Saturday, January 31, 2015

Happiness

Firstly we went to a second hand book shop and had lots of fun going through all the books, I was like a kid in a candy shop and I loved every second and came away with two books, one of which I have already started reading.


 I went to the city today and just did some really fun and some not so fun stuff. The not so fun stuff is having to vote in a local election. I hate elections, though I do understand why we need to vote. In Australia in is a requirement that we vote in either a state or federal election. In any case, that was done quickly, except Dov having an argument with one of the polling booth officers. I just stood there and stood there and stood there. In the end he finally finished and we left.


Finally we came home, where we are now relaxing, well I sort of am. I am trying to create a template in publisher to make some new DBT flash cards. I am looking forward to making them as they are fun to make, plus they look good so you want to use them.


When I have created them I will post them. They might come in handy for you too. You never know.

Sarah xx

Ojbective Effectiveness - Dear Man

In DBT on Thursday we talked about how sometimes we say things to others, especially when we are trying to get something we want or get them to do something we want, basically the same thing really and we botch it up because we get over emotional or angry or we start blaming them and then that pisses them off, yeah, it happens doesn't it and it happens more than we think.The skill itself is an acronym DEARMAN.

Describe the current situation (if necessary). Tell the person exactly what you are reacting to. Stick to the facts

Express your feelings and opinions about the situation. Assume that your feelings and opinions are not self-evident. Give a brief rationale. Use phrases such as "I want," "I don't want," instead of "I need," "you should," or "I can't."

Assert yourself by asking for what you want or saying no clearly. Assume that others will not figure it out or do what you want unless you ask. Assume that others cannot read your mind. Don't expect others to know how hard it is of your to ask directly for what you want.

Reinforce or reward the person ahead of time by explaining the consequences.

Mindful keep your focus on your objectives. Don't be distracted. Maintain your position.   
"Broken record" keep asking, saying no, or expressing your opinion over and over and over.          Keep your voice calm and even while doing this.
"Ignore" If another person attacks, threatens, or tries to change the subject, ignore threats, comments or attempts to divert your. Don't respond to attacks, ignore distractions, Just keep making your point.

Appear Confident appear effective and competent. Use a confident voice tone and physical manner, make good eye contact. No stammering, whispering, staring at the floor, retracting, saying "I'm not sure," etc.

Negotiate Be willing to give to get. Offer and ask for alternative solutions to the problem. Reduce your request. Maintain no, but offer to do something else or to solve the problem another way. Focus on what will work.
"Turn the tables" Turn the problem over to the other person. Ask for alternative solutions: "What do you think we should do?" "I'm not able to say yes and you seem to really want me to. What can we do here?" "How can we solve this problem".

I know this can sound really complicated and strange, but after a while it's possible to grasp these skills and ask for what you want without being passive or aggressive but that middle assertive line. It feels really good when you get it right.

I will report back with my homework, which I am not sure about at the moment, after I've been on Tuesday. I will be making a flash card for this so I will post it when I'm done :)

Sarah xx

Friday, January 30, 2015

Lost a tooth

i have had a lot of tooth pain over the last week but it got really bad yesterday afternoon. This morning I ended up at the horrible dentist and he said I had two choices, a root canal or the tooth removed. This was an easy decision, the tooth was at the bottom left second from the back, I told him to pull it out. I had a panic attack when he put the needles in and I started to cry a little. I know that many hate the dentist and I do, very muchly. I was very happy when it only took less than five minutes for the dentist to pull the tooth out.

Then the pain. It was out at 9:30am, home by 10:30am and I went to sleep at 11am and woke up at 1pm. The only problem is that I can't tolerate pain killers, except paracetamol (same as Tylenol), I can't tolerate ibuprofen and I normally would never ask for codeine because it makes feel sick in the tummy, but the pain is enough that I have asked for it this time. I certainly can't tolerate anything stronger than that. They make me really sick.

So it's now 6:45pm and I just took my pain killers about 30 minutes and I feel horrible, nausea and pain and oh did I tell you I'm shocking when I'm sick or hurt. I am such a sook! I don't have much else to tell except of the crater size hole in my mouth, there's that sook thing again creeping in. Tomorrow I am going to just relax as much as I can. Not looking forward to sleep tonight as the tooth was on the side of my mouth that I sleep on. Joy. So now that you have been bored to death I'll stop talking about it.

Sarah xx

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Old posts

I was reading some old blog posts from 2009-2010 and wow, was I so stuck in my ED it wasn't funny. I can't believe the difference actually because now I will eat normally most of the time and have slight ED issues when something happens I can't control. Like my Nana getting sick for instance, I have no control over anything to do with her because we are countries apart.

