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tension calls for attention.



So, as I said, I had a good weekend with friends. A party, which was good to see old friends at, from my old work. I was doing well for a bit, just keeping with the hiking program, then for some reason, today, I just started feeling crappy again.

Oh, hum I watch 'the reader', whixh is a good movie, but made me cry, I guess that didn't really help...

and then: Ok, I started reading this book that my friend lended me : "why men marry bitches". I had started to see this guy last week, and turns out he is an idiot and doesn't respect me, so I am not returning his calls. Which is totally fine. He is not my style after all. So anyway she lended me this book which I started reading and I feel like I've made so many mistakes with guys, in regards to being respected in the past two years or so, I started to feel like an idiot and started to wonder about my reputation...about why the heck I still don't have my boundaries down at my age, blablabla.

Funny thing [well, not funny ahah] is that, it is at this very moment that I should get back to my plan. Which is:

- hang out with people who have good healthy habits

- exercise

- continue the things I need to do to feel happy and proud of myself [the setback on my apprentiship doesn't help either :(]

- eat well...

One the weekend I was around my friend R's bunch of friends which aren't good for me. All they do is drink and party and do nothing physical. This is exactly what I want to get away from. It is just unfortunate right now that I can't contact the new people who do exercise, that I want to hang out with, because all I can do is hike and a lil bit or running, but my knees don't let me do to much of that... And all of those folks work all week. And I wanted to do the weekly races to see these folks and bond with them a bit more to be able to contact them without it being out of the blues... So now, I only have just two friends I can rely on for healthy behavior types of people. When they aren't available, it's hard for me to get out of this rut.

Anyway, I called a few friends today, but, since I didn't make any plans before, no one was there and available. So I went to the lake by myself and continue reading the book, which made me anxious. Then, I stopped and tried to talk to myself and say : "it's ok T, everybody makes mistakes and you are on your way to fixing it right now!"

It helped a tiny bit, but not enough I guess.

Then, I forced myself to go for a run/walk, all I could muster was 15 minutes at it. Which helped me feel better... for about an hour, then back to anxiety again. And eating a whole family size bag of chips!!! My belly is all up side down now. Argh!

So now I am going to take a bath, then listen to one of my old relaxation CDs. I am sure it will help. Tomorrow I see the physio, which will help too.

I tell you, being home alone and not working like this is reallllllly hard on my mental health.

Tomorrow. And heck, right now, I get back to the 'taking care of myself' program.

Wish me luck! I need it.


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Yeah, too much spare time is never a good thing, if you ask me. Too much time to think and worry and get yourself down. Maybe if you just concentrate on taking care of yourself, like you are, and not what mistakes you've made in the past you would feel a little better, if you can.

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Self-help books don't always help, that's true. You have to incorporate them into your thinking with respect for yourself, as well. A lot of the books I've seen (well, mostly Dr. Phil's) take a sort of wise-ass tone to maintain reader interest, but that also makes them harder to take personally, I find. You did a pretty good job of telling yourself that everyone makes mistakes and that you're already working of fixing them. I read somewhere that people often make themselves unhappy about some part of themselves they want to change, because they assume they won't change it if they are happy. The writer suggested to be happy with yourself instead, just say you still have something you want to change.

I know you tend to do more vigorous athletic things, but even just wandering around a mall and not buying anything gets you out of the house ...

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this is true, well it's true of me, for sure. I remember how I use to make myself really worried and unhappy, just to get myself to study when I was in school. I would say 'I will fail, I don't know enough, I must have good grades or else...' I finally recognized this might not be the right way to go about things about 4 years ago!' I used to make myself sick [literally] with worries that I wasn't good enough, because I thought it was the only way to get me going.

Still, even though I have toned this down quite a bit, those thoughts are still there, as I haven't truly found a way to replace them with something that gets me going.

Sometimes, I try to think about how good it feels after I have accomplished something to get me to move... It works a little bit, but then I fall into fantasy land also. I fantasize how good it will be when I am allll done, how proud I'll be, etc. And then I just sit around and do nothing.

The barriers to accomplishing the smallest task sometimes are so easy for me to give in it's... well, embarrassing really. I don't let it known to the world. Just here and to my old T, as I haven't have a chance to really explain this to my new T. It could be very well rationalized that it is because of all the barriers my parents put in front of me, directly by pointing out all the difficulties, or indirectly by just making me feel inadequate, and sort of demonstrating, themselves, how inadequate or incompetent or not good enough they, themselves were when I was a child. But still, my mom, for example seemed to have worked through this and made tremendous progresses through her life. She has lists and goes through them, and do her day to day 'to dos'. But still, it all seemed for her, and still seemed like everything is an unpleasant chore. I don't know what makes her do them, and meanwhile still always whine how unpleasant her life is a lot of the time.

On the other hand, my friend R for example, do her chores no problem, and I have rarely heard her complain about them. She seems to find the problem, a solution, and then fix it right away. And then seem pretty content about her performance. She says stuff like: 'oh, I have done a lot today! let's sit down and relax now' All with a big smile on her face. It amazes me! Same thing for another of my friend Marc.

