1. I can’t remember the last time I chewed a piece of gum.
2. I basically stopped chewing gum a few years ago because I decided I must be allergic to it or something.
3. After I start chewing gum, about 15 minutes later my nose always starts itching like crazy.
4. I don’t drink sodas/cokes/pops.
5. I can’t remember the last time I drank one.
6. I have TERRIBLE vision. It runs in my mom’s side of the family.
7. I got glasses in 3rd grade. I tried contacts my junior year of high school, but I wasn’t patient enough back then to get them in and out. It took me over an hour to get them in and out the first day, so I said “screw it” and stuck with just the glasses. Because of that experience, times after then when I would go back for new prescriptions I would say, “no” to trying contacts again. 8. I tried contacts again recently (some 8+ years later), and I have gotten the taking them in and out part “down” now, so I wear them off and on with my glasses now.
9. If you ever feel you are TERRIBLY blind without the aid of corrective visionaries, you can use me as a comparison and I would be willing to bet you can’t be much worse than I am…HA! My current prescription is 400/20 in one eye and 525/20 in the other (and that’s the contact prescription which is lower because it’s ON the eye). My glasses prescription is 450/20 and 575/20…HA! And for you contact wear-ers that only know it by that little number on your contact boxes, I’m a -4.00 and -5.25.
10. I rarely go to bed at night “exhausted.” Because of this, I often find myself in bed at night “trying to go to sleep” and just thinking while I lay there.
11. Because I feel I have more in-depth thoughts at night (as well as I remember things I need to do for the next day while I’m lying in bed) and I don’t want to forget them by the morning, I keep a small notepad and pen in my night stand next to my bed. I frequently at night find myself reaching over (in the dark) into the drawer of the night stand. Pulling out the pad and writing my thoughts onto the pad IN THE DARK and then I hang the pad on the door of the drawer and close the drawer on it so it is left hanging out and I’ll see it in the morning and be reminded of whatever thoughts or reminder I had the night before that I didn’t want to forget for this day.
12. Needless to say—with all this thinking at night, I hardly ever feel I get a restful night of sleep.
13. It is also not beneficial to my nightly sleep that my body is very routine oriented, meaning if it’s used to getting up at a certain time, it just gets up then whether I went to bed hours later than I normally do or not. Considering this, I can never really “sleep-in” even if I want too.
14. I think the lasted I’ve ever slept in during the past few years is maybe once or twice till 11 AM, but normally “sleeping in” is until 9:30 AM. And by my standards, that isn’t a true “sleeping in.”
15. I’ve never swallowed a pill in my life.
16. I was really sick a couple years ago and I thought I better get this one pill in me somehow, so I tried chewing it up and eating it with a bite of food.
17. It tasted NASTY but I got it down and went to the kitchen to get a drink to wash it down.
18. By the time I got back to my bathroom I puked it up…HA!
19. I’ve decided that pills that are meant to be swallowed shouldn’t be chewed up.
20. I sometimes find myself wondering what ever happened to some of the clients I’ve worked with in the past.
21. I wonder if the homeless client that had been living in the shelter for over a year, and after meeting with him twice I helped to get a job—I wonder if he is still working at that job some 1.5+ years later.
22. I wonder if my client that broke it off with her drug addicted/abusive boyfriend ended up getting back together with him.
23. I wonder if my client’s cancer came back.
24. I wonder if my favorite client who suffered from severe schizophrenia is still homeless, and as brilliant as ever.
25. I’d like to tell her that I have gotten a LOT better at hugging.
26. She really had an impact on me the last day I saw her because she hugged me goodbye and I gave her a very poor hug and she left the room and then came back to the room (where I was still at) about 5 minutes later and paced the room for about 2 minutes before coming back up to me and in a sense of urgency said, “Girl, you’ve really got to learn how to hug.”
27. She then proceeded to hug me again and I gave a much better hug in return that time.
28. From that day on I’ve appreciated hugs a lot more.
29. I have a best friend that I have had for over 4 years that I can only recall hugging twice in the past.
30. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to hug this friend, I just always felt like this person wasn’t a hugger, and as a not fully confident hug-initiator myself, I could never bring myself to hug the friend—even when I really wanted too.
