Saturday, March 23, 2013

Believe You Can

or..he believed he could so he did! ;)
I have a short paper, a part of another paper, and a mid-term due this week, and I am having trouble settling down to work on them. It's not like these are classes I hate, in fact, I love them. But I seem to have myself psyched into thinking that I will hate working on them - that it will only be drudgery...when in reality...

I think I am really going to enjoy this learning experience...and I will be proud of my achievement when completed...Okay, that's it - I'm off to go work on it!

Challenge of the day: work on something important that you have been putting off - and see how you feel afterwards.

Got it? Okay, let's go!



So, how did it go with the studying yesterday? Take a look and see for yourself:

Then finally...

my husband snuck this shot of me

...progress not perfection! I got away from the distraction {my laptop}, changed scenery, and voila! The reading flowed!

You see, you first have to believe that you can do it, but know that when you start to do it, obstacles will come your way - and yes, often the obstacle is YOU. Believe in yourself; set a goal; start the work; and when you get stuck, change your approach and course correct. That is the recipe for success.

Friday, March 22, 2013

"Follow Your Bliss"

Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.
 - Joseph Campbell   

This picture was taken on a family vacation to Wyoming. I love this picture because of the look on my face - it was a moment of pure bliss! Since I was a little girl, I've been in love with horses, but growing up in the suburbs of a big city, followed by all the trappings of adulthood buried this childhood desire - until this vacation.

For me, a horse is great medication! What is your "horse"? What makes you happy? Is there something you loved as a child that has fallen by the wayside over the years because of lack of time, money, or proximity, or because it isn't "grown-up" enough? Well, find that thing and DO IT - somehow make it happen. Life is full enough of the things we have to do, why not do at least one thing that you truly want to do. You deserve JOY in your life, but only you can make it happen; so here's your first assignment:
  1. Think about one thing that brings you pure joy {children, mate, family, don't count this time!} If you are having trouble with this one, try going back to childhood for ideas. ;)
  2. Draft a realistic plan to make it happen - realistic, but not self-limiting.
  3. START.
  4. See what unfolds! 

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
 - Joseph Campbell

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Game-Changer

Debating class -
every so briefly!

I struggled a lot yesterday with studying. Every time I sat down to read, I'd find something else "important" to do first - like making labels for file folders, reorganizing my supply drawer, buying a pair of electric blue pumps, and learning how paste is made from a TV documentary.

All was not a total loss, though. I went to my psychology class; and I'm very glad I did. I think it was just the push I needed to move in the right direction again.

What Goethe said rings very true, take that first step toward your goal - it is a game-changer! 

I'm looking forward to a new day, and I hope you are too!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


In the past week, I seem to have lost direction, and I have been struggling to stay on top of things. After suffering the major depression of last fall, and then experiencing a resurrection of my true self in the past few months, I now hyper-analyze every dip in the road, for fear it is the dragon coming up from the vortex to consume me. What I seem to have forgotten is that "normal" people struggle with everyday things too. 

As you may already know from previous posts, I returned to college this semester; and I started out with a bang, feeling empowered and doing very well. But now, I find myself mid-semester and a little behind {also a "normal" thing, or so my husband reassures me}. In the past, anxiety and negative thoughts would feed on this, deride me for getting behind, and convince me that no matter what I did, I'd be humiliated and shamed.

Today, I'm going to try something new. Even though I am behind, I will not run from it - I will face it head on {and yes, it still scares the bajeebies out of me!} I will not skip class because I am afraid of what others are thinking, I will study what I can today, and see where it takes me.

Dear reader,

Please don't let me do this alone. Is there something you have been putting off that you know would be good for you, good for your personal growth? Is it something that scares you a little, but you know if you did it you'd feel better about yourself, stronger, more confident? Then do it! And if you're feeling particularly bold, please do share with us in the comments!  ;)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Tearing Down the Wall

Isolation is one of the biggest symptoms of depression. Depressed people don't isolate deliberately or because they don't like other people - on the contrary. They do it because they don't feel worthy; they fear rejection; and they simply lack the energy reach out.

For as long as I can remember, I struggled with social anxiety. When I was in grade school, I was painfully shy with my peers - not the first kid to jump into games, and always the last to be picked for teams. More often than not, I found myself on the outside looking in.  

Then in my late teens, I was introduced to my "lover" {alcohol} and discovered "liquid courage", as the late author Caroline Knapp aptly referred to it. When I poured each first drink, I poured my soul back into my skin. 

As the years wore on, the social bonding began to diminish. The drink became the focus of everything - wine was the sun, and my passion revolved around it - drawn by its gravity, but not realizing its center was a black hole. I began to wall myself in, brick by brick, until I was indeed isolated - not alone, but all alone.

Then, when I took my last sip 7.5 years ago, I opened up emotionally again to people in recovery, though I was still afraid share myself with friends and family. And as the afterglow of sobriety faded around year 2, I slid right back into social anxiety and dysthymia. Once again, I was the awkward kid, and the wall grew thicker and stronger until it finally imploded on me last fall.

In these past few months of recovery, my wall of isolation has begun to come down - piece by piece. It is amazing to me really. For the first time since my 20s, I have been socializing on my own! 

got together with a friend for coffee last month and, get this - I was the one who initiated it! Since then, I've gone to coffee 4 times with friends and it feels so good to connect with other women! I am very blessed to have great female friends {you know who you are ;) } and I look forward to making more in the future. 


RECOVERY STEP #4: Break the isolation by reaching out to at least one other person - get out of your comfort {or discomfort!} zone.