Therapy Tuesday

Today’s Happy Note: Walking through the evening air after a very long day.  It had just rained and it totally cleared my head and calmed me down.  The night sky is the most wonderful deep purple in summer and I feel like the stars are shining especially for me.

Workout: Squeezed in a quick 3.5 mile run in the late afternoon.  Also probably walked another 3 miles throughout the day.  Still having trouble waking up early to workout.  *Sigh*, maybe next week.

Therapy Tuesday:

Today was a bit confusing.  Both stressful and soothing — it was a difficult day to begin with because I had a lot to do for both jobs, and getting deep into my inner thoughts and self was a sort of added pressure.  I ended up taking part of the afternoon off work, which helped me get my thoughts straight.

Part of the reason I felt overwhelmed was that our conversation was all over the place.  I just had a lot on my mind and we sort of bounced around.  This is usually okay, but today it just added to the stress snowball!  There was a common theme though: punishing myself/feeling consistently bad about myself and believing that I deserve to feel consistently bad.  This came through in everything we talked about — from my sleep patterns to my relationship with my father.  It’s not a feeling that’s always there, but it is present in so many things I do and it is not soothing nor is it productive.  One thing I am eternally grateful to L for is pointing out moments when I judge myself.  Which is pretty much all the time.  L likes to emphasize that both the frequency and intensity of my feeling bad/sad can and will be lessened.  I believe her and trust her a lot but don’t feel so hopeful/confident myself.  I guess I do believe that I can grow and change and relate better to others, it’s just that feeling bad/sad is what I know.  Learning how to feel good more often (I do sometimes, as L reminded me!) is scary.  I am not sure what this might mean.  It sounds fun, but I’m apprehensive.  I think that, looking at the bigger picture, I have already moved towards feeling good/happy more in the past 9 months with L.  So a part of me is hopeful that I can feel that way more often.

“Bad” Caronae looks like: not fun, too loud, unloveable, gloomy, too shy around others, unattractive.  “Good” Caronae looks like the real me; it’s how I actually feel when I do believe in myself: tall, nice hair, creative, funny, active, loving, kind, fun to be around.

I feel like I am unhappy or “bad” because a part of me deserves this; like that’s how I’m meant to be.  I told L a story about some of my sleep problems lately — nightmares/waking up all night and oversleeping in the morning, then stressing out about it all the rest night — and concluded by saying something along the lines of “and therefore this is bad and I am bad.”  While this seemed like an obvious connection to me, she didn’t buy it.  It was refreshing to hear her say that a  minor disruption or disturbance in my life is okay.  I can manage these things.  They do not mean I am a bad person nor do they have to make a bad day.  I definitely replicate this kind of situation all the time in my everyday life.

L is always telling me to “just sit” or “be” with my feelings but I have had trouble understanding this.  Today I asked her to explain what she meant: she said that by experiencing our feelings and then letting them pass, eventually, we learn that we can deal with them and they will be less intense in the future.  The thing is: I am already a pretty intense “feeler”.  I spend a lot of time feeling things — that’s part of the reason I can’t sleep half the time!  Am I doing something wrong?  Am I not feeling things properly?  Am I somehow secretly turning away from my feelings?  I just feel confused because if (a) feeling things or being with my feelings is truly supposed to make things better and (b) I already do this then (c) what am I supposed to do and (d) why hasn’t it worked before?

L accused me of trying to change the subject at one point when I was talking about my feelings surrounding father’s day.  I find father’s day upsetting and difficult and it always leaves me unsettled.  I have been totally out of it the last few days thinking about it.  What it means to be a father or a daughter.  To relate to our parents.  To forgive past mistakes.  Obviously, it was uncomfortable to talk about these things.  Maybe I was trying to change the subject.  I don’t know.  I guess I’m just not really sure what “sitting with” my feeling in this instance would mean.  I know that I talk about things a lot — I acknowledge what’s going on with me; I am honest with L.  I am just not sure what else I must do…

It’s kind of funny writing this.  I feel like I am judging myself and using a lot of good/bad and right/wrong thinking.  L hates this kind of thing!  She would tell me I’m not doing anything wrong at all and that whatever path is unfolding before me is the one that is supposed to be there.  Maybe I need to have faith in that.  At the same time, I am just so anxious to improve or get better. But I am also beginning to have a major realization — therapy might not be about “improving” or “getting better.” Rather, maybe it’s about just exploring and relating with L.  I think I want to trust myself and not be so obsessed with changing.  Many people like me the way I am, and I know that I will have opportunities to meet new friends and mates in my life.  I think I have some faith, at this moment, that L is helping me learn and grow in new directions.  Certainly I have worked hard to explore and talk and discover.

