Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.

30Jul/200

Anger / Depression

When I realize I’m beating myself up I’m trying to pause and acknowledge my anger. Not validate that I’m being hard on myself, unreasonable, but that I’m experiencing anger.

I acknowledge there’s so much to be angry about right now, how helpless I feel, and how ineffectual my efforts seem. I remind myself that directing the anger inward doesn’t resolve it.

I’m trying to learn to integrate my anger. What a hard lesson this is for someone who was forbidden from showing anger.

Today I'm especially grateful for the surprise of art in the mail from a beloved friend. It helped a lot with today's anger. I'm inspired to send out mail tomorrow.

28Jul/200

Boxing, Who Knew

Including the demo days, I've been doing 10-15 minutes of boxing with our Switch for a week now. Although I still feel awkward, it isn't as uncoordinated as I feel trying to doing dance moves.

I'm trying to use my whole body, it is all very different from the yoga movement. I'm surprised to find how good it feels to punch.

New shoes arrived today. Improved all activities and I like hour they look too!

27Jul/200

Mean Monday

Today's been one of those days where I feel like I'm not doing anything right. Doesn't matter what things I got done today, I didn't do enough, or well enough, or the right things, or...

It slowly built up over the day until I felt miserable. It makes everything feel fragile. The slightest thing results in feeling like a fuck up.

For example, for some reason I started brushing my teeth before flossing tonight. Not the order I was taught multiple times, not what I usually do, but there I was, brushing.

My brain, "You idiot! How could you fuck up flossing?!"

Then I did some boxing. Ducking is hard!

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26Jul/200

Boundaries

I’m getting better about setting boundaries, it’s a journey to learn this since my Mother raised me to have none. It goes along with learning to acknowledge my own needs as important.

It feels like boundaries are easier. Having needs, putting myself on my to-do list feels like more of a struggle. Granted, since I fundamentally struggle with feeling unworthy, it kind of makes sense that seeing my needs as worthy world be hard.

Today I told someone to wear their mask correctly and to keep their distance because they kept standing close to me at the market. Another white man, they have been the worst. He even fake lunged toward me and I told to stop joking around. I then finished conducting my business.

Boxing practice felt pretty good after that. Is joked online I'd picture the guy as my targets. Really I just thought about all the selfish people being jerks about masks and distancing.

I'm grateful to finally get a few blueberries from the middle season plant. The birds have been getting them, all of the early season ones!

25Jul/200

Throwing Punches

I'm enjoying the boxing game even more at I get more combos! I found I can turn the background music pretty much off and that's helping. I did some later tonight, hopefully I didn't wake up CK.

I feel like I'm being frivolous walking briskly while reading and while boxing, it's a game console after all. I'm trying to remind myself that these things, and bowling with CK, are all about more variety of movement for our health. Increasing my heart rate is good for me.

Those is as important as dishes. I'm going to keep reminding myself this until I believe it.

There's another post about learning to hit when it was so unsafe for me to ever consider using my fists to protect myself.

24Jul/200

Friends Outside

Today I dropped off yoga props with friends and two shops. Seven stops total. Getting straps, eye pillows, and a mat to friends felt good. I picked up specialty and bulky items, then dropped them off.

Got home and jumped right into dinner, granted it mostly consisted of making peanut sauce, but still! I went all out today.

At a few stops I hung out with folks outside for a little bit. It was good to see people, although it's still hard to hold back. I wore a mask the whole time. I'm glad I have more to use now!

It was tiring, perhaps 1 less stop next time! I also got something awesome in the mail today! These times are so strange and hard, I'm grateful for all the good moments!

23Jul/200

My Needs

Still trying to convince my critical self that I deserve rest, movement that isn't a household task, make at, and play on my own.

It is when I center myself that I get stuck. I don't put my own needs first on the list. I was trained not to and was still told I was selfish when I would try to do my own thing.

I then had spouses who took advantage of this. Which further pushed me into the habit of not caring for myself.

CK actively appreciates that I put her first, but also reminds me that I have to take care of me. We've lived through my not taking care of myself.

I'm not yet ready to say, "Me first!", but I'm accepting I need to be in the top 3.

We've been playing a bowling game! Exploring more things we can do at home together with more movement! CK ordered a set of controller for me, they won't get here until next month because I'm waiting for a set that are purple and orange!

