Feeling Low: Job, Twitter, MCU…Life


Today: I’m feeling low.

I don’t even know how I want this blog post to go.

I just know that I want to capture what I’m feeling and thinking for a frozen moment. Frozen in time, suspended, distilled, captured. In the hopes that I can move on from it. Be unleashed. Free. Liberated. Safe.

The words don’t come easily. I feel the twirling fan’s breath on my exposed arms, a hooded, soft gray blanket dispersed over my head making me look like a nun. Or… Yoda. I want to turn it off, but I don’t because it’s grounding. My iPod is nearby, shouting out music, but it’s never quite high enough, no matter how much I turn it up. It’s never quite enough. And the mind, the mind I have, with the fumbling fingers on the keys, constantly making mistakes, constantly having to go back a space to fix them, still, that mind is swirling. Thoughts are coming half-formed and fully formed. Emotions the height of a tsunami, threatening to overtake me, wash me with its ruin. I’m caught in it, for a moment, I’m caught in it.

Maybe, no, maybe that last song was good. Hmm, maybe I’ll play it back once more:

MIIA – Dynasty

The tabs are open. The links don’t do what I want. The annoyance is there, bubbling to the surface, then, just really formed into disappointment. I remind myself to turn on the repeat function on my iPod along the same time I can smell the sweat from my feet, hunched over, legs on top of one another, crouching before the laptop, from a day’s activities, a day’s work, I think to myself to take them off, maybe even take off all the layers, so I can be comfortable in my pajamas. But I don’t really move. I don’t really move to do any of that.

Too caught up in the words. Caught up in the stories.

No, I change my mind. Place the song on repeat. Crack my neck. Unleash one sock… Then two. The smell still remains.

I’m tired.

I notice it more now, in the crux between the music keys and the way I sludge forwards, onwards, into the mix.

What was I talking about before?

Oh, right.

Feeling low.

…… Where do I begin?

There’s so many avenues to start the story, and each would play across the right one.

I guess, I’m unhappy with my job. I’m unhappy with my place in the world. I want more, and…less. My avoidance is chipping away my soul, slowly at a time, so that I don’t notice it until I realize “No, I can’t do that.” Because my world is spinning and crumbling, ever so slowly, ever so smaller.

My job isn’t where I thought I’d be by now. It’s not the job I thought I’d get after graduating university. It’s, in some parts, not even the job I wanted. But it’s the job I got, and it’s the job I’ve been at and been trying to learn and grow and succeed and go forward.

But I find myself… craving, wanting more. Wanting something different.

But I’m terrified on how or if I’ll ever get there.

I’ve been talking about my dreams with new friends online lately. And it’s reminded me a lot of my dreams. And how what I’m doing now, doesn’t really feel like it’s cutting it anymore. Or, at least, it’s just starting to dawn on me that this may be the case.

But how do I go from here to there? To the land of my dreams?

I want, or I think I want, to go into Certified Peer Specialist.

It’s just…. complicated. I have to factor in the fact that I’d probably work for an agency, that I have to get trained and pass a test, that I have to carve out more hours of my time for actual work, that I’ll be expected in Clinicals and DRIVING peers around, the fears of that, the responsibilities and the strangeness of it all. I’d have to get certified. I’d have to get gas coverage (in the sense that maybe there’d be mileage reimbursement but also I’d be hefting over part of my salary, likely, to the never-ending need for more fuel). I’d maybe still only be earning what I do now.

But, would it be more fulfilling?

Would all of it, everything considered, be worth it? And when would it happen? Soon? A year from now? How do I get from here to there?

I know I have to start small. I know I have the tools ready for me. I’m just… scared. Overwhelmed. Unhappy.

I’m craving more advocacy work. I think that’s what I’m missing now. Summers are always slow for presentations at NAMI and I haven’t had one all month so maybe that’s a factor. Maybe the other factor is that I’ve been talking of my dreams this week. Reminding myself of my potential and how much I don’t want THIS job to be my end goal. It was always just supposed to be a stepping stone. And maybe, maybe I’m finding that I’m finally ready to move onto the next one. I want to go into advocacy work of public speaking, give a TEDtalk one day, build up my 4 main recovery art projects, share my story, write and publish books, etc. So, so, so much more than this.

