Sunday, January 31, 2016

January of Me-Day 25 (Final Day)



Starting Thoughts
Some worry thoughts upon waking up. I had texted the guy I am dating the night before and he never texted me back. It's no surprise that something like that I would struggle with as it's hitting upon my biggest vulnerabilities. Still, I managed to get through it, and not dwell. He texted me later and explained that his phone died.

Progress

  • Added more podcast episodes to Youtube.

Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills

  • Day 11 of 30 Days of Yoga Camp.
  • One of my mantras I try to live by is, "thoughts are just thoughts, it's what you do with them that matters." Today that mantra really came into perspective for me. My negative thinking can often cause paranoid thinking which in turn can cause negative action. I'll have bad thoughts and become convinced that other people can "read my mind," that I'll act on those thoughts as a way to defend against people "hurting me." Today while I was worrying about not being texted back and having vengeful thoughts about someone, I began to feel bad. Then I realized, they are just thoughts. They are in my had. No one can hear them but me. They be overwhelming, but so far I have not done anything to them. Of course having those thoughts trapped inside one's head can feel like being cemented to the bottom of a pool that slowly filling up with water.  Nonetheless, I kept reminding myself of my mantra, "thoughts are just thoughts, it's what you do with them that's important."
Highlights

  • Won a $25 Athena's gift card.
  • My friend Bobby came by to give me a backpack to use for NYC, and hung out for a bit.
  • Made a really yummy snack of cottage cheese, clementines, honey, and cinnamon.
End Thoughts
Since this is the last day of my, "January of Me," this will be a recap of the month. I took this month to get myself back on track, get my life in order, find balance, and create a base that will help me with long term progress. One of my biggest frustrations in life has been all the cycles I've been through. How things go really well for a while, then all go to shit. What I fail to look at is the bigger picture (which is interesting since I'm an N in the N/S preferences of the MB indicator, but that's based on how you take in information). I am not the same person I was when I was first diagnosed with BPD, not by a long shot. I may still struggle, I may have self-harmed and been in the hospital as recently as last year, I may have had trouble controlling my anger as recently as yesterday; but the frequency in which it happens, how I handle it, how quickly I return to wise mind, and how I take care of my self is less, better, faster, and kinder. Think about it, when someone has a physical illness any progress, even the tiniest, is celebration.With mental illness, it's different. If I go from having an anger out burst once a week to once a month, that's progress. If I take 2 days to get back into wise mind after that out burst and the next time 2 hours, that's progress. Some other points I have taken away from this month;

  • Yoga is tremendously helpful for me. I am a very kinetic person, and it's the best form of meditation for me. I've been doing it twice a day all month and I feel strong mentally, physically, and spiritually. I do it in the morning, and it really helps wake me up.  When I do it after work it's my quiet time for myself, and I really feel connected to my body, my breath, and the moment.
  • I am currently on meds, in a mental illness support group, starting individual DBT therapy, and on a wait list for a DBT group. This combine with yoga and my coloring group once a month is a tremendously helpful defense against this disorder and exactly what I need for the long term.
  • "Here I go, here I go, again girls what's my weakness? Men!" You laugh, but it's true. My vulnerability, my kryptonite, is men. I'm bisexual, but I just don't have the same attachment issues to women as I do to men. This is the area where my disorder comes out in full force, where the fears of abandonment, the frantic efforts, the splitting, the paranoia, the panic, and the worst parts show. This is where the cycle rotates towards disaster. I've already been struggling, but I'm armed with skills and fighting back. I'm remembering that my thoughts are just thoughts, and I'm doing my best to push through them.
  • When I started this journey I knew to be able to go through it I needed to give up some things, or rather people. Namely, Daniel and Will. They aren't people I want to give up forever, but I needed to for a bit, until I got myself back on track. I've spent the past 2 or so years waiting for Daniel, and he's just never going to be the person I want. I want him in my life and I want him as a friend, but I'm never going to move on from him if I'm still attached to him. I told him I'd contact him in March, and I'm hoping I'll be dating someone when I do.  Will was an FP and someone I got very attached to, that was never ever going to make me happy. As FPs go, I got attached and it got unhealthy and I knew the only way I was going to better myself was to step away. There is a lot of background that goes along with all of this, but you get the gist. Wednesday I might be going to trivia, and I'll be seeing Will for the first time in a month. I'm not sure if I'm ready. It's easy for me to feel confident when he's out of sight, out of mind but I'm so vulnerable and fragile when it comes to FPs and former FPs that I could easily turn to glass. I read a recent quiz blog he posted and felt a twinge of jealousy when he mentioned another girl. That's the vulnerability. That's what what this foundation needs to be strong enough to support. Because these aren't people who are bad, and I do want them in my life.
  • During this month I was able to get out and meet people, and become involved with different things. This was one of my goals going into this journey. Here's a recap of what I've done, and hope to continue to do (and have coming up).
  1. Boston Whovian meet ups, once a month (first one on 2/7).
  2. Sex Positive Boston meet ups, once a month (first one in February).
  3. Mindful Coloring and Conversation Gathering, once a month.
  4. Boston MTG and Boston Writer's Meetup. Both of these meet up Tuesday, and I thought I could switch between them when I am looking for something to do. My membership for the writing group (on meetup.com) is still pending, but I'm hoping I can check it out soon.
  • I was able to attend some cool events and check out new place like Arisia, Agnes of God, Museum of Bad Art, and Knight Moves Cafe. 
  • I have some pretty cool things coming up; NH trip (to re-buy my lost stones), Deadpool, Countway Library of Medicine, and of course NYC to see Hamilton and go to the Met!!!
  • I have two big projects I'm working on; moving all my podcast episodes to Youtube and my BPD book. I was also asked to be part of a photo documentary about mentally ill people.
I feel a lot more balanced after this month, a lot more present. We'll see what the next month brings.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January of Me-Day 24


Starting Thoughts
Woke up earlier than I expected to. Somewhere between 6:30 and 7:00am. Woke up in a pretty good mood, and let's just say that my morning started pretty good ;)


Progress

  • I closed out my DCU bank account the other day and got the $5 back I used`to open the savings account.
  • Did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, took out trash, swept, and cleaned the litter box.
  • Been trying new avocado recipes. Today I made it with an egg, pepper, and bacon bits on top.

Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Day 9 of 30 Days of Yoga Camp (morning)
  • Day 10 of 30 Days of Yoga Camp (evening)
  • I exploded on one of my other roommate, but after calming down I took the initiative and went and talked to her.
  • My NH trip got canceled. I began to assume this meant that everything was going to fall apart, but I used wise mind and began to think of alternatives. Soon after  I got an offer from someone else to take me.
  • I didn't start to worry when I didn't get a text back right away from the guy I was dating.

Highlights
  • Ran some errands with roommate.
  • Gave a friend advice on podcasting. He's also recently been diagnosed with BPD so he'd like to pick my brain about that.
End Thoughts
Except the part where I had trouble controlling my anger, I feel pretty good about today. I got a lot done, and managed to use my skills throughout the day. I even settled the dispute from earlier which I'm gad about. Yoga at the end of the night did wonders as well!

Friday, January 29, 2016

January of Me-Day 23



Starting Thoughts
Woke up actually excited to go to work. I dealt with some paranoia yesterday, but have been doing a good job of not giving into impulses and making things worse. I was telling a friend that sometimes I get trapped in my head, but if I'm able to get out I end up forgetting what I'm suppose to forget and I tend to feel better. I just need to get past that initial hump.

Progress

  • Added more episodes to Youtube. I did learn that some of the episodes I am going to have to split up; which is fine, that's easy enough to do.
  • Did my taxes. I'm a bit let down because I seemed to be getting a large amount until I put in my final W2. However the fact I pay rent and ride the T saved me from owing the state of MA money. I'm going to have to look at my budget and figure out saving for bankruptcy once and for all. 
Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Morning Yoga
  • At work I am sometimes afraid to discuss things because of past experiences. I've taken initiative, and it's been looked down upon and discouraged. I'm really scared of rejection or someone getting angry at my decision and I'll get in trouble or fired. It's a common occurrence for people with BPD to have that fear of interpersonal rejection. Today I forced myself to get over that fear and discussed my fears with the lead teacher. She's totally supportive of me taking initiative as long as we are on the same page and I let her know. She's been supporting my choices as well.
  • Felt really paranoid, but managed to keep it in control by being mindful and using Observe and Describe
Highlights
  • Bought a couple of boxes of Girl Scout cookies from one of my students.
  • I had a really good one on one talk with a student.
  • Spent some time at the library, and then at Starbucks for a little bit.
  • Went on a second date with Hugh. We went to Knight Moves, a board game cafe. It was really neat! We played Flux, Linkee, and Coup. After we went to Good Vibrations to look at the antique vibrators and then to Otto's for a slice of pizza. I'm trying to not "jump ahead." I will say that he said things are "promising" and we do have some great conversations.
End Thoughts
I seem to be forcing myself to do things I normally wouldn't, getting myself into wise mind faster, and controlling my impulses better. I'm proud of myself.

January of Me-Day 16



Starting Thoughts
I had to skip yoga this morning because I didn't have tampons. This meant I had to sleep naked with a towel between my legs and just let my cycle free flow. I do yoga before my shower and get dressed after my shower. Doing yoga basically meant either doing it in my work clothes and risking the substitute wads of napkins shifting and blood getting all over my clothes or doing it naked and blood getting all over my mat. By the way, if this is grossing you out. Too bad. You shouldn't be grossed out by a natural occurrence. Grow up.

