I was searching and reading science stuff this afternoon. I spent the morning cleaning, divesting and rearranging the living room. Mostly, I am looking for a way to have a bookshelf somewhere in this place.
The bedroom is roomy and I think I can squeeze one in there, if I put it, and a wardrobe (no closets here) perpendicular to the wall between the windows.
There is no rush, no money to buy a bookcase yet, and there have not been any at any of the charity shops, so, no rush.
I worked up a good sweat with the cleaning, and a good metaphorical sweat lodge whilst divesting. All in all, quite the good day, and my reward was online science, something I try to limit because a dozen hours can easily pass unnoticed during all the moving from one article to another to a site to a book.
Scienceness led me to the Aurora Borealis to animals to the Arctic to psychology via mental illness. I love science, understand little of it, am interested in psychology and have mental illness. Illnesses.
So, medicate me...I like this stuff.
Once in a while, a really rare while, I find something that resonates for me. This is one from today, and it brought a new word, neuroticism. I had to look it up.
7 thoughts that are bad for you
Lack of meaning
Lots of fretting
Lack of self-control
Doom and gloom
Looking at that list and thinking of my life and totally aside from the explanation for each one...
I do not think that I am cynical, although that could be the same process as when someone says they are not a prude and that preface to whatever they are going to say clearly illustrates that they are a prude. Same thing when someone says they are not racist or homophobic or just about anything. Maybe, most especially, those who preface and say they are not haters. Just a thought.
I think that my experience was more an acceptance that my life is just what it was, something that changed when I grew to realize that there was something, some other ways to live that were not the way I was living.
There were times when I felt hopeless that I could have anything different. Near the end, when it was clear that I would die there I felt the loss of all that potential, maybe even cheated a bit to have missed all of the cool stuff in normal life, but not cynical. I find this interesting and also think that there is an essential part of being a person that helps you to hold on to hope; maybe not for me personally, but I was comforted a bit by knowing that other people had nice lives and relationships.
Lack of meaning
Until I noticed a few months ago that faith was a missing aspect of my life, I was almost always able to find meaning in whatever I did. I remember, once, that my daughter told me that I was rationalizing about something, and not challenging her about that, but knowing that there is meaning in anything if you just pay attention.
I am working on the faith thing, that probably began its decline whilst I was homeless, and am learning so much about myself and what faith can be for me.
My best guess is that I am still rationalizing all over the place. Does not bother me a bit.
Lots of fretting
Interesting, this fretting thing. I used that word on Friday for the first time...I think. I never fret. Everyday problems are enough to handle without looking for more things with which to deal.
Lack of self-control
If anything, my self-control is excessive. The only release from having everything ordered and at least in the dream of controlling stuff, is food. I am working on that. It would help if I were not a great cook. I eat very simply now, but there really is not anything that I could not cook, bake or create, often without recipes.
So, I hang on to food because it helps me create a barrier of obesity between me and the people who would like to be more involved in my life. Being fat makes it possible for me to control so many things that I would prefer to ignore right now. It is not the best solution, it is working very well at this point in my recovery and healing and I am not in the mood to mess with the tenuous balance I have crafted. Just not gonna do it. Just not.
Well, I am working on this all the time. When I fled last year, my anxiety was off the charts. It sounds dramatic, but I did barely escape with my life, forgot...never thought of it, to tell the truth, until I was driving down the street...my cats, had no money and nowhere to go.
It all settled out a bit, but my anxiety levels were stratospheric. For the first two weeks that I lived in the shelter, until I got a roommate, I was able to sleep only by moving the second set of bunk beds in my room so that they blocked the door. A chair went in front of that, with all of my stuff piled on top. It was a combination of having stuff that would fall, noisily, to the floor if someone tried to force the door open, and having everything ready for a fast departure should that be necessary.
I took some pretty powerful meds for a while. They helped, and whilst I still have to pay attention to all things personal-safety-related, my feelings of extreme and crippling anxiety have decreased in direct proportion to how well I am doing in crafting this new life. This goes back to control issues, and as I increase and strengthen my abilities to make choices and changes that make sense for me, I feel evermore confident in making choices and decisions.
An interesting part of this is that I was the most compliant person on the planet. I never spoke up, much less spoke back. I did whatever anyone told me to do. Heck, I got good at anticipating what someone wanted and jumped right in to accommodate. Now that I am making my own choices, not everyone is all that happy with me. I find this distressing, but not enough to go back, even a teeny bit, to how I was in relationship before.
Doom and gloom
This one is more difficult. I had to think about what this means for me. A lot. My first inclination was to say yes, I felt at least gloomy, but what I really felt and experienced was despair and hopelessness. Yep. The knowledge that nothing I could do would ever be the right thing.
Oh, yeah. Everyone has stress in their lives. Everyone has problems and challenges and disappointments and being let down by the people they thought were dependable and on their side, or in their corner, or at least were not determined to fuck them over all the time.
Even good things bring stress. Getting married, having babies, moving, changing jobs, getting promoted, winning the lottery.
It is my belief, simpleton that I am, that the reduction of stress levels would make everything and everyone better. There would be less crime, less violence, fewer wars and more chocolate for everyone, with excellent wages for the cocoa growers. Fair Trade, baby. Yeah.
Even better is the article that I found on their site just now.
7 Tips to cultivate gratitude