And it’s taken me a while to get here. I… maybe because of the BPD have … intense attachments. Hell, whenever I take out a book from the library I get too attached–even when the book is past due and I’m accruing fines, I can’t let it go, not when I haven’t completed my end of the deal with it. I most often override this but it’s still a functionality of my personality. At Passages I was the same way, thinking me and my DBT-Intensive crew were a team and flabbergasted when finding out that they were going to go on their own way before the ‘true’ end date. I have problems with attachment. Even if I’m mulling over an item in the store to buy, I get attached, I start to ‘see’ it in use in my life, and once that’s there, I don’t want to leave it behind without buying it. Again, attachments.

So for me, what I’m trying to say is, for me to get to the point where I’m starting to think: Maybe it’s time now, is pretty big. And yeah, I’m afraid in some parts because a few of my co-workers in the last month tried to leave for another job and now they’re back again. So, maybe I’d be the same?

But this was never my end goal. And maybe CPS will be it, for a while. Maybe just blooming into more of that advocacy work, the work I really want to do, maybe that’ll be everything.

I’ve been thinking lately, I don’t have all my advocacy work like from when I was at university. I think I miss that, am missing that. Maybe even finding odd jobs for paid writing work would help, too. I’m just kinda tired. I want more and I’m realizing I have to be the one out there to get it.

So, alas, I find myself wondering:

How do I get from here to there?

And, I’m not sure, not entirely.

Obviously I’d overlap the two careers before I moved on officially, just to see if I’d even like it to begin with. And then, I mean, I guess I just start making little goals? Maybe like a road map or a vision board of my dreams and start plugging away at it a little at a time. I also want to start by asking some of my NAMI co-presenters how they’ve gotten into the field (at least two are in CPS work) and then start that way, too.

Mmm, I’m feeling a bit more hopeful now with that idea.

With my calves hurting (curse those hills at work!), with a newfound determination, I’m going to work on what I can for the rest of tonight: mainly, mayb– oh!

Twitter & MCU: I’m still a lengthy amount of movies and time away from properly watching and being in the loop about everything happening with the “Loki” Disney+ series. So, with less than 10 mins on my Twitter timeline today, I’ve officially decided that I have to now avoid it for the rest of time (at least until I’m more in the loop and caught up, which will probs be July ahaha, did I say that? I meant AUG! Let’s be honest). Soooo that sucks. Also, I just haven’t been as active on Twitter this week. I’ve been discreetly uploading these avenues of content WITHOUT placing it on there: fanfic, videos, blog posts. So maybe one day but not any time that near.

And as for life, I’ve covered the fact that my avoidance bullshit is getting in the way a lot. And I won’t be leaving my job any time soon either, but I’m gonna start chipping away at it. Find trainings I can attend to, roles within the peer support arena, continuing to craft my online presence, teach some classes, do (when the time is right) presentations. Work on my public speaking skills (really rusty on that). Drive around more. List out the pros and cons of my potential decisions. And just grim face and bear the rest as much as I can. It’s not something I’ll have solved tomorrow. But we all start somewhere.

So for now, I’m going to answer a few online messages/emails and texts, read a book, go to bed early tonight, take my meds, eat dinner, network, listen to music and just get ready for the hellhole that tomorrow will bring.

Anyways, that’s it for me. I’ll either shower tonight or tomorrow, just want to make sure I do before Mon when I go to visit my partner! And maybe tomorrow I’ll watch the rest of Thor!!

All right, guys, thanks so much for reading. Do you have any tips or advice for how you made different career plans in your own life? Jumping from one job to a whole new one?

I’ll see you guys next week.

πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€

PS There is ONE last thing I didn’t quite cover here but that I had thought of for the ‘Life’ category: the slow burn acceptance that my previous mental health problems and complications (i.e chronic suicidality) will probably be something I always have to deal with. More so in the sense that my automatic go to within my mind and body is to end everything, though I am now EONS away from ever, ever acting on those thoughts now. Regardless, I’m thinking like with most recoveries, the thoughts and emotions will always be there, just the behaviors are up to me. Which, is … nice, in some ways, and empowering and also frustratingly disappointing. But, alas, such is life. I can realize it, recognize it and do the opposite of it. Which is what I will do. Don’t worry, I’m safe!! Just something that popped into my head while at home, after work, before I started writing this post.

An Even Shorter Post …

Hi.

I’m exhausted and all I did today was sleep, I swear. I woke up around 11a and between 1p – 5p I was in and out of sleep, listening to creepy stories etc. It feels exhausting. I’m just so tired I swear.

I read a tiny bit last night but not as much as I would have liked. I also haven’t been receiving my emails on my public email address upon my phone so that’s odd–if I had, I would have certainly gotten together more motivation and inspiration to actually reply to messages, but alas, that was a hindered project.