It's sad and so dealing with it by restricting or overeating or self harming just transfers your own feelings of helplessness into something you can control. You can control any part of your diet and exercise, your body etc but the real question Sarah if you are listening is how do I feel about my Nana dying and the fact that I can't help or be there with her. Yes it feels pretty fucking bad, let me tell you and I've put Dov through the wringer but at least now it seems to be settling and amazingly my Nana is doing a little better after I had my 'goodbye' phone call yesterday. I think she could surprise us yet and make it through for a while longer. Poor thing, she is only 41kg (90 lbs), very frail and 84 years old. I just want to see her at peace (not dead) but comfortable.

Anyway, I got sidetracked there. I was saying that I am amazed at how far I've come. In 2009 and 2010 all I talked about was my ED and showed pictures of sorrow or skinny girls. What was I thinking geez, it's okay to have sorrowful photos when you feel awful, well, I guess I felt pretty shit back then all the time. But still, the skinny girls, what was I thinking. That ain't going to help another girl that comes along and sees then. And if you are reading this and look at them, shame on you. Nah, just kidding but honestly, it won't help you, trust me, it didn't help me.

I found that having a relapse prevention plan or in other words a list of things you can do when you feel bad and that means that if one doesn't work, you go down the list until one does. Mine goes something like this.

Talk to Dov
Play with Cali
Call Jan
Crochet
Knit
Watch TV episodes of Medium, The Mentalist and Haven on DVD
Read a book
Colour mandalas
Do some photography
Go for a walk into the city

Now that's just a list of the top of my head, but what you do is you (and you can do this creatively and make it all pretty) put it on paper and stick it on your wall. Remember that persistence sometimes works. Yesterday I felt the urge to self harm again but I spoke to Dov, I got out some music and coloured mandalas and I felt better after, more relaxed and the urge had passed. It's not an easy skill to learn and it has taken me years to be able to even try anything that I had on my list and now I am starting to. My last self harm was 11 months ago, now that is awesome. So now it's done, I move on and I get better and I restart the count and I make it last longer and longer. I have made it to three years before and let me tell you that was disappointing when I broke that one.

DBT today. Looking forward to it actually, I wasn't sure if I was or not. It's also a coolish day, even better. Sorry for the long post but it's good to reinforce this stuff just for me too. Be safe, be happy!

Sarah xx

Monday, January 26, 2015

Kinda sad really

I was doing a long overdue clean out of the blogs I am following. I started with 92 and they just kept dropping as they hadn't been updated since 2013 or they had shut their blogs down or moved them and when you follow the link there is nothing there. I feel sad because these blogs were what got me through when I really didn't know how to on my own. The comments I got were what got me through, the support. I now have 15 blogs left that haven't moved on. Does that mean that I haven't moved on or I'm just willing to share my life with you all still.

One of the things I am learning in the course I am doing right now at uni, is to write every day and I think writing in here every day is something I'd like to try to do again. In 2010 I wrote 600 posts. Now I don't think that I can do that again but I know that I can try for every few days or so. Remind me if I forget. I give you permission to say "Sarah, where are you? What happened to every few days?" If you have a wonderful blog, let me know and I'll pop over and check it out.

Tomorrow is DBT. I am not looking forward to it for some strange reason. I am getting some seriously weird vibes from Lauren. I don't think she wants me to be there. I sat next to her at morning tea and she didn't say a word and didn't even look at me. I don't want to deal with that. I will go as avoiding even once is going to cause my avoidance to come out again and cause anxiety when I am in group. I guess I'll see what happens.

Eating-wise I am doing okay. I am trying but it's hard again. I didn't want this to be hard again. I get all guilty if I eat something that has too much of whatever in it. I'm not going to be specific purposely. I won't talk about specific foods, I won't talk about my weight 'number' and I won't talk about anything that could be seen as triggering for any of you there still struggling. It's completely fucked up. I am not going help anyone's ED along though in the process.

Be happy, be safe and most of all, ignore those little voices...

Sarah xx

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Five Days

For the last five days I have woken through the night. Sometimes for as long as two and a half hours and then gotten up between 3am-5am. I've pretty much stayed awake through the day too, then gone back to the same habit as night has hit. I'm not going to bed extra early, just a normal time, between 8:30pm-9:30pm. It's kind of nice in a way because I can chat to a friend of mine who also has bipolar and a very reversed sleep cycle. We have a great ole time.

So what is my doc going to think of this? She won't be too happy. My sleep is all over the place, she doesn't like 'all over the place' at all. She will say I am manic, but I'm not. I am getting extra uni work done yes, but not in the middle of the night. I am waking up refreshed not tired. I am waking up and doing the uni work. I am getting it done throughout the day. I am doing so well that I have decided to do two subjects in study period one in March.

I am feeling good, I am not spending (not that I can, I have no money), I am just being productive. Isn't that good after the two-three week crash when I couldn't even read. Tonight at Dov's place I was reading a novel... wow, I haven't read a novel for years. I feel so clear and it feels so nice. The only negative is my food. I've had a slip with that stuff. It's always one thing huh! It crept up on me. I didn't really see it coming. I noticed it and by that time I couldn't eat past 2pm. Tonight I beat that be eating something small at 5pm. That was hard. I had to really push but at least I'm trying.

I guess these two things, the sleep and the food issues are, going to stick in my doc's throat. She really is going to come down on me about the food, though it was last week that I realised while I was with her. She asked me if I had been restricting and I couldn't answer her. I realised I had. It really hasn't improved since then. Let's hope these things will sort themselves out.

Sarah xx

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Photography

I just updated my tabs just above this post. I completely edited my photography tab and put a lot of my photography that is current in there. Why not click on it and see. If you have trouble, here is the link http://thislunaticexpress.blogspot.com.au/p/photography-2011.html.

Sarah xx

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thanking You

This is a special post to thank those of you that read and comment and I have to say I have been very slack lately on commenting back and on reading your blogs as well. I am going to try (and keep me to it) make one of the things I do this year is to keep up with all this a little more. It's important to me to do so. So yes, thank you to all of you out there :)

Questions

When I had DBT on Tuesday, Trudi, made me think about Dov's drug use in a different way. She said "do you think it's reasonable that since Dov has been taking drugs for twenty odd years, that you can expect him to stop just like that?"  I hadn't thought about it before like that but it's true because when I went off of valium cold turkey, I was a mess.

So I sat him down and I said that "I understand that it's unfair of me to ask you to go cold turkey, so I am saying to you that it's okay if you need it for a while, as long as it's not crazy stuff" and he thanked me and agreed with what I had said and was so thankful. He is so scared of what will happen today and I am so scared of what will happen today. It's the Thursday he gets paid. I don't know what I will come home from DBT to. It is terribly scary and I know that Dov is really scared too. He got offered some pot yesterday and he turned it down, so proud of him. He said it was one of the hardest things he has had to do recently. I really feel for him. Addiction is a bitch. Fingers and toes crossed!

Sarah xx

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Homework

Last week we had to do some homework on interpersonal effectiveness. We had to pick a situation where  we felt like we unsure of what happening in the relationship and directly clarify it and try and solve the problem.

 Mine was a little nail biting but okay. I chose my friend Carmen as last time I spoke to her I got strong impression that she didn't want to talk to me anymore. When I spoke to her last she sounded almost cold, but it was her birthday and she had friends around, so it could just have been that. But I was sure that it wasn't just that.

So for my homework I emailed her and said how I felt like she didn't want to be friends anymore and said "that's silly, of course I do, would you like to meet up for tea next week?"  I was so happy and so yesterday we met at an old bookshop and had tea. It was awesome.

I have DBT today too and my one on one with Trudi. It's going well. Overwhelming a little with Dov but okay. I guess I will see come Thursday when he gets paid.

Sarah xx

Monday, January 19, 2015

How things are

Well it's been a little while since posted. I thought it might be time to do another one, so here I am. It's been tough. Dov and I broke up on Thursday and then got back together the next morning. He said something so hurtful to me that even now I don't quite trust what comes out of his mouth. I won't repeat it here because I don't even want to type it and it reminded me what Andy (my ex-husband) said to me the day before I walked out on him. That's how lucky Dov is and if he ever says it again, that will be it. I love him so much and I want to be with him but I won't lose my self respect because of my love for him.

Anyway, it's all sorted now and I can put it to rest, except for that tiny spot in my mind. Actually there is also the drugs. He has been smoking a lot of dope lately and it's been going on for months. At the moment he is straight but he gets paid on Thursday and I don't know what that will bring. I can't handle the drugs anymore either. They have become to entrenched into his life and mine for that matter. He will arrive to my place four hours late and absolutely wasted. It hurts that he feels he needs to do that to himself as he is worth so much more. Love is hard sometimes.

As for me, I'm doing really well. I'm down from 100mg of seroquel to 25mg, awesome. Next is the seroquel-XR, I am dreading that one.

Anyway, I am boiling hot right now, need to cool down, it's very humid today. I don't normally feel the heat, but I"m feeling this. Be kind to yourselves and keep yourselves safe.

Here's some new photos from my lovely new Nikon.

Fun with mushrooms

Waterfall

Sculpture

Just a couple :)

Sarah xx