Thursday, November 13, 2014

Feeling Better After Feeling Worse

One thing that's really surprised me about my retirement, is that my depression has ramped up. Another one of those surprises that really shouldn't be. One, my depression always hits in the fall, and two, now I just have more time to sit around and think sad thoughts. So there it is.

Today I just sat and cried for awhile, and I found it quite therapeutic. I have a great book on cognitive therapy and anxiety that I'm working my way through. The same author also has a well regarded book on depression. I'll be getting that one next. Blog posts on both to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Anxiety Up Close and Personal

Last night I went to a small party at an acquaintance's house. I was so nervous about going, because I just am. But I also was totally aware that if I didn't go, the next event would just seem even scarier.

In the end I had a good time. BUT, when I went to leave, I didn't realize that coats were in the back room, instead of the closet. So, oops, I rummaged around in her coat closet. I convinced myself that somehow I'd knocked something over in there, and something terrible would happen as a result.

I came home and worried for a bit. Then I wrote my worry on a 3x5 card, downward arrow all the way down to the part where she hated me, and I didn't have any friends ever again. And I stuck it next to my computer where it was right in my face. Seriously, after about 10 minutes, my anxiety was nearly gone. I know from past experience that normally that anxiety would have stayed with me at least overnight.

I should no longer be so surprised when cognitive therapy and exposure therapy work really really well, but apparently I am. Here's to more and more happy surprises.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Happy Fall

Hello, I'm back! I did leave my job in early October, and it's been a sort of strange transition. I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with myself now that I'm not working. In the past, whenever I've left a job, I've had a clear plan. No clear plan this time.

I have found that while my OCD is okay, my Generalized Anxiety has ramped up. Considering that it's fall and I'm not on any medication, I should probably be happy with where I've landed, but now I really have time to hunker down with my anxiety workbooks and do the work. So that's at least part of my plan.

Sheesh, I missed blogging the entire month of October. So that will be part of the plan, too. Not skipping entire months of blogging!

Friday, September 26, 2014

More Big Changes

I gave notice at work. Two weeks from today, I will be unemployed! I tried to leave last year, but for a number of reasons, decided the timing wasn't right. I switched to part time, and that was fantastic, but over the last few weeks, I've been dreading work. And even worse, dreading a bunch of upcoming projects. So, it was time. Now I feel like the next two weeks will never pass, but I always feel that way when looking forward to (or hoping to survive past) something in the future, so I know it'll be here soon enough.

I'm not quite sure what I'll do next. I have a bunch of volunteer plans, and I hope to take some classes. I have enough savings to take a significant chunk of time off, which I know is rare and I'm grateful for the flexibility.

One thing I will work on is my anxiety. I'm doing fine, but not as well as I want to. I'll certainly have the time now, so that's no excuse!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Traveling Anxiety Revisited

I decided to plan a trip. It's only been 7 months since my last one, which is nothing by my usual standards. It will be the first trip since I moved to the new apartment. Which apparently has ramped up my anxiety about it. The best thing about planning a trip as an exposure, is that you get to go do fun things! So it does at least balance off the anxiety a bit.

To continue on the theme of my last post, my new housing situation has really brought into clarity how little I do when I'm not working. It's especially noticeable when I compare myself to the busy busy busy culture all around me. I've actually found myself feeling a bit depressed about it. Luckily this is a problem with a fairly easy solution as well. It will require me to work on my social anxiety as well, but I can't really consider that a bad thing.

Hopefully all these exciting, new scary things will give some oomph to my blogging!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where Has the Month Gone?

I say that at the end of every month, so I should really stop being surprised by now. I'm utterly amazed at how much free time I have these days. Freedom from house repairs and leaving behind a big garden really makes a difference. I've found some volunteer options in my new neighborhood that look promising, so I should fill some of the time up soon. Not that I'm bored, but I am feeling unproductive.

I also plan to up my exposures this fall. I'd hoped to host a Fourth of July party at the new place, but anxiety foiled that idea. Now it's Labor Day weekend, a perfect time for a BBQ. Nope. Work to do on that front!

The date went well, but confusion remains about whether it was actually a date. Hrrmmph.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Made It

The house sale closed on Monday. It was not exactly a fun two weeks, but it was pretty okay, all things considered. A few weeks ago I stopped my medication, not by design, but because for some reason I forgot to take it. This time, my anxiety did not increase. I also think I'm getting better at using cognitive skills and exposure work, which certainly didn't hurt.

So now I have what I think is a date next week. I'm going hiking with a friend, but it doesn't strike me that we'd be going on a hike if it weren't a date. Anyway, I'd like it to be. This is a person who has noted that spending time with me is pleasantly low stress. Now, if we end up in a relationship, I know that I can't pretend to be mellow all the time, just to keep him happy. On the other hand, I'm happier when I'm mellow, too, so I want to really double down on practicing my OCD coping skills. We'll see what happens.