Cards of Life and CBT

The cards I’m dealt with… (Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite cartoons…)

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Call it laziness. I haven’t been sitting idly though. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about life in general and tried to find some way to explain it to people and finally came up with an explanation. Life’s like a never-ending game of cards.

Sometimes people get good hands, and sometimes people get bad hands. The good thing about the bad hand is that I think it’s possible to discard some of the “cards” and hopefully get better ones. For example, one of my “cards” has been that I am getting weaker, strength-wise. Well, should I hold on to that card? No. I should replace it with another that will make me stronger and that’s what I’ve done (or rather, in the process of doing). Instead of holding on to the more negative “cards” in my life, I have tried to replace them so that I am a better “me” in future.

What seems like a terrible card or hand, doesn’t really have to be so terrible. I really believe in finding the good from the bad (and sometimes, I go in the opposite direction). I think that it’s good to come up with something positive to replace a negative. If that’s not possible, I try to replace a negative with a neutral. Focusing on negative aspects in my life won’t do any good, and sometimes that’s easier said than done. I am one of my own harshest critics. Sometimes I am absolutely brutal, but as long as I develop that kind of thinking where I am replacing bad thoughts with good thoughts about myself, I think I will be all right.

I think that my life is as miserable as I allow it to be and this kind of thinking has saved me many times getting myself really down. My depressive episodes have gone down a lot and generally, I am a happier person from it. I’m not insanely happy or anything, but I am much, much better. It’s a huge improvement from where I was ten years ago.

It’s still close to impossible for me to take compliments or really understand that I am appreciated in people’s lives though. I’m getting a little better though. I do feel like I mean something to many people and when you get to that point, it’s a really good feeling. Even when I thought no one really cared about me, I know that people do care. It might not come from the direction you want or expect it to, but I really think it’s there floating around or something.

What I have been talking about is actually called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT – don’t giggle). For me, it’s worked like a charm. If you’re interested, there’s a little program I have done a while back that helped. It made me sit back and think: “Yeah, I could try to stop thinking so negatively about myself. It’s not doing any good.” It’s called Moodgym.

I’ve been pretty big on mental health lately because I’ve seen what being in poor mental health can be like and looking back, I really wouldn’t want someone to suffer the same way that I have. I think that it’s really important to nip this stuff in the bud as quickly as possible so it doesn’t become a huge problem later.

The process of feeling better about yourself isn’t an easy one, but I really feel like it’s important to start as soon as possible. If you’re feeling miserable, try out the CBT stuff. It really helped me out.

Lately Things Suck

I think I failed to mention that my posts will be sporadic for a while. Or maybe I mentioned it somewhere… I can’t really be bothered looking for it. That’s the problem. I can’t be bothered. The last week for me hasn’t been that great for me.

Sometimes I mention that I don’t always look after myself the best I can. I can be quite abusive towards myself and what I mean by that is that I really have a problem telling myself that I am doing a good job, that I’m a good person, that the lasagna I made a few weeks ago was really good, or that I am a good partner. That’s what I mean when I say that I abuse myself. I’m not harming myself physically, it’s just all done mentally and emotionally.

All of this self-doubt really has a huge toll on my overall health. When your brain is telling you that you suck at everything you do, sometimes it’s hard getting up in the mornings. Sometimes, it’s just really hard to function and I’ve experienced that over the last week. It seemed to be a lot worse than it has been, and that’s mostly because I’m in the middle of a two week training session. That’s probably the best way to put it since I want my main career to remain private. I’ve had to spend a lot of time away from home and my partner because I’m having to stay closer to where I am training. It takes about 2 hours travelling one-way going from home, and I just can’t see myself spending 4 hours a day travelling on top of an 8 hour workday. I’ve been staying with friends, but I still really miss my partner a lot.

I have said that I like our time apart, but I think I just need really small doses of that. A day is good. Weeks aren’t.

Going back to my health, if you can imagine seeing someone after they give up smoking in one day after they’ve smoked for 25 years, that’s what I am like. Four or five days of the week, my gut is upset. Let’s just say that I stay in a dehydrated state. My blood pressure is going higher. I feel like I am 30 years older than I really am. When things are really bad, I get migraines. This usually happens before assessments, exams, job interviews, work shifts, when I know I’m going to have to be in front of a large group of people, when I have to go to the store to get groceries, you name it.

Mid-week, one of my contacts tore and silly me didn’t bring a replacement, so my partner brought me some replacements. It doesn’t end there, but he wasn’t feeling well, yet he still spent the time to travel more than 3 hours to bring me what I needed. Then, he got me pizza. I really have a great guy and I’m lucky to have him. I’m even happier because I got to spend some of my weekend with him. I really needed that. By Friday, my mood was just abysmal. I missed a day, went to the doctor to explain how I’m feeling and how sick and tired I am being so anxious all the time because it’s not a good fit for what I’m doing. It really makes me sad. I like what I do but the anxiety really gets in my way of doing my job well (or more often).

I stop myself a lot from posting things like this because I don’t want to be one of those people online who list and brag about all their medical diagnoses, issues and problems. I don’t do this for attention. Sometimes I just need to get this stuff out, and if someone happens to come across something that I write that helps them understand what’s going on with them, I think that’s a good thing.

I choose not to smoke, drink (much), or do any drugs though I know they can have a calming effect. I just need to find another way to get my brain to relax. I haven’t found that yet though. (Actually, I think I have, but it’s extremely temporary.)

I guess that’s what’s happening. It’s why I’ve been in hiding… some of it is because I refuse to write these on a tablet since it takes me 10 times longer, but yeah, the mental bit has turned me off completely from wanting to do much. I’ll be back once this week is done. This is my last training thing for the rest of the year (except two days).

Bye for now.

Push Up Hell

I am not well. My body is not happy.

push-up

All the muscles that have been sore for the past two days. This isn’t even all of them.

I’m going to sound very whiny for a little bit. Of course, I’m going to be whiny because I am in a huge amount of muscular pain.

You see, last week I decided that it would be a good idea for me to get into shape for pictures that I need to take in August/September. I could really stand to get a bit of my chest definition back as well as reduce my belly fat. (I’ll post more about this soon.)

I told myself that my goal until then is to do at least 100 push ups, sit ups, lunges, etc every day and every other day, go swim at my gym.

The first day, I did 40 of each. I did push ups basically until I felt like I couldn’t anymore because if I push myself, I have a big possibility of doing some incredible amounts of damage to my body. I can’t really do that right now, so I stopped. Day 2, I did about 10 of each because I was really sore too. Like, I would lift my arm and it would be a bit sore. Today, I am actually hurting even more. I should take some ibuprofen or something. I should know when to do these things.

I’m supposed to swim this morning, but can’t since I’m expecting a phone delivery. It would have done me a lot of good too. I guess all hope isn’t lost though.

I always hate these first few days of exercise. I get so worked up doing these things that it’s such a bummer when I have to skip a day or two. I could take ibuprofen before I start but if I do that, I will risk working past the pain and can potentially do some really terrible damage to my muscle.

So… okay. Here I am waiting for a phone delivery so that I can go swim or something. I really would love to go today. The hydrotherapy would be perfect on days like this.