I’m just going to snack on some sweets now and then I’m putting together my stuff for work tomorrow morning. I didn’t even edit that video or do creative writing so, bleh.

I found out I may be working in a different cottage on Sun via the schedule so I’m nervous about that because it’s just going to be me with a nonverbal three year old, plus it’s supposed to rain all this weekend, and I’m not sure that I can cook (I really don’t know how) let alone change a diaper and keep a kiddo busy for the duration of 8 hours. I don’t know, that’s definitely gotten me to be more avoidant this night and it’s eating away at me a bit. It’s uncomfortable and I know I have to pull my weight at work it’s just.. the unknown and it’s scary. I should be able to reach out to co-workers and supervisors for support though and maybe I’ll find out more about it tomorrow in preparation. I also have notes I took from that training a year ago. So, that’s good at least.

Tomorrow when I come home from work I’d like to get a coffee, blog, read a book, watch a movie and then go to sleep. Mmm, sleep.

But yeah, that’s been today really. Not much happening. I’m either going to have a tiny chocolate bar now, some Pocky or some ice cream. Haven’t decided quite yet ahaha.

Well, I hope you guys are doing okay!! I’ll be back later this weekend to answer messages. Sending light, love and sweet dreams in the moonlight! ❀ xx

Just a Temporary Post

Hi hi!

Besides being sweaty right now and feeling far too hot, I’m doing rather well! I have to go brush my teeth because I just ate some mini Heath bars and they are soooo sugary, gwah!!

I’m jumping on here just to make a super quick, fast post and then I’m gonna challenge myself to take just 20 mins to read a book, my current graphic novel I’m calling IYF because that’s the abbreviations of its name, and then I’m going to go to bed and fall asleep. I’ll probably have to take a melatonin to help with sleep because I didn’t last night and didn’t fall asleep until 1a!! 😱😨 I napped for only an hour or so today which, hell, I’ll take.

Gah, so hot. Tomorrow I really want to spend some time blogging a more standard post, edit a couple of videos, upload a video and film one for what will later be released next Tuesday. I also want to read for a couple of hours or at least one and shave my legs and take another shower. I also want to do the dishes as a chore and maybe go out and shop a little tiny bit. I also want to continue to answer my social media and phone texting messages, as that’s important to me and either engage in some adult coloring, creative writing fanfics version or even some work based creative writing and preparing for the weekend ahead with work. (Leadership, leading routine and things to that effect)

I am taking up a morning shift on Wed next week so that should be interesting. It’ll only be two kids plus it’s a school day so it shouldn’t be too bad and if anything probably uneventful. It will be interesting to see how it’s run (first shift) on a school day and I’ll get to work with someone I’ve only met before in trainings so that’s nice.

But yeah, my dating friend is back home now and we spoke today so that was lovely! I also watched Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy tonight, hooray. Well, I should go. I need a fan like DESPERATELY. Ahaha I got like EIGHT bug bites last night when I forgo my shirt sooooo that was FUN to wake up to this morning, haaah, not.

Any who, I hope you guys are well. I will be shutting down my laptop for the day and getting on top of a few other things soon after.

May we all sleep well and keep on creating and making fun things that this life has to offer!

Stay safe!!

xxx

πŸ’œπŸ’šπŸ’›

Challenging Myself | A Mental Health Awareness Month (2021) Day #2 Entry

It may no longer be 2018 but that doesn’t mean this thumbnail died or it cannot be revived into the present day. πŸ’œβ€πŸ’™

Honestly, there HAS to be a better hashtag for this entry that I’m just so unaware of and out of the loop about that I cannot, or don’t have the time right now, to find out about more thoroughly.

I thought I’d challenge myself with a continued post via the daily blogging I’ll be doing for this entire month of May (or at least 6 times a week, giving myself forgiveness if I can’t manage to make it on Tu’s because I’ll be working nights then) all about recovery, positivity, hope, mental health, returning to my roots and other fun things like tags, challenges, blurbs, creative writing (or otherwise art forms) and just getting back to that really public version of journaling that I do. I mean, it has to count for something to be written SOMEWHERE, right? Like, is my not writing in my journal physically in real life but doing so with a trail online a little better? Is it not some form of improvement?

It matters, right?

Doesn’t it.

I’d like to think so.

Is it all the way towards wise? Probably not. But it hasn’t gotten me into trouble yet, so, onward I shall plow!!

