Disconnect Between Me, Myself and I – Finding the “Authentic You”

So…remember when I talked about my unfortunate addiction to self-help and happiness articles? Well I came across this one on PsychCentral, called “Reconnecting to Our Authentic Selves” that isn’t too bad. The article asks the reader to answer a series of questions (for themselves) in a journal, and the questions seem like they might lead to some pretty good insight. I’m debating whether to go through each question on this blog or in my actual journal (which I haven’t touched in ages).

So if you’re like me and you often feel like there’s a disconnect between you and your self, check out the article and maybe try asking yourself the following questions:

  • When did you feel really competent? “Think of examples from several phases throughout your life (elementary school, middle school, high school, college/early adulthood, the present),” and “describe them in detail.” What patterns or themes do you notice?
  • How would you like to be remembered? What would you like to be included in your obituary?
  • “If you had endless amounts of money, time, and energy, what would you do?”
  • What is your ideal day? Describe it in detail, “from the time you wake up until the moment you fall asleep.”
  • “How do you want to be perceived? What do you wish people knew about you? How do those differ from how you’re currently being perceived [or] what people know about you now?”
  • What would you like more of in your life? What would you like less of?
  • Who do you miss? Why do you miss them?
  • “When do you feel most vibrant, energized, powerful, and/or alive?”
  • “When was the last time you couldn’t help but smile? Why?”

 

ubuntu-10.04-desktop

It’s a Foodie Post – Homemade Fresh Salsa w/ Bacon-wrapped Avocado and Kettle-style Tortilla Chips

 

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I wasn’t planning to pull a foodie on here (so the presentation could be better) but today I made homemade, fresh salsa (while listening to some awesome salsa music) and it was kind of amazing. It’s been a while since I made salsa and I forgot how much I love it. I also looked at my fridge and decided I would have it with bacon-wrapped avocado. So good. I want more.

My salsa:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh basil
  • Arugula
  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Shallots
  • Cap full of white vinegar
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Rock salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Celery salt

Food GOOD.

 

 

Safe Spaces and Creativity – take-two

*I’m not sure what happened with my previous post. It showed up all wonky, so I tried again here.*

Daily Prompt from “The Daily Post”

“Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy cafe? Tell us how your environment affects your creativity.”

I produce my best writing in safe spaces. I’ve come to realize over the years that I can only really be myself when I feel a sense of safety and so it follows that I can only be creative when I feel safe. And for me, feeling safe most often means being alone.

a dull boy

a dull boy

When writing, I want to feel absolutely free to engage my imagination anyway I please. This might mean things get a little weird. I’m not talking Jack Torrance weird, but you might hear screaming and howling and a little bit of cackling coming from my room from time to time. This is because when I’m not listening to eerie instrumentals or freaking the neighbours out with the musical score from The Blair Witch Project, I just might be listening to a Halloween sound effects album. True story. (At least that’s my cover story).

I am fully aware that this makes me a strange person–some might even say a weirdo–and I’m okay with this. Mostly. What I’m not okay with, is being overheard while talking to myself, in character. (Shh…she’s not crazy!) I don’t do this often, but sometimes, when the spirit moves me, I just gotta.

And that’s where being alone comes in. I just can’t be my weird-method-writer-self when there’s people around. Or nearby, for that matter. I might get emotional writing a sad scene, I might laugh out loud at a funny scene, or pace the floor while muttering to myself like a not-so-sane person. These things are best done without company. In fact, I don’t think I’m capable of doing these things without complete solitude.

And that is why I produce my best writing in safe spaces.

“Safe Space” Ambiance:

 

(Holy creep-on-a-cracker, that one should give me nightmares.)

Safe Spaces and Creativity

*I don’t know why this post shows up all crazy and lopsided. You can view a corrected version here.*

Daily Prompt from “The Daily Post”:

Writing Space

Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy café? Tell us how the environment affects your creativity.

I produce my best writing in safe spaces. I’ve come to realize over the years that I can only really be myself when I feel a sense of safety and so it follows that I can only be creative when I feel safe. And for me, feeling safe most often means being alone.

a dull boy

a dull boy

When writing, I want to feel absolutely free to engage my imagination anyway I please. This might mean things get a little weird. I’m not talking Jack Torrance weird, but you might hear screaming and howling and a little bit of cackling coming from my room from time to time. This is because when I’m not listening to eerie instrumentals or freaking the neighbours out with the musical score from The Blair Witch Project, I just might be listening to a Halloween sound effects album. True story. (At least that’s my cover story).

