anxiety, therapy

Thoughts during therapy

Yesterday was my second ever therapy session. The first one, which I wrote about beforehand, was last week and was an intake meeting, so it was a bunch of questions. My second one got more into things, so here’s a stream of consciousness from my session yesterday:

  • Billy (my counselor, name changed),  you’ve got a boss beard, bro
    • Am I allowed to talk to you as a person?
  • Your voice is really soft
    • Is that a prereq to becoming a shrink? Or do they teach you that
    • Is this your real voice? Like the one you talk to your friends and your cousins and your mom with?
  • Am I gonna cry right now?
    • Oh god, Billy can tell I feel like crying
    • He offered me tissues, that bastard
    • Am I supposed to cry during these things?
    • I don’t want to cry
    • I am not going to cry
  • I wonder if I’m an interesting case, or am I just run of the mill
  • Am I being too whiny?
  • I forgot my water bottle in my car
  • I don’t deserve to feel sad
    • I’m a white, straight, middle class person from the United States, I’m being dramatic
      • You’re allowed to feel however you feel, listen to Billy, your feelings are valid, besides no one deserves to be sad, no one wants it, calm down
  • Does Billy like me?
    • Would he like me if we like met in the food court and just started talking?
    • I care what people think about me, but I try not to, I just don’t want to be a pariah
  • They keep asking me if I want to kill myself, I don’t want that
    • Wait, do I? Do they know something I don’t know
      • No, I know I don’t want to die
  • Ask me more questions, Billy, I’m rambling
    • You’re in charge here, reign this crazy in.
    • I just want to put everything in perspective, you don’t know my life, I just remembered a minor detail that maybe means something?
  • Are you taking notes? I feel like I haven’t seen you take any notes
    • Oh shit, I forgot this was on camera
  • This is my second session ever, I’m basically an expert
  • I don’t think I’m making enough eye contact, but this isn’t like a normal conversation so
  • I feel like I keep justifying my feelings, saying like “I feel like everyone feels that way sometimes.”
  • I keep trying to show that I’m empathetic, saying “I’m sure they didn’t mean anything by it, they’re just stressed, too”
  • What do you want from me?
    • Am I saying the right things? Are there right answers?
  • I am so drained
  • This is helping me
real life, thoughts

Mac ‘n Grilled Cheese and Failure

So, I don’t think I’ve said anything about this before, but a big hobby of mine is cooking. And I mean, I don’t wanna brag, but I’m pretty good. In general, I have good instincts, especially with adding spices to recipes. I usually start with a base recipe of my grandmother’s or mom’s or one from Pinterest, and let my instincts guide me. Sometimes, though, I come up with original recipes on my own. Last week, I decided I wanted to try to make Mac ‘n Grilled Cheese (which is mac ‘n cheese inside a grilled cheese sandwich, genius, I know). I had a really good idea of how to it with this cheap, canned mac ‘n cheese that I really like.

I got all my ingredients together, and mixed, and cooked and just completely failed. Man, they tasted terrible.

But I didn’t mind. Yeah, my idea didn’t quite work out, but what’s the big deal? Richard and I just ordered pizza instead and moved on with our lives.

When it comes to food, I’m not opposed to trying new things. I mean what’s the harm in it? When Richard and I first started dating, I asked him how adventurous of a foodie he was. He said he was willing to try anything once, if we didn’t like a restaurant, we could just pick up burgers on the way home, right? If I hadn’t tried Dragon King’s Daughter, I wouldn’t have known how much I love sushi (oh my god, I love it so much). If I hadn’t tried Habana Blues, I wouldn’t have known anything about Cuban cuisine and tapas or how delicious it is. If I hadn’t tried baking chicken, I wouldn’t know that it is literally my super power. If I hadn’t failed at making pork roast and tried again I wouldn’t have made one of Rich and mine’s favorite crockpot meals. Literally all my favorite foods were completely new to me at one time, whether it was a restaurant or a recipe, so there’s literally no reason not to try everything! And if a place isn’t good, don’t go back. If you don’t like a recipe, try a different one. The world is literally your oyster (hmm, have I tried oysters before?)