But how do they do this? What sorts of tactics do they use to motive themselves? Where and how did they acquire this great inner coach that motivates positively and keep them going through the hurdles? How does it works? I tried asking R about it, but she didn't really know, she said 'I don't know, I just do it'.

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Well, they were raised the way they were; they probably have no better idea how they do things well than you do of why you don't. And they had their entire childhoods to get raised their way, give yourself a chance to catch up!

It also seems to me sometimes that you are even more achievement-oriented than I am (*gasp*), maybe it's okay to just be you, the way you are right now, for a little while, anyway?

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Mmm, well, I wish I could say it is ok, but honestly, I think it is time for me to get real. I am not talking about academic achievements or sport prowess here at all.

It is true that I have tried to do that for the major part of my childhood until I was finished with uni [academics pushing]. Then, Yah, I did it too with the mountain sports [not that I was any sorts of rockstar], I tried and I did enjoy it for a while. And then with my career in graphics [again, I didn't really gain any sorts of prize or trophy], just made it all the way from earning 15k to 45k a year [wow]. But to me it was a great achievement. And then I burned out, 2 years ago.

And now, I have a hard time just paying bills, the rent, returning books on time, doing taxes, cleaning the house. We're talking everyday stuff here! Doing the laundry, cleaning the car, getting an oil change, getting a hair cut, cooking for myself, getting the garbage out. Could you believe that for two year, I have yet to hang a single picture on the walls?? I've both the frames and all. Just haven't done anything with them. I took me 4 months to finish painting my tiny apartment [only after C remarked on it]. It took 5 months to put back the covers for the light switches on the walls... I gave up after C and I broke up. We are really just talking about everyday things here. Things that people do, to make themselves comfortable and treat themselves with dignity, like if they were a good parent to themselves. What I am comparing this to is, if I had a child, I wouldn't want him/her to live in this mess. I would want him to have a comfortable home, where he can invite his friends over without fearing ridicule.

Thanks for telling me I shouldn't be so judgmental of myself, but at the same time, I just can't see how this is ok. It's already been two years like that, with little progress. I rarely invite people over because I feel embarrassed by my place. When I do, I have to clean up a lot, which is a good thing really.

I just feel that it's not an excuse for myself to have had a weird upbringing. I am sure you do your everyday things! I've been trying to catch up for the major part of my life, but I had it wrong before. I overcompensated in school or sports or or career, but at home, it was hard to keep it together. I just want to be able to do the simple things. :)

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My wife used to invite people over, simply to have an excuse to clean. Otherwise, she was the kind of packrat that makes piles. I don't mean that critically, it's just the facts. As for my housekeeping, yeah, I'd have to clean before I invited you over. You're not unique.

I wasn't trying to give you excuses, just to be able to be happy with yourself, so that you could then go do whatever you feel you need to.

And if there is something you want to do, I bet you can do it. Kaudio has better recommendations than I do for how to break big chores into steps (I'm probably more like you than you think), but I do know it's doable.

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Hey tour, I tried briefly reading parts of Why Men Marry Bitches, when I came across it at a book store a while back. I thought it was pretty amusing, but not enough to convince me to buy it unfortunately. Also, I agree with malign's point in that a lot of people are more like you than you think. To break large projects down into next actions, Getting Things Done, by David Allen, offers a pretty good checklist of sorts.

As a suggestion, when you have a good part of the day totally free for yourself, and you are well rested, go into one room with a pad of paper and a pen, set up a space that will be your 'inbox', and place all of the stuff of the room in the inbox of which you have a feeling you want to change. For items that are too large, heavy, and inconvenient to move into the inbox area, make a note of it on a piece of paper and place it in your inbox. Do not be afraid to let your inbox swell into a mountain.

Once all of the stuff you have any inclination to change is in your inbox, you can begin the 'processing' of the pile by beginning with the top most item and asking yourself the following questions: What is this? Is there something to do about it? If the answer to the question is no, then you must consider either throwing the item away or keeping it for future reference. If there is something to do about it, then write down the physical, visible action related to the item on a action-only list, and set it aside; however, if the action will take less than two minutes, do it immediately. Any item that requires more than two actions can be listed together for ease of reference.

The underlying point to this exercise is to discipline oneself to tie thought to action. Thus, even after you have completed the processing of one room, you can process the piles of the mind. Whenever a thought arises, ask yourself what is it? Was it a good thought? A scary thought? A bored thought? Is there something to do about it? No, then either forget it, or write it down for future reference. Yes, what is it? When you try to ask what the next action is to a particular item, inevitably another question must be answered: What do I want to accomplish here? Imagine wild success! What do I want to be true of this?

This checklist that David Allen describes as natural encourages readers to funnel their lives through two questions: What do I want? What is the next action? But, the power of this process is the 'next action' component. Once one collects a list of next actions, all that is left is to pick one and just do it. Thought only has real meaning when you can tie it with action.

Of course, whenever I may have discouraging, frustrated, or angry thoughts, acknowledging that they should be trashed does not make it easy to actually bin them. But, 'processing' my own thoughts enables me to keep track of the crap, and what is real (i.e. actionable).

In brief: Stuff – Inbox – What is it? - Action? Yes or No – If yes, what is it? Two minutes, do it now; write down actions longer than two minutes on action list – If no, trash or reference. Repeat until entire life becomes processed :(

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