Progress
  • I am trying to get better with my money, even if it's little steps at a time. For example when I was younger I would skip paying bills in order to spend money on random stuff. I worked on this an was able to pay my bills first before I spent money. I was still bad at saving so it seem like I didn't improve, but with BPD even small improvements (like not spending bill money on coffee) is an improvement). Lately I've been improving even more with money. Instead of spending bill money on things like coffee I would spend the money I should have been using for cat little, food, shampoo, toothpaste, paying people back, and "adult" things. Now I am making sure I don't do that. Right now I only have $40 left in my pay check and 90% of the rest of the money went to bills and paying someone back. $10 is for a donation for a play I'm seeing to support a friend. I still need to buy food and cat food. In the past I'd say, "but I really want money to buy coffee or ____," but I know I need to eat. So I'm doing the adult thing. I still need to work on actually saving money. Especially because I have trouble holding on to jobs. It scares me I have $0 in savings.
  • I had emailed the Yoga instructor from Arisia and she gave me advice on finding cheap Yoga classes, so I looked into community classes. I found some that may work, just waiting to hear back from some I emailed. She told me that the issue with home practice is that no one is there to help me with my alignment, which I know is the thing I need the most help with, and that can lead to injury.
  • Heard back from my Psychiatrist and I've been assigned to a team so I may be getting a new therapist soon. This means I am putting off switching practices for the time being. I actually like CHA, it's just that I've been waiting so long to get a therapist.
  • I followed up from my second interview today. The woman I've been corresponding with (Jill) told me the supervisors I spoke with said I was the candidate they were the most interested in and that my skill set best matched the position. They wanted me to come in and meet with the kids. The issue is I can't afford to take a day off because I get one sick day a month and, A. I've already used my January one and B. my next paycheck has to be a full one since it's my NYC check. The good news is they currently have a temp in the position so there isn't an urgency to fill it. Right now there are two options. 1. Jill is going to talk to the Principal Monday and see if he'll talk to me on the phone and hire me without me coming in. He's talked to me in person before, and his biggest concern was being committed to staying on for the year. I told Jill I've been talking with that I was all set to come on board with them and would have definitely picked that school over the one I'm currently at. 2. If they rather I come in I told them I could come in around the beginning of February during the week of my next check. I really hope this all works out. I am starting to like where I'm at a bit better, but the commute is terrible and this job is working with an age and demographic I really want to work with (Autistic kids and I'd actually get to work with K-4).
Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Lead teacher seemed to be in a bad mood today. Normally I would take it personally and assume it had something to do with me. I used wise mind to tell myself that she could just be having a bad day and even if it did have something to do with me, I can't control it. If she wants to talk to me about it, that's her choice and I'm not going to chase it out of her. I asked her is everything was okay cause she looked a bit stressed and she just said she had a lot on her mind. I cast the line, how much she bites is up to her.
  • I noticed I was able to control my intrusive thoughts with a bit more ease. 
Highlights
  • Lead teacher had a morning meeting so I got to teach the 5th grade math lesson. Usually I teach part of it in a small group, so I was excited to teach a full class lesson.
  • Asked the kids to explain one of their phrases to me and they got all excited.
  • Hung out at Starbucks.
  • Saw a play called, "Agnes of God" which was directed and stage managed by friends of mine. It was absolutely amazing!
End Thoughts
Had a really great day. I was in a good mood for pretty much the whole day, and the best part is, I was able to not let someone's bad mood ruin my good one.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January of Me-Day 22



Starting Thoughts
I took an MHD today. I woke up in a slight worried state; over what, I can't really pin point.  I think I always start to get general worry when things are going well in my life. When is the other shoe going to drop? My feelings of happiness are a distraction from my, "I have a bad feeling something is about to go wrong." I often don't feel right about getting "comfortable," because as soon as I do it all falls apart. For example, I'm finally starting to like my job and that worries me. I haven't been spoken to, but in my last job I wasn't until I learned no one was saying anything to me. So how do I know that there isn't this giant shoe about to drop? It's stuff like that, just when I think everything is going well. This doesn't seem like that type of place, but my paranoia doesn't know the difference. I can almost describe my mood as sort of a stalemate. I am scared to continue being happy, but I don't want to be negative. So it's like I just sit there in limbo. However, I am proud of myself for continuing to practice my skills and not self-sabotage.

Progress

  • Contacted my podcast customer service and found out my renewal isn't until the end of April. This gives me more time to convert my episodes to YouTube. I may even be able to pay for a subscription for one more year.
  • My friend showed me a website that automatically converts MP3 files into video format. I just have to upload the MP3 and a photo. Not only that but it also uploads them to Youtube without having to do the extra step. This is going to save me so much time! It's super quick too!
  • Went food shopping.


Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Morning yoga.
  • Felt paranoid about several things, and contact a friend to talk.
  • Was initially snippy with someone online, but apologized to them. Sometimes I feel shame and it's hard for me to apologize.
  • Day 8 of 30 Days of Yoga Camp.
Highlights

  • Wallet I lost over the summer was mailed back to me.
  • Got the expired gift card in the wallet replaced.
  • Found another can of cat food I had dropped (so all cans have been found).
  • Went to support group.
  • Went to the Ether Dome at MGH before group.
  • Was asked by a group member to be part of a photo documentary that captures the daily lives of mentally ill people.
End Thoughts
Continuing to do a good job of getting myself into wise mind and using my skills when I start to have worry thoughts. Today was a little bit tougher, but I still did everything I was suppose to (yoga, went to group) and I didn't give into my impulses.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

January of Me-Day 21



Starting Thoughts
I woke up with some worry thoughts, but still pressed on with my usual morning routine.  I've been hooking up with my roommate, and though some people have warned me it's not a good idea; I went against their advice. The thing is, it's not that we're roommates. No, for me it's a much bigger picture. I recently mentioned on my Facebook that my biggest vulnerability is men. This is the most simplistic and blunt way for me to describe the part of my disorder that is most difficult for me to deal with. The first two criteria for BPD as described by the DSM are as follows;

(1) Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. 


(2) A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation 


When I was younger I was extremely close with my Dad. When my parents got divorced, my Dad moved out and I went from seeing him every day to seeing him once a week and every other weekend. On top of this he married a woman who was abusive towards me and his step family became more important than the daughters he shared blood with. If you're wondering, not he didn't do anything about the abuse. He basically emotionally neglected me. People with Borderline struggle with relationships, with attachment, and fears of abandonment. The closer we are to someone, the more that fear and attachment intensifies. So of course sex is a tricky thing for us because it's such an intimate factor. To put this into perspective, I've stayed in abusive relationships and relationships that were toxic because the idea of being alone was more unbearable than the idea of being abused. That's literally how my brain is wired to think. So when I say men are my biggest weakness it's because while I am bi I haven't had as much experience dating women and I haven't had the history of attachment with women as I do with men (or really, the "Daddy Issues).


I was talking to my Psychiatrist about how I am really proud of myself for all the work I've been doing. How I've been feeling less irritable, more level, less angry, and have been using my skills in the moment (I even used it in the middle of the night, which is rare). I was thinking that things were going pretty well. Then my roommate (the one I hook up with) said something that was a little jab at me and I said to myself, "aaaaaaand there it is."


It's like I've been running on flat land, but once I bring relationships back into the mix, that's when I get to the mountain. The plus is, I have tools and I'm working towards progress to help me.


Progress

  • Called around to the list of therapy places my psychiatrist had given me. I ended up finding a place that takes late appointments, doesn't require me to change my primary care, and has DBT therapists!!!) I made an appointment for next Wednesday. I'm elated right now!
  • Found a writing group that's a bit closer to me and a sister Magic group to the one I went to last night that's closer as well (both meet ups were a bit of a hike). Figuring out a good balance so I don't ware myself out.
  • Didn't get the job. I'm actually okay with it, albeit a little bit annoyed, but I've grown to like the position that I am in. I am just frustrated they let it drag out for two months just to hire someone internally.

Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Morning yoga.
  • Self-soothe: scent.
  • 30 Days of Yoga Camp, day 7.
Highlights

  • Roommate cooked dinner for me.
  • I found the cans of cat food I had dropped the other day. I was really proud of myself because I stayed calm about it and didn't freak out even though I had just bought them that day.
End Thoughts
Positive day. Things have been positive and I finally have a solid support system going. I'm still worried about the long term, but for now I'm going to appreciate the present.



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January of Me-Day 20


Starting Thoughts
I woke up in the middle of the night after having unsettling dreams. I immediately reached for my self-soothe box, some thing I would have not done in the past. Part of the reason I try to practice DBT skills every day is so they become like muscle memory and I don't have to think about it when I need then in the heat of the moment. I woke up feeling a bit shaken, but still forced myself to do my morning yoga routine.

Progress
  • Started to look into Vets and Vet options for Molly. She hasn't had a check up since she was spayed and had her shots. A friend told me about a free walk in clinic that's donation based. They do check ups and vaccine updates, and are walk in only. I'm going to give them a call, but will hopefully be going to them soon. 
  • Started my taxes.
  • Had a Psych appointment. They couldn't find anyone to see my after 5:00pm so my psychiatrist gave me a list of places to call that are just psychiatry places. Meaning I wouldn't have to change everything over.
  • Followed up with Jill. The Principal is considering the next steps. All I know is if I don't get this job I'm probably going to be disappointed since it's been dragging out for so long.
  • Closed out my DCU bank account.

Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Self-Soothe in the middle of the night (scent) after being woken from bad dreams.
  • Morning yoga.
  • Day 6 of 30 Days of Yoga Camp.
Highlights
  • Talked to one of my student's general classroom teachers and discussed how we can better help said student in a particular class.
  • The current lead teacher in the classroom is a long term sub as the main teacher has been on maternity leave. She came in today today for a surprise visit with the baby, and it was really nice for the kids (and I got to hold him!)
  • Went to a Magic group meet up. Found out there is one in Medford on Wednesday nights. That means I'd have three Wednesday night meet ups (writing, coloring and Magic). I can rotate and that works out nice cause I'm trying to limit the number of nights I stay out late.
  • Saw two people about to get into a fight at the T station and stepped in between them long enough to break it up.
End Thoughts
I had some intrusive thoughts today, but I am reminded of what I was talking to my Psychiatrist about. I've been feeling a lot more level, less irritable, and I've been able to get into wise mind a lot easier. Of course as soon as a man I'm sexually or romantically involved with comes into the picture it's like, "aaaand there it is." But I always knew that's where I'm most vulnerable. However, what's done has been huge steps, and I'm building that foundation.

Monday, January 25, 2016

January of Me-Day 19


Starting Thoughts
Woke up feeling a tad off, but nothing major. Mostly due to off center dreams (no night terrors).

Progress
  • Followed up with job. Jill wasn't in today, but will be speaking to the Principal tomorrow.
  • Got a bunch of stuff on my to do list done.
Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Morning yoga
  • Day 5 of 30 days of Yoga Camp.
  • I had bought some cat food the other day and at some point my double bag broke and I had to carry 20 cans of cat food in one flimsy bag. After a long journey home in not so great weather, my mind was only set on getting indoors. As I was walking through the wind and snow I felt something drop, and leaned over to pick up a can of cat food off the side walk. Last night upon feeding my cat I noticed I had a lot less cans than I should have, and realized I probably had dropped a lot more. In the past I would have started freaking out, but I remained calm and resolved to go back and look for them the next morning. Today I did just that, and when they weren't there I just let it be.
  • Lead teacher seemed to be in a bad mood again, but I used mindfulness to not let it affect me.
  • I'm just going to come out and say it. I hooked up with my roommate. I know this probably wasn't the best idea, but I also knew it was bound to happen; it was also something I needed. This is probably the area where I struggle the most, because of my attachment and dependency issues (most notably with men I am romantically or sexually involved with/attracted to). I tend to lose my independence and veer of the path of progress. It's honestly why I'm nervous to get into any type of relationship. I'm doing my best to build a strong enough foundation and make myself aware enough to be able to stay in wise mind and use mindfulness even in the moments when it's hardest. Every little bit is going to help. For example, I had a date and when I found myself having that tiny bit of worry that he hadn't texted me back in a while; I immediately recognized it and sprung into action. Because I knew if I didn't it could easily turn into panic. I'm also being consciously aware of how attached I become to my roommate. Relationships are definitely a huge challenge for me overall, and one I knew I'd have trouble with once I brought them back into my life, but I also can't spend my life avoiding them. I'm doing this whole January thing to prepare myself for the things that are harder for me. Maybe this time around it will stick, maybe not, the best I can do is try.
  • Had a small mishap with my bank that was a merchant issue. Stayed in wise mind, and was calm when I called whereas I would have been freaking out and screaming in the past (out of frustration for the same thing happening from my last bank).
  • Trying to drink more water during the day.
  • Stretching mid afternoon when I start to feel that lull in energy.
  • I went into emotion mind over something my roommate said, but was able to talk to him about how I was feeling (even though I struggled).
  • Hot cocoa with fluff and peppermint stick to self-soothe after.
Highlights
  • A student was goofing off in class and the lead teacher sent him out of the room for a break. I took initiative and went out and actually talked to him. I don't believe it's actually helping them by not processing with them.
  • Hung out with roommate for a bit.
  • Planned second date.
End Thoughts
I can tell that getting close to men is going to be a challenge for me, and it always is. There were a lot of little things today, but I managed to stay in a good mood throughout the day, and stay in wise mind throughout all of it.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January of Me-Day 18


Starting Thoughts
Woke up around 7:30 even though it was Sunday and I had no reason to be up. However, I woke up feeling well rested and despite cramps in a good mood (some things I can't control).

Progress
  • Went through the piles of mail no one seems to want to go through and discovered some tax stuff I had been waiting on.
  • Got a bunch of chores done today (laundry, dishes, made lunch for the week), and I also helped my roommate out with some stuff.
  • Started to work on converting episodes of my show onto YouTube. 
  • Found a Magic the Gathering meet up
Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Day 3 of 30 Days of Yoga in the morning.
  • Day 4 of 30 Days of Yoga in the evening.
  • Patriots lost today, and my reaction was very different than it would have been in the past.
Highlights
  • Hung out with my roommate all day. He's super chill to hang out with and we have awesome conversations.
  • Made my avocado/clementine/bacon mix and it was super delicious.
  • Caught up on my comic books.
End Thoughts
Nice, low key Sunday. I accomplished a lot, hung out with someone, and had me time. Couldn't ask for more.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

January of Me-Day 17



Starting Thoughts
Woke up with really bad cramps, but despite my disagreeable uterus I woke in a considerably good mood. I had a good nights sleep, and felt well rested.

