Today’s Mini Goal: Wake up early enough for my run tomorrow so that I am not rushed to get out the door for class. I hate when I’m eating breakfast, checking my email, and brushing my hair at the same time, but this always seems to happen. I guess I need to wake up a few minutes earlier.
Today was a rest day, thank goodness. My body was totally craving a day off. I did a good amount of walking (2 miles?) and might do a bit of yoga before bed if I find the time. Gah, I hate being so busy!
Lots of fun eats today:
Breakfast: strawberry-banana chobani with strawberries, bananas, warm cinnamon h2h cereal, and almond butter blob. Taste was wonderful; the fact that it was eaten the library was not so wonderful.
Lunch. Also had a bit more cereal. FYI, the frozen yogurt mountain was originally way taller, I just couldn’t wait to dig into it until I got home! And that sammie is pb and spinach. Both pb and ab go really well with spinach in sandwiches.
Can you see the pb peeking out? Afternoon snacks included a few nuts, an apple, and half of one of my homemade bars.
Dinner: Squash bowl! I steamed the squash in the microwave then filled it with spinach and leftover veggies from last night (onion, mushroom, broccoli, rainbow chard). All topped with leftover salmon, ground lamb crumbles, and hummus blob. I was really craving protein and was cooking up the lamb tonight anyway, so I threw a bit on top. This was perfect. It was also nice to get in so many veggies at once!
Dessert: no picture because I didn’t consume it until after I started this post, but it was one of the best dessert combos ever! Chocolate oikos, spoonful of DCD, and sweetened shredded coconut. Nom nom nom nom .
Woe, I think I just covered a whole day of eats. Interesting.
As I was eating my healthy, but admittedly meat-filled dinner, I felt a twinge of blogger guilt. So many bloggers seem like they have perfect vegetarian or vegan or raw diets, and I just felt a little…bad? This is the first time I’ve ever felt that way. But I also know that eating meat is something that really works for my body, sort of like Heather, and that I try to do so as ethically as possible (organic/local/wild/free-range/whatever). I don’t actually think I’m feeling guilt so much as…different, maybe. I don’t know. Thoughts?
No matter how distraught/tearful/full of confusing emotions I am when I leave therapy, I always feel a deeply embedded sense of comfort afterwards. If all other aspects of me fail, I know that at the very least, my therapist believes in me (sad, but remember where I’m coming from). I relish that feeling of comfort; I’ve realized that although I have definitely come to a point where I have days or even weeks of happiness, I haven’t quite reached a place of comfort. I love my friends to death, but I don’t always find comfort in them, and I am not the best at comforting myself. Basically, happiness isn’t the same as comfort; they’re two different (but not incompatible) ways of being, and I want to experience both of them. I’m actually really happy that I am able to identify that. So much of therapy, for me, has been learning to identify things that I want. It sounds so simple, but that’s deceptive: our emotional wants are extraordinarily easy to neglect, which is precisely what I did for the first nineteen or so years of my life.
I have begun to adopt a new habit whereby I allow myself to recognize moments when I am proud of me. I think I mentioned yesterday that I talked with a nice guy on my floor for a while, and I told my therapist that I am proud of this fact, but also a bit ashamed of such pride. I’m an extremely capable and competent young woman, shouldn’t meeting men, flirting with men, being around men be easy for me? No. I do not come from a place where men have been consistent and safe and happy and, until I was about 16 or 17, I didn’t understand that men could be these things. So I talked to a boy. For a while. And I didn’t panic. And I am proud of this. And that’s okay. I hope to be able to transfer this new ability to say “I’m proud of me” to other areas of my life.
I am about to say something that is intentionally vague. I hope that it isn’t vague to the point of being unintelligible, but it’s something that I need to say without hurting anybody:
There have been people in my life who have struggled with addiction — drugs and alcohol, primarily. These people suffer from diseases (alcoholism is a disease) which they have not always been able to manage. This inability to manage said disease leads to an inability to manage large components of one’s life. This inability of important people in my life to manage their lives has affected me in a million ways. More than a million, probably. Basically, I have issues with trusting men and putting myself out there. I do not blame the (recovering) addicts in my life for my issues at all, but that is the place where I come from. And at times that is a very very painful place. I have been trying to think of a way to say this for weeks now, and I feel much freer now. So much freer. This comes up in therapy basically every week. At times I felt unloved. At times I have felt desperately alone and abandoned. My relationship cues have been totally off; while my parents are deeply loving, they have been divorced since I was young, and I haven’t seen a lot of other beautifully happy relationships since. I was 17 the first time I felt like I really saw and understood a successful romantic relationship (that of my mentor/teacher/friend who basically saved my life in high school). He and his wife seemed to love each other so perfectly, so roundly. I was totally in awe of it. In a lot of ways he was an alternative father figure to me, and I needed him so very much at the time. I’m not sure how to quantify just how much he helped me, but he had this incredible ability to understand my “issues” without me ever saying anything. I hadn’t thought about this man in a while until I started telling my therapist about him today, and then I realized that I have seen a relationship that works. Even if it’s only this one, I have seen it, and I remember it very clearly. I always will.
Okay, moving on to happier things! I spent a lot of today’s session telling my therapist how happy I was yesterday, and for the first time, I really began to understand how much I have the power to make myself happy. I have to take care of myself. This is something that I know I can do. This afternoon, I made a list of things that make me happy, so that when I am depressed, I can take a look at my list and pick something out and, hopefully, feel a little bit of joy.
1. A mug of cocoa or jasmine tulsi tea in the evening.
2. Snuggling up in the corner of my bed with a bunch of pillows, my stuffed duck Herbert, and a good book or movie.
3. Frozen yogurt with chocolate chips.
4. Oprah magazine.
5. The process of creating new recipes and cooking ingredients in fun new ways.
6. Talking to my friends in low-key settings.
7. Doing the crossword and the Sudoku from the newspaper before bed.
8. Yoga classes, especially finding my balance in half-moon pose.
9. Running in the spring when the buds on the trees are about to open up.
10. Neck and head massages.
11. Drawing with pastels and smudging the colors together.
12. Aimlessly exploring fun new neighborhoods in the city.
13. Smiling at people who look like they’re having a bad day.
14. Pretty jewelry and hair accessories.
15. Leaves, rocks, seashells, loose flower petals: finding things from nature and taking them home with me.
16. Learning new things about myself.
17. Learning what my body is like.
18. Playing; acting like a kid and not caring what people think.
19. Water: rivers, oceans, puddles, bathtubs, etc.
20. Lattes, because you can’t actually taste the coffee.
21. Talking to family members on the phone, especially my youngest cousin.
22. Watching the students I teach college prep to suddenly grasp a new concept.
23. Listening to classical music or good hip-hop.
24. Being Iranian because it’s unique and comes with lots of interesting traditions.
25. Shopping for new kitchen appliances.
Making my happy-list was wonderfully refreshing. I totally encourage you guys to make one, even if you don’t struggle with depression or emotional health. It’s just a nice thing to have around. I’m going to pin it to my wall by my door.
I have no idea where all these post-therapy thoughts come from, but sometimes it feels like they’re flying around in my head like rabid bats until I write them down. I actually really enjoy blogging about them because it helps me keep things straight. I hope it isn’t too painful/sad for you guys to read them. If so, let me know.
That’s all for this busy girl on a school night! I hope you are happy, healthy, and well!