Any who, today’s post is more of just a blurb. I think one of the things I can manage to do this month is to “return to my roots.” Why did I start this blog? What branched off from my first entry into blogging (at least with a formal blog like this one on WordPress (so, not counting my deviantART days (which I still plan to return to someday))) and how has that goal and that focus changed from today?

Who am I exactly now that I wasn’t back in 2016?

Because, I’m pretty sure it’s a good chunk. Not a complete transformation but definitely a metamorphosis.

And I’d like to return to sharing that.

Also, with the fact that I explored into some creative writing original work–I seem to have found myself stuck in writing the woe is me Loki stuff (which, I mean, let’s be honest, it’s accurate) but also it’s pigeon-holed me into doing that across all mediums of creative writing (except, okay, maybe not poetry!! Which I STILL have old entries for from last year, ehehe) and that’s probably somewhat problematic. At least, when I want to write to write and not be writing in a particular fanfic mode. I think and imagine that some retraining and readjusting will be in order. Maybe I can find or facilitate a writing group… Hmm. Not a bad idea.

I started to look at crochet (one of the last times I spelled this I accidentally wrote “crotchet” and that’s not the same thing πŸ™„πŸ˜¨πŸ˜°πŸ€’) blogs and entries and I’ve always toyed with the idea of getting into that hobby (or at least discovering if I liked it or not) for about a year and I’ve finally decided I’m going to try it. So, likely tomorrow (I’ve got work again on Tu, out on Fri and now I’ll be hanging out with my significant other on Fri) I’m going to go to Michael’s arts and crafts store to buy my OWN set of hooks (just two max; my Mom is adamant that we have some old supplies of hooks at home but it’s the principle of the thing for me) and then some yarn, probably two or three max. I’ve heard/learned that dish cloths are good beginner stuff and there are some of those cute animals you can make that are beginner level too, so that’s what I’m gonna be trying out!!!

Work went well today, by the way. I actually started to write Chp 2 of my new story OWP but stopped legitimately in the middle of a sentence haha.

Ooof, I’m starting to feel tired, the day is starting to wear me down. I will say, lastly, that I was able to watch a couple episodes of Grey’s Anatomy both yesterday and today, I watched Shazam on TV with my Mom, I ate really well–eh, mostly–and I can’t wait for having ice cream tomorrow ahaha. I’m honestly already falling asleep so having more of a life update kind of post and short for my standards nowadays is enough of a challenge for one night. I definitely have a lot of work ahead cut out for me via this whole blogging re-acquaintance but I think it’ll be okay. I have faith in the process. And now, I sleep.

Good night!! And thank you for reading. Sending you all light and love and good movie nights ahead. πŸ€—πŸ₯°πŸ˜›

πŸ–€πŸ€πŸ’™

Written: 5/2/2021, 10:50-11:15pm EST

PS If you have an idea of current year’s hashtags for the mental health awareness month that is May, leave them down below!! And feel free to network or hop into the conversation as the month progresses forwards. XXX

Why Are You So Kind?

Be Brave, Be Kind - THUMB 2 - BLUE HAIR - 12.18.19

Made on DesignCap–another graphic design website I will be reviewing. πŸ™‚ ❀


Your parents don’t fight. Your parents aren’t divorced. You’ve never been in the system… So you can’t understand. You’re not me, you don’t know what it’s like…. That’s probably why you’re so kind and compassionate, because you haven’t been through what I have….

—-Β  Anonymous

I was working at my job, Amaryllis, about a week ago. I picked up a couple of extra shifts with the holiday season going on, whereas I primarily and exclusively only work Friday’s.

It was after doing phone calls with one of the youth when the paraphrased discussion took place. I, of course, can’t go into the details of their history and their story (hell, it’s only theirs to tell if they so wish to) but I can talk about what this sprouting plant begged my attention for: why am I so kind?

How much of ourselves are a product of our family? Our environment? Our journey onwards?

It’s true that problems that occur in our childhoods can bleed and linger on into adulthood, I think anyone who’s been through trauma can tell you that.

And I think there’s a bigger question in play with this: how can one identify the root cause to why they believe in the good of humanity? The good of the world? That nice and good people out there exist? Let alone being one of those people, yourself?

I think it begs the question: people who go through traumatic experiences can react one of two ways (a bit all or nothing, I’ll admit): they can grow from it and be empathetic towards others or they can let it color their vision and take out their angry anguish out on the world surrounding them (and arguably, towards themselves as well).

Who decides which way a person will go? Who says? Who holds the key–the power? The control?

Again, I don’t really know the answer to these questions. I guess, in truth, I’m just someone asking them.