I am fully aware that this makes me a strange person–some might even say a weirdo–and I’m okay with this. Mostly. What I’m not okay with, is being overheard while talking to myself, in character. (Shh…she’s not crazy!) I don’t do this often, but sometimes, when the spirit moves me, I just gotta. And that’s where being alone comes in. I just can’t be my weird-method-writer-self when there’s people around. Or nearby, for that matter. I might get emotional writing a sad scene, I might laugh out loud at a funny scene, or pace the floor while muttering to myself like a not-so-sane person. These things are best done without company. In fact, I don’t think I’m capable of doing these things without complete solitude.

And that is why I produce my best writing in safe spaces.

“Safe space” ambiance

The Catch-22 of Simplistic Advice – The Depression Monster Ate My Social Skills

music-for-depression

 

Stumbled on this article in my internet travels. I have a love-hate relationship with happiness advice blogs and articles. I sometimes read shit like this obsessively, looking for some kind of miracle cure for my depression. I have yet to find it. And that’s frustrating, but that’s not necessarily the why of the hate end of this relationship.

It’s condescending. If only I had remembered to be grateful I wouldn’t be so depressed. If only I didn’t eat pasta, or meat or cooked my food, if only I wrote in my journal more or snuggled a rattlesnake or…or…or…

…if only I had a different brain? If only I had a brain that functioned like it’s supposed to?

This particular article is called “Living a Healthy and Balanced Life”, and it’s on WebMD.  This line stood out for me:

“A person’s happiness is best predicted by their connections to other people….Give some thought to how connected you feel to other people, like your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.”

I guess that is very telling, because I don’t connect with people, at all, mostly due to this neverending depression. If I have the energy, I can usually fake my way through, but for the most part I feel disconnected. So yes, I guess it is very telling. I feel disconnected from other people therefore I’m a depressed person. And?

The article goes on to do what all articles do best: give simplistic advice that might help smooth over the surface layer but doesn’t go any deeper. I’m sure for many people with minor depression this is as deep as you need to go. But for those of us with a lifelong companion called Major Depressive Disorder, this just doesn’t cut it.

I don’t spend a lot of time with people. The reason is because I can’t connect with them. This means I’m depressed so I should spend more time with people? It sounds a little Catch-22 if you ask me.

I just took a quiz because I love quizzes. Apparently even ones about depressing shit like depression. It was through WebMD and it was, of course, a waste of time. After asking a whole lot of questions, their only advice is to see a doctor because they may have treatment options available for you. Um thanks. That was very helpful. And by very, I mean not at all.

Also not helpful: asking questions that require over-simplification, like this one:

“Since your diagnosis, are your symptoms much worse, slightly worse, they haven’t changed, slightly improved or much improved?”

Well, my depression is less volatile than it was, but my baseline “mood” is lower. So does that mean things are better or worse??

Here’s another excerpt:

“You’ve already been diagnosed with depression. That’s an important step. Many people with depression quietly suffer because they think their symptoms are ‘all in their head.’ Or they may fear that being diagnosed with depression will get them labeled ‘mentally ill.’ Neither is true.”

Um, call me crazy but I’m pretty sure they are both true. What a completely false statement. “They may think their symptoms are ‘all in their head'”? Maybe that’s because they are. Brain chemistry anyone? “They may fear… [being]…labeled ‘mentally ill’.” Do they not know that depression is indeed a mental illness?

Emphatic sigh.

Here endeth the rant.

(My simplistic advice? This video.)

 

If only I had a dog.

If only I had a dog.

The Gift

Well, I’m feeling weirdly emotional today. Could it be the full honey moon? Of course, I seek out a piece of music I know will almost bring me to tears. It’s from an epic episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, called “The Gift”. (There are spoilers in the description and in the comments).

And I love the comments (for a change) on this video. Especially this one by Calistus Jay:

 “My childhood: If it had to be summed up in a song. This would be it. I grew up watching Buffy. If it weren’t for Buffy I don’t know who I’d be today. I love writing and want to write for Tv one day. I also love composing music. If it weren’t for Buffy I might not have these passions. So, I thank this show for breaking my heart and making me laugh and making me… me. Joss Whedon, Christophe Beck… You saved my world. A lot. “