In life, I try not to be afraid to try new things, but it doesn’t always come as easy. But the same rule applies. If I hadn’t taken the AP Computer Science class my school offered just to try it at my sister’s urgings, I would be in a completely different field, I don’t even know what. If I hadn’t applied for my job even though I thought I wouldn’t get it (I did), probably the same thing, I don’t know where I’d be. If I’d been too afraid to tell Richard I thought he was cool and wanted to hang out, and if he’d been too afraid to ask me on a date, where would we be? If I didn’t try bookbinding or makeup or writing, what would my creative outlet be?

I’ve messed up school assignments, and tests, and work deadlines, and signed up for clubs I’ve never gone to. But every time, I try to bounce back

Failure is not a bad thing if you can honestly say you gave it your all, enjoyed yourself, and kept on trying.

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(My sandwiches looked pretty good at least)

therapy

Today is the first day

Today, is my first counseling appointment. I’m a wreck, I’ve been having a really stressful week, not sleeping well, feeling singled out at work, and I worked out yesterday, so that sucked. I woke up feeling super woozy and unable to focus on anything; I feel like barfing and crying and sleeping.

I have one class where the professor is an associate professor, which to me means he’s new, trying to get all his info out at his class, and hasn’t gotten his teaching legs beneath him. And that’s exactly how he is. When I try to pay attention in class, I can tell he knows what he’s talking about, but he just straight lectures the whole time, usually without pause, and when he asks a question and no one knows the answer instead of asking us if we don’t understand and explaining it differently (read: better), he just says the answer and keeps right on lecturing. The assignments, while they are based on class usually, take a lot of work for me. I mean, it’s not just the fault of the teacher, I could pay more attention, but it would certainly be easier if he was more experienced.

I mention this because they way I feel doing his homework, like I have to put in more effort than I usually would or should, mirrors the way I’ve been feeling for a few months now.

My work is awesome, and we have super flexible hours. We’re allowed to get our hours in whenever we can, just as long as we get half of them during usual business hours. If we don’t, this can result in a strike on your record. I work 20 hours a week, so 10 of them need to be Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. I usually work from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays (among other hours). But the other day, my boss messaged me and told me he and the staff felt like I wasn’t around often enough. It wasn’t a reprimand or strike or anything, just a check in. But I do get more than half in during business hours, and I work really hard to do my best work and get things done on time despite the issues I’ve been battling. I explained my situation to him, when I worked, what I’ve been going through, etc. and my boss was nothing but kind and sympathetic and told me that my supervisor had even said he’d seen no decline in my work (in quality or quantity). He said if I needed to take a break from work for my mental health, that could be arranged.

But it just felt the same as the homework thing, but worse, because my job is really, really important to me. It gives me self-validation, that I’m not only in the right field for me (computer science), but that I’m good at it. Taking time off is the last thing I need to do. This just made me feel like I was doing everything right, getting my work done, getting my hours in, but it still wasn’t enough; that the staff, whom I love and look up to, were saying I was doing it, but not doing it enough.

I’m putting so much energy into school and work, that my social life has suffered. I have these two friends who I used to spend every Friday and Saturday night with. I used to go to club meetings with them and sometimes to a breakfast for dinner buffet on Thursdays. There are other factors as to why I haven’t spent as much time with them lately, nothing is black and white, but the biggest part of it is because I’m exhausted. I am so sorry that I haven’t been able to be there, but I just can’t right now. I’ve told them my situation and I hope they understand at least a little of what’s going on with me.

Now because of my mental state strain, I’m going to therapy for the first time ever today, and right now that stresses me out and scares me. I have no idea what to expect or say or do. Can I just have my therapist read this?

Hello, Therapist, how are you? Welcome to my blog, please fix me. I hope our session goes well.

beauty

Ole Henrikseon Find Your Balance Review

DISCLAIMER: I recieved these products free for testing purposes from Ole Henriksen and Influenster

Hello, and welcome to another beauty/makeup type post on my blog, if you’re not into that, there’s no need to read any further, have a wonderful day!