Progress
  • Went food shopping and cat shopping. I was able to buy everything I needed for under $40.
Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills

  • I split up day 2 of my 30 days of yoga and did some in the morning and some later in the evening.
  • There were a lot of little annoyances throughout the day that normally would have thrown my mood off and sent me into emotion mind. Things such has my bag breaking, having to take a shuttle bus, having to use rent money to buy cat food, my bags being heavy, etc. However I was able to use mindfulness, figure out solutions, and was able to stay in wise mind.
Highlights
  • I had a date today and it went really well. We met at a local cafe and talked for 2 and 1/2 and the conversation felt very natural. After we went to the Museum of Bad Art, and it was spectacularly horrible. I loved it!
  • Hung out with my roommate and watched WWE (ah, memories). 
End Thoughts
Very proud of myself for staying in wise mind throughout the day.

Friday, January 22, 2016

January of Me-Day15


Starting Thoughts
I got home pretty late last night and was not able to do day 2 of my 30 Days of Yoga Camp (I didn't realize day 2 was almost an hour, and I didn't think going to bed at midnight was a good idea). I woke up feeling a bit off for no particular reason, but still pushed myself  to do my usual morning routine.

Progress

  • Decided not to do Postmates. Sometimes progress is deciding what is right for you and what is not.
  • Emailed my Doctor regarding the fact that I am always cold. Seriously, it was 77 degrees in my classroom and I had to wear my jacket.
  • Finally had my second interview. I feel it went well, and they liked the answers I gave. They are going to follow up with the woman I had the first interview with and she's going to talk with the Principal. I'm suppose to meet with him, which I technically already did when I interviewed for the other position, so we'll see if he wants to do it again.

Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills

  • Morning yoga.
  • Felt really off most off the day, but did my best to stay present.
Highlights

  • I was acting goofy with the kids and one of them goes, "we have the coolest teachers."
  • I'm really excited about some of the stuff I get to teach in class. During 6th grade ELA I got to teach them about the Boston Molasses Flood; during 6th grade reading we are doing poetry; in 5th grade ELA I'm going over each planet with them; and in 5th grade reading we're reading one of my favorite books "from the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler." In the book two kids run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so before we start reading we are teaching the kids all about the museum and different artists (so far we did Michelangelo and Van Gogh).
  • Sat at the library reading before group. It's really nice to be getting back into actually reading at the library. I've been using it so much for the internet. I only recently discovered an entire section with comfy chairs, and it's just nice to escape for a little bit.
  • Support group went well. There was less people this time, and I got to talk a little bit more. One of the members brought her service dog, a golden retriever puppy, and I got to hold it. One of the things I really like about group is that I don't feel alone. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person in the world who feels the things I do and then I come to group and people are like, "yup, me too!"
End Thoughts
I got my period today, and didn't have tampons or money to buy them (pay day is Friday) so I had to skip yoga. Aside from that I was tired and wanted to get right to bed. I had a pretty good day. I felt a little bit off during work, no particular reason, but group really helped.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January of Me-Day 14


Starting Thoughts
Last night I had some unsettling dreams. Not quite nightmares, and thankfully not night terrors, but just bad enough that I woke up feeling a bit shaky. Luckily I was able to remind myself throughout the night I was only dreaming (yay lucid dreaming) and get myself into wise mind pretty quickly

Progress
  • Emailed my Doctor and called my Psychiatrist to talk to them about switching practices. It's near impossible to find not only a DBT therapist, but one that I can see after hours and (since it's a teaching practice) one I can see long term. The whole idea of switching is overwhelming to me, so I'm hoping they can help me.


Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Morning yoga.
  • Used mindfulness to stay in wise mind when someone was upsetting me online.
Highlights
  • Had a really good chat with one of AV teacher on the bus. Turns out he's a fellow nerd and is really into Sci Fi and comic books, and also used to work at DCYF.
  • I mentioned before that I've been frustrated with how behavior has been handled in my classroom. I decided to take initiative and have a meeting with the head of special education about it as well as with her and the lead teacher.
  • Ended up having a one on one chat with the lead teacher beforehand and talked about stuff. It was actually nice being able to talk openly like that.
  • I decided that better behavior management needs to start with me, so when I saw a student displaying behavior problems I stepped up and didn't just ignore it. I addressed it, and processed with him. I'm always scared to do so, because I'm afraid someone will think I am stepping on their toes (and I've actually gotten in trouble and fired for doing so), but I'm not going to be afraid anymore.
  • Sat in the library to kill some time before writing group.
  • Writing group was nice. Small and intimate. Held at one of the member's house. We write for an hour and a half and then share and comment.
End Thoughts
Late night, but it's worth it. Glad I'm doing things for myself, and creating balance in my life. Again the goal is for me to form a base and have it continue into the long term. I may have to do a few of the 30 days of yoga of the weekend. The day 2 was an hour and I really didn't want to get to bet at midnight.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January of Me-Day 13



Starting Thoughts
Back to reality today. I was actually surprised that I was able to transition so well. Usually I feel a lot of despair when things end, but I didn't feel that this time. I felt "ready". What I didn't feel ready for was how cold it was this morning.