It’s said that we are sometimes born into vulnerabilities to certain conditions. That our environment can pull out additional vulnerabilities or mute others. That our family life may influence other characteristics and behaviors than we ever truly realize the full potential of. Sometimes the same two people who go through a traumatic event can still come out perfectly healthy or uniquely ill. But they both went through the same thing. So, what gives? Why did one person develop a condition and the other didn’t?

Again, unanswerable questions that could take years of ruminating and thinking on without getting much further than that.

All I know is that sometimes life gives us the shit stick.

We don’t ever choose for it to happen, it’s just handed to us. We’re expected, as per the rules of life, to figure out how we want to react to it. We do, inherently, control our own actions.

So, let’s circle back to the start of this conversation–moving beyond the why it’s happened and how it’s happened and instead focus on the concept of pain.

Here’s a pretty commonly used, easy to aggravate the person you’re coaxing into choosing life and choosing to “look on the bright side”:

“I understand.”

But do you? Do you really?

I think a lot of people forget that empathy exists. Sympathy is feeling sorry for another individual (something more at arms length away); empathy is feeling sorry WITH them, beside them, amongst them.

I think especially when it comes to trauma, tough family lives and general mental health or physical health conditions running rampant, that it’s easy to feel alone and easy to be upset and easy to think that no one else in the world knows how deeply you’re feeling pain.

And, maybe they won’t know. Maybe they don’t care to know.

But statistically speaking, that you’re the one human in the billions of years that the Earth has existed and that people have been alive for, that people will continue to be alive for, that you’re the ONLY one feeling as you do? It’s unlikely. That NO ONE has ever experienced similar pains before? Again, unlikely. (Also, this is probably just as invalidating so stay clear of this concept too).

The point is, I don’t believe someone has had to have gone through 100% the same thing in order to feel something for another human being. I think as humans, we are so diverse and different and individually made that we can never truly understand another’s experience. Not completely.

But we can understand a fraction of it. If we can’t know what it’s like to have gone through something, we can ask. We can look towards the individual and see how badly their pain is affecting them and from there, draw our own conclusions.

Remember:

“It’s not about how bad the situation is, it’s about how badly it’s affecting someone”

So, yeah, maybe no one will ever know 100%. Yet if they can know 50%? 80%? Would that change mean it all?

But, alas, I went on another tangent. I think it’s important to know what validation is versus what it’s not. The “I understand” card is a fickle creature. Not even using it as a starting point is good because people can get immediately defensive even if that isn’t what you’re trying to say. And sometimes it’s just as important, if not more important, to recognize that this is where the person is at in their life and to acknowledge how shitty that must be for them and that they can take the moment to observe their emotions, thoughts and physiological changes in their bodies and then, only then, dive into problem-solving and trying to “fix” someone else.

Because maybe we don’t have to fix someone. Maybe we can just say, “Hey, I see you’re suffering. That sucks. What can I do to help?” And if there isn’t anything or if they can’t think of anything, then just be there with them while the pain ebbs away, as it will naturally do.

So we return once again to this integral question:

Why are you so kind?

Because, it’s true: I’ve had a very supportive family life. An often validating and important family life. Even enabled to some respects. I didn’t grow up within the system, I grew up in a nurturing environment. I grew up in a steady paycheck household. Both my parents went to college and got their degrees. I grew up with a caring and dutiful, Spanish grandmother (who would smoosh spiders or ants with her hands, as ruthless as can be!). I went to my doctor’s appointments. Had surgeries. Went to school. Wasn’t so negatively impacted by bullies or anything. So what happened? What, what went “wrong?”

I don’t know, I don’t have a genetic predisposition towards mental health conditions. I don’t have any trauma that I’ve really been through. I barely skate across living with BPD.

All I know is that I went to college and the first few years were fine (all things considered) and then everything kinda snowballed out from under me. I was so creative back in the day, back in high school without mental health conditions, I was so creative with original characters and original works.

Then my mental health took a nose dive and I lost a lot of that, I still haven’t really gained it back, unfortunately. I’m not, I’m not even sure that I can get it back, sadly.

I began my recovery journey the most in 2015. I started on a round of medications. I had to learn what psychiatric emergency’s were. I self-harmed, I attempted suicide. I went to the hospital. I went inpatient. I went to the OCD-Institute for 5 weeks.

In 2016, I began my advocacy journey with NAMI MA and the newspaper. In fall 2016, I relapsed after 9 months out of the hospital. I dealt again with suicidal ideation.