Sometimes meditating a bit helps me at times like this.  It helps me remember that, as L points out during the bad times, things aren’t always bad.

I feel like if I weren’t “bad” or “deserving punishment” someone would love me, romantically speaking.  It’s frustrating to feel like no one wants to be with you and that you’re no fun.  It seems useful to understand the origins of my feelings; why I feel a certain way at a certain time.   But I feel frustrated about the lack of romantic love in my life all the time. Outside of a date once or twice a year, it really is all the time.  I am not sure if this is something that will simply pass in a year or two (or a month or two).  I truly don’t know.  I do know that I don’t like it.  That I want to love and be loved.  And, going back to something I said earlier, I think I just want to have faith in my ability to grow, and the possibility of good things happening.

It is nice to hear L tell me that things will be better.  This is encouraging.  I feel frustrated that my bad/sad self seems tied to so many relationship problems (family, friends, romance).  But I am beginning to believe in me.  That’s a start.

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Workout/Gear

Today’s Happy Note: I have heard.  From an Exclusive Upper West Side source.  That there is a Trader Joe’s planned for 72nd and Broadway.  Breather, Caronae.  Breathe.  This is the greatest thing to happen in New York.  Since Union Square Trader Joe’s.

Today was decent but would have been much better if my sleeping hadn’t been so…disrupted…last night.  I kept waking up tangled in my sheets in deep panic that either (a) there was an axe murderer in my closet or (b) my fan, which has creepy red lights on it, was an evil monster.  I forgot to take my sleep medication last night and I am guessing that was the cause.  It was a very eerie experience.  One minute I would be wide awake craving a moment of sleep, the next moment I would be waking up from a nightmare never wanting to fall back asleep again.  Very bizarre.

I left the office early to do stuff for my other job and just ended up passing out back at my apartment.  Meh.  I had a great workout after I woke up though!

40 minutes full-body strength training.  I lifted hard and heavy for a lot of different exercises.  My arms, back, abs, legs — everything was screaming afterwards.  It felt amazing.  I love when you have a great strength session and you feel physically and mentally stronger afterwards.  I hit up the elliptical for an insane 30 minute HIIT sesh after the weights.  Not sure why it felt tougher than usual but I was drenched and my heart was racing!

I have made an important discovery of which I must inform you: I have found the most comfortable, fitting, soft, stretchy, breathable workout shirt ever.

It’s a pink Under Armor tank with a criss-cross back. It is dry-wicking.  The best thing about it is the way it fits.  I have sort of a strange upper-body and it is very hard to find workout tops that fit right.  For one, I have a very long torso.  This shirt is amazingly long!  My other problem is that, compared to my relatively thin waist, I am, well, rather well-endowed.  I have never found a tank with a built-in sports bra that supports me.  This didn’t just provide plenty of support and coverage, it also seemed to make my chest look somewhat normal-sized!

Okay, so do you want to know the deal-breaker?

It was $12 at TJMaxx.  Everyone has a different body, but if you have any features similar to mine, I would highly recommend this.  I literally can’t wait to do the laundry so I can wear it again. 🙂  Your favorite workout gear?

Eats hodgepodge: had three delicious meals today, plus plenty of delicious snacks.  There are a few things I haven’t minded eating hot lately — namely eggs and wraps/quesadillas.  There are something about warm cheese and hummus that just melts my heart.

Love fun tops on bottled iced tea!

Giant colors salad!  Red, orange, yellow, many shades of green, white.  What are your favorite colors to eat?

About to enjoy some new ice cream/sorbet finds and maybe frozen fruit!

Weekend Workouts + Cold Foods + Things to Look Forward to

Today’s Happy Note: Food Network!  There are a few shows on FN that annoy me but for the most part I’m fascinated.  I love Ace of Cakes and Next Food Network Star.  I tend to be a much simpler cook than most of those on FN, but it is nice to be inspired sometimes, even if the dishes are a bit complicated for my tastes.

Lots of great workouts this weekend!  I wanted to do a long run but just was not in the mood to run in the heat or to do a long/continuous/boring workout.  I was actually going to be doing another ultramarathon around the island today (with the same guy I have done the last two with) but, when I realized it was going to be 85-90 degrees all afternoon, I passed.  I am NOT a heat/humidity runner at all.  Send me out with four layers in a ten degree blizzard and I’m fine.  But the heat?  I just sort of wilt.  The sun exhausts me!  I would have loved to do an ultra today but I knew it wasn’t going to happen.  I’m glad I listened to my body — I just had these terrible visions all morning of me lying in a hospital bed dying of kidney failure.  Not a good image to go into a race with.

Anyways.  My actual workouts: Yesterday I did a 4 mile run followed by 15 minutes HIIT on the elliptical and 10 minutes weights.  Today was split up into three sections: Three mile walk, 30 minutes kayaking (!) and 30 minutes yoga/kettlebell.

I must say, it is quite refreshing not dragging myself through long, monotonous workouts when I don’t want to!

What do you do for a workout when you don’t want to do something long but you still want to sweat?

Kayak pictures:

Dragging my hands and feet in the water definitely lowered my core body temperature a good ten degrees.  To a normal level.  Or so.

Lots of cold eats. Seriously, I think all of my meals today involved yogurt.  I don’t like to eat more than one or two servings of dairy a day since it can be harder to digest.  But there are just not enough cold foods on this earth.  Especially now that my blender is broken.  I do not know how much more of summer I can handle sans blender.

Anyone have any cold food suggestions that don’t consist of yogurt or frozen fruit or require a blender?

I saw someone make a list of thing to look forward to for the week the other day.  I thought it sounded fun and decided I want to participate. 🙂

  • Gymnastics class (assuming I find time this week)
  • Friday night yoga
  • Long run
  • Spin???
  • Meeting the students I’ll be working with for my non-profit job
  • Getting paid (hey, it’s important)
  • Therapy (I’m weird; I do indeed look forward to my time with L)
  • Working on my book of poems
  • Ocean swimming this weekend?

Sounds like plenty of fun!  What are you looking forward to?

Mental health note:  I have become really good over the last few weeks at identifying stressful situations.  This sounds obvious, but sometimes when you’re in a moment of panic — the internet stops working or you find out your great uncle is dying or anything really — it can be hard to talk yourself down.  I’m proud of myself for beginning to institute my self-soothing and destressing techniques.  Go me!

Adventure Saturday: Mermaid Edition.

Today’s Happy Note: Ocean.  Water.  Beach.  Sand.  Seashells.  Waves.  Boardwalk.  Wading.  Wet.  Island.  Mermaids.

I had a spectacular Adventure yesterday!  Any guesses based on my Happy Note?  If you don’t live in NY you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

So what am I talking about?  Coney Island and the Mermaid Parade of course!

Not really sure how to describe the Mermaid Parade.  Other than that it is a parade.  Of Mermaids and such.  It’s just one of those random New York things that everybody loves.  There were goth mermaids, dead mermaids, sexy mermaids, drag mermaids, mermen, child mermaids, pink mermaids, fairy mermaids. Any kind of mermaid. You name it, it was there.

The mermaids were all beautiful, I thought.  Although some just seemed to be taking advantage of the opportunity to wear as little clothing as possible.  It was hot as hell.  What I liked most about the Parade was seeing so many different women — of all ages, races, shapes, heights, backgrounds.  All of whom were, for the most part, comfortable in their own skin.  I saw stretch marks and tummies and thighs.  But I also saw dancing and confidence and smiles.  To me, this is amazing.  It made me want to feel comfortable too.  Just being there was inspiring.  Hopefully I’ll be a little less afraid to prance around the beach in a swimsuit next time!

To all the women out there — mermaids or not — you are lovely the way you are.  Thank you for the vibrancy of your personality and your ability to dance.

But there was more than just mermaids!  Also:

Friends!

I love jumping in and out of the waves.  Oceans are the best thing ever.  Believe it or not, despite living in NYC for three years, I had never set foot in the ocean here before yesterday.

Next up: Wheel of Wonder.

I fueled myself with lots of yummy things!

Apples, peas, moose tracks ice cream.  Perfection.

One spectacular Saturday Adventure.  I just might be headed off on another Adventure right now.  You’ll have to come back tonight to see! 🙂

Happy Sunday friends!  Plans?  Adventures?  Shenanigans?  Escapades?

Yoga, Summer Foods, New Friends!

Today’s Happy Note: Weekly Trader Joe’s visit. 🙂  I always find new fun treats at TJ’s.  It’s my favorite.  Bonus: super cute checkout boy who randomly grew up in a small town near the small town where I grew up!

No post yesterday because  of emergency work business.  Gah.  One of the downsides of having two jobs means that I’m kind of always “on call.”  If it’s not emails from patrons at my office, it’s phone calls with students from the other job or paperwork or photocopies.  I had a lot of trouble getting up early to workout this week.  I feel like maybe it was a hormonal thing — normally I can drag myself out of bed around 7 but this week I even slept through my alarm a few times, or turned it off altogether.  This rarely happens.  My guess is hormones or stress.  I have had plenty of me time so I know that can’t be the issue…

Workouts!  Yesterday I did a 4 mile walk, 10 minutes with my new kettleball, and 20 minutes yoga in the park.  Today about 2 miles walking and an hour yoga class with my favorite teacher.

I have not wanted to run much lately, probably because of the humidity.  I already sweat a lot (related to my PCOS) and intense humidity makes that even worse.  Hopefully I can maybe do a nice short run and swim tomorrow and I might have a surprise for you on Sunday!  You’ll have to wait and see. 🙂

Fun eats!

Yogurt and frozen fruit go so nicely together in summer.  I am loving frozen berries, cherries, and mango chunks.

Those are beans.  Not poop.

Cookie Friday a la Tina!  This had vanilla, macadamia, and coconut.  Twas very tasty, although I’m sort of feeling a little overloaded on carbs (I just had fruit and two bowls of cereal for dinner).  Sugar coma.  Meh.

Tomorrow I am going to have a spectacular adventure!  That might mean two adventures in one weekend if my Sunday Surprise Adventure turns out as well!  Wow.  That’s a lot of Adventuring.  Maybe I’ll meet my adventure soulmate.  Or just a new friend.  I think it’s really important to make and cultivate new friendships.  I can’t be close to every individual I meet, but a few new rewarding friendships never hurt anybody.

1.  What’s your favorite summer food? I am loving the frozen fruit, coconut, cold milk/yogurt, crunchy carrots, fresh spinach/other leafy greens, and sorbet!

2. Do you make new friends easily?  Do you have a lot of friends or just a few? I like to have a decent amount of friends but too many people at once will overwhelm me.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  What Adventures do you have planned?

Running Love and Wrap Love

Today’s Happy Note: Just saw the Karate Kid movie with a friend and it was awesome!  Also got in some much needed social time.  I adore Jackie Chan and totally want to be a kung fu master now.

One of the reasons I love running is because it gives me time to think.  Don’t get me wrong — not every run is a blissful hour of perfect thought.  Sometimes my runs are sluggish, sweaty, messy heaps of boredom or pain.  But those runs when you get your head nice and cleared and you can spend 20 or 30 minutes daydreaming or planning — those are one of the main impetuses behind my running.  I love the endorphins and the sheer joy that comes with flying down a new trail.  But I also treasure the alone time.  I have learned how to lose myself in my own head, even on a hot crowded afternoon in Central Park.

Today was terribly humid, but after a few miles I sort of filtered that out and just…thought.  It was a very pleasant 7 miles.  I threw in 5 or 6 speedy bursts as well.  I am a terrible speed runner.  I try to go fast, I really do, but my muscles just don’t seem to want to move that way.  I would rather run longer and slower than shorter and faster.  The problem for me is that anything less than 6 or so miles falls clearly into the “shorter” category.  I don’t mind this, it just means there aren’t a lot of races available for me.  And to be honest, I don’t like racing.  I said it.  I.  Don’t.  Like.  To.  Race.  I love ultramarathons and like half-marathons and presumably marathons, but I don’t necessarily want to race them.  Is this weird?  Do you run for speed or distance or both?  Do you find it easier to go faster or to slow down and go longer?

Proof of sweatiness.

Eats!  I haven’t shared anything in what feels like years.  Some highlights:

Wraps — lots and lots of wraps.  Why didn’t I realize how good wraps were before?  Seriously so much better than sandwiches.  I have been using various combos of hummus, beans, guacamole, cheese, and veggies.  The flavors get all melty together and they’re oh so wonderful.

Tastiest thing you’ve eaten so far this week?

For me?  Piles and piles of plain shredded coconut.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week.  Only two more days until the weekend!

Healthy Stress Relieving and Therapy Tuesday!

Today’s Happy Note: Watching Cupcake Wars.  I absolutely love Cupcakes — making and eating them!  My favorite is peanut butter and chocolate.  What’s your favorite cupcake flavor?

Good news: I got myself a kettleball (sp?) at TJ Maxx tonight!  It was only $6.  Bad news: My blender is broken.  What could possibly have happened?  I use it a lot so maybe it overheated.  It’s a basic proctor-silex.  Thoughts?

Had a nice relaxing 6-mile run last night!  Took today as a rest day and just did a 3-mile walk.  I like having a rest day during the middle of the week, it breaks up the routine nicely.

Last night I had a mini freak-out (felt overwhelmed by work stuff) and, after taking a few deep breaths, made a plan: first I took a 45-minute nap, then read for a few minutes, then headed out for my run.  I was very proud of myself for this!  Normally, I would not soothe myself so well — I might choose unhealthier mechanisms which only end up making me feel worse.  I decided to make a list of my favorite stress-soothing techniques:

  • Going for a quick jog (doesn’t necessarily have to be an intense workout!)
  • Reading books — especially my favorite Neruda collection
  • Giving myself a foot massage/pedicure (nail color suggestions???)
  • Playing with my hair (I love trying new styles)
  • Playing mah-jongg
  • Taking care of my plants, Fanny and Balthazar
  • Writing-ranting in my journal
  • Taking fun classes at the gym
  • Yoga (especially forward folds)
  • Making plans with friends for the weekend
  • Daydreaming
  • Thinking about (but not stressing over) my future

Unhealthy stress relieving techniques that I am making an effort not to turn to:

  • Wallowing in my own pain (crying/sobbing, feeling badly)
  • Self-loathing
  • Bingeing/restricting
  • Isolating myself
  • Punishing myself in any other ways

What’s on your instant destressing list? I would love to add plate smashing like a certain friend but I have no old plates.  When I do, you can bet they’re going to be smashed. 🙂

I know this has been a talky post but I am just not in the mood for pictures.  Bear with me.

Therapy Tuesday

Another good week with lots of insights and comfort — two of the most important things to me in my therapy experience.  I love how I am learning about the actual experience of therapy.  I think this is relevant to my journey; it isn’t exclusively about what’s inside my head.  It’s also about how I think and speak and interact with others.  All  of this comes out in the way I interact with L.  Sometimes, quite frankly, I just enjoy having someone to talk with seriously every week.  A lot of my friends and acquaintances don’t value emotional intimacy in the exact way I do — I do not begrudge them this.  We are all made differently.  But I need to talk about my feelings and share them with others. I always have been this way and probably always will be!  This leads me into my next point…

I have had a sort of epiphany in the last week regarding just how important my writing is to me.  I have always known that writing is integral to my life, but, in reading Seducing The Demon: Writing For My Life (by Erica Jong) this past week, I realized that it is also integral to my identity. My whole way of being is tied to my writing.  The good, the bad, the wonderful — it all comes back to writing.  I write about everything.  I share everything.  I notice things.  Words mean everything to me.  They have saved my life. I understand that other people do not necessarily live their lives this way; Erica’s book helped me see this.  And I don’t mind being “different.”  I just need to be observant of that.

Another thing I have noticed about my writing lately is a new found confidence.  A big thing I talked about with L today was my self-loathing.  It has seeped through into most areas of my life, beginning with my body.  But there is one area that it has not invaded and I will not let it invade: my writing.  I believe in myself as a writer. Even if it’s just this one thing, that’s a start.  I want to work with L on not hating myself so much.  I really want to be a confident person — it’s not especially fun to hate my body, my abilities, my relationships with others.  I agree with L that this is a sort of road block in my interactions with men.  I feel like I have made so much dating/flirting/male relationship “progress” this past year and I am proud of myself for that.  I know I’m ready to move forward even more, and I think this is going to be a learning experience.  I certainly do not want my ability to be happy or to believe in myself to be tied to a partner, but I do think that having more experiences with men will at least help build my confidence and lessen my self-loathing.  I guess this is just another “project” for the summer.  I have a few boys I’m thinking of. 🙂

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