Progress
  • Checked with Megabus to see if I can trade in a reservation. I thought about the fact the show is in February and it could very well snow, and I didn't want to take any chances. Turns out I can trade my reservation in up to 6 hours before my old one (though I obviously would be doing it long before that). I checked with my friend I'm staying with and he told me if need be I could stay with him a few extra days.
  • I also changed my return trip to a little bit later so I could have some extra time in NYC. I've never been to the Met and would really like to go.
  • I'm starting to like my job a little bit more than I did before. The staff is actually really supportive and I feel like I have a voice. As frustrating as the kids are, they are actually starting to grow on me. It's still not my ideal situation, but at least it's a supportive environment. 
  • During the con one of the panelists on the "Let's (Actually) Talk About Sex" panel told me about Pleasure Pie. I looked them up and one of their projects is Sex Positive Boston (who's Facebook group I've been in for a while now). They hold meet ups once a month, and I totally plan on going!
  • Found a writing group that seems to be my style! They have a meet up tomorrow that I will be attending.
  • I'm going to start reading up on different religions. I know my beliefs (karma, there is an afterlife, gemstone magick, reiki, nature has a spirit, souls exist), however what I'm unsure of is the concept of god/goddess and what actually happens to you when you die and how everything was created and all that junk.
Mindfulness/Other DBT Skills
  • Morning yoga.
  • I wanted to start getting back into doing longer yoga practices (tried looking into classes, but they are too expensive), and I found a "30 Days of Yoga Camp" series. It's actually done by the same person who did the "30 Days of Yoga" I did last year. These are all about connecting the physical and mental body. That's the type of meditation I like, "active meditation", as I call it. I did day 1 today.
  • While online I started to get into an argument with a girl who also had BPD. She was clearly in emotion mind and starting to set me off as well. I started to react, but realized she was projecting her anger onto me, and told her I was sorry for being unkind and that she deserved love and that I loved her.
  • Remained calm and explained my opinion and view calmly instead of flipping out like I usually do during a couple of online conversations.
  • My roommate said something that got me angry and I was about to start yelling at him, but instead I left the room and did my yoga.
Highlights

  • I've been frustrated by how discipline is handled in our classroom. One of the students was saying some pretty disturbing things, and nothing was done about it. It's always, "it's the age" or "it's been a long weekend." I'm sorry but when a student is calling another student a "he-she" or "dirty and ugly" or telling someone "make sure you kill him in the bathroom" or making comments about the bloods and crips? I feel something needs to be done. Because yes, they are young, but this is where it starts and as teachers we need to make sure this is where it ends. I took matters into my own hands and had a talk with him and his teacher as well as contacted school mental health, the school mentor and some other people.

End Thoughts
Good day over all. Was able to stay in wise mind, and use my skills naturally. Transition from nerd world to real world went smoother than expected. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

January of Me-Special Edition: Arisia (Day 4)

Despite not getting to bed until close to 4:00, I still managed to wake up at 8:30am. Feeling a bit shaky and off from some left over anxiety I made the choice to go to yoga. It made a huge difference and really helped me get into wise mind. I I chatted a bit with the instructer after. I really need to start doing practice when I get home from work. I need more than just my 10 minute morning routine. Especially since that one is more energizing, I need something more meditative. 

After yoga I went back to the room to shower and change, and get all my stuff together. My plan was to stay at the con until the very end (something I had never done before), so I want to be able to just grab my bag when I was ready to go.

I went down to the con suite and grazed what they had left down there while chatting with people. I also checked out the adult section of the dealers room, and had a great conversation with one of the panelists from "Let's (Actually) Talk About Sex".

Next I sat in on the "Diversity and Inclusion in SF" panel. I was more interested in the former part of the panel as I'm not really a SF fan, I'm more on the fantasy and speculative fiction side. Left that a bit early and went back the con suite to read and then outside the game room to color.

I did a really good job of not hiding in my room. In fact aside from changing or dropping off/picking up Magic cards I didn't hide in my room at all. However I was feeling a bit tired, so I chilled out a bit until it was time for Dead Dog Filk.

Filk was fun and I heard some amazing voices. I ended up rapping Cabinet Battle #1 and then it turned into a YouTube viewing party and I played the actual song. Left Filk and dropped by to chat Hamilton with my friends Aimee (who walked by the room while the song was playing) and her wife Michelle).

Ended con with a nice chat with one of my roommates. This has been one of the best Arisia's!

Things I've taken away from con:

1. It's a good bench mark of progress 
2. Some friendships aren't meant to be repaired and that's okay
3. Kindness goes a long way, if not for anyone but yourself.
4. Not only is perfection not achievable, but trying to do so only makes things worse.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

January of Me-Special Edition: Arisia (Day 3)

Slept until about ten and missed yoga, but the extra sleep was much needed. After grabbing Starbucks I went over and sat down in the con suite. A friend of mine walked by and we ended up having a nice conversation. After chatting a bit I met up with some other friends in the game room and we played five person Magic game.