In 2017, I was hospitalized 5 times (due most often to the suicidality, of course) the most in any year thus far. I was more unstable than stable during this time. I received ECT in September to cope with the many symptoms I was experiencing that was making my life utter, utter hell.

In 2018, I relapsed again, this time with depression. I experienced my darkest ever days. I started at a day program. I started DBT-Intensive there. Slowly, I came out of it.

In 2019, near the very end, I’m almost 2 years free from the hospital. I’m more stable than not every day. I use my DBT skills daily to upkeep my recovery–often in more ways than I truly realize. I’ve taught a Peer to Peer class. I’ve been on a podcast. I’ve been making Youtube videos, tweeting and growing my audience in multiple sites. I’ve been actively updating and writing fan fiction. I walked for graduation back in May. I got a job. Everything is looking up. (And when I have aΒ  bad day at work, I can see it as a bad day rather than a bad job or a bad life. I can separate a lot more than I used to).

So, why am I kind?

Maybe I haven’t been through the very same things you have.

Yet I know what pain feels like. I know what feeling alone in the world feels like. I know how tempting it can be to numb the hurt. I know how fast the brain can jump from helpful to unhealthy.

I know that I cannot take away your pain. And I know that I can ease the burden of it.

I know that my story matters. I know that what I’ve been through can help someone else.

And truly, if I could change it all?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

There’s an interesting take on living with a mental health condition that I’ve realized over the course of my journey: I can be just as valuable, if not more so, having had experiences with this that new opportunities can open up hundreds of doors for me than whatever is shut away.

Getting to where I am now in my journey has been a lot of hard work. I don’t intend to mess with that any time soon. I’ve made many, many strides. And I know what pain is, because I’ve been through it. And I know what freedom is, having come out the other side.

I’m no longer as plagued by my demons as I was before. My tolerance for pain has increased tremendously. When I struggle, hell, I struggle. But I’ve found the way through it. I’ve found the way to get through that pain.

Remember:

Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.

I’m kind, I think, because I choose to be. Because I choose to see the good in people, in the world, in mankind. I believe the best in others, and hell, yeah, that’s naive, but for the ones that doesn’t apply to, I choose to focus more on how those of us like myself exist too.

Because, yes the world is fucked up, painful, angry and misunderstood.

And there are still good people out there.

Because 50 people are assholes doesn’t negate or erase that 1 kind, kind individual wanting the best for everyone (and taking care of themselves appropriately).

I’d like to be that one. I’d like to be somebody. Someone to have changed something, for the better. Someone to have overcome adversity. Someone to have a voice, loud and clear. Someone to be kind to those I come into contact with and reach those whom I may not be able to knock on their door individually, one by one. I’d like to be a force to be reckoned with.

I’m kind because it matters. I’m kind because it’s who I am. I’m kind especially because I know how the simplest of gestures can mean the entire world when we’re deeply, deeply struggling.

Sometimes it’s enough to smile at a stranger. Give someone a hug. Give someone a card. Tell someone they’re courageous. Tell someone they are loved.

Because we never really know when someone else is gonna need to hear that. And sometimes if we wait too long, sometimes we lose that chance to ever get to say it again.

 

Stay safe, peeps.

xxx ❀ ❀ ❀

PS Music listened to in this crafted piece: “Somebody’s Someone” by Daphne Willis

PPS Related watercoloring piece I did back in 2016 that I’ve mentioned briefly before on my blog but hope to dedicate a proper post to in the future:

IMG_00003042

CONSUME DAY vs. CREATE DAY | Tackling Internet Addiction in a Different Way

Hello, and welcome to this new blog post. I am under a veil of intense inspiration, especially of this particular topic so I hope that you enjoy your stay here and are inspired to swivel your perspective from blindly consuming the Internet to creating your own content (ironically of course for others to consume). Let me know in the comments what you think about this post or you can contact me over My Twitter or at my public email address (recoverytowellness@hotmail.com) if you’d like to speak with me privately about this subject matter or anything under the sun, ahaha. Hope you enjoy this! Sending you light and love,

— Raquel

 

CONSUME DAY THUMB = 10.24.19


So this is a follow-up blog post to my drafted blog post (from Sept. 27th) titled:

“Hi, I’m Raquel and I’m Living with an Internet Addiction”

As mentioned previously, this blog post was only drafted and never made it much further than the title and the inspiration at the time for me to create it. Curse you consuming rather than creating!

Which brings me to this blog post itself (which I hope will actually be launched but because I’ve made graphic designs for it, I’m pretty certain that it will).

