Daily Archives: August 10, 2015

Feelings for Therapist

Today I read a post titled “Sexual feelings for your therapist – and what they can tell you”.  I have not been afflicted by such feelings, but the post talked about non-sexual feelings as well and I do have some experience there.  Last month when I went to my medication appointment, Brent asked how therapy […]

My OCD is Kicking In

There is a strange phenomenon going on where mental illnesses are sort of thrown around carelessly. And what is strange...

The post My OCD is Kicking In appeared first on Pretending to be What We Are.

Why You Absolutely Must Love Yourself

Originally posted on Soul of Therapy :

When you cannot love yourself, not much else in your life will really matter.

The accomplishments won’t matter. The perfect body or the perfect car or perfect house won’t really matter, either. You may be on the proverbial hamster wheel towards success, doing what you are supposed to be doing, going through the motions of an adjusted and functional life, but without the component of self-love, a chronic hollowness and emptiness will prevail.

Most likely, you will attempt to fill this hollowness with whatever substituting forms of validation and security you can find, whether it be in another person, the throes of an encompassing addiction, or the materialistic chase for a bigger and better life. It may even take on the more subtle forms of constantly trying to “make yourself over,” whether it be with a person, job, appearance, location, or life passion. We will do whatever we can to reduce this void…

View original 791 more words

Why You Absolutely Must Love Yourself

Originally posted on Soul of Therapy :

When you cannot love yourself, not much else in your life will really matter.

The accomplishments won’t matter. The perfect body or the perfect car or perfect house won’t really matter, either. You may be on the proverbial hamster wheel towards success, doing what you are supposed to be doing, going through the motions of an adjusted and functional life, but without the component of self-love, a chronic hollowness and emptiness will prevail.

Most likely, you will attempt to fill this hollowness with whatever substituting forms of validation and security you can find, whether it be in another person, the throes of an encompassing addiction, or the materialistic chase for a bigger and better life. It may even take on the more subtle forms of constantly trying to “make yourself over,” whether it be with a person, job, appearance, location, or life passion. We will do whatever we can to reduce this void…

View original 791 more words

Why You Absolutely Must Love Yourself

Originally posted on Soul of Therapy :

When you cannot love yourself, not much else in your life will really matter.

The accomplishments won’t matter. The perfect body or the perfect car or perfect house won’t really matter, either. You may be on the proverbial hamster wheel towards success, doing what you are supposed to be doing, going through the motions of an adjusted and functional life, but without the component of self-love, a chronic hollowness and emptiness will prevail.

Most likely, you will attempt to fill this hollowness with whatever substituting forms of validation and security you can find, whether it be in another person, the throes of an encompassing addiction, or the materialistic chase for a bigger and better life. It may even take on the more subtle forms of constantly trying to “make yourself over,” whether it be with a person, job, appearance, location, or life passion. We will do whatever we can to reduce this void…

View original 791 more words

Why You Absolutely Must Love Yourself

Originally posted on Soul of Therapy :

When you cannot love yourself, not much else in your life will really matter.

The accomplishments won’t matter. The perfect body or the perfect car or perfect house won’t really matter, either. You may be on the proverbial hamster wheel towards success, doing what you are supposed to be doing, going through the motions of an adjusted and functional life, but without the component of self-love, a chronic hollowness and emptiness will prevail.

Most likely, you will attempt to fill this hollowness with whatever substituting forms of validation and security you can find, whether it be in another person, the throes of an encompassing addiction, or the materialistic chase for a bigger and better life. It may even take on the more subtle forms of constantly trying to “make yourself over,” whether it be with a person, job, appearance, location, or life passion. We will do whatever we can to reduce this void…

View original 791 more words

Why You Absolutely Must Love Yourself

Originally posted on Soul of Therapy :

When you cannot love yourself, not much else in your life will really matter.

The accomplishments won’t matter. The perfect body or the perfect car or perfect house won’t really matter, either. You may be on the proverbial hamster wheel towards success, doing what you are supposed to be doing, going through the motions of an adjusted and functional life, but without the component of self-love, a chronic hollowness and emptiness will prevail.

