Personal Update – Feeling Better

It’s been a long time since I updated the “Blog” on my mental state. In general I am doing better. I still have issues, but fewer of them are related to depression.

There are several areas of my life that weigh me down, I’ve started to identify them and address them individually. This makes the overall process of digging myself out seem more manageable. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to get here.

Area 1: Private
The big contributor is not something I’m ready to talk about here, but I will someday.

Area 2: Clutter
Yes, I am a Rickey. I know that may not mean much to you, but I come from a line of hoarders. I won’t go into details, but the hoard runs strong in this family.

I am rereading a book from Zoey Arielle Poulsen called The Joy of Minimalism. I like her writing style, she communicates her thoughts and ideas in a way that makes sense to me. If you are going to read it, be aware, she could have used a proof reader.

This book is helping me to understand how much my excess of stuff is a burden and is motivating me to do something about it.

I have had issues minimizing, but I’ll write another article about that…

Area 3: A different kind of Clutter
I belong to several groups, some of them feed my soul, some of them feed on my soul. For me, there are two types of groups, active and passive. I guess I’ve been hoarding here as well, time to do some minimizing.

Active groups are clubs or organizations you have actively joined. This would include clubs, associations, teams, and I’m sure there are many others.

Passive groups you belong to just because of who you are and where you live. These are harder to deal with, at least for me.

Everyone belongs to passive groups. Think about your neighborhood, HOAs, work, school, church, health diagnosis, your coffee shop, and many others. These are all places where you see the same people repeatedly, you interact, you try to get stuff done. These groups can be just as satisfying or frustrating as your active groups.

I haven’t done the leaving part yet. I feel an attachment that is hard to break, I guess I just need to rip the bandage off and get it done. This seems like a burden as well, I need to hand off some responsibilities so I can leave on good terms. I don’t want to listen to the whining about how the group is “…about to change…”, but I know that’s going to come.

A related group in this area is individual relationships. This could include people that are actually friends, acquaintances, frenamies, family, associates, and the person that won’t take the hint and go away. This is a hard group to deal with. In some cases you can get away from them, others, you cant. In some cases you need to figure out how to deal with them, even when you will see them on a regular basis. Again, it’s time to do some minimizing.

Area 4: Health
I feel lucky in this area. My general health is quite good, except for my weight. Most of my standard indicators (blood work and blood pressure) are good, the others are close and getting better.

I am approaching a big milestone, the loss of 100 pounds. I’ve been on a plateau, hovering a few pounds above the goal, for about four weeks. I know this will pass, but it’s frustrating.

Dealing with my weight has been a long process that will continue for the foreseeable future. I’m taking the Healthy Balance class through Kaiser Permanente. I recommend this program for kaiser members trying to loose weight. It addresses many areas relating to healthy foods, mental processes around eating, exorcise, and more. They don’t teach a diet, rather they teach a structure for healthy living. This will help me to remain healthy after I reach my weight loss goal.

Area 5: Negative Self-Talk
Self-talk refers to those comments you make about your self, usually in your head. These can be fantasies about the future, a narrative about something going on, affirmation or degradation about yourself, rehearsing conversations, and many others.

I have a lot of negative self-talk. It is depressing, it is not productive, it doesn’t help to motivate me, and it leads me to not take action. Why don’t I take action? Because it probably won’t help (self-talk talking).

This area is something I recently discovered. Yes, I knew it was there, but I didn’t think about how it was affecting me. I’m also not sure about how to deal with it. For now, I will recognize it, consider it, and dismiss it.

I want to learn more about mindfulness, I think the practices used during mindful meditation would help me.

Interesting side note. I met a mother and daughter recently. The daughter is 7 and was born deaf. She recently received cochlear implants and is catching up on verbal skills, but she does sign. The kid signs her self-talk. Ok, it seemed interesting to me.

Conclusion
A year ago I could not distinguish these areas, I was completely overwhelmed. Identifying my biggest challenges makes it easier for me to deal with self-talk, I’m able to put it into a bucket so it can be addressed.

There are still a lot of things I feel powerless to change. As I move forward I’m hoping to gain the power and make positive changes.

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