Last week, Oct. 18th, I brought up in therapy at my day program how I felt–and this is at the moment, it may change in the future–that Consuming the Internet versus Creating for the Internet are two different things.

Maybe it’s me making excuses to further deny the fact that I’m living with an Internet Addiction. It’s purely possible. My family therapist, June, described how I separated a Youtube addiction from an entire Internet addiction as being clean from coke for several years while at the same time still drinking ten beers a day. Just because you’re sober from one drug addiction while still giving into another drug addiction doesn’t mean you have no drug addictions or that you’re completely and purely sober.

But, alas, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s back-track a bit, shall we?

 

I started at my day program, Passages, nearly two years ago in February 2018. Since May 2018 I’ve been attending the DBT-Intensive program there in which I’m taught a new skill in the DBT realm (Dialectical Behavior Therapy’s crux is the ability to live with two opposing ideas existing within the same space (think “I want to live” and “I want to die”) and is an extraordinarily helpful and key tool in recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) although it can be applied to many other diagnoses, like many other therapies (just because it’s for one disorder doesn’t mean another disorder can’t learn from it) as well as be compiled of 4 intrinsic categories: Interpersonal effectiveness, mindfulness, emotion regulation and distress tolerance) for the second portion of the group and given homework for the next week, which I complete and share during the first portion of the group and if we have time I choose a situation from the last week to share on my diary card of when I struggled to use skills or could have used more skills. Diary cards serve the purpose of tracking moods and behaviors each day.

Phew! That long winded explanation out of the way…

It should come as no shock, if you’ve been following me for a while, that I use daily planners and have been since about 2017. As far back as then I’ve tracked, more or less, how I’ve used my time during that duration: blocks of Youtube and crises and schoolwork/classes.

Just now, I decided to be proactive and return to these old planners still in my room (stood up on the floor, actually) to see when the next dominoes fell into place. My treatment coordinator at program (around June 2018) suggested I more officially start tracking my Internet usage, likely nudging me into considering how much of an addiction it was for me (not that I was ready then to say so).Β  Mid-July 2018 I began to not only block out pieces of time but actually start calculating how much time I was spending on the Internet.

On the low end of the scale, sometimes I fell at 2 hours of usage. At the high end, sometimes 8 or 10 hour days. Most often, I ranged from 4 – 6 hours of Internet usage each day.

To be honest, this is really the first time I’m taking a look at it and hot damn, that was a lot of hours! I didn’t realize or, more likely, I had forgotten how intense and demanding it got. Nowadays, Oct. 2019 I can go some days with 0 hours, some days with 2 hours and more rarely with 5 or 6 hours. I probably hover from 2 – 4 hours more of the time than most.

Regardless, I kept this habit up more weeks than not of tracking my Internet usage in my planners. Eventually, and this I’m not sure when, but I think it was only in 2019, I started to track my Internet usage on my diary card.

Around this time, I started to separate or categorize types of Internet usage. I separated my time online on Youtube as its own category of an Internet addiction, as in, time I spent on Youtube was the only tracking of Internet usage that I was doing. So if I spent 2 hours on Twitter and 4 hours on Youtube, I’d only say it was 4 hours online for Youtube use rather than including the Twitter time. This gets a bit murky when I start to exclude creepypasta listening time if, say, I’m also cleaning my room. I think, still, that this is more productive time because of the goal in mind– say, when I’m staring at a Youtube video watching intently and focused only on that whereas for a creepypasta I can look away from the screen and create a new art piece or reorganize my room. The goal is different-one to consume and one to create with. (We’ll get back to this soon, don’t worry).

So for a while I did that. I tracked only my Youtube time, I would calculate the week’s work of Internet usage–so, from Monday to Sunday, how much time did I spend online, etc. I tracked on my diary cards (Friday’s to Thursday’s). I tracked in my planner. I fell off calculating and adding up all the times but for the most part I tracked it all.

Then came the time I went to Germany with my family in August 2019. It was when I visited Twitter for less than an hour that I felt super, SUPER guilty about it that began to twist the idea into my innards that hey, maybe I have an entire INTERNET addiction rather than just a Youtube addiction, (and the Youtube addiction is what I started to call it–think, denial of an issue, especially an addiction). I did manage about 10 days completely off Youtube during that vacation, which is STILL hella impressive to me. πŸ™‚ As it should be XD

So in Sept 2019 when June was suggesting that they are all the same substances, so to speak, for my addiction, the more a little ding appeared over my head.

But I still felt differently about it.

And again, maybe I’m making excuses. Maybe I’m STILL not ready to admit I have a problem. I do think I have LESS of a problem than where I started out at.

