Tue Feb 18 2020

Group therapy today. I’m sitting in the waiting area. I organized my papers using the binder thingy that I used to keep important papers in. Wow this paper writes smooth! I’m surprised that this paper writes so well and it’s only a BASIC tablet. I got it at a thrift store.

CoDA is tonight at 6. I’m indifferent about it. I’m excited about playing Squad this evening with B. I’m assuming he’s going to play tonight. I have no idea. He seemed to have fun last night. I think I just caught myself in a codependent thought. The thought that my mood is dependent on B’s mood.

It’s not though. And I have no intention of behaving that way. I know too much to behave that way. The other day, B. had a bad night and he was vocal about it.

It didn’t affect me like it might have in the past. He’s going to behave a certain way, and it’s out of my control.

I can’t rescue. Even if I feel the urge to rescue, my efforts would be a waste because B. would have his own agenda. I think B. could benefit from a group like CoDA, or a therapist, but that’s not my decision to make. I simply have to trust B. to do what works for him, and solve any problems he might have.

I certainly don’t like when B. rages and chews out teammates, acts completely irrational and doesn’t accept responsibility for his actions. I don’t think he gets a free pass when he’s got more kills then everyone else on the team either. The only person who should be held to his standard is he himself. Nobody has his experiences, therefore nobody can be as good as him. I don’t think it’s right to shit on people weaker than I, and I don’t appreciate that same mentality that is common among so many advanced gamers.

I would see it in League of Legends all the time. Verbal abuse seemed to take place in every other post-game, where the winning team would shit on the losing team, and the best performing winners would shit on their teammates. “This team is heavy.” “my back hurts.” “X, you suck.” “X, uninstall please.”

They could be saying these things jokingly, but the thing about text is that text as a communication medium contains too low of bandwidth to convey nuance and jovial jest.

Some people may enjoy that sort of thing, but I usually do not. I don’t like receiving those sentiments and I appreciate the golden rule and abstain from participating in such banter.

I don’t play LoL anymore. I haven’t for about 2 years now. I stopped playing when I started realizing that I played LoL to ignore my feelings and escape from people. LoL had become an anti-social behavior, a lot like drinking alone.

Today’s mindfulness exercise during group was to meditate and think of two things that I am grateful for.

I used to play with fireworks a lot so I am grateful for my hands, and that I didn’t blow off any fingers. I’m grateful that I am able to type, make things, and drive in ways that I could only do with two fully functioning hands.

I’m grateful for group therapy. I’m grateful that I learned strategies for dealing with my emotions.

I shared that first grateful item with group. I didn’t share the second one, and now thinking back, I’m kinda bummed. I should have shared that because I didn’t say it otherwise. I said thank you at the end, but group is over and I didn’t get to express my gratitude to the two people who put it on.

The good things in life are the relationships that I can have. Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude for them when I am able.

I’ll just keep that in mind as I move forward. Every now and then, I could say a little more than just, “thanks.” Thanks is a bad form of currency for most people. Thanks gets overused, uttered unnecessarily, tossed in a sentence as a crutch word…

Anyway, back to group. We actually have one more meeting next week in which a winner of the raffle will be chosen. The winner gets a gift card for coffee! I want that gift card! I’m still not sure if I’d use it, or try to redeem it for cash via one of the websites which does that sort of thing.

I do love coffee, but I don’t want to start up a habit of going to coffee stands. If anything, I want a bag of coffee which I could then prepare at home using the coffee maker my sister A. gave to me.

I learned something today during group that is very good information. How does one get into wise mind? There are three steps.

  1. Observe.
  2. Describe.
  3. Participate.

Observing must be done without words. As if the thing I’m observing is something I’ve never seen before. Observing must be looked at and expressed as emotions, not words. This seems like a difficult task to do without words, but it is important.

Describing comes next, and this is where words can come into play. Describe the thing using just the facts. Don’t make assumptions or judgement.

Participating is something I’m unsure of. What does it mean in this instance? I’m not sure! I didn’t take good notes on that. Perhaps I can ask K. about it.

There’s a nutrition group coming up in March. I would like to attend it, if able. The only thing that I can think of which would stop me from participating is the fact that I am doing another group during March. Shame resilience. I need lots of that. I need a whole year of that!

I often label my emotions in a group setting as fear. I’ve learned with the help of group therapy that I’m more often feeling shame, not fear.

Shame to be in the group. Shame that I don’t belong. Shame that my presence is annoying to the people around me. Shame that I’m a nuisance. Shame that my words and my ideas are taking away from the time the group could be talking about their own ideas.

I have to check the facts in these instances. In CoDA last week when I felt this, I was feeling shame for reaching out and trying to pass the clipboard to the person on my left. I interpreted the situation as if I were in the way of the clipboard. My body sitting where it was at was not appreciated and it was just a barrier.