The Magic game ended up running into the first panel I wanted to go to (which was more than okay), but I caught about ten minutes of, "Addressing Sexual Harrassment in our Communities."

I ended up leaving and wandering a bit. Walked by the Boston Whovians table and found out about a meet up they are having soon. Speaking of Doctor Who, that was my next panel! "Doctor Who 2016: The State of the Doctor." I really enjoyed the way the panelists spoke about each character and their thoughts.

After I grabbed some lunch at the taco truck and then wandered a bit more. My wandering brought me to the art show again where I ran into a couple of friends and I raved about Hamilton with one of them.

The next panel I went to was, "A Fannish Guide to Boston." This was great because not only did I learn about places I want to go to, but I got to tell people  about Ghosts and Gravestones. As far as places I learned about;

-Countway Library of Medicine (Harvard University), which has the skull of Phineas Gage.
-Board Game Cafe in Brookline (which I knew about).
-North End molasses flood plaque (which I've never seen).
-Antique Vibrator Museum at Good Vibrations in Coolidge Corner.
-Museum of Bad Art at Somerville Theatre.
-World War II Museum in Natick.

Next panel was, "Feminism: What it is, What it isn't." Absolutely loved this panel. It's rare I'm able to sit in on a panel for the full 75 minutes. I was happy to hear them speak about intersectional feminism and trans inclusionary feminism. I was horrified to hear some of the stories from one of the panelists about women's experiences in the science community. Sexual harassment that's getting a slap on the wrist.

After the panel I went to the Masquerade. This is the first year I actually I actually sat in on the whole show, and there were some great costumes. I think my favorite was Steampunk Rainbow Bright.

My last panel of the night (and con since I have none planned for Monday) was, "Let's (Actually) Talk About Sex." Really fun and interactive panel! They answered my question about making being on top more pleasurable since I'm shallow and narrow and have a tipped uterus. Actually, an audience member gave a demo with a chair! I also talked about some personal sex anxieties I have. I really like that panels like these make sure they create a safe space.

My three favorite panels of the weekend were: Coming Out, Feminism: What it is, what it isn't, and Let's (Actually) Talk About Sex.

The sex panel had nothing after so it ended up going for two hours (panels are 75 minutes) and it was worth every minute. One of the panelists brought a life size cloth curtain like vagina replica and taught everyone about the parts.

My final event of the night was the Timey Wimey dance. Really fun! All music from 80's, 90's, and 2000's.


Saturday, January 16, 2016

January of Me-Special Edition: Arisia (Day 2)

As much as I enjoy seeing people at Arisia, it's also a test for me; because for all the people I do see, there are a few I'm not all that thrilled about. Not people I dislike, just people who I feel a bad anxious around and trigger me. It's a testement to how for I've come that I was able to label my feelings, not react, remove myself when needed, and stay in wise mind.

My day two started off at 8am with a trip to Starbucks and some wandering. Shortly after I went to Queer and Body Positive Yoga. It was a really relaxing and slow moving class which I really think attributed to my mood throughout the day. After yoga I headed back up to my room to shower and change.

With several hours before my next to do I wandered the dealer's room a bit before contacting my friend heading to the game room for a bit of Magic. We played a couple of rounds (I won both) and then I ventured off. I spent some time coloring and then checked out the art show. I really wanted to buy a piece but I didn't see anything I fell in love with. 

After the art show I went to the Coming Out panel. On the way there I passed a few Pats fans (I was in my Rodgers jersey), and we all wished each other luck. Unfortunately luck would not be had with my team. 

The Coming Out Panel was great. My friend Loreiel, one of my favorite people, was on it. They made it a bit more intimate by having everyone sit in a circle. There was a person who talked about coming out as mentally ill (ze has BPD). That's not something you think about  and I got to talk a bit about how it's harder for me to come out as mentally ill than bisexual.

Next I grabbed some lunch at Jimmy Johns and sat down at the Con Suite and met up with my friend Chris and was able to catch up and chat with him. We wandered the dealers room and I bought a couple things before heading to my next panel; Psychology: What Do We Actually Know? I absolutely loved it. Obviously.

After the panel I went to the Geeky Belly Dance Show which run by my friend Samara (she was in it as well). I really enjoyed it! When I left the room I walked into a giant Star Wars photo shoot and was able to get a bunch of pics. 

Met back up with my friend and we took a dip in the pool before I parked myself  at the bar (with a club soda) and watched the game. Lorelei and her girlboyfriend were there and we chatted for a bit. After the game I did my best to socialize at the parties, but they are too crowded, I don't drink, and I get too anxious; but at least I went! 

Ended my night with the dance, Starbucks, and sitting on the couch in the consuite.

Amazing second day!!!!