Inner Divide Shows Through
June 27, 2012, 11:51 am
Filed under: Human Potential, Writing | Tags: , , ,

So I’ve finally been thinking about my “story” again the past few days. I hadn’t been working much on my “story” (which I hope to develop into a memoir) since my last psychotic break. But now I’m easing my way back into writing, and at times I fight a foggy feeling in my brain to do so.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking: I’ve often felt uncomfortable and not myself around others because I saw many things about myself as socially unacceptable, such as my attraction to white men (and white boys when I was a kid). More recently I’ve seen my mental illness the same way as I looked for a job.

In my lifetime, my shame has also extended to natural things like… farting, of course. I even tried to hide my period publicly and from my dad when I first got it at age 11. Sometimes I hid used maxi pads wrapped in toilet paper under my mattress so my dad wouldn’t see them in the trash can.

Why is it that we learn to be ashamed of so much? Ultimately, what price do we pay when so much about our natural and true selves are deemed things to hide and be ashamed of?

I think the price is that the life we see around us day to day becomes more of a performance or dress rehearsal than reality because we’re putting aside our life struggles (the things great stories are made of) to be dealt with some other time. Also, when we hide or disconnect from our true and natural selves, we have no choice but to be also separated from each other. And we are separate still, to a certain extent, racially, socio-economically, and probably otherwise.

Just as my menstrual cycle and “gas” play a part in my human survival, my mental illness and white-guy attraction likely play significant parts in my “story” and happy ending. By disregarding and hiding them, as I often have, I shut myself off from finding my true purpose and place in the world.


A Post Just to Avoid Not Posting

I try to post once a week, but lately things are going on that I don’t want to talk about on my blog, at least not right now. Generally, I’ll just say that life circumstances are going okay lately, but I’m still holding onto a negative view of my life situation and myself. More than a couple of times lately, I ‘ve wasted my time crying or being sad about life when really things are better than they were a few weeks ago.

At the mental health recovery program I attend I heard that people who think positively tend to plan better. I can look at my own life (crying, wasting time considering suicide) and see one reason why people who think positively plan better. They use their time better.

Positive people probably also see their situation in life more realistically. I tend to compare myself to others around me all the time, acknowledging how much better their lives are than mine. That means I probably rarely take an honest/clear look at where I am in life, and rarely avoid considering my life choices, my tendencies, dreams, fears, etc. and the part they play in my life circumstances.

I’m mostly writing this just to avoid not writing, leaving an abandonned blog. I am actually very fond of this blog. In the future I hope to write more about a volunteer opportunity I’m considering; it’s teaching a class about writing at the mental health recovery center I attend.

I’m still in a weird place, reconsidering all the things I’ve thought for years, things that make me schizophrenic apparently: the idea that a man I met once is my soul mate, the idea that he and I are somehow connected and could be together someday.

It’s hard because I hear songs in my head (for example, “Do You Love Me (Now that I Can Dance)”) all day that I used to see as communication from my soul mate, and I don’t know how to view the songs now, how to make sense of them. Making sense could be acknowledging that the songs are either part of my illness or just something that happens sometimes. A lot of times people hear songs in their heads out of the blue.

Recreating My Life

Lately, I’ve been feeling down about my job situation. Sure, I got a part-time job (I should be happy, right?), but I need a full-time, mainly so I can have access to dental care (I have a tooth in the back of my mouth I’m slightly concerned about), and make sure I can take care of my car.

There’s this part of me who sees financial problems and poor job situations as the end of the world. I know it’s wrong to do so, but I see such problems as defining of my character and human value. If things look “bad” to me financially, I see myself as broken, the cause of the problem.

There’s just a side of me that feels I’m different from everyone else, like I don’t belong here, and can’t do anything right, and every problem I encounter further communicates this idea back to me. It’s painful to walk around thinking this; it’s also counterproductive.

I believe the kids I work with in a child care center in a gym can sense my weakened presense, which is a result of me feeling flawed. When I work with them alone, without a coworker who’s more at ease, their behavior changes drastically for the worse.

