Odds and ends

I ended up getting pretty sick. A flu cold mixture with allergies thrown in. I’m a lot better again but I’m feeling weak – walking to the store and back today was difficult, a bit. I haven’t seen anyone for a few days. When you live alone, getting sick is pretty lonely. All the little supports I’m trying to put in place in my life go away, because I can’t go out.

Tomorrow is a family Easter event. I’m not looking forward to it but at the same time I can’t quite ignore it either.

I skipped therapy for the first time in a year I think. I’d thought I’d be better in time to go, but on the day of, I realized there was no way. My eyes were just streaming with the allergies. A few hours before I sent an email saying I was sick. I’m supposed to give a day’s notice for cancelling, but he said it was OK. I’m assuming he won’t make me pay for the missed session. Luckily I almost never cancel, so I’ve got a good track record.

My mood has been not too bad, aside from feeling sick. And I was relieved to miss the dive into the dark side that therapy often entails. No post therapy recovery days this week. Phew.

But, predictably, now I am blue. I’ve been watching a mindless romantic comedy to cheer up. It kind of has cheered me up, but I’ve got so bored of it I’ve started writing here instead. In a way, it’s nice to watch beautiful, cheerful people with lots of money, in beautiful surroundings, with baloney problems that will solve themselves in ninety minutes.

But there are no good jokes in this. It was slim pickings at the library today, in the middle of a long weekend. This movie is called Baggage Claim and I don’t recommend it.

I’ve been obsessing mildly about a man at dance class. He’s not a crush, and he’s not a friend. He’s a guy that’s been dancing for two years, and really likes it. He goes to all the practices and he is very helpful. He’s taught me a lot of the steps. He’s really analytical, and can stop and figure out what I need to do – not easy because men’s steps are different. He had so much patience with me, and danced with me as much as with anyone else, even though I’m not much good.

The last practice I went to though, he suddenly ignored me. There were only three women there, and he wouldn’t dance with me. If I was the only person available, he sat out the dance.

I’ve been wondering if I did something. The only thing I can think of is I made a comment after a dance class, when he was coming in to take the next class. I just said wasn’t he taking me class, I missed my ‘lesson’ with him.

Maybe he thinks I’m after him???

Ack. Anyway. No big deal, but I’m sorry about whatever it is. I really appreciated his helpfulness and enthusiasm. I’ll likely never know.

I missed dance class and practice this week due to being sick.

I know I need more people in my life. I know if I’m happier, I’ll be more relaxed and more attractive to people. But partly, it’s just going out to things. I find it easier to go out to things that repeat every week – it’s less of a struggle for me if it’s a routine. Plus, I need things that don’t involve exercise, because exercise triggers me. So unfortunately. Because I love walking, and walking in groups would be a good way to be with people.

Sometimes, if find myself thinking hopeless things about myself. Sometimes, it’s as if it’s the voice of my father lecturing me. Pointing out how hopeless I am, how I’ve failed at everything, pointing out all the painful parts of my life, and how it all proves, that at my age, if I haven’t got it together, it’s way too late.

Then I catch it. If I can actually catch it – that harsh, lecturing tone, that negative slant on everything – if I can catch it, I can realize that’s not the TRUTH. It’s more of a torture mechanism.

I have found I can turn that off, stop that berating voice. I’m looking for a gentle loving voice, the real voice of calmness and truth. That says that life is life, good and bad, up and down, better events and worse events, better moods and worse moods. But I am not a label,  I am not a loser, or bad, or hopeless, or ill, and what’s happened to me isn’t proof of anything about me. I am a person. I don’t need anyone beating me up anymore. Including myself.

  1. Gel said:

    Ellen I love the last three paragraphs, especially the last one. It sounds like such amazing progress.

    I also have had some times lately where I am finally able to stop the inner voice or belief that is so crappy about myself. For a long time it eluded me as to how to stop that negative thought/mood/belief thing. I still can’t stop it on command. But I now recognize when it’s not the truth and I’m mostly able to stop from going down down down……and I have another part of me that says something caring or loving to myself to replace that negative tape.

    I hope your physical illness gets over with soon. Everything you’ve shared here shows a lot of growth (IMO). 🙂

    • Ellen said:

      Glad you can relate Gel. Thank you.

  2. Baby steps are progress. The last paragraph is awesome. Makes for a nice mantra to repeat daily. I agree with you that routines do help. It is easier for me to go to the same class every week then jump around to different classes on different evenings. Routine is helpful for a lot of things. I hope you feel better soon.

    • Ellen said:

      It is like a mantra isn’t it. I’d forgotten it today and read it over again, which was nice. Routines are half the battle for me. Thanks Ruth

  3. Cat said:

    I think living alone can be hard work sometimes, especially when we’re poorly. I hope Ron doesn’t charge you for being off sick, it’s not like you can book in advance!

    Being aware of the ability to catch that berating voice is a huge step forward. I hope that doesn’t sound patronising. It’s just, I know a lot about berating voices. They can haunt our minds for days. A huge turning point for me came when a Mindfulness teacher pointed out that, when that berating voice enters our head, we have a choice between dismissing it or ruminating. It’s difficult to be constantly aware, sometimes I only realise I’m consumed by criticism hours after starting. It’s exhausting and destructive. But, the seeds of awareness are real blessings in themselves

    Hope you’re feeling better soon

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, living alone it’s all up to you and it gets tiring.

      Seeds of awareness are awesome. I’m glad you have a helpful mindfulness teacher. Thank you Cat.

  4. I like your description of the gentle voice – I need to find that voice too!

    • Ellen said:

      Well, me too often times. We can but try. Thanks one.

  5. It’s usually my mum’s voice, for me 😦
    I guess you’ve heard that trick of not trying to turn the voice off, which means fighting the voice and sort of feeding it with energy as you do so, but just saying “thanks, mind!” – acknowledging that your mind is telling you stories again (the story about you being a failure, etc, which is after all just a story) and then getting on with stuff? That sort of works for me, but as you say, you’ve got to step outside and catch the voice as it’s speaking. Easier said than done!

    • Ellen said:

      Sorry to hear you suffer similarly. Yes, noticing is key for me. I usually catch the feeling first, then go looking for a negative voice. And yeah, I don’t believe in struggling with my mind much, though I see I wrote I ‘stop’ the voice. I’m trying more for awareness, and finding a different voice with different things to say. Thanks DB

      • Last night (my time) I wrote about feeling pride and happiness, which aren’t emotions I feel often these days, and how it’s difficult for me to say I feel proud about something, so I’m going to use this reply as an exercise (my psychologist wants me to say I feel proud of myself more often, and what I feel proud about). He’s been wanting me to work on moving that moment of awareness of a maladaptive behaviour from just after it happens into when it happens, and (big breath) I’m proud that I’m getting better at doing so. Phew! Did it! 😀

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