Posted in loss

Griefball

grief like an ocean
image courtesy of whatsyourgrief.com

Editors note – Griefball is kind of like dodgeball, but not as painful. Or more painful, but without the giant red balls (if you or someone you love has giant red balls, please seek immediate medical attention).

Well, it’s Wednesday again – and my attempt to reboot my blog with theme days (Motivational Monday, Weird/Wacky Wednesdays) is not working for me. I’m not surprised. I’ve always been more of a “go with the flow” hippy/dippy chick (which irritates my inner Virgo no end). Plans are good, but we need to make room for all of Life’s surprises – or, as my Jewish grandmother would say Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht (Man plans, and God Laughs).

Which is just a long-winded explanation excuse for why I’m not sharing news of the weird. 

Can I be honest? (does anyone ever respond to that with “no, please lie to me”?) I’m not in the mood for weird and wacky. I tried being light and funny, but Tears of a Clown started running through my head (yes, it’s an earworm – if I have to suffer, so do you). 

Today is the deathaversary of my brother of heart. It’s been a rough week. Last week was his heavenly birthday, and today marks four years since he “shuffled off his mortal coil.” It’s weird. It feels like forever ago, and yet, it feels like I just talked talked to him yesterday. It could be because Time has been melted by the Pandemic, or that he keeps popping up in Facebook Memories. Then again, if The Sixth Sense is to be believed, it’s because he talks to me when I think I’m dreaming. He’s one ofthe many friends and family members who pop up at inopportune times (i.e. when I’m dreaming of fruity rum being served up poolside by cabana boys.)

I used to think that there was a time limit to grief. I was wrong. I also thought that there were stages to grief. I was wrong about that too. Or maybe not quite. There are stages to grief, but there isn’t linear progression from loss to healing. Sana’s post explains it better. “Grief is hard to understand as it entails so many different emotions and looks differently for each person.” Her post includes the perfect image for how grief works.

griefball

So today is a grey day. As it so happens, it’s grey outside too. I love the rain, but the fact that the sky is reflecting my mood is weird, which means this is the perfect post for a Wednesday after all.

So tell me – how do you deal with grief and earworms?

For those of you who are younger than dirt, here’s Smokey:

Posted in motivational mondays

Love, Me*

motivational-monday
image courtesy of blog.terrificwords.com

It’s Motivational Monday. To be perfectly honest, I’m not feeling very motivated. But as I said earlier, I am trying to be a better blogger, so I am learning to write even when I don’t feel up to the challenge (yay me! Um…yeah. Even that small attempt at a boost failed to make me feel any less Meh.)

I could blame the environment (literal, political, social – take your pick) or the fact that this time of year SUCKS ASS (too many heavenly birthdays and deathaversaries) but it doesn’t really matter. To be honest (albeit not perfectly) it’s entirely possible that I’m just a Bitch (I’m sure my housemates would vote for the last one. After 14 months of quarantine, we’re all shopping for white oleander).

The why is not important. What matters is that I’m writing even though I don’t want to – because it’s Monday, and it’s the first day of a new month, which means it’s a good time to begin again quick reminder – you can choose to begin again at any moment – now is as good a time as any). I also got a nudge from Love Yourself Infinitely:

How To Move Forward In Life » Love Yourself Infinitely

“Life is not a bed of roses. We all learn this truth one day, in one form or the other. There are times when we feel alone, face setbacks, and end up feeling stuck in one place. This fear of failure or disappointment leaves one stagnant. Sometimes it is lack of motivation, positivity, or mere courage that holds us back from getting up and moving forward in life.”

