t have the one part I needed so it had to be ordered. I go back Friday to get the last fix.

BUT. I managed to stave off the panic attack. I kept my head and was able to think clearly. Thinking about the potential cost I managed to keep myself calm, and not slip into the depression that was lurking just around the corner. I’m so immensely proud of myself for holding it all together.

I’ve found that most people assume that something big has to happen to trigger an episode – a death, a major financial problem, a lost job, etc. But I’ve found, at least with me, that most of the time it’s something little – or a lot of something littles. I tend to manage to hold things together through the big stuff. But the little stuff that sneaks up on you? Those are the things that seem to cause the most problems. The things that you’d assume you’d be able to deal with, no problem. Stub my toe? I’m irritable for the next four days. One of the cats knocks something off of the counter and it breaks (and I mean something insignificant), I’m depressed for a week. Mike plays video games instead of doing the laundry? Uncontrollable rage (he knows I’m irritated, but doesn’t realize the rage that’s boiling inside). Seriously. My reactions to things are completely out of proportion, but most of the time these things just marinate in my brain and people don’t realize what’s actually going on, if they even have a clue in the first place. What the shit, brain?

When my grandfather died, I cried once. I was closer to him than almost anyone else. And I cried once. I remember when I came back to work after the bereavement allowance ended my boss actually said to me, “I didn’t expect to see you at all this week. Are you doing ok?” I just shrugged and told her that I was fine. And I was.

It’s bizarre.

But, I guess that’s how I am. Maybe something to explore in therapy when I eventually go back. I’m still dodging that deductible. I should probably make an appointment. Maybe next week. Yeah. Next week……

A life well lived and what do you do when you’re scared of your own mind?

“A life well-lived is a precious gift
of hope and strength and grace
from someone who has made our world
a brighter, better place.
It’s filled with moments sweet and sad,
with smiles and sometimes tears,
with friendships formed and good times shared
and laughter through the years.
A life well-lived is a legacy of joy and pride and pleasure,
A loving, lasting memory our grateful hearts will
treasure”.

This poem is often read at funerals. It’s called “A Life Well Lived.” But I think that it’s a good reminder for all of us sometimes. That it’s not about how much stuff we have of what kind of car we drive. It’s about the relationships we have and the impact we have on other people’s lives.

I had a conversation with my mom tonight that made me think of this poem. She told me that I make her laugh, and that I had always made her laugh. That’s a good legacy to have. But it makes me think about how I assume other people perceive me. I’m not confident. I’m uncertain and overly self-critical. I assume that people don’t like me. My brain automatically goes to the thought that people don’t really like me, that they just tolerate me or put up with me.

This leads into another point – I’m constantly on edge that I’m going to lose my job, my husband, my friends, and everything else that means anything to me. Someone made a mistake at work? Automatically my fault and I’m going to get fired – even if I had nothing to do with it.

I hate my brain. Sometimes my mind honestly scares me. It goes off on these negative tangents that I can’t control. It goes right to the most negative outcome of any and every situation. I’ve joked and told people that it’s self-preservation – if I assume the worst and that doesn’t happen then I’m pleasantly surprised. If it does, at least I’m prepared.

So what do you do when your own mind scares you? It’s not like you can cut it out or even shut it up.

Maybe right now I feel like things are going too well and I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. But if I really believe in karma, or universal payback/retribution, doesn’t the last year of hardship mean that I have some good things coming?

I don’t even know anymore.

The death of a friendship?

Relationships change over time. That’s just how their nature. I recently hung out with a group of friends that I’ve known for years. But the last few times I’ve felt more and more distant and removed from them. That’s fine, the lack of effort is on all of our parts.

It’s just kind of sad, the death of a friendship. We’ll probably all still remain in touch, but I don’t think that we’ll ever get that level back.

And that’s ok.