I went for a walk yesterday and came to the conclusion that I have to be at more ease and comfortable with where my life is right now to have the kind of presence with others that I’d prefer: a calming, solid presence, one that kids and others can rely on. Right now I have more of a quiet, cautious presence where I doubt the validity of almost every thing I do.

I’m not sure the way to accomplish the more at-ease presence, but I think one thing I still struggle to do is think positively. One thing I can do to encourage positive thinking, which I started a week or two ago but discontinued, is write down things I’m grateful for everyday in my journal.

I can start right here with writing things I’m grateful for: I’m grateful for this blog. Just writing what I wrote so far made me feel better immediately. I’m also grateful for the book I’ve been reading intermittently, A New Earth, by Eckart Tolle.

From reading A New Earth, I’m aware of another thing I can do to be more positive: try to be more present/in the moment, not worrying about the past, or future, or ideas of how negative my situation is. In the book, Eckart Tolle says it’s the ego that wants to resist and deny (not be in) the present moment.

Today’s turning out to be a good day. I feel good right now . I think it’s partly because I’m thinking positively in this moment about the job situation. I get to work with kids, which I love, even though they “flip the script” (change their behavior) when the lady they’re used to working with goes on break. I’m also thinking I’d like to make writing “my thing” somehow, maybe taking some classes so I can teach others about writing.

Another thing I can do to make writing more mine is to write here more often, maybe Wednesdays and Sundays. I’ll try to start this week.

Changing An Unhappy Birthday
June 3, 2012, 6:45 pm
Filed under: Human Potential | Tags: , ,

This is the first birthday I’ve spent unemployed. It didn’t even seem like it was time for a birthday as the days sped passed leading up to it, and I fretted over finding a job. I really hope this is my last birthday looking for a job while being unemployed, and having no specific schooling or experience to distinguish myself from other job applicants.

I’ve spent most of my career days since I graduated from college in December 2001 working in odd jobs, as a substitute teacher, a teacher’s aide (only employed during the school year), and working in a gym where my hours were cut if I didn’t have appointments.

The experience in gyms and in education seems like it’d be more useful if I had steady employment, but I didn’t. For example, in taking a chance on writing a book, I spent the last year unemployed. (I was partly influenced by my illness, which made me think I was supposed to quit my job.)

Of course, all I’ve just mentioned is the down side of my situation. I feel I’ve spent most of my adult life looking at the myself and my life from the down side, often expecting the worst. Perhaps things have often turned out as “bad” as I’ve expected them to. So more than fixing the employment situation (life is unpredictable), I hope to fix my outlook on life.

I have a perfect companion to help in this arena. I’ve been reading A New Earth by Eckart Tolle. It’s very eye-opening. I’m about a third of the way through the book, and I can already look at my average approach to life as demonstrated in what I wrote above, and say, “I am creating misery for myself in this moment,” as Eckart Tolle suggests we say when we take a negative perspective on situations. Experiences and situations are neither “good” nor “bad,” he says in A New Earth; they just are as they are.

In honor of what I’ve learned from the book, I’ll attempt to look on the bright side of my life and current situation, starting now: I got to spend a year working on a book, something I’ve wanted to do since I was in high school. I just accepted a part-time job doing something I’ll enjoy (working with kids). I’ve got two interviews next week, one for a part-time job that, if I get it, would bring my total work hours per week to 32 hours. That’s practically full time.

More postive stuff, to avoid creating misery for myself: Getting an interview shows that I have an attractive resume, which is good. I can also seek help in searching for employment at the Good Will since I have a disability (schizophrenia). I’ll still have a half a day after my part-time job to continue to search for employment.

Plus, I’m smart enough to go back to school to change my career path–and I want to become an English teacher. And I’m reading a book that just may change my life by helping me change my outlook on life.

I’ve heard again and again, “Attitude is everything.” It’s time I started acting like it.