31. I had given this topic a lot more thought than most people probably would (HA!), so recently I just bit the bullet and confronted the friend about it…HA!
32. The friend apparently doesn’t mind hugs from people she knows (so I’m in the free to hug her).
33. I still haven’t hugged that friend since that talk, and I’ve seen her on more than one occasion since that talk.
34. Anxiety runs in my family history.
35. I have it, but I’ve gotten really pretty good at dealing with it and controlling it.
36. I have learned that in probably 99.9% of situations where I find myself anxious, all I have to do is “survive” the first 20-30 minutes and then the anxiety will subside.
37. 20-30 minutes seems like a long time, but it really isn’t if you are able to control the anxiety to a bearable level through practices you’ve taught yourself in the past.
38. Probably the worst point my anxiety got to was where I would be throwing up due to the stress-level it placed on my body. It was my body’s reaction—you know, like how people say they are so nervous before going out on a stage or to give a speech that they feel like they want to throw up? It was basically like that.
39. Besides ONE time back last May, I haven’t been anxious to the point of even ALMOST throwing up since probably, uhhh…maybe 5 or so years ago. Like I said, I’ve gotten good at understanding my anxiety and controlling my body’s reactions to it.
40. I’m more anxious in the mornings. That time back in May was before lunchtime. And after I got through the situation, I couldn’t believe it had encouraged the level of anxiety in me as it did. But that’s usually the feeling anyone has after they deal with an anxious situation—they leave it wondering why they got as worked up about it as they had.
41. Because of my understanding of my body’s reaction to extreme anxiety to turning to a purging reaction, I’ve basically been conditioned to avoid having stuff in me to purge when I anticipate a highly anxious situation. Plus, when I’m anxious it’s hard to eat anyways.
42. Because of this, I often would never eat food in the mornings; since mornings are usually more anxious for me, therefore I would have no food in me should I become highly anxious.
43. A lot of this seems to give a better understanding for my restaurant behaviors—but I don’t believe it provides a full understanding. I don’t think I have that completely understood yet myself.
44. But I do think it also has to do with what I think was one of my only panic attacks. Sure, I get anxious, and can get REAL anxious at times, but I don’t go into panic attacks. But I believe that was what I had one day when I was riding in a car with a best friend. It scared me and had a long effect on my car riding situations (which I have since been able to overcome), but still lingers with affect on my eating in restaurant situations (since we were riding in the car to go to a restaurant to eat, and we ended up going after my apparent “attack”).
45. That friend was really cool about it though and pulled over to see what she could do to help, though there was nothing she could do. HA! Of course too, she didn’t want me throwing up in her car (because I appeared like that was what I was about to do, though I didn’t end up throwing up). HA!
46. Because of that experience, recently following it, I had a tough time with “best friend” situations because they now were paired with a new sense of anxiety to me.
47. It greatly affected a best friend relationship I had developed in the years following that “car situation.”
48. With this “affected” relationship (though I haven’t remained as close anymore with this friend as we were for some years), when I do still talk with this friend off and on, she will occasional bring up how my anxiety in our relationship affected a lot of things. I agree, it did, but all I can do now and reassure her that it too bothered me that it was that way, and because of it, I have made great efforts and results in better handling anxiety situations. And of course I always apologize to her that it affected our relationship as it did.
49. One way in which it affected the relationship was that I would never ride in a car with this friend. That might seem minimal, but give it some thought. Imagine one of your best friends and not being able to ride in a car with them. It would cause a lot of issues.
50. Luckily, my anxiety does not seem to affect my relationships to extreme levels like that, but that doesn’t mean that I’m all that easy of a person to be a best friend with.
51. Recently I’ve noticed that I tend to be the most critical of (and in) my closest relationships. I wonder if that is how it is for most people? Maybe I’ll think about that thought today…
52. But I have realized that I am a lot to “put-up-with” if you’re one of my closest best friends.
53. I’m not completely certain on it yet, but I think it is related to a combination of the level of influence these relationships have in my life and the level of obsessive thought I put into understanding things.
