Yesterday was a bit exhausting. Day started off good, though Deon and I had health appointments at the same time, so I didn’t get to go to his with him, and they told him he’s crossed the border into diabetes now.

Luckily not needing insulin at this point, just needing some further medicines and to strengthen his adherence to a better diet. I feel like that is the biggest hurdle. Actually having will power to not require instant gratification when it comes to food cravings.


Emotional vomit

The problem with bottling up things for so long, is it reaches a point where you can never explain things concisely anymore because there are so many stored data points to convey that when you try to explain it to anyone, it feels like you are vomiting all over the person you are trying to explain things to.

Evasive ANTs…

My counselor recently told me about ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) The funny thing is this kind of stuck with me because we have an occasional problem with real bug ants that drive me crazy, and I hate it when those evasions happen! It generally spawns the need for a deep cleaning to figure out why they are coming, and to get all their trails cleaned up as to not attract more of them.

Thinking about the real ants – it feels like these negative thoughts have the same behavior. When you notice them, its time to do some deep cleaning, to figure out what is drawing them, and its super important to identify them so you aren’t attracting more.

Today I was thinking about a friend, and a thought came up that I wanted to share with them about something about my day. Without a beat the thought popped up that if I did share that, they would think it was dumb, because they aren’t interested in it so wouldn’t want to hear about it and would probably be annoyed.

I recognized that thought as an ANT, and thought about needing to reframe it, I realized that my friends tell me all about topics that they like that I’m not really interested in per se all the time, and I never mind it or think they are annoying because of it. In fact usually I’m glad to hear from them.

Is knowing… better?

My thought experiment for the day.
Sometimes we are presented with choices that its hard to know for sure.

Take my current predicament.
I finally got a new Neurologist, who of course is wanting to to all the testing again. While I’m thankful for how thorough they are wanting to be, I can’t help but wonder if there is any real advantage to me… in my actual life.

Point #1 – Currently there is no cure for MS.
The best that can be done is gambling that any medicines you take will prolong more debilitating symptoms.

Point #2 – I am the only one working at the moment, and probably for the remainder of my life. I am the provider. I don’t have “help” with making sure we are taken care of. This means that I really need to avoid unneeded expenses. Last time I had this done, it took me 3 years to pay off the 7k I owed because of it. That caused there to have to be payment arrangements, and anxiety every month as we struggled to stay afloat. (Calling the insurance, my portion of the cost this time is claimed to be around $5500.00)

Point #3 – I am contemplating the actual benefit of knowing anything the testing would find.
– IF Good news – ends up being expensive limited sigh of relief that its not advancing…. yet (though through symptoms, I doubt I’d miss noticing things were getting worse)
– IF Bad news – then I get to throw that knowledge on top of the already daunting pile of things I’m constantly fighting against being drowned by (which would then also include the cost of a few months of my salary).

A younger me, would have said “Of course knowing is better – because if you know, then you can do something to help yourself” (such the optimist and proactive creature I was)

An older me, has come to terms with the realization that sometimes even your best effort and staying on top of information, doesn’t mean you can avoid some things. There are things that won’t be escaped. Our time is limited, and we should treat it as such.

I know I’m sensitive sometimes, and can’t always shut out worry. I know that sometimes for me, allowing constant emotional stress actually makes it hard to be the strong person that people take for granted that I am. Its hard not to think sometimes maybe, instead of adding emotional fuel to a fire that will eventually catch up regardless – that maybe I should just live and enjoy what I have now, and not choose the added anxiety and stress?

It would be one thing if knowing how far I’ve gotten, gave insight to a possible escape…. but it doesn’t.

Its hard for me to justify this cost both being monetary and emotional.

A small light

Journaling project. Feeling a bit better today than I had in awhile honestly. I can’t help but feel like at least part of it is attributed to getting something off my chest, that I’d wanted to say… having it said, and not having my fears of saying it played out. There is a bit of freedom that comes with that, with successfully relaying something, making it known and understood, intentions and all.

I’m appreciative of this calmness I feel today. Its been a while since I’ve been visited by that feeling.

Its honestly been a hard couple of months. I think some of the things have just kind of forced me to revisit some of the hidden things I have always pushed aside and not dealt with. Things that “weren’t important” or “didn’t matter” in the grand scheme of things, things that I could always successfully argue that they shouldn’t be what I was spending my time on because they “didn’t apply” anymore.

Problem is, things don’t resolve by ignoring them. Those feelings don’t get resolved no matter how hard you distract yourself, how things change, or how much you ignore or reason away from thinking about them. They can be covered up for a bit, but they don’t go away. All they do is continue in quiet, festering and leaking into thing in your life that you didn’t even realize.

I’ve never been a super confident person, but I’d initially had enough resolve to be ok with always playing a supporting role in most things in my life and dealing with what ever uncomfortable things that might include.