My skin has been very oily and acne prone for like my whole life, so I was really happy to receive an oil balancing set from Influenster and Ole Henriksen to try out. I’d never heard of the brand before, but I’ve since seen it sold at Sephora, so this isn’t some drugstore, cheap-y system.

Here’s everything they sent me, can you say A+ packaging?

First step in the process: I wet my face and massage the Cleanser in until it’s lathered, then I rinse it off and dry my face just a little


Next step: I put some of the Toner on a cotton pad and rub it around all over my face.


Last step: I massage some of the Hydrator into my face and neck. This is my favorite step because as a person with oily skin, there aren’t a lot of hydrating products that don’t transform into an oil slick, but this one doesn’t.


I’ve had some trouble with acne and oil lately, but after I use this, my skin feels clean and dry (in a good way!). It has a cooling effect and feels and smells vaguely like tea tree and menthol and acne medication . They suggest using it one to two times a day, but I, with my skin type and preference, personally wouldn’t use it everyday for a couple reasons. One, it feels strongly medicated and I’m adverse to using something harsh on my skin everyday. And two, I’m lazy and this is a three step process, if it was just one thing, I might use it everyday. In fact, I might find myself using the third step everyday because I like it and like how it feels.

Overall, I enjoy these products and am so happy and thankful to have received them! They retail at Sephora for $34, which is less than I’d thought it would be, honestly.

I’m not beating down anyone’s door to get them to try it, but it is nice, high quality and makes my skin feel very good and refreshed and clean. Plus, I mean, look at that #oleGlow


Ps, if you’re interested in signing up for Influenster, please use my referral link!

therapy

The worst nightmare I’ve ever had

It was Christmas-time at my grandmother’s, my dad’s mom. Everything was as it usually is, but something started to feel off to me. I finally pinpointed it to the fact that I didn’t see my grandma, Mammy everyone calls her, anywhere. I started asking my family and no one seemed perturbed or surprised by her disappearance. Everything was the same as it usually is, but Mammy was completely missing. I realized the way you do in a dream, slowly and suddenly at the same time, that my grandmother had passed away. I was understandably crushed and as I looked around her home, I noticed all the things that wouldn’t be the same without her. For our family gatherings, like Christmas, she spends hours that morning making a veritable feast for us all to enjoy together. For Christmas specifically, she picks and decorates a live tree and begins her shopping months ahead of time so everyone has some presents to open. As I looked around thinking about this and crying, all the things she does began to disappear. At the same time, my cousins and aunts and uncles looked at me quizzically and told me to calm down, asking What’s the big deal?

I woke up in hysterics, still crying, and woke my boyfriend so he could comfort me. I don’t know how long I cried after waking up, but it was longer than from any other dream I can ever remember having

I think this dream says a lot about my current psyche. I think it speaks to my fear of change and misunderstanding and being different from my family. My grandfather, Mammy’s husband of 58 years, passed away last November, so I think it’s understandable that the thought of losing family members has been weighing heavily on my mind in the last four months (Wow, has it already been four months? Wow…). Most importantly, I think my dream speaks to the fact that I still feel the reverberations of our loss while sometimes I feel my family members are fine. I know they’re probably all feeling about the same way I am, and I know we’ve all still got each other, but sometimes they seem so normal when everything just feels more than a bit off to me.

I think Easter will be especially hard, as I don’t know if it was my grandfather’s favorite, but it was the one he was most heavily involved in the traditions of. He would offer $20 to anyone willing to swim across the pond outside their house (I’m from the country), and he’d sit on the bank wallet out watching as you did so. He would also offer cash prizes to winners of a basketball shootout in men, women, and children divisions (I’m also from Indiana). This is our first Easter without him, and while we’ll surely continue his traditions, it will just never be the same.

I called Mammy on the phone today, to check in and to tell her about my dream, and she said not to worry, not to cry too much, but just to try to remember the good times.