54. I recently came to a good way of explaining what I believe to be why I am constantly thinking/pondering as I do in life.
55. I have an obsession with wanting to understand “why.” Why did he do what he did? Why would that work out like it did? Why would she think that? Why would he be afraid of that? Why would she choose to behave in that way?
56. And though I would love to always have the right/correct answers to these questions, I have recently realized that I think all I need is a plausible “reasoning/understanding” to sustain my curiosity. Because then, it doesn’t bother me anymore to the point of my wanting to think about it until I “figure it out.” I can be content with coming to what I BELIEVE to be the “reason”, whether it might be the real reason or not. If I feel it explains it well enough, I’m happy. HA! But until I can get to that satisfaction, I will think on some things for hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc. I am not afraid to research to find my explanations, and sometimes that involves asking the people themselves if it involves someone else and don’t feel it would “hurt” much to ask them. HA!
57. Here’s one thought reasoning: I think one of the reasons why I have always felt like Church of Christ people are such “good people” (and I often use that exact terminology) is because members of the Church of Christ have helped my family out a lot when I was growing up.
58. Whether I believe in the same religious beliefs as Church of Christ members or not, I always seem to hold a belief that they are typically “good people.” And it is a feeling that I admittedly have toward Church of Christ people rather than any other religiously-affiliated individual. I guess this is why I feel my “reasoning” behind why I would consider “them” “good people” and not others is because they were the group that helped my family out many times.
59. I grew up poor. I don’t say that for sympathy, but to help any of those out there they might happen to be like me (i.e. and obsess with wanting to understand the “why”—knowing that about me will help in understanding a LOT about why I am the way I am).
60. I spent some time living in a trailer.
61. I hate that people use the terminology to describe people as “trash,” and I think that’s not only because I feel that NO human is “trash” but also because I believe that terminology came about because of the phrase “trailer trash.” I hate that phrase, and I have commented on it to many of my friends in the past when they have used it around me. I don’t think where someone lives has anything to do with the person’s value as a human. And I don’t think typically the people that use the phrase are meaning it in that way either, but either way, it is devaluing a person when you compare them to trash.
62. Unfortunately, I think I have friends that seem so conditioned to believe that anytime they see a trailer house, they think “trailer trash” that if they didn’t know me for who they know me as today (i.e. meaning if we weren’t friends), and they saw a picture of me in front of a trailer (which is my house) they would look and automatically think “trailer trash.”
63. I didn’t live much of my life in a trailer. I lived in several different houses. Seven different residences before leaving for college at the age of 18.
64. But rather in a trailer or a house, money was always tight growing up.
65. I’ve had to go without utilities on many occasions. Pick the utility; I can give you a period of time I survived without it. It is possible, though many “comfortably-living-people” can often times think it would be impossible.
66. But I’ve always been blessed enough to always have a roof over my head. So I was never “homeless.”
67. As I have reflected on my childhood, it would be understandable if I told you I was a depressed child. No one would argue that I had no reason to be depressed. But the ironic thing about that is I can honestly say I never experienced a state of depression until I was a grown adult and had sufficient financial income.
68. Depression also runs in my family, but that’s probably more common than a family without depression in the family line…HA!
69. I used to think how I was so excited that I was going to be the one to not end up “suffering” from depression. I was always so happy. So I think when I experienced my first state of feeling depressed it hit me harder than it probably would have, had I not been also dealing with the thought of “dang, maybe I won’t avoid the depression gene!” HA!
70. The times I’ve realized I was depressed, I typically can’t pinpoint why I have ended up in the depressive state. And that bothers me even more, because like I said, I like to understand “why.”
71. Luckily, I’ve usually been able to convince myself to shift my thinking from “why am I in this state” to let’s think about “how can I get out of this?” That’s not always easy (both the shifting of the thoughts or the thoughts on HOW to get out of it), but I’ve eventually succeeded and been relieved of the states in the past. That’s reassuring (for both now and for future states of depression).
72. Through my studies, and now life experiences, I now believe that it is more uncommon than common for an adult to go through life and never had had suicidal thoughts. This does not mean a person has to have a plan to kill him/herself or even that he/she wants to kill him/herself. No, suicidal thoughts are merely the crossing thoughts. Having had such thoughts is more common to have experienced at least at one point in time for an adult than probably never having experienced them before.
73. I’ve learned that for individuals who experience suicidal thoughts, but there thoughts are not to the point of wanting to die and planning how too; for these individuals, these types of crossing thoughts can be some of the most scariest thoughts to experience. And what makes them even scarier is the thought that no one knows about them but you. Still, scary as they may be, one often feels uncomfortable talking about these types of thoughts.
74. I’ve learned that possibly one of the best things for alleviating such scared feelings is getting them out so they aren’t between just you and the thoughts. Though it is very difficult in deciding who you feel you can share such feelings with, once you have decided you can with someone, and do, it’s a feeling unexplainable.
75. For me it was two occasions when the thoughts crossed and both times it scared me so that I once made myself go to sleep so I couldn’t “think” anymore and the other time, I made myself get wrapped up in something else to stop thinking about such a matter. It was within 24 hours of the second occurrence that I talked to my best friend about my feeling depressed. I hinted at the possibility of having suicidal thoughts, but never admitted to them. A combination of pride and fear kept me from saying the word, but I knew my friend understood what I was talking about.
76. Over the next 24 hours from that talk, my friend was the first to use the actual terminology through an email she sent me, and then only a matter of time after reading the email from her, I contacted the friend again and we spoke back and forth about the issue. It was for sure an experience that I’ll never forget, but more than that, it was a situation of exposed vulnerability which led to healing from the strength and trust found within a treasured friendship.
77. I can’t explain the level of freedom one experiences having released a deep secret that is believed by one’s self as “dark.” Unless you’ve done that before in your past, you really can’t understand the feeling you feel. It is one of the best feelings in life—a feeling of being free! I think the Postsecret project has given a hint of this feeling to many many people. I think that’s such a blessing!
78. I’ve realized through this situation that we have different friends for different reasons. We have friends that we can rely on for different things—and that in itself is a blessing. Maybe there is only one friend you would feel comfortable sharing your deepest secrets that you want to get out with. Or maybe one friend for sharing one type of dark secret with, but maybe only a different friend for a different dark secret.
79. Something else I’ve recently come to the understanding of is the real importance behind being able to talk to a therapist. [NOTE: this is not a marketing ploy to encourage my professional field, rather it was a recent realization I came too which I am grateful for because it helped me see how I truly can be a huge help to my clients]. As I’ve tried to think things out on my own concerning my own life, I'm realizing that everything can't always be done on our own. Sometimes we just need someone to help us talk through some things, and sometimes that person you need, is best fitted with someone that doesn't know you from Adam. Someone that isn't on a "side." Someone who doesn't know who you know--I think that's the most important part. Someone who you can talk to about your relationships and know that you don't have to worry about affecting the relationship you have with THEM because you turned to them to help you through your thoughts. You don’t have a pre-existing relationship with the therapist that you need to sustain as you turn to them for help.
80. I’m reading a book by a very well known psychiatrist. The book is geared toward helping new/young therapist into our field. One chapter he wrote talks totally about how he believes all therapists should be getting counseling for their selves on a regular basis. He thinks not only is it healthy, but also helpful for professional training because it is an opportunity to put yourself where your clients are when you work with them.
81. I think I agree with that. I’ve yet to ever see a therapist; however, I have been interested in it lately, so maybe if I land a job and get some money coming in I can find me a good one! ;)
82. I think it would be beneficial like he said from a professional stand-point, but also because what I was saying earlier, in that I feel we all sometimes need someone we can talk to that is “neutral” and doesn’t know anyone in our life.
83. Speaking of talking to people that don’t know you about your problems –that really is the best choice for when it comes to seeking counsel. Allow me to clarify. This comes from the code of ethics that directs my Social Work profession: it states that social workers are not supposed to provide counsel to family or friends. Many times friends do not like that and it comes off as selfish on the social worker’s part, but I’ve recently been explained based on an actual example of why it is SO important not to do that.
84. Without much detail, the example was a colleague of mine had a good friend of her’s coming to her for “advice” (AKA counsel) and it ended up that my colleague had to report her own friend to CPS. Sure, that can sound harsh (that a friend would do that to another friend), but it is for the best interest. But think about how having to take that action could affect that friendship from then on out?
85. For me, I think about having a friend want to talk to me about depression and then it turn out they admit to me that they have had suicidal thoughts WITH a plan and means to carry it out. Granted, as I mentioned earlier, having a suicidal thought that crosses your mind, but you have not thought about a plan or that you don’t want to die, that’s different. But when a plan is involved it is a different level and different actions much follow. I would not want to have to be placed in the situation of having to commit my friend to a psychiatric hospital for having a suicidal plan, but at the same time, I wouldn’t hesitate because I care about them and realize the importance of taking that action with such a serious thoughts that they are admitting to having. But if I had to do that, think of how that would affect our friendship from there on out?
86. I’ve been told on more than one occasion that people don’t like arguing/debating with me because I FREQUENTLY will use what you say against you. In example, I will often refer back to statements people have made in the past to argue MY point to them or in an attempt to discredit their stance. Someone once told me I try to “twist their words around” but I would disagree with that because if I use your words and put them in quotation marks (which I almost ALWAYS do because a direct quote is SOOO powerful), I can reassure you I have edited/twisted NOTHING from what you said yourself.
87. I do not do this with a revenge/evil undertone to it. Many times I often refer back to things people have said in the past for clarification purposes because I might be getting confused if they said one thing in the past and now I feel they are saying something else. I probably do this because referring back to previous statements/sessions is a common practice in therapy.
88. Because of this “characteristic” of how I am, besides the fact that I know practically NOTHING about law, I would probably make a fairly decent lawyer. I mean doesn’t a “good lawyer” interpret into someone that can take the opposing side and turn what they said against them? HA!
89. Those who know this about me are typically careful when they write me emails because they know I save just about all personal emails that I feel are “serious.”
90. I’m sure admitting to that will greatly decrease the number of “serious” personal emails I get from people. CRAP! HA! No, really though, 98% of the time I will never “call you” on stuff you put in an email (unless you are someone that likes to argue with me, and that is a very limited number of folks).
91. Typically all that comes from my saving “serious” emails is that I will read them over and over.
92. I often times find myself going back and rereading old emails from past “fights” or apology/make-up emails that follow the “fight” emails. I think this often times keeps things real and in perspective. Of course the make-up emails I enjoy reading more (and typically read them more than the “fight” ones), but the “fight” ones also help me.
93. That last confession most likely makes me a “dork.”
94. Recently, I’ve decided I’m not all that “cool” by societal standards anyways; however, I am getting better at accepting that and moving on—though it was difficult to admit to myself at first.
95. I’m sure it was only difficult to admit because I have a strong pride issue. And I’m pretty sure that’s nothing “new” to anyone.
96. But at the same time, my level of pride has decreased greatly over the past year. Maybe that’s tied into the depressive states. Hmmm…
97. You want to know what else makes me a “dork”? I LOVE board games. HA! Board games/cards/etc. I could play them for hours, day after day! For anyone that might be clueless and thinking “how’s that make you dorky” allow me to explain: it’s because today’s society labels staying at home on a weekend night to play board games as un-“cool.”
98. Like I said, I’m working on accepting that—and it has gotten a lot better since the time that I came to realize it.
99. Something else that is interesting to note about me is that I feel a level of anxiety from people who are older than me. And what’s even more interesting is that the age difference does not have to be a number of years. A matter of months is worthy enough…HA!
100. Because of that last confession, you might be able to note that MANY of my friends, especially my closer friends, are typically younger than me. I wonder if it’s because I just feel more comfortable around them and because of that, I feel I can more easily be myself. Hmmm…