The last few months, a whole lot of insecurity, and negative self-talk has leaked in. I’d kind of hit a new low, where I just couldn’t stand looking at myself in group chat meetings, so had kept my camera off on purpose.

I’d always been one that wanted to be pro-active about health on multiple levels, but I’d gotten to this point where I was just feeling like “what was the point”. I’m 44, no where near dead, yet goals, which those who know me, kind of know that goals are what keeps me going… I couldn’t find goals that seemed worth it.

I felt very stuck, and stagnant where I am. Balancing MS on top of aging. Feeling insecure, wanting to do better, but knowing that I’m definitely limited on energy anymore. I literally can’t do the hikes, or the camping, or as much physical activity. My balance is a real issue, and while I haven’t fallen yet, there is actively real effort being made to keep my balance, where it hadn’t previously been needed. Its real, and I feel it daily.

It gets to the point where it makes things feel like anything I do for myself is a waste of time or energy. Like my time is done, when it isn’t. I know better, I expect better of myself, yet this last while its all I can do to maintain.

BUT.. today, is a bit better, a bit brighter.

Politics are just another religion….

There has been something I couldn’t entirely put my finger on for quite sometime, but I think I actually found the words yesterday.
I was watching this video, and there was a slice of men from different backgrounds discussing masculinity. Now this video I was watching, was put out by a woman who has her own podcast and she was “reacting” to what was said.

This woman, I can appreciate some of her videos because for the most part, I think she tries to think things through, and even is pretty fair most of the time and does a decent job presenting her ideas. I can’t say that I totally agree with her on everything, because I don’t always… (which is obviously fine – I think people need to be able to be willing to still listen to others they don’t totally agree with, and entertain other points of view, because that is where learning happens.)

For the most part I enjoy is when she expresses her point of view with logic and fairness. But… then there are these times when she retreats back into pointing to political stances, where I just kind find myself waiting for her to get through that and return to presenting things based on logic instead.

But then I know that about myself, this aversion to how some choose to communicate. I get annoyed when rhetoric leaks into the conversations. Politics I feel tends to lead into this “our side” vs “their side” superiority complex, where people blame others for an issue (when I’m sorry but we’re all here together, and most things are a product of how we as a whole deal with things / or don’t — if we’re totally honest, even “our side” has a share in whatever is going/has gone wrong.)

Anyway… never been a politics fan because of its seemingly imitated understandings and views on so many topics. Seemingly pretty shallow in general, and not as interested as I’d like to see in any sort of “greater good”, generally more centered around what’s good for their clique or purposefully trying to misunderstand others they view as opponents by simplifying or villainizing their claims. Anyhow back to the actual topic of this post.

There was a section of this woman’s video that switched on a light in my brain, serving to express what it is that I feel when “political talk” takes center stage and rears its head.

In the video she was reacting to, there was a religious man, who kept pointing to his religion as “proof” that things were a certain way. She started to point out, something that I totally agree with, is that when your goal is to communicate with others, sometimes its best to not use your religion as the “evidence” for your points when you are talking to a room full of people who don’t subscribe to that same faith.

Realize your audience, and present your views in a way that might speak to them, if your goal is for them to understand. Your religious points won’t carry weight for them, like it does for you. It important to find that middle ground that you both can agree on to use as the foundation of the points you wish to convey. Find something relatable.

Many times when you communicate to others, when you stop using that middle ground logic to “proof” your position on the topic, many people will plain stop understanding or even listening, because you are no longer speaking from something they can relate to. You may as well be be speaking a foreign language, because you’ve abandoned your audience at that point. (Not to say you can’t ever bring certain views up, its just to say that you don’t speak about chapter 15 of a book, to someone who has just started chapter 1, and expect them to understand exactly what you are saying, when they haven’t experienced the nuance of the story for themselves)

It was then that I realized that this is absolutely true outside of religion too! I realized that the reason I sometimes being interested in what people have to say, is when they can’t communicate things from any sort of middle ground. If things are too centered around their personal ideologies expecting you to already believe some point without any solid “middle ground” evidence to get you there, its no longer relatable and you loose your audience.

In that end, the reason why political talk often seems so worthless to me, is because of the way its presented. Politics are really just another sect of religion and beliefs that people subscribe to.

I need more than to simply be told “I should be mad” for me to actually “become mad.” Energy is too valuable, and life is too short to just go along blindly accepting things without solid reason.

TLDR: Be more thoughtful, and present what you want to convey, by proving it with middle ground points. That is all.. otherwise don’t be surprised when your points don’t get through.

Simple Goal

For the first time in a bit, I’ve been able to articulate a simple goal to myself. Maybe it was the scene, maybe it was the hours spent on my absolute own with not even my phone to distract me from my own thoughts.

I just want to get through this… Whatever this ends up being. I want to survive and I’d actually like to end up healthy afterwards regardless.

I abandon the responsibility of “knowing the right answer” or of even convincing people of it. The things that happen, just will. I can encourage better, but I can’t force it, nor can I reliably know all the variables.

I will have to just take comfort in that I know that I mean no harm, and that I only know what I know.

Value Cards

I was listening to a video that talked about some value cards in used in therapy to help people identify what matters to them. I took a stab at ordering them. These are not in order of importance, just in alphabetical order with initial reaction to seeing the card.

Very Important

  • ACCURACY (to be accurate in my opinions and beliefs)
  • AUTONOMY (to be self-determined and independent)
  • CHALLENGE (to take on difficult tasks and problems)
  • COMMITMENT (to make enduring, meaningful commitments)
  • COMPASSION (to feel and act on concern for others)
  • COOPERATION (to work collaboratively with others)
  • COURTESY (to be considerate and polite toward others)
  • DEPENDABILITY (to be reliable and trustworthy)
  • DUTY (to carry out my duties and obligations)
  • FAITHFULNESS (to be loyal and true in relationships)
  • FAMILY (to have a happy, loving family)
  • FLEXIBILITY (to adjust to new circumstances easily)
  • FRIENDSHIP (to have close, supportive friends)
  • GENUINENESS to act in a manner that is true to who I am
  • GROWTH (to keep changing and growing)
  • HEALTH (to be physically well and healthy)
  • HELPFULNESS (to be helpful to others)
  • HONESTY (to be honest and truthful)
  • HOPE (to maintain a positive and optimistic outlook)
  • INDEPENDENCE (to be free from dependence on others)
  • INNER PEACE (to experience personal peace)
  • KNOWLEDGE (to learn and contribute valuable knowledge)
  • LOVING (to give love to others)
  • MINDFULNESS (to live conscious and mindful of the present moment)
  • MONOGAMY (to have one close, loving relationship)
  • NURTURANCE (to take care of and nurture others)
  • OPENNESS (to be open to new experiences, ideas, and options)
  • RATIONALITY (to be guided by reason and logic)
  • REALISM (to see and act realistically and practically)
  • RESPONSIBILITY (to make and carry out responsible decisions)
  • SELF-CONTROL (to be disciplined in my own actions)
  • SOLITUDE (to have time and space where I can be apart from others)
  • VIRTUE (to live a morally pure and excellent life)

Important to me

  • ACCEPTANCE (to be accepted as I am)
  • BEAUTY (to appreciate beauty around me)
  • CHANGE (to have a life full of change and variety)
  • COMFORT (to have a pleasant and comfortable life)
  • CONTRIBUTION (to make a lasting contribution in the world)
  • CREATIVITY (to have new and original ideas)
  • CARING (to take care of others)
  • ECOLOGY (to live in harmony with the environment)
  • FITNESS (to be physically fit and strong)
  • FUN (to play and have fun)
  • HUMILITY (to be modest and unassuming)
  • INDUSTRY (to work hard and well at my life tasks)
  • INTIMACY (to share my innermost experiences with others)
  • JUSTICE (to promote fair and equal treatment for all)
  • LEISURE (to take time to relax and enjoy)
  • LOVED (to be loved by those close to me)
  • MASTERY (to be competent in my everyday activities)
  • MODERATION (to avoid excesses and find a middle ground)
  • NON-CONFORMITY (to question and challenge authority and norms)
  • ORDER (to have a life that is well-ordered and organized)
  • PASSION (to have deep feelings about ideas, activities, or people)
  • PLEASURE (to feel good)
  • PURPOSE (to have meaning and direction in my life)
  • SAFETY (to be safe and secure)
  • SELF-ACCEPTANCE (to accept myself as I am)
  • SELF-ESTEEM (to feel good about myself)
  • SELF-KNOWLEDGE (to have a deep and honest understanding of myself)
  • SERVICE (to be of service to others)
  • SIMPLICITY (to live life simply, with minimal needs)
  • SPIRITUALITY (to grow and mature spiritually)
  • STABILITY (to have a life that stays fairly consistent)
  • TOLERANCE (to accept and respect those who differ from me)

Not Important to me

  • ACHIEVEMENT (to have important accomplishments)
  • ATTRACTIVENESS (to be physically attractive)
  • AUTHORITY (to be in charge of and responsible for others)
  • EXCITEMENT (to have a life full of thrills and stimulation)
  • FAME (to be known and recognized)
  • FORGIVENESS (to be forgiving of others)
  • GENEROSITY (to give what I have to others)
  • GOD’S WILL (to seek and obey the will of God)
  • HUMOR (to see the humorous side of myself and the world)
  • POPULARITY (to be well-liked by many people)
  • POWER (to have control over others)
  • RISK (to take risks and chances)
  • ROMANCE (to have intense, exciting love in my life)
  • SEXUALITY (to have an active and satisfying sex life)
  • TRADITION (to follow respected patterns of the past)
  • WEALTH (to have plenty of money)

Family, Nutrition, Reflection and Learning