22Jul/200

Cardio & Cholesterol

For most of my adult life I've been chasing a lower cholesterol number. For over a decade following a vegan diet and doing yoga has done the trick. Now at 50 it's not working so well. My doctor tested my blood at the beginning of the year and the numbers were high.

This month she tested again, an expanded panel on lipids, and the numbers are still high. Better than January, after months of student cookie gifts, donuts, and fried potatoes of all kinds. We hoped we'd see a significant change since the pandemic has kept us from eating out as much and I don't see students anymore.

The numbers did improve, but not as much as we'd hoped. Also not as much as expected, given my diet. I am not fat free and do get a fair bit of saturated fat from things like nuts, avocados, coconut milk in stuff, chips, and chocolate. Even then, I don't eat those things daily or excessively.

My doctor said she's wondering about a genetic issue.

I really don't want to have to go on a long search for a statin that doesn't cause joint pain, something I already live with, and doesn't cause brain fog. Something I also live with since C-PTSD causes me enough Trauma Brain fog already.

Today I sent my doctor some more family history, my concerns about statins, and a couple of questions of things I haven't done yet. The big one question I have is around exercise that raises my heart rate. The yoga I do has helped reduce my cortisol levels, but it doesn't really get my heart rate up.

My therapist and I discussed this too, I noted that in these pandemic days the only way my heart rate is getting up there is rage. While this is a good joke, we both agreed that some amount of time each day with my heart rate up will help with the rage and anxiety I'm experiencing, even if it doesn't help my LDL cholesterol!

I jumped right into it after that discussion. The past couple of nights I've done a very brisk, twenty minute walk on the treadmill. Today I also explored the Fitness Boxing game on the Switch, it's got a 3 day trial. I was surprised to find I really enjoy the boxing, so we're going to buy it and more controllers so we can both play it together.

I'm not actually getting my heart rate up to true "cardio" range, but high enough that I'm sweating and a little winded. Our treadmill gives some heart rate details, so I know I'm not staying up very high. My asthma doesn't do great at a high rate, it never has. I mentioned all this to my doctor in my letter today and asked if I have to be at a high burn for a long time to make any difference or is just getting it up higher for 20-30 minutes a day enough to potentially help?

I got to sleep faster last night. Tonight my mind's going fast, so I'm just writing this all out on my laptop to get it out! Now onto a little down dog and meditation.

21Jul/200

What’s On My List?

Today was Trauma Therapy Tuesday and I shared my realization about the discussion I'm having internally, somatically every night (yesterday's post). I was explaining that adding the 1b) option that reminds me that I'm always allowed to rest, the idea that I need to have accomplished enough to rest is the wrong idea!

My therapist agreed this was interesting, and that calling myself on the wrong thinking of needing to earn my rest is good. Then she blew my mind by asking me, "Is sleep on your list?"

My jaw dropped for a moment, totally giving away the fact that it wasn't even remotely near my list of things I need to do each day.

She's suggested that my list needs to start with sleeping, resting well, then feeding myself, then meditation. Those things always on the list first, and only meditation if I'm feeling like I'm rested and it will do me well. She asked if these were on the list, especially the first two.

"What's first on your list?", she asked.

"Feeding CK. Then feeding the creatures." I also conceded that this has caused many meals where I don't actually have my main dish. I've been so focused on every other living being eating, that I forget myself.

I'm to work on my list.

20Jul/200

Insomnia and Me

Every night I have 2 discussions with my Trauma Brain:

1a) I have completed enough tasks that I'm "allowed" to sleep.
1b) I'm always allowed to rest, 1a is wrong.

2) Sleeping is safe.

Yoga helps lots, I mediate or do some kind of physical practice. Often both.

Hot showers, just got out of one. Water is very helpful to me.

For many years I want aware of my fear of sleeping. Like many emotional states, I experienced the fear somatically. So much of my trauma is before cognitive integration was available to my brain, so I just don't feel right.

These days of pandemic and protests against police violence have made it harder to convince my body that I'm safe. When I feel less safe, my critical self spends a great deal of time telling me to go do the dishes, clean the floors, deal with the blackberries, catch up on email, finish the taxes, make a budget, defrost the freezer.....

And that's just taking a few seconds to transcribe my inner list of things I must do before resting, playing, creating art, etc.