I’ve been watching the replay of “Becoming Unstoppable: a 1-Day Live Confidence-Building Virtual Event” lead by Jamie Kern Lima. She created the event to celebrate the release of her book Believe It. The book tells her story of overcoming doubt, fear and haters (“No one is going to buy makeup from someone who has your body”). Her story is amazing, as were the guests who showed up during her event. So much love and support from so many incredible people. You should check out her video, book and website

I was going to share some of the advice from the event, but my husband has been binging Fringe for the umpteenth time (seems random, but stay with me, I have a point).. If you haven’t seen it, you should check out the first season at the very least (writing, cast and story are superb). I love Walter, and on Friday he said something that resonate. Something I want to leave you with. 

“I wish you could see yourself the way I see you. You have no idea how extraordinary you are. If you embrace that, there is no end to what you can do” – Walter Bishop, The Last Sam Weiss (S3 Ep21)

*Quick note – grammar is important “Love, me” is completely different than my original title “Love me?”

And here’s a little Walter Bishop for your entertainment

Posted in 2021, Weird Wednesdays

It’s “Meh”day*

meh

Actually, it’s not. Today is Wednesday. It is. Trust me. I know that the pandemic and lock down has messed with our minds and that time has become a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff, but it’s Wednesday. I think. I mean, I thought yesterday was Wednesday, but (checking calendar) yes, today is Wednesday.

Wednesdays are usually dedicated to News of the Weird, but today is also my brother’s birthday. This may be confusing to those who know me, because I only have one brother, and he used to be younger than me (now that he’s 50 he gets to be the older sibling). I’m talking about my other brother.

Mario was not my brother by blood, but he was my brother of heart, and today would have been his 63rd birthday. I miss him more than ever and I’m just not in the mood for weird and wacky – which is funny (ironic?) because Mario worked really hard to make people laugh, no matter how much pain he was in.

Mario had health issues which made it difficult for him to stand or walk, but it didn’t stop him from doing..well, anything. He just didn’t let it stop him. Period. He still drove to and hiked in his happiest place on earth (Yosemite). He still went to hockey games and worked 60 hour weeks and stood up when people entered the room and rolled around on the ground with his furbaby.

I know that the past 14 months have been hard for everyone. I KNOW that we’re tired of being locked in – that we miss our friends and family and movies and plays and travel and school and restaurants and all the things that made up our “normal” lives. I also know that (for most of us, at least) we are very lucky. We can still call or zoom or skype or facetime with those we love. We can order food from our favorite restaurants and stream movies in our living room. We can hike (thanks to the lockdown, the girl and I discovered a whole slew of trails close to our home) or “sweat to the oldies.”

It is in our nature to mourn the things that are missing and moan about the things we lack. It takes a conscious effort to appreciate what we have – but if we are to survive this year with sanity (somewhat) intact, it’s what we need to do.

I used to laugh when I heard people talking about “gratitude journals” and “the power of gratitude.” I thought it was a hippy-dippy mindset, and that the uber rich celebrities pushing the practice couldn’t possibly know how hard my life was. Trust me when I say the past 10 years haven’t been a cakewalk (side not – have you ever been on a cakewalk? Weirdest game ever).

This is hard for me to admit, but I was wr…

I was wro….wrrrrrrr….

Huh. I thought I only had issues with the n-word. Guess I was wrrrr….(OMG let’s not start THAT again).

I was mistaken.

If we are to survive the quarantine with sanity (somewhat) intact, we need to shift our focus from what we CAN’T do to what we CAN. We need to stop wallowing in our worries and start wondering about what we could do to help our friends and neighbors. It’s weird, but research shows that “In helping others, you help yourself.” 

Huh. Wednesday turned out to be weird after all. 

One last tip to holding on to your sanity – remember that this too shall pass. It may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.

Also, furbabies make everything better..

mario

*In my search for a “meh” photo, I found this incredible shirt. Someone needs to buy it for me. I would buy it, but I’m feeling “meh.” 

meh shirt

Posted in mental health, motivational mondays

Labels are for Food and Clothing

label

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I had every intention of Getting Things Done, but the Universe had other plans. Of course, the EIC insists that I am making excuses, and I am just lazy. The EIC is an asshole, and he is constantly barraging me with a slew of negative labels. Lazy. Stupid. Bad. The good news is that I am getting better at ignoring him. We shouldn’t believe labels, but if we’re going to use them, we should pick the ones that are empowering and uplifting. Confused? Let me explain. Ugh. Now I have The Princess Bride running through my head.