I think I talked about this yesterday so I won’t go into it. But the reality after checking the facts is that nobody has made me feel like I wasn’t welcome. Nobody has expressed malice or discontent or coercion towards me. The facts are the opposite. The group has expressed their gratitude for me being there. They have told me it’s good to see me. They have said, “welcome” with a smile.

4:48PM. I should probably eat something before CoDA. I wonder what we’re going to talk about today?

We usually read from the group so people have ideas of what to share. Then once someone shares, there’s usually a lot of sharing after that, and not as much reading.

I learned a useful thing about anxiety from a celebrated and accomplished MMA fighter, Rashad Evans. What a chill guy Rashad is. I am not into MMA but I have been watching a lot of JRE podcast lately, so I came across an episode with Rashad.

I thought that anxiety just doesn’t occur in certain people’s minds. I’m not so sure that’s true anymore. There might be extreme cases of people who don’t have any form of anxiety, but it was eye opening to hear that Rashad has struggled with anxiety.

Rashad’s anxiety was about his upcoming fights, not social anxiety like I experience, but fear is fear. He asked his coach about what he should do to deal with that anxiety, and his coach gave him some sage advice.

“Don’t think about the outcome, think about the execution.”

Powerful words! This resonates with me so well, because the fear I have when in social settings is about what will happen as a result of what I say or do. I dwell on those thoughts, and start a vicious cycle of negative ideation.

I just wanted to use, “ideation” in a sentence. Not sure if I used it correctly!

I can apply that quote to my own life, by thinking more about execution and not giving the outcome much thought. I can communicate in a way that is healthy for me, and healthy for the relationships that I want to maintain. I can set healthy boundaries. I can communicate my needs.

Things might not work out, but that’s okay. I come first because I’m worth it. I come first because I am important.

I applied for two jobs yesterday. Tedder Industries jr. web developer, and 2barrels. I don’t think I’ll get either of them, but at least I tried. I’m not going to regret having done so. I would however, feel regret if I had not.

I was freaking out about money yesterday, unsure of how I was going to make rent. Now I’m content to know that my tax return will cover my rent for February. March is still a big deal, as well as the debts I have to pay off. April is going to come around soon enough, and that’ll be another $400 I have to spend on rent. Not to mention my food, auto insurance, and gas requirements…

I would like to make eBay work for me, but it’s clear that eBay will require a very large upfront investment in order to have the sales volume I need to live off of the income. A certain amount of money has to sit in eBay inventory and I can’t touch that money. Right now it’s just not a viable option to do eBay full time. It’s not that fun or interesting or fulfilling, either. I want to be part of a group that makes cool shit and get paid to work there and learn and grow as a person.

I don’t see any other path than to get a day job. Whether that’s web development or manufacturing gun holsters, I need some form of income so I can advance my true passions.

I think being part of a group in an office environment is less than ideal, because I or someone else could be terminated at any point. That’s a shaky foundation for friendships.

Ideally, I want to be a nerd programmer who makes trading card apps and websites of all sorts of interesting varieties. Then my friends can be friends who want to be friends because of common interests, not just because we work together and have to spend time together because that’s our job.

Whatever. A healthy mix of both is probably good. But the point is that I need some sort of gig that gives me reliable cash so I can eat and save for my future, and buy a car that better suits my needs, and get a housing solution which removes the threat of losing the roof over my head for happening to mention that I’m a fan of Marijuana or Psilocybin.

That’s what I have right now. I can’t be myself because I’m hiding myself. My true self is suppressed because my true self would probably get me evicted.

It’s time for that kind of change. Moving out!

I mentioned 2 things I’m grateful for, so I’ll add one more as well as write down some affirmations to close out this post.

I’m grateful for meditation. I’m grateful that meditation comes in lots of varieties which aid in self reflection and calming my mind.

71. My hard work is already paying off.
76. Today, I forgive myself.
79. I am not the only one who struggles; I choose to be kind to everyone I meet.

79 reminds me of something that happened that I want to address. We were playing Squad, B., S., and I. I was squad leader. I was short with a player who I could not understand due to the background noise I heard in their microphone audio.

I let them know I couldn’t understand. I described to them the noise I was hearing (woman speaking in background.) It was a tense moment and I don’t think I handled it particularly badly, but I think I could have done a little better.

What I did was I wrote them off. I dismissed them as unintelligible, even though they might have had something important to say. We were in a rush to move, but I think I could have ducked into cover with him and figured out what he was saying. Alternatively, I could have requested that he type out what he was trying to communicate to me in chat.

Notes for future Squad communications.

Have a good day, thanks for listening.

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