Most likely, you will attempt to fill this hollowness with whatever substituting forms of validation and security you can find, whether it be in another person, the throes of an encompassing addiction, or the materialistic chase for a bigger and better life. It may even take on the more subtle forms of constantly trying to “make yourself over,” whether it be with a person, job, appearance, location, or life passion. We will do whatever we can to reduce this void…

View original 791 more words

Lies My Mind Told Me

While maintaining the sheer illusion of being functional by going into the dish for five hours…I wrestled with a plethora of  brain misfires. Numb mood. Anxiety attack. Paranoia. Bitchiness. Snapping. Back down in the rabbit hole of “this is so fucking pointless.” The carousel has only slowed down once in the (way too frigging hot) comfort of my bubble. My mind’s been racing for hours, creative ideas flitting in and then…poof, gone. Moods and ideas and panic and pain…This.Is.My.Life.

To my credit, I have, over years, been able to identify, at least with the hormonal stuff, when I am not feeling good and I use my whiplash tongue when it’s really not deserved. I even apologized for doing so today. R could tell how much pain I was in (fuck you, Aleve, you’re useless) with shark week and he was actually empathetic. I about fainted, no drama. Normally he can’t pass up a chance to take offense and play the “women are so mean to me” card. Guess considering all that transpired between last night and this morning had me down flopping on the ground like a dying fish, he cut me some slack. There is no drama here, only mass confusion created by hormones and panic attacks and a bipolar state I can’t even describe.

The numbness was entering the dish. The anxiety attack came in traffic, which was also intensified by a trip to Walmart for R for shop tickets. That place triggers me, every time I go in I get dizzy and feel like I am gonna puke then pass out. Every. Single. Time. I was in such a state of paranoia and panic, I missed someone yelling my name, because, seriously, who do I ever see that’s gonna speak to me? But I felt rude so I did a doubletake. Next thing I know, two former neighbor kids who played with Spook before they moved ran up to hug me and gush about school. It was nice to be met with so much enthusiasm, they’ve been gone almost three years. To be remembered by fickle kids, wow, I must not suck except to my own kid. Needless to say, I was polite but under the surface, I was about to crawl out of my skin. Walmart is just a synonym for hell.

Bitchiness and snappiness came after lunch and the Wally world trigger. At one point I’d had to get off the main drag and take the back streets cos I was flipping out, everything was moving so fast and my mind couldn’t process quickly enough and I was terrified in that state I’d have a wreck in major traffic…That shook my confidence. Then the cramps just got worse in spite of popping the Aleve so I got snappy, and snappier the more I got overheated even in the air conditioning. Following that an enveloping depression hit, making me feel like this kicked puppy who has no control, no hope, and serves absolutely no purpose.

My mood stabilizer is fine. All that is hormonal.

You throw it on top of bipolar depression and it’s like depression/bipolar on steroids. You know what the logical response is, yet your brain is sending you the opposite message and it’s just a clusterfuck. I wish people, the mundanes sans mental issues, could understand this. What it’s like to not be in control of your own brain, to constantly feel like you’ve been hijacked, hacked, roofie’d. It’s not an unwillingness to take responsibility for your actions. It’s an uncertainty in even knowing what your actions are because you KNOW what you meant to say or do and yet, something went haywire and it didn’t end up that way. So is it really you making the choice if your brain lies to you and disobeys you?

The parallel I draw (and I am sure some will want to tar and feather me for this) is if someone slips a drug into your drink and you either act out or pass out and have no memory. Are you responsible if during your altered state, through no fault of your own, for being raped, robbed, et al?

Yet mental health issues are always blame based, always a matter of “take responsibility and grow up”. I look at all my choices made, decisions made, while under the “influence” of  bipolar’s extreme highs and lows…Had I been “stable” would those same choices, contrary to my normal personality, have been made? Because if it’s as simple as slapping all bipolar people with a secondary ‘borderline personality disorder” label to explain the behaviors…Would our behavior not be just as shitty and irresponsible regardless of our bipolar mood cycle and state? I don’t buy that pills can alter a personalty disorder. If it’s a behavior ingrained in who you are, you’re going to do it in May during a manic episode, in December during a depression, because it is behavioral, ingrained, imprinted.

When the pattern correlates to specific times of depressive/manic cycles…That’s not personality and the professionals can go gargle shards of glass with a Drano chaser if they think it is.

I have come to think “borderline” is little more than a label to add to bipolar because so many are med resistant which makes the doctors look bad so they make us believe we’re just bad people who need to change how we act.

How we act is NEVER gonna change, even with a thousand years of therapy and shock treatment, if our brain continually lies to us and sends distorted, incorrect information. And I am fairly sure a manic outburst of laughter at a funeral and bursting into tears when complimented ARE distortions of the brain otherwise known as bipolar disorder.

The party line is, and I’ve used it myself, depression lies. Thing with that is, in *that* moment, which you are supposed to be so mindful of, the lies don’t seem like lies at all. They feel like the truth. You view it as being true. You tell yourself it’s all wrong, you just have to not believe it, not buy into it, and you will be all fixed. There are rare times when you can convince yourself that your brain is lying to you. More often than not, the monsters under the bed and the voices inside of your head win out in *that* moment. Which is why I do the brain reboot therapy- sleep it off, see if you wake up in a different mental space. There is nothing more cruel than trying to help yourself only to fail BECAUSE YOU CANNOT  TALK A BIPOLAR BRAIN OUT OF BEING BIPOLAR. For fuck’s sake.

So while I know my mind and body are lying to me, at this moment, amplifying and distorting…All I can do is ride it out. I am not embracing the negative, at all. I admitted to myself earlier that even if I still feel depressed and anhedonic…the Cymbalta has gotten me out of the rabbit hole. I’m getting out, doing what I have to do, I’m not retiring to my crypt to wallow so early every night, I’ve even been hitting a yard sale here or there. I am trying to do better. My energy is up. I just can’t feel true joy, everything seems pointless and daunting. So it’s better than it was, but considering how bad it was and what I went through with the failed meds before it getting better…I should get a spork of fortitude for making it this far.

Not that I want credit, I just really like sporks.

For now…I am back in my bubble and while my brain keeps circling the drain with pointing out all the negatives going on right now and my ovaries have little oompa loompas  squeezing them at random intervals..I’m less rattled, less snappy, less…well, bitchy and insane. I may even traumatize myself by watching The Human Centipede tonight. If only to say I pushed past my boundaries, which oddly, I never had before when it came to horror/gore flicks. I became a wussy at some point. Maybe because the internet has given me rule 34 and “once seen, it can not be unseen.” Horror movies used to be enjoyable schlock. I shouldn’t fear them. Maybe it’s not the movies I fear so much as the ones actually based on deviant human behavior. Seriously, who believes Freddy Krueger and Jason Vorhees are even plausible threats?

Now that creepy guy with the medical degree who likes to experiment on things…He’s a threat.

I dunno. My brain hasn’t told its next lie yet so I’m in a holding pattern.

 

 


Registered for Pema Chödrön’s course, fingers crossed!

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Changing the habitual, negative, reactive response to PEACE and EQUANIMITY! A course by Pema Chödrön

If this course can really do what it says it can do, it would be quite miraculous for my life. I wouldn’t have to live with a fight or flight response that gets activated at the drop of a hat (in mania), and sometimes so over the top extreme that it’s like using a machine gun to kill a mosquito. Usually the situations I am reacting to are quite extreme, so many bad things have happened to me and my family :-( I don’t know why some people carry more of a sorrow or trouble burden. Maybe I’m wrong, but some people seem to have lighter, airier, less troubled lives. Maybe they’re the ones who already taken this course and possess the equanimity that I lack. I want to stop being so reactive, and so hooked into the negative things in life. I want to be even keeled, and be the genuine, true me, who is loving and positive, and calm. Yes CALM, that is the operative word. I am going to enroll in this course, and see what happens. I am so tired of being triggered by stressful situations into an awful negative state of mind and being. I need to stop it, for now and for good! I’ll post about it, and hopefully I will make good progress with my goal of reaching equanimity, serenity, and calmness. Oh it sounds like a wonderful dream.

Here’s the information for the course:

The Freedom to Choose Something Different by Pema Chödrön

Course Description

Ever feel triggered and stuck in a reactive tailspin despite all your efforts?

It is from this place — this hooked feeling — that we find ourselves responding in less than ideal ways. These are the moments when we may speak with venom, act out, or completely shut down when faced with challenging situations.

It is only later, when we’ve had the opportunity to calm down and reflect on our actions, that we wonder where we went wrong and how we could have chosen a more grounded response.

In The Freedom to Choose Something Different, Pema Chödrön examines and illuminates this nebulous process, clearly identifying where and when you have the opportunity to change your habitual response patterns. . . to choose something different. In this eight-part video course, Pema personally walks you through the landscape of these internal thunderstorms and guides you through the tools to cultivate inner freedom.

What does it mean to be “hooked”?

Maybe it’s a comment from a friend about your new shirt or the dinner you just cooked. Maybe it’s a look, a glance from a stranger. But something about it sets you off. . .

  • Your jaw or stomach tightens
  • Irritation, frustration, or anger begins to arise out of nowhere
  • Time speeds up
  • Your mind begins to race
  • Thoughts about the offending action begin flooding your head — judgments, defenses, accusations…

Whatever you call it . . . You’re hooked.

How do you choose something different?

  • Develop a subtle awareness for what it actually feels like to be “hooked”
  • Learn how to recognize the feeling when it first arises and “catch it” quicker
  • Interrupt the momentum of your habitual responses by slowing down your reactions
  • Establish alternative forms of responding that come from an expansive sense of self-worth, rather than a constricted place of self-protection
  • Get the support you need to reinforce this change and make it a new and active part of your life

Are you ready to get unhooked?

Take this course and discover the tools needed to cultivate true inner freedom.

What are the requirements?

  • No prerequisite knowledge needed

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 21 lectures and 9.5 hours of content!
  • Achieve freedom from your habitual response patterns
  • Transform your habits, addictions, and behaviors
  • Discover the value of your imperfections in the process of spiritual growth
  • Learn to access your innate wisdom and inner ground
  • Develop tools essential to your transformation in times of duress
  • Cultivate unconditional self-acceptance

What is the target audience?

  • People looking to transform reactive habits, addictions and behaviors
  • People looking to learn more from the renowned Pema Chödrön
  • People seeking to better understand practices of Tibetan Buddhism

Curriculum

Section 1: Positive Groundlessness and the Three Difficult Practices
Text
37:43
25:12
Section 2: Shenpa and the Power of the Pause
Text
40:59
40:12
Section 3: Sowing the Seeds of Freedom
Text
43:36
32:36
Section 4: Being Kind to Yourself
Text
31:20
32:47
26:46
Section 5: The Practice of Meditation and Its Relevance to Shenpa
Text
44:12
Section 6: Choosing a Fresh Alternative
Text
24:21
23:54
34:57
Section 7: BONUS MATERIAL – Live Sessions with Glenna Olmstead
Live Session with Glenna Olmsted – 1
56:21
Live Session with Glenna Olmsted – 2
01:01:05

Instructor Biography

Sounds True , Publisher of book, audio, and video titles in the fields of self-development, personal growth, and spirituality

Sounds True was founded in 1985 by Tami Simon with a clear mission: to disseminate spiritual wisdom. Since starting out as a project with one woman and her tape recorder, we have grown into a multimedia publishing company with more than 80 employees, a library of more than 600 titles featuring some of the leading teachers and visionaries of our time, and an ever-expanding family of customers from across the world. In more than two decades of growth, change, and evolution, Sounds True has maintained its focus on its overriding purpose, as summed up in our Vision Statement:

Sounds True exists to inspire, support, and serve personal transformation and spiritual awakening.

Sounds True is an independent multimedia publishing company that embraces the world’s major spiritual traditions, as well as the arts and humanities, embodied by the leading authors, teachers, and visionary artists of our time. Our approach to publishing is not dependent on a single format or technology—rather, we strive with every title to preserve the essential “living wisdom” of the author, artist, or spiritual teacher. It is our goal to create products that not only provide information to a reader or listener, but that also embody the essential quality of a wisdom transmission between a teacher and a student.

Throughout the years, Sounds True has developed a guiding philosophy that we call “multiple bottom lines.” Our dedication to this principle is embodied in our Mission Statement:

The mission of Sounds True is to find teachers and artists who serve as a gateway to spiritual awakening and to produce, publish, and distribute their work with beauty, intelligence, and integrity. We treat our authors, vendors, and partners in the same way we would want to be treated. We work flexibly and efficiently together to create a cooperative, loving environment that honors respectful authenticity and individual growth. We maintain a healthy level of profitability so that we are an independent and sustainable employee-owned organization.

The three essential bottom lines for Sounds True are the integrity of our purpose, the well-being of our people, and the maintaining of healthy profits. All three of these priorities are important in the decisions we make as a company. It is our conviction that each of these bottom lines must be healthy for the company to prosper as a whole.

In our history as a publisher, Sounds True has produced a wide variety of formats in order to fulfill our goal of disseminating spiritual wisdom.

Full biography

Instructor Biography

Ani Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City. She attended Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren.

While in her mid-thirties, Ani Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to Scotland at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him.

Pema first met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Rinpoche, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987. At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong.

Ani Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave her explicit instructions on establishing this monastery for western monks and nuns.

Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She is also a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the oldest son and lineage holder of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Ani Pema is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well as continuing her work with western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings. Her non-profit, The Pema Chödrön Foundation, was set up to assist in this purpose.

She has written several books: The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, The Places that Scare You, No Time To Lose,Practicing Peace in Times of War, How to Meditate, and Living Beautifully. All are available from Shambhala Publications and Sounds True.