Complaining

I keep hating myself for complaining. And then I realize that I am complaining about things that actually do bother me. So why would we try to be complaining less? Well, anyone who has been reading my blog knows that I am about to say: “Because it is destroying the positive mindset.” Well, yes, that too. But that is not even the only issue with complaining. The main problem is that it is costing a lot of mental energy. Not only ourselves, but also the people we are complaining to.

I am not saying, we should ignore the things that bother us. We need to acknowledge them and figure out what the problem is. Why are we bothered? What can we change? And then we either have to live with whatever bothers us, or we deal with it. Dealing with it will take effort and energy. Most likely even more so, than complaining. But in contrast to complaining, it will actually improve the situation and we do not have to feel bad about how we spent our energy.

Let me give you an example. Maybe you are taking this really boring Calculus class taught by this french Professor, that bothers you every time he opens his mouth, because you cannot stand the French Accent in the English. And also: he is not able to make you understand the materials not matter whether or not you pay attention.
There is nothing you can do about the accent. But you could take the class with a different teacher. Or just study yourself. Or you could complain. Or just study more outside of class, to understand what is happening in class.

Complain will not change how well you are able to follow the class, nor the teachers accent. But there are ways you can take care of the problem. And yes: Studying is tiring. And exhausting. And complaining is so much easier. But dammit, it does not help. So really the only thing we can do is shut up and work hard to make the problem go away.

When we feel sad.

Sometimes we have no reason. We don’t really feel bad. We are not really unhappy. But we are not alright either. For me that is exactly the point in time, where I have to get writing. Where I know I have to light a candle and take some take care of my mind of a little. Working on a recovery journal can be helpful to focus on our goals and being grateful and getting a some motivation to get better.

But as great as a Recovery journal is, sometimes, we do not feel like working that hard, when we are not well. I am a fan of lists. So here are two lists, that might help.

A list of things that bother us.

Sometimes it just helps to see what it is, that is bothering us. I like to jam everything down. Usually I have a few points of things that are actual issues and a whole bunch of points that I am just making drama over. However it is important to acknowledge these things. They may objectively not be much of a deal, but in this very moment that we are writing the list, they are to us. And that is why they absolutely deserve a spot on that list.

Even if something is just a drama point: writing it down will allow us to mentally deal with it. Will allow us to be mad or hurt for a bit in a save place. And when we write it down and notice that it is a drama point, which we most likely do, because writing it down makes us think about it, we help us realize that it is not all that bad.

And even if it does not really help with making us feel better, it helps understanding, why we do not feel well. Which is the first step of the way to being healthy and well. As well as it helps us to accept, that we are not perfectly fine and that it is legitimate.

A list of recent great things.

This goes along the lines of a gratitude log. It can contain anything. An awesome talk we had with a friend. A gift we got, or an activity that we really enjoyed. Anything that went well in our lives. Again it is all about acknowledging it. About living consciously.

But maybe you are not in the mood for the rationality of a list. In that case we still need to acknowledge our feelings and express ourselves. Sometimes I find putting on over the top make-up helps. Or singing. Writing, drawing. Any way of expressing yourself. Maybe rearranging furniture or tidying a space. If we choose art to express ourselves, we may not demand it to be good, because that will put us under even more pressure than we already experience.

Another simple way is journalling. I personally have always been journalling from time to time, because I find it is one of the best ways to get my thoughts straight. No one asks us to do it regularly or even every day. We do not have to commit to anything we do not feel up to.

But no matter what we choose to do, neglecting how we feel, because we think we have no legit reason to feel that way is never healthy.

Mental Benefits of Physical Activity

We are always told, that we should go outside. That we should do sports. That it is unhealthy for us if we do not keep moving, even if we are not in bed all day, but actually working on a desk for example.

I am the kind of person, who really does not want to believe that sports is something one has to do even if one’s body is in good shape. I love binging TV all day or sitting around studying, doing hardly anything physical. But I have found out that working out is not just about the direct health of our body. To me it is about control. On one hand it shows, how much pain I can endure, without having to stop. It wakes the ambitious side of me and that ambition transfers to everything I am doing. It helps cope with frustration and frankly balancing the work mind and body do, helps me deal with emotions in general. Sure, when I am not stable, I will not feel stable, but I will feel like crying. But working out will help me stabilize myself.

But the most severe mental benefit I find, is that when I work out, I am forced to listen to my body. I have to take care of it. I have to focus, on how my body is. How I feel. And there is nothing but me and music for a little while. Even if I want to push it to that point, where I think it might break any second. Even if I start working out, because I am frustrated, or I plainly declare, that I hate myself. So even if my motivation to work out is to punish myself for… whatever it may be in that moment, in the end I will end up loving myself a little bit more. Because it connects me to my body. And all those feel-good hormones like Endorphins, Dopamine and Serotonin flooding our system will make us feel like we accomplished something.

Once I have worked out a few times a week, I get addicted to it. It boosts confidence. It balances our lives. And no one said we had to work out for an hour every day. I find that half an hour twice a week is perfectly enough and absolutely not so much that anyone could claim to not have the time for it. Note to self: work out more!

The simple magic of lists

“If there was a list with things that make me comfortable ‘lists’ would be on top of that list.” This is a quote by Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Not only can I relate to this, I think it bears quite a lot of truth. For anyone. There are a few kinds of lists:

  • To-Do-Lists
  • Bucket-Lists
  • Wish-Lists
  • Shopping-Lists
  • List of lists (uhhh recursion!)
  • Playlists
  • A schedule is in fact just a list of things that have times attached to them
  • etc.

Lists have the benefit that they put our mind at ease. Because we have put it down and we can always come back to it, but we do not need to actively keep it in our minds. Lists give us structure in our lives, because they untangle our minds. Say we are working at a project. Making a list will allow us to trust, that we will not forget anything while absolutely focusing on the part we are working at, this very moment. Without having the next 5 steps in mind.

I know that my life works perfectly without lists. I have my appointments in my calendar, and it is not like I will not be tidying my room if it is not on my to do list. The only list I really need is a plan for what to study in preparation for an exam. Even that I could probably manage without, but I know that I would always be questioning my ability to pass, which would lead to way more stress than necessary.

I am not saying that life without lists is impossible. I am not even saying that lists make everyone’s life better. I am saying that they did for me. They help me keep track of any progress, be it with my hobbies or my studies or anything else. I find ticking off things of my to-do list very satisfying and I love how I never have to wonder what to do next, because it is all right there on my list.

I definitely think, we should all try making lists to organize our lives at some point in our lives. This way we can find our own personal sweet-spot. Some might want to have lists for literally anything. And some will only have a list with the most important things on them. This is very individual and can change not only from person to person, but also from time to time. Maybe this week lists make you feel awesome and next week you will find yourself stressed out by them. That is why we adjust whenever adjusting is needed.

100% uncalled for

Imagine sitting at your desk trying to do some math. Not that you absolutely hate it. More like you are afraid of not being able to solve it, but you really want to do it. Music is peacefully playing. Your back does hurt somewhat but you try to focus on Sine and Cosine when all of a sudden your throat and chest tightened, your eyes start sparkling with tears. Then your eye starts twitching.

You know that you have to stop right now. You don’t know if you’ll be able to go back to studying today. You want to. But you also know that you cannot push yourself, because in the blink of an eye you are drowning in frustration. And there is literally nothing you can do. By now tears roll down your checks in a steady salty stream.

You try to take the pressure off yourself. You try to allow yourself to take a break. But all you really want is to go back to work. But only the thought of Trigonometric functions makes you sick and restless.

Your hands are tied and out of the blue the razor blade feel like your very best friend. But you’re not even strong enough to execute that thought. You try breathing steadily. Calmly. But after inhaling twice you get frustrated because you tried such a stupid exercise. And anger comes up in you. Again: there is nothing you can do. Just another bitter emotion rolling over you. Making you suffocate. Making you wish it was over. Making you wish you could just wake up from this nightmare. But you cannot. You have no idea when it will be over. In a few minutes. A few hours.

Back on the ground.

Two months ago I said that when it will be over, I would be able to forgive myself. It is over. It has been for a long time. But it turns out that forgiving myself is not as easy. I regret. I promised I would not. But I do. It is not raging anger towards myself. It is not fear or pain parallelizing me. Just a bitter memory that comes up not just sometimes. But almost daily.

I am trying to take my anger out on the punching bag, but when I am finished with it, I simply break down crying. And the longer I sit on the floor, the stronger the urge to cut becomes. No. It is too early. And it will probably need a trigger. I have not cut in too long to simply do it again. But at some point. What if I do? I do not want it, do I? I do not even have the energy to think about it.

What is wrong with me?! An hour ago I was perfectly fine. And now?

I am floating. Just… Studying. Doing nothing else. And I guess I should be proud of myself for that. But it really… I thought I had it all figured out. And now this. Maybe studying is just what I am holding onto to keep a purpose. Maybe it is my only real constant. I don’t know. And I don’t really care. I don’t feel like figuring it all out. For this moment… For tonight I just wish to be empty and sad. There is nothing wrong with that. I am just feeding the pain and I know it. And I know I should be choosing not to do it. Because eventually that pain will manifest on my skin. Or… Will it? I don’t know. And I don’t care. I do not want to think. I cannot stop feeling bit if I could. I would. Tomorrow I will go back to studying and everything will be back to the way it is supposed to be.

The Journey Begins

Hello,

my name is Jiela. I wish to become stronger. I wish to overcome cutting. And I will share this journey. Because I know I am not the only one. I know that my path may seem unique. But it is not. So here I am. Sharing.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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