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Check-In #5: Bring It On

It's been a while since I've written here. I've been busy with honestly what I can't remember. My memory is crap these days. I can remember everything you've said to me, but I can't remember what I did three days ago. The only reason I can recall the last two days is because Goose and I have been celebrating our anniversary. We've been together three years today! I love to celebrate these kinds of things. On Tuesday we went to Disneyland, and yesterday we got massages. (They kind of go hand and hand as an adult doing a theme park for 12 hours.)

Prior to our Disney outing I was a little anxious about the day. As much as I love The Happiest Place on Earth I can't help but be a little stressed about the crowds, traveling, getting up super early to be there for rope drop and planning the day to best maximize our time there. Being anxious feels like being negative in a way. It's going over everything in my head to prepare myself for all (and especially the worst) possible outcomes. I wish that I could turn off that part of my brain and just let things come as they may. To not care about "what if".

To combat these feelings of anxiety I actually took charge of the moment and used the Calm app for a guided meditation. After that Goose held me on the couch and let me breathe with him. These things actually helped a little bit. It's funny because through this I'm realizing that my problem isn't just being negative. It's so much more complicated than that. As someone who struggles with anxiety, bipolar depression and OCD I am in a sense "hard-wired" for certain negativity. It's a coping mechanism. I don't choose to have these thoughts, they pop up with what are called core beliefs. Some of this is deep within me, but there may be some that I can challenge and actually unlearn. Some of this is not genetic, and with that I do have some control.

I have been learning more about CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and how it can help to challenge these negative thoughts. All that we think isn't necessarily true. What false narratives am I building in my head? Yes, some of it is based on what has happened to me in the past, but that doesn't necessarily need to inform how I process something yet to come. Our brains were built to protect us from dangers, predators, life-and-death situations, but the way we live today hardly presents us with those things the way it did millions of years ago.

What I'm saying is that most of my negativity is based on my past experiences. My brain sees how I've been stressed/hurt before and tries to avoid that now by preparing for that worst possible outcome. My biggest question is now, "How do I change that?" How do I get myself to let go of any possible outcome of any possible situation and simply not care about how things will go? That seems like the only way I can shake my anxiety. I don't know if it's possible to lose it completely, but with all the tools I'm learning now I can be aware of it and maybe slowly make different choices.

The stuff with my car isn't getting any better/easier. I'm pretty stuck with paying a good chunk of money regardless and being really inconvenienced to boot. I WILL NOT LET THIS BREAK ME. I am choosing to distract myself from my negative feelings and thoughts with things that make me happy. I realized that I don't have to sit and wallow in frustration and negativity. I can actively, physically, get up and do something else. I can go for a walk when I feel upset. I can listen to music that makes me want to dance. I can watch a favorite show that takes me away for a while. I think I was stuck in this place of, "Well, something is wrong, and it's right in front of me, so that's what I'll obsess over until I can "solve" it." I never really thought about taking time out and stepping away from the problem. DUH. It seems so simple now, but when I'm in those moments I am taken over by negative emotions. The catastrophizing happens, and there doesn't seem to be a way out. Not anymore, baby! I'm gonna take myself out of it and distract myself. Let's see where this takes me.

I have a third interview scheduled with a job for which I applied. Once again, I'm having to toss aside my negative thoughts about the job itself. It's not ideal. I'm really focusing on the things that bother me about it because I don't want to take it if I'm offered the position, but I don't have much of a choice at the moment. I need to have a job, period. I can still look for something that might be a better fit, but this current job is the only one being offered up at the moment. I'm trying to remind myself that there are positives about the position. And it could just be something for the time being while I keep looking. This wouldn't have to be something permanent. It's just the responsible thing to do while I hope for something better.

I think this week is about taking the realities, the truths about what is happening (not how my mind perceives them), and finding ways to deal with them with more positivity. My car is busted? Make the appointment and listen to a great podcast in the Uber home. The money must be spent, time must be spent, but I can distract myself. My job prospect kinda sucks? Nothing is permanent. I can handle some hard time there and find the things I could actually like about the place. Shit things are still gonna happen. Now how do I make them better?


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