And, I really, really do think that CONSUMING the Internet is different than CREATING on the Internet.

Which brings me back to this post at hand.

I’ve decided in the last week from my in-program therapy session to challenge myself. Challenge myself in creating a new way of categorizing my Internet usage: consuming versus creating.

It’s unlikely that I can completely tear myself away from the Internet. I have to check emails, research information, read articles, ask questions etc. There will always be that little bit of the Internet, I think. I don’t think it’s realistic to completely be away from it. Because in small doses, in structured times, it can be useful.

It’s just about reframing and changing the way I’m engaging with it that’s the heart of the solution, I feel.

Because, I’m an artist. I like to create things and I like to put them out on the Internet. This notion, this “Personal vs. Private” is something I wish to explore further in another upcoming blog post but for now, I’m a very public person. Yes, I need to further self-reflect on what it is I’m aiming to get out of the Internet–what is it that I want? Attention? Validation? Community? Interaction?–and from an early age (since I was 16 on deviantART ) I’ve enjoyed placing myself out into the realm of the Internet–which of course means my artwork. I find more value in placing my artwork in front of the potential eyes of others so that I can run the possibility of that occurring as higher than if it just collected dust on my laptop, never to be seen of again. If I put my artwork out there, maybe just maybe someone will see it and comment on it. If I don’t put it out there at all 100% no one would see it. But if I do? Maybe someone will. Maybe someone will engage with it. Maybe it will influence someone. Maybe it will inspire them to create, too.

So I don’t think removing myself from the Internet is what I want to do. I think because creating is so integral to my core and because I do want to be someone, I want to be an influencer, I want to put myself out there and do public speaking and perform a TED talk and all that jazz, I just have to change the way I’m thinking of the Internet and what I put out there.

Because I still want to put things out there. I want to create content that ironically other people will consume.

I’ve spent so long consuming in the last few years, so much so that it’s taken away a lot of my every day inspiration that I want to set some limits to it so that I can do more CREATING than CONSUMING. Because consuming, while it’s instantaneously gratifying, it’s also very draining and sucks me into a world of drama and unnecessary guilt and sadness and emotion that I’m ready to return to CREATING as my most powerful force. I believe it will help me introduce myself into my “Work Mode” as well as be more expansive, important, and more high achieving. πŸ™‚

I want to feel more happiness, accomplishments and like my time is being made worthwhile. I know that I can’t ALWAYS be 100% all the time but I’d like to give myself more credit and more time to be doing what I love rather than eating up everybody else’s. I think, too, there are times for consuming to become more inspired and interact more with others than JUST creating 100% or JUST consuming 100%.

So for now, I’m going to introduce myself (and potentially others) into Consumer Days and Creator Days. Days dedicated merely to either consuming or creating.

Today, it’s been Creating. Tuesday this week it was Consuming.

Which is why I have the thumb graphic design above and so I’ve created that, I’ve listened to music, I’ve written this blog post, etc.

At the end of the day I will see which felt more worthwhile and important. Soon, I’ll also be showering, watching Grey’s episode from last week, watching a film to review it and reading a book, amongst other things I have on my to do list.

And lastly, here’s the create day thumb:

Create Days - THUMB - 10.24.19

And for that last statement–I think interaction with our audience can be both consuming and creating, depending on how you look at it. I think interaction may fall into the gap between the two definitions so don’t believe that these two thumbs are the ONLY ones coming to you, because once I have more data and more to say (which I always do) I will be hitting you guys back up with new information, new ideas and what went well/what went wrong with where this starting discussion exists.

I think this is going to be an excellent way to track my urges and see what it is that I do more of: creating or consuming. I had another idea too but I’ve since forgotten it/it’s been buried deep down into the folds of my brain.

Lastly, I listened a lot to “The Bones” by Maren Morris to create this post which is a very, very lovely song that I plan to do a song a day edition on soon. πŸ™‚

For now, I really, really need to take a break because I’m hungry and I have lots of other things I need to get done today. So, I hope that this post was intriguing and that you got something out of it!

More posts to come at you all soon.

PS A lot of this whole creating versus consuming thing also came from the inspiration I took upon myself to find “balance” in my life, largely professionally and personally and June had noted how my personal balance was almost all Internet based. So now I’m working on another drawing that is self-care based as other stuff I have to juggle each day. Phew. This was a lot of work. ❀ I will enjoy my break extensively soon. xxx

Thank you soooo much for reading!!! ❀ ❀ ❀