Archive for September, 2011


Battling Mara

Got that stuff shipped out during lunch today. No worries.

I’m in one of those moods that I recognize as depressed. I’m agitated, waiting for something, wanting attention or something, I dunno. The fact that I recognize it is, I guess, a step up.

Typing like this is probably a step up, too. Definitely more constructive than my usual behavior.

I’ve been avoiding showering. Just haven’t felt like it.  I’ve suddenly started to feel very eager to move out into my own place again. Have the privacy, the freedom of my own space. Not as though I really believe having my own space would make me any more likely to shower when I get in this kind of mood.

Breathe, girl. I’ve been catching myself clenching my teeth a lot lately, say, the last few weeks. Not sure what that’s about.

Rather tired, actually. Stayed up late the past few nights, and this morning was the first time in a week that I had to get up with the alarm.  No fun at all.  I love the feeling after hitting ‘snooze.’  Bed so warm, cozy and me-shaped! sleepy face. stretching. comfy. There’s nothing quite like it. Waking and going back to bed without having to get up shortly thereafter is completely different: I for one tend to get lethargic and a bit depressed or unmotivated if I stay in bed too long. That’s what makes those 9 minutes between ‘snooze’ and the next alarm so magical!

Think I will brush my teeth and have some water. Definitely dehydrated. Feeling a bit better though, from having started typing instead of moping, waiting, expecting. Not 100% for sure, but hey, better is, well, better.

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Aaaand follow-up

OK.  Nothing in the e-mail that I didn’t anticipate.  He’s mad, I fucked up, I broke my word and didn’t follow through.  Take a deep breath, I can handle this.  I can handle this.  I fucked up, I can’t change that now so no use in dwelling on it.  Got to look forward, not back.  Deep breath.

Here’s the back story: I have a very part-time job mailing out CDs and books for a local personality. The orders come in through the website, I get a notification in my e-mail that the PayPal account has received a payment, then I pack up and ship the order.  The way my schedule is currently (8am-5pm, plus 40min ea..ch way for the commute), I can’t possibly get to the post office during the week unless I go during my lunch hour, which I am loath to do. My other option is to go during Saturday hours, which are something like 9am-1pm. This usually works pretty well for me: any orders I receive over the course of that week get shipped out on Saturday.

So. My client/employer, who travels a lot, needed to ship out some of his manuscripts and realized he wasn’t going to have time to do it before he would be leaving the country at the end of August. He called me up on Tuesday the 30th rather desperate to get someone who would mail them out for him.  I agreed, and we met that evening so he could hand them over to me. There were some demo CDs that were in the process of being pressed — those needed to ship, too, and I agreed to pick them up when they were ready.  WHY DID I DO THAT??  Reflecting, it was pretty crazy of me to think I could/would do all this given the constraints on my time because of my regular job, my tendency to procrastinate and my tendency to get depressed and be completely unmotivated and unproductive on weekends.  But I agreed.  Then came Labor Day weekend, the 4-day work week went by super fast. I was so caught up trying to make sure everything was all set at work that I think I must have forgotten about the mailing.  That’s what I tell myself anyway.

So here I am, on a week-long vacation.  Sometime Sunday or Monday I got an e-mail from my client asking when I mailed the manuscripts because some people were telling him they hadn’t received them yet.  So I had to e-mail back and confess that I hadn’t mailed any of them yet, that I was out of town and would be unable to mail anything until I returned.

I got a response the next day, and I haven’t had the nerve to look at it yet.  Actually, when I went into gmail through the google website and not in my e-mail application, I saw the first line or so, which read something like “This is simply unacceptable. It has been TWO WEEKS…” I get the idea.  And I know his irritation and frustration is completely justified.  I said I would do something for him and I didn’t do it.  I might as well have been lying when I first made the commitment, because the end result was the same: people were waiting for these documents, and they’re not even in the mail yet.

I have almost talked myself into reading the response tonight.  I know I will feel like shit afterwards, but if he sent it on Tuesday morning and it is now Friday night, I’ve already been putting it off for 4 days.  In the instantaneous world of internets and e-mail, that kind of delay is unthinkable.  Unacceptable.

I know why I put these things off.  The slightest admonishment causes me to feel terrible things about myself.  You’d think, after nearly 30 years of life on this earth, that I would have developed a slightly thicker skin.  I guess it boils down to the depression.  If I already believe that I am an unworthy, lazy, unreliable cow, any such admonishment just serves to reinforce that self-loathing, as opposed to compliments, which I can brush off like they’re meaningless.

Anyway, let’s see how I respond to this e-mail.  Just as soon as I work up the nerve and quit stalling.

I’ve spent the last 5 days in a beach house with my mom and three of her sisters.  Today is the last full day (we leave tomorrow).  It’s been interesting on a number of levels.  In the first place, I really don’t know any of mom’s family very well.  I know them by name and most of them by sight, but I wasn’t familiar with their personalities or how they interact together.  I found it very interesting to discover that mom appears to be the political black sheep of the family — she’s a registered Democrat, and the three sisters all identify as “Conservative” or “Libertarian.”  There is an unspoken agreement that they do not discuss politics when mom’s around, which makes it much more peaceful than it would be otherwise.

The biggest challenge for me on this trip has been fighting the depression that typically plagues me on the weekends.  Vacation, even a lovely beach vacation, is really just a week-long weekend, so I have had to be very conscious of my moods and take care not to let them dip too low if I could possibly avoid it.  For example, I left a couple things undone, things I had fully intended to do in the week before we left but simply didn’t do, either out of laziness, bad timing, forgetfulness or the confusion of preparing for a week away from home.  I had made promises to a client that I would take care of something for him and I didn’t get it done.  It has definitely been a struggle getting myself to not think obsessively about this failure.  I know that I have disappointed him with this, but I also realize there is absolutely nothing I can do until I get back to town — I was supposed to mail some manuscripts out along with some demo recordings and I certainly didn’t bring them with me.  I’m not trying to not think about it at all — that would be impossible.  But I am trying to keep from beating myself up about it… too much.  It doesn’t help anyone if I ruin my vacation because I’m too busy hating myself for being lazy and/or forgetful.

My mom has had great success with daily “affirmations” — simple statements designed to contradict the negative thoughts she has about herself, others, and the world.  My difficulty with this concept is that I don’t think I have the dedication to keep up with it.  In order to have the maximum influence possible, affirmations should be repeated daily.  It’s easy, so easy, and yet I have never cared enough — really I guess I’ve been too afraid, to cynical — to give myself wholly into it.  Additionally, I have the excuse of having some trauma which I associate with affirmations on notecards.  Basically, when I was in high school (sometimes I look back and think, how could I not have known it was wrong?) my dad was dating a woman who was an LPC (counselor).  Actually she was his counselor, which already is a huge violation of counselor-patient ethics.  Anyway, she had this system where we identified the thoughts and views I had that were negative and contributing to my depression.  On one side of the notecard you write that “false” statement.  Then on the other side you write the “truth” — an affirmation that contradicts the false statement and that you’re supposed to repeat to yourself every day.  The relationship didn’t last, and my dad and I both emerged rather traumatized by the experience.  So notecards, especially when used in the therapeutic process, kind of bring that back to me, this uncomfortable feeling of being used, misused.  I’m getting to a point where I think I may be able to reclaim notecards and use then for my own daily affirmations.  Really I think I’ll have to.  It’s too hard to remember all the things I need to remember about which of my perceptions are dark and skewed and which I can truly rely on.

As soon as I move out of mom’s house (I say this about all the changes I want/intend to make) I will start with some daily affirmations and see how it goes.  It certainly can’t hurt, right?