Back BM (Before Motherhood) I was an actress. When I first started out, I had horrible stage fright. HORRIBLE, as in “I’m pretty sure I’m going to pass out or throw up on stage.” Fortunately, I had an incredible acting coach, and he gave me some important advice: Nervous and Excited feel exactly the same – the only difference is the way you label it. 

Sounds simple, right? It’s simple and effective. When I stopped labeling my butterflies and sweaty palms as nervous/afraid and started seeing it as “excited” I had a huge breakthrough. Changing the label changed my mindset, and I was able to use the energy to fuel my performance. 

Let me be clear – labels are useful for clothing and food (especially when you’re gluten sensitive, like the girl) – but other than that, they’re at best useless. AT BEST. But if we’re going to label ourselves, we need to choose carefully.

In a “There is no such thing as a coincidence” I came across a live event featuring Mel Robbins (thank you Facebook). In case you hadn’t heard of her (I hadn’t) she wrote The Five Second Rule, and she has a YouTube channel. She spent most of her time discussing about the negative narrative that runs through our head and the fact that we need to stop treating ourselves badly. 

I’ve spent too many years listening to the endless loop of negative voices telling me what I’m not. The good news is that it’s a new year and a new week which means it’s a good time to begin again. Then again, you can make a fresh start at any moment.

I won’t say “Have a great week” because that’s a lot of pressure for those of us who are people pleasers – instead I’ll say “Have a week.” Stay safe, and please be as kind to yourself as you are to your friends.

kind

 

 

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Posted in Weird Wednesdays

Weird Wednesday

news-of-the-weird

As I said before, I am tired of newsfeeds and headlines filled with bad, sad, doom and gloom (anyone else missing John Krasinsky’s Some Good News?). In an attempt to bring some light and levity to our lives, I am dedicating Wednesdays to

NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Is it me, or has this entire week has been weird? (Don’t answer that. I know I’m weird).

It appears that being in lockdown for 300+ days has finally gotten to me, and I have lost my grip on the space-time continuum. True story – I just tried to convince my supervisor that President’s day (February 15th) was LAST week. Now it’s possible that future me came back in time to cover today’s shift because today’s me went into the future to…what? Buy some shoes? Figure out which stock to buy or what sports team to bet on? Bringing back Gray’s Sports Almanac worked out so well for Marty McFly. 

GRAYS-SPORTS-ALMANAC-Back-To-The-Future-2-_1

It’s also possible that The Doctor is right. Time is a wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey THING.

Which is the longwinded way of saying that my “weird news of the week” is not from this week at all, but, just ICYMI – these stories of zoom meetings gone wrong made me LOL (is LOL still allowed? I know that the laughing/crying emoji has fallen out of favor). I have to admit that being “a woman of a certain age” means that new technology can be challenging – but I have never accidently turned myself into a cat or flipped myself upside down

My last humpday story may not be weird, but try to make the leap with me. NASA has sent yet another rover to Mars. Perseverance should land on the red planet Thursday. Touchdown in the Jezero Crater is scheduled for 12:30 PST. You can watch it here

It’s not exactly weird (ok, the fact that we’ve spent over 12.9 billion dollars on Mars-related projects is weird) but my question may be: 

Do you think they’ll find a new breed of cats?

weird news

So tell me – are Wednesdays weird for you too?

Posted in 2021

Bon Temps? What Bon Temps?

It’s Fat Tuesday, and I should be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but I’m not.

I’ve never been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras (TBH I’ve never been to New Orleans for anything) and I had every intention of going this year. Sigh. You know what they say about good intentions….

I have good excuses for not going (good excuses are still just excuses):

  1. The Girl got accepted into a nursing program, and all of our pennies are going to college fees (we have to support her so she can support us).
  2. The Guy JUST started a new job (more hours, better pay, better benefits) and can’t take time off. When I mentioned going on a girl’s trip, he guilted me with his big brown eyes.
  3. I hate crowds (yet another reason to go THIS year). 
  4. Crawfish are creepy (but so are drunk people peeing in the alley). 
  5. The Mardi Gras parade was cancelled AGAIN. I love the fact that people are decorating their houses, but I don’t think houses can throw beads. Well, the Monster House could, but she’d just use the beads as bait to lure you in and eat you.
  6. We’re not supposed to go anywhere and I am a Virgo (at least I’m not a Cancer).

virgo

So instead of drinking Hurricanes and stuffing my face with beignets, I am sitting in front of my computer with a cup of “coffee”* listening to Zydeco and tossing beads at my family when they least expect it (they don’t seem very appreciative). 

Because I’m NOT in N’awlins I have been looking up “fun facts” about Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras. Feel free to comment below with any trivia/pictures/recipes. 

1. Crawfish are also called “mudbugs.” I have to admit that I side with Peachtown’s opinion that crawfish are disgusting. The writer points out the fact that “you’re eating bugs” (of course, crawfish are not actually insects) and “you’re eating organs” but it was the last two that I find particularly stomach churning:

1a – You’re eating poop
Crawfish have veins full of waste that are attached to the pieces of meat people extract and eat. While some remove the veins, others overlook them and scarf them down like it’s no big deal. The only problem is it is a big deal, because it’s poop. This is alarming evidence in support of outsider opinions as to why crawfish are disgusting. If you like to eat poop, no one is going to judge your life choices, but you should know the reality of what you’re putting into your mouth. And here is where everything comes to a head

1b – You’re sucking heads. This is the smoking gun. Louisiana folks love sucking the juice out of crawfish heads. Sucking heads. The juice. Out of heads. It’s actually hard to say that with a straight face, so it’s good this is typed. But hardcore crawfish fanatics love the juices that resonate within mudbug shells, and they aren’t ashamed of it. Regardless of how tasty it is, you should consider how this must look to people who are unfamiliar with this highly seductive ‘act.’ It’s perfectly natural to people in Louisiana, but the whole ordeal can seem strange to outsiders.

2. Fat Tuesday was originally known as Shrove Tuesday and is also known as Packi Day after the rich, jelly-filled donuts made by Poles in Poland and the U.S, but 

3. The French call it Mardi Gras. Wikipedia says that “as a celebration of life before the more-somber occasion of Ash Wednesday, (it) nearly always involves the use of masks and costumes by its participants, and the most popular celebratory colors are purple, green, and gold. Mardi Gras is often celebrated during Shrovetide (Sunday through Fat Tuesday). 

4. The typical colors of Mardi Gras beads, also called “throws” have meanings. The Purple represents justice, the Green symbolizes faith and the Gold exemplifies power. 

5. “Zydeco” can refer to either the dance or the music, and 

6. There is a difference between Cajun Music and Zydeco. 

7. I can play the hell out of washboard tie. Well, not really, but after a few Hurricanes, who can be sure?

Fat Tuesday wouldn’t be the same without a Fais do-do, so I’ll leave you with two of our faves – Laissez le bon temps rouler!

*useful tip #27: as long as you blow on your mug before taking a sip, nobody in the zoom meeting knows any different) 

 

Posted in Weird Wednesdays

Today is Weird

humpday

Hello and welcome to your mid-week update from the anti-suburban suburbanite.

I realize that my musings have been infrequent at best, but (as I said before) I am trying to be a better blogger…or at least one who posts on a consistent basis. I have also decided to go back to the beginning, and focus this blog on parenthood, suburbia and anything and everything twisty.*

I am dedicating Wednesdays to News of the Weird. Weird and wild and wacky and all things W. We are here to celebrate all things weird and wonderful to and to remember that normal is just a setting on your washing machine.

jon stewart

I’m no Jon Stewart, but I have found one or two pieces that made me laugh out loud.

Are you in the market for a new house? Have you run out of ideas as to how to effectively impose a “no phones/electronics” rule? According to UPI, there’s a house in Vermont that might be perfect to you:

The house for sale at 43 Courthouse Drive in Guildhall, Vermont, has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an updated kitchen and seven jail cells, complete with barred windows, toilets and cots. UPI reported that the property, listed for $149,111, used to serve as the Essex County jail, with the jailer’s quarters attached to the back of the house. Out of use since 1969, the cells are now covered in dust and, according to the listing, just aiting for a creative buyer to “bring…ideas on what this 28-foot-by-40-foot wing could be!

I’m not sure that locking a recalcitrant teen in a dusty jail cell is the best idea (unless you want CPS knocking on your door) but I’ve had moments where it would have proven useful – if only for a place for this tired mommy to take a time-out.

I came across this post from January Nelson a while ago (Time being the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey thing that it is, “a while ago” could be anywhere from a month to more than a year ago):

I curated these funny stories from funny Tumblr stories. Get ready for a hurricane of LOL as you read all these funny short stories:

Now that’s what I call stupid: In my junior year of high school, this guy asked me on a date. He rented a Redbox movie and made a pizza. We were watching the movie and the oven beeped so the pizza was done. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “This is the worst part.” I then watched this boy open the oven and pull the pizza out with his bare hands, rack and all, screaming at the top of his lungs. We never had a second date.

I feel sorry for the boy. He reminds me of a former coworker – her name has been changed to protect the innocent. And “Clueless” was extremely innocent and/or overly sheltered (maybe both). She was in her twenties, living alone, with zero life skills. I have several stories I could share, but I’ve gone on long enough for one post. She called me for cooking help.

Clueless – “How do you open a can of soup?” (please note, this was in the days before pop-tops)

Me – ??? “A can of soup?”

Clueless – “Yes. Do I just punch holes in the top?”

Me – “Is it a can of bullion?”

Clueless – “No. Chicken and noodles.”

True story.

My daughter isn’t much of a cook (she takes after her mother that way) – but even she knows that the noodles would get stuck in the holes.

opener

So tell me – are your Wednesdays as weird as mine? 

*I am moving my battles with the Black Dog and Brain Weasels to another blog. If you’re interested, you can follow me here

Posted in 2021

TGIF!*

february

*Thank God It’s February

It’s Mental Health Monday which means it’s time to check in. How are you doing? No, really, I want to know. I’ve been spending way too much time talking about me (Not apologizing – it IS my blog, so of course it’s all about me) but it’s a new year and a new month and I’m trying to be a better blogger woman human.

I don’t know about you, but I’m thrilled to be welcoming in a new month. Not only because Valentine’s Day = ALL THE CHOCOLATE (and no, you don’t have to wait for someone you love to buy you a box) or because February is black history month but because last month left a lot to be desired. For most of us, January 1st signals a new beginning/fresh start, and brings with it the promise that things will change.

On NYE, my FB feed was filled with “So long 2020, don’t let the door hit you in the ass” memes…but 2021 wasn’t just hellish, he was was an evil sneaky bastard. The old year locked Baby New Year in the closet and (just like a bad neighbor or the last person at the party) refused to leave…which explains why January wasn’t new and exciting, just more of the same. More illness. More anger. More loss. More divisiveness.

2021

I have to admit that I let the grief, stress and loss of the past 13 months stop me from…well, from doing ANYTHING. My WIP has been waiting on its “final edit” for at least 6 months. My blog has been neglected. My list of “honey-dos” is as long as Santa’s naughty list. I slapped 6 “paint samples” on my living room wall last year, but it remains unpainted (Good news – I saw a new “paint style” which appears to be just a bunch of paint samples slapped over each other – my wall isn’t undone, it’s avant-garde).

paint-decorating-wall-painting-ideas-21 (002)

But today is February 1st and I’ve finally put Christmas away. Well, not away-away. Everything is in tubs in the living room. I have delegated the moving of the tubs to my spouse and daughter, because my new year’s resolution was to let go of the need to do ALL THE THINGS. Please note, I spent yesterday cleaning the bedrooms and bathrooms and doing the dishes and putting laundry and christmas away because new year’s resolutions never stick, BUT

I resolved to try again – because it’s a brand new day and a brand new month and we don’t have to wait to a new year to begin again. You don’t even need to wait until tomorrow to get a fresh start. You can begin again at any moment. I’m going to say it again for the people in the back – and little louder for the people like me who are waiting for the coffee to kick in:

YOU CAN BEING AGAIN AT ANY MOMENT.

And because a picture is worth a thousand words (and Mary Pickford said it better)

begin again

So, today’s resolution is:

I will delegate to others.

Or at least I’ll try.

Hey, it’s a start.

Baby steps baby.

My second “New Month Resolution” is to start every day by thankful for (at least) one thing.

Today I am thankful for our fake Christmas Tree. If we had a real one, it would be nothing but a pile of dead needles.

And I’m thankful for you.

So tell me – how YOU doing?

Posted in all about me, life lessons

Today I FAILed

once2Once upon a time, back when I was a beginning blogger, I knew how to set up a new blog. I added widgets and images and “about” and “contact” pages effortlessly (well, maybe not EFFORTLESSLY) but that was not the case today.

Today I decided that I have spent too much time playing Harry Potter: Puzzles and Spells and Tsum Tsum and not enough time writing.

Today I decided that I have spent too much time scrolling through social media and not enough time interacting with my fellow writers.

Today I decided that I have spent too much time listening to the lies the EIC tells me and not enough time twisting suburbia.

Today I managed to create a copy of myself.

Well, not literally…(I could use another self or three, but the copy of the copy of the copy gets pretty blurry) 

But I did manage to create a new blog site. A place where I can be be fundaMENTALly me, which leaves me free to return to my Erma Bombeck/Tracy Beckerman inspired tales from suburbia.

But in the process of building a new site, I managed to lose my version of suburbia (evidently wordpress.com no longer supports Coraline and I’m not a huge fan of Colinear (“our update to the older Coraline”) – so….

Today I changed the theme of my blog. 

I also spent HOURS trying to create the new site…and found that I cannot, no matter how hard I try, figure out how to add the sharing buttons on my post or remove “twistingsuburbia” as the author of my posts. 

In short, Today I tried something new – and I failed. 

But it’s okay – because today I wrote (two posts – one to each blog!) and, as Scarlett said, tomorrow is another day.

It’s also okay because today I remembered what A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said about failing.

fail

P.S. you can check out my new blog here

P.P.S after spending hours trying to add social media sharing buttons, they magically appeared…guess they took pity on me 😉

Posted in 2021, four letter words, mental health

The S-Word Part Duh

Before we get started, I want to apologize for being MIA once again. That’s MIA, all caps, not Mia, as in Farrow. Although I have freckles and have been involved with at least one crazy actor, I find Woody Allen annoying, I would never have starred in Rosemary’s Baby (demons freak me out) and she looks much better in a pixie cut. 

Mirriam-Webster says that MIA (the acronym, not the movie) is “often used figuratively for someone or something notably or unexpectedly missing, absent or inactive.” If you’ve been following me for any length of time you know that I post on a far from regular basis, and that I’ve been derailed by stress, grief, loss and life on more than one occasion – but it’s a new year, and I am determined to write on a regular basis (I know, I know, I’ve said it before – but this time I mean it!).

Speaking of – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I know that last year was (for want of a better word) “challenging” for most of us. For others it was absolutely devastating. My family was very lucky – we managed to survive the year with health and sanity (mostly) intact. I hope you were able to do the same, and that you won at least one game of quarantine or zoom bingo.

But back to me (hey, it’s my blog, so it’s all about me). Again, I want to apologize for being away for so long. I’ve spoken (written?) before about my battles with the black dog and brain weasels – and 2020 brought them back with a vengeance. 

That’s not true. I mean, yes, 2020 was a shitty year, but it’s not entirely to blame for my silence. I’ve spent the past 3 months slaying demons. Not literally. I’m a huge fan of Supernatural (with the exception of its final episode – the finale was almost as bad as the last episode of GOT), but I could never be a Hunter (Hello! Weren’t you listening? Demons freak me out). 

Shortly after my last post, I had an incident (or an epiphany. Or an incident which led to an epiphany) which explained my perfectionism, my inability to say “no” and all the other things that make me unique. 

I’ve been thinking about this post ever since.

That’s not true. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I lie and swear (alot). But it’s a new year, and I’m trying to be a better blogger woman human. So although I can’t say that I’ve been thinking about this post “ever since the incident” I have been thinking about it for a while now. I realized this morning that I’m still not ready to share details, but that the details don’t matter. What matters is that I am slaying my demons, and that if I can do it, you can too. 

I’ve been reading Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. and The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. Although I’ve had several “aha” moments while reading both of them, Dr. Kolk’s book is a little dry/technical IMHO. Dr Shapiro’s book is written for the layperson, as either a self-help tool, or as an additional resource while working with a professional. It’s by no means a “light” read, but it’s proving to be the book I’ve needed for a while now. Solutions for Resilience lists seven basic concepts from the book including:

  1. Living in continual stress is unnecessary and life-threatening
  2. Our personal struggles are influenced by our stored memories of past events
  3. Many of us are running our lives on automatic pilot

One of the things Dr. Shapiro discusses are our negative cognitions. What are negative cognitions, you ask? (I heard you from here). RelifeCounseling defines cognitions as “the way we think about ourselves” and goes on to say that “when we speak of negative cognition, we are referring to a negative belief that we have developed from negative or traumatic life experiences.” In other words, it’s the negative self-talk that runs continuously in the background.  Examples include “I’m a failure” “I’m not loveable” and “I’m fat”. You’re not, you know.

Stupid. 

I’m not saying that the idea of negative cognitions is stupid, I’m saying that “stupid” is one of my negative cognitions and the foulest four-letter word I know.

Not literally (I CAN count). It’s just a nasty word that needs to be relegated to the trash heap, with the rest of the four-letter words.

I’ve had a problem with stupidity for as long as I can remember. Learning that negative cognitions drive our responses to life explained all the things. Well, not all of them (I still don’t understand string theory) but at least it explained why stupidity makes me crazy. Treating me like I’m stupid pushes all my buttons, and don’t get me started on my frustration with stupid coworkers. The EIC is a sneaky bastard, and although he’s very vocal about a lot of things, evidently he’s had “I’m stupid” running on a continuous subliminal loop for decades. 

I see (hear?) it now. Seeing the problem means that I can fix it.

Well, not fix it. Fixing something implies that I’m broken, and that’s yet another negative cognition.

Seeing the problem means that I can change it.

I’m not stupid, and I may be battered and bruised, but I’m nowhere near broken, and neither are you. 

So that’s it. My quest took me a while from writing for a while, but I’m back with a belated New Year’s wish:

May the best of your yesterdays be the worst of  your tomorrows.

TBH, Jason Miraz says it better

As always, if you or someone you love is struggling, please reach out for help. 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line – text HOME to 741741

So tell me – what negative loop of yours needs cutting? Let’s do this together.