Category Archives: Uncategorized

All Apologies

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Image result for saying sorry clip art

‘I’m sorry’ comes out my mouth way too much.   I’m not talking about sincere apologies.  I’m talking about saying I’m sorry when I didn’t do or say anything that I need to apologize for.

For example, I say sorry when someone bumps into me, or if I almost drop something.   I even say sorry to furniture when I bump into it.

I also apologize when I think someone is going to be angry, before I’m even sure what I’m apologizing for.  It’s a sort of reflex for me, like how you put your hands in front of you when you trip.  It’s a safety net.  People get less angry if you seem like you feel bad.

The odd thing is, when I actually need to apologize for something I did, I have the hardest time.

There is something wrong with this.

Why do I feel like this need to apologize constantly? 

Maybe it’s because I bully myself.  I tell myself I’m stupid, or not good enough.  I tell myself that people are angry at me.  But, this is all my own perception.  This isn’t a definite truth.

Or maybe it’s because others often tell me I’m wrong.  I’m not a confident person, and for some reason, confident people prey on people like me.  They ‘advise’ me and tell me all the ways I’m wrong, all in my best interest, of course.  So I guess I’m used to feeling like I’m wrong.

But, I think it also comes from a desire to please. I don’t want anyone to be angry at me.  There are many angry people in the world, but taking on the blame for all their feelings is both arrogant and dysfunctional.   By saying I’m sorry, I make myself responsible, whether I am or not.  Why would I add this unnecessary burden on myself?

I don’t want to live that way.   I don’t want to be constantly apologizing for things that don’t deserve an apology.  Don’t get me wrong.  Apologizing is great, but only if you actually did something wrong.   But, you don’t need to take blame for things that aren’t your fault.

To combat this, I try to practice mindfulness, a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings and thoughts.   From here, I can see what is clearly mine to deal with and what is not.   Gradually, I notice these meaningless and disordered apologies leave my vocabulary.   And when I realize that I have done something wrong,  I try to say I’m sorry and mean it.

 

 

Accept Yourself

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I’m dyscalculic.

I learn slowly.

I need a lot of repetition to understand things.

I struggle to process the world around me.

I fight depression and anxiety.

I’m clumsy and forgetful.

I become overwhelmed easily.

 

This is who I am.

Yes, these traits are frustrating, but there is an upside to all of this as well.

 

I’m creative and passionate.

I’m curious and I want to learn.

I understand complex ideas.

I can be articulate.

I think deeply and feel intensely.

I’m empathetic.

I’m intuitive.

I try.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It can be easy to forget this, and see only the flaws. I’m trying to accept myself and be at peace with who I am.  This is a process. I find it frustrating that I learn slowly and I need so much repetition, but this is how I learn.  This is okay.  I need to give myself extra time to learn and process.

People misunderstand me. People criticize me.  Yes, it’s painful.  It’s confusing.  It’s frustrating.

 

Don’t misunderstand accepting yourself

with giving yourself excuses to wallow in weakness.

 

There is a difference. Let me show you.

I wanted to play guitar, but I struggle to memorize, have no natural sense of rhythm and I believed that I could never learn to read music.

So it seems like I shouldn’t play an instrument, right?  No, it means I’m going to have to compensate for my weaknesses.

Will it be a painfully slow process? Yes.

Will I learn?  Yes, eventually.  Maybe even learn, forget and relearn.

Because of my poor memory, I’ll always have to have my music in front of me when I play, even though it seems like it should be memorized after playing it hundreds of times.  I forget chords often, so I look at my chord chart, however many times I need.

So what?

The bottom line is I can play guitar.

I do this because playing music makes me happy.  Yes, I learn slowly, but I am learning.  My only other option is to never learn anything and I don’t like this option.

Does learning slowly mean I’m wallowing in weakness?  Are compensations for the way I process information ‘crutches’?

I don’t think so.

Here’s another example.  I write, despite the fact I can’t spell, despite the fact I’m not good at remembering grammar rules, and I struggle to organize my thoughts into writing.

You know how I do it? I’m not afraid to ask for help.  I have my friends and family proof read for me, to catch grammar and organization issues.

 

I’ve realized that don’t have to be all things for myself and this is okay.

 

I know people say, “In the real world, you won’t have help,” or in the “In the real world, that’s a crutch,” or “in the real world, you need to be independent.”

This is a lie.

In the real world, people are meant for each other.  We aren’t meant to rely only on ourselves. Let people help you.  It’s good for you and it’s good for them.

Image result for albert einstein quotes fish

So, don’t try to climb the tree because that’s not what you were made for.

Get in the water.

Be a fish.

Feelings Lie. Don’t follow them.

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Image result for feelings clip art

Emotions are a part of every day.  Many different feelings can go through one’s mind: happiness, anger, fear, worry, angst, disgust, sadness, etc.  They can feel overpowering. They can cause restlessness. You may feel such worry about making a decision that you can’t even eat. Or, it takes so much energy to go through your daily tasks because of the thick sadness that you feel.  It’s easy to lose perspective.  It seems as if you always have, and always will feel the way you do at that moment. But this is not accurate, because, in reality, everything we feel is temporary, whether it’s good or bad.

 

You can’t control your feelings, but you can control your reaction to them.

 

My brain only has so much space and energy, so I have to decide which emotions deserve my attention and which ones don’t.  I’m not saying this is easy.  I’m hypersensitive and I feel everything very strongly, so this doesn’t come naturally to me at all.

Sometimes, I have these mysterious bouts where I struggle to do anything that I wish to do.  I aggravate myself.  I’ll pick up my hobbies and they make me angry instead of relaxed.  Or I’ll try to read a book and it makes no sense. I don’t know why this happens, but it does. When I feel like this, I try to take my focus away from myself, and look at others and do something kind. It restores some of my self-esteem and helps someone I care about.  It’s a win-win.

I can make choices that will affect how I feel.

When I’m feeling sad, I can choose to aggravate it by listening to depressive music or I can choose to help my little sister with something.

Now, I’m not suggesting shoving your feelings down and never dealing with them.  That is unhealthy in it’s own way.  What I’m saying is that you should be the one in control of your feelings, not the other way around.

Regulating your emotions is a life-skill.  It’s a struggle and a process that is built slowly from experience.  It takes practice to learn how to manage what you’re feeling.   Some days I struggle and can’t get my emotions under control.  Other days are dark and long.  Some days, it’s easier.  It’s all part of the process. This is life for me.  I have to roll with this without becoming angry, anxious or despairing.

 

I can choose to let the flames die…or to feed them.

The choice really is mine.

And it’s your choice too.

 

Hello Again, Again

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I’ve decided to start blogging again.   Sorry it’s been so long.

These last two years have been a time of discovery and change for me.  I got diagnosed with a learning disability which has really changed things for me.  I now know why I struggle with certain things and that I am not retarded.  I have a real problem.  I also am eligible for accommodations in college and on the SAT test, which  I’ll take this summer.  Read more about my learning disability here.

I’ve also started going to Alanon which has surprisingly given me strategies not only for dealing with alcoholism, but for for managing my anxiety as well.    I’ve continued to educate myself on my learning problems and the way my mind works.

All this research and real-life practice led me write a blog series about some of the some of the things I’ve discovered about my mind.

Here’s a sneak peek of the topics I’ll cover:

  • Corpus Callosum: why it matters and how it works
  • Understanding Anxiety: the fight or flight response
  • Feelings Lie: don’t let them rule you
  • The Never-Ending Cycle: Feel bad, manage, feel better, repeat
  • Accept Yourself: the good, the bad, the ugly

 

Hello Again

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I haven’t blogged on clamorous mind for more than a year! But I’m back now.

Since I’ve been away, I’ve learned that I am dyscalculic.

Dyscalculia = struggle to learn, confusion.

I struggle to put what’s in my mind into writing. I’m filled with thoughts, feelings, stories, but when I try to convey them on paper or even through words, I flounder.  This is torture.

Daily:  Left brain fights with right brain. No communication between them.  😦 

Like a couple on the brink of divorce, not able to work out their differences. If only they knew how much they need each other.

This leads me to despair at times. I learn with difficultly.  Whether I use my brain for learning or for fun, there is conflict.

I’m going to fight.

I’m going to write.

I’m going to try even through the fog.

“It really doesn’t matter…”

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Sometimes, I get discouraged.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m even good at anything. Now, I’m not suicidal or near insane (not that I know of, at least) I’m just very melancholic, so it’s easy to get discouraged.

I recently watched The Pirates of Penzance.  It’s really a bizarre movie, but it’s also very funny, in a weird sort of way.  The lyrics to one of the songs in that movie kind of reminds me of how I feel sometimes.  It’s literally called “It really doesn’t matter.”

Sometimes I feel like everything I try to do “isn’t generally heard and if it does it doesn’t matter, matter, matter.”

 

Maybel and Fredric. He’s so cute!

 

Here are the lyrics to the song.  They’re actually very humorous:-)

FREDERIC:
My eyes are fully open to my awful situation,
I shall go at once to Mabel and I’ll make her an oration,
I will tell her I am bound by duty and my moral senses,
And I don’t know what to do about the pending consequences,
Now I do not want to perish by the sword or by the dagger,
But a pirate must indulge a little pardonable swagger,
And a word or two of complement my vanity would flatter,
But I’ve got to go tonight, so it really doesn’t matter.

ALL:
So it really doesn’t matter. (repeat five times)

ALL:
So it really doesn’t matter matter matter matter matter.

RUTH:
If this were not a little mad and generally silly,
I should give you my advice upon the subject willy-nilly,
I should show you in a moment how to grapple with the question,
And you’ll really be astonished at the force of my suggestion,
On the subject I shall write you a most valuable letter,
Full of excellent suggestions when I feel a little better,
But at present I’m afraid I am as mad as any hatter,
So I’ll sing this song from Ruddigore it really doesn’t matter.

ALL:

What we sing it doesn’t matter! (repeat five times)

ALL:
What we sing just doesn’t matter matter matter matter matter.

 PIRATE KING:
If I had been so lucky as to have a steady mother,
Who could talk to me as we are talking now to one another,
Who could give me good advice when she discovered I was erring,
Which is just the very favour which on you I am conferring,
My existance would have made a rather interesting idyll,
And I might have lived and died a very decent indiwiddle,
This particularly rapid unintelligible patter,
Isn’t generally heard and if it is it doesn’t matter.

FREDERIC AND RUTH:
If it is it doesn’t matter. (repeat three times)

ALL:
This particularly rapid unintelligible patter,
Isn’t generally heard and if it is it doesn’t matter.
This particularly rapid unintelligible patter,

Isn’t generally heard and if it is it doesn’t matter matter matter matter

 matter matter matter matter matter!

 

 

Or, click here to watch here to listen to this song with the lyrics.