6-13-19 post therapy

Points brought up

  • Let wife know it is ok to reach out to me on wanting to spend time. Talked about cycle of fear of rejection
  • Focus more on time spending together if that is what brings happiness.
  • I’d like to plan to visit more faires, like Michigan…maybe Sterling one?
  • Wife inviting me to spend time with her is how our relationship started
  • I’m more busy than I give credit for
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6-13-19 pre-therapy thoughts

It’s that time of the month where I try to recall the emotional journey I’ve been through this month so I can get the most out of my session later today.  Currently I feel…neutral?  I guess I’ll make some quick bullet points on the things that are more top of mind…slightly better organized that way.

  • Marriage
    • I created “X_discretionary” categories in our combined mint for individual play money in an attempt to help my wife better control her finances.  The akimbo card method isn’t working, mostly due to technical issues.
    • I also created a couple_discretionary budget to account for stuff we do together, i.e. faires
    • Her health has gotten worse in terms of fitness.  She prioritizes work more than her health.  On an emotional level, I feel like that is shit.  This is also why I *hate* the billable hour model.  I don’t feel like she will change on that front.  The most I can do right now is wait out until she is done with school this year, and keep the finances under control.  I suppose the question then is what happens after?  The assumption is that she’ll be working on her business next.  Ideally she’d switch to a company that doesn’t constantly expect her to work late hours and not give holiday pay unless she’s working.  I expect she’ll have the same work obsession, probably even worse, when she does take up her own business.  I don’t feel like her health will ever be a priority.  Which makes me sad, and afraid.  Because I know how that story ends.  It feels like some looming inevitable curse where I know I’m going to be emotionally devastated once her health becomes critical because of her lack of time spent addressing her health.  I’m not capable of just cutting things off, emotionally or practically.  I’m just waiting patiently for the bomb of suck to explode right next to me.  I don’t like it.  I guess I don’t have any hope for things to improve.  Maybe I can ask if there will ever be a time she thinks she’ll dedicate to her health? That’ll probably send her on a shame spiral too.  Can’t win.
  • Finances
    • Considering taking out a CC debt consolidation loan since the plan to pay it off manually failed with the tax situation.
    • There is a bit of an irony that I make more and spend way less than my wife when looking at these discretionary funds now.  Well, maybe more of a dark humor than irony.  The majority of the money goes to food.
  • Fitness
    • The early morning workouts have been consistent.  I haven’t done as much rucking as I had planned.  I ran into some difficulties with it.  It might just be as simple as reducing the weight even more.  I had right hip problems last friday (maybe related to the snapping hip issue, almost felt like it was getting pulled apart on large step downs)
    • I should take up that evaluation from SSR, even though I really don’t want to pay more money right now.
    • I should recognize that I am still making some strength “gainz” despite being hard on myself.  My pushup form has improved so that I am doing them correctly (Started shortcutting earlier until it was pointed out, resolved).  I’m still no where close to being able to output the insane volume some trainers seem to want, but 12 isn’t horrible.
  • Poly
    • Not a whole lot of movement here.  I’ve been struggling lately with thoughts of my last ex.  There were good times, and the sex was really good, but then I looked over the texts/messages before I broke it off and saw all the shit thrown at me and remember why I got out.  I can’t go back, even if it feels like it would be “easy”.
    • I had a date maybe 3 weekends ago?  It went well enough, but I could tell the person had a lot of negativity inside of them, and her mother’s health issues were only going to make it worse.  I did appreciate how direct and quick she was to get to the point, but I could tell it would not have been a happy relationship and likely would of impeded my other health goals.
    • I think it was 2 weeks ago I had a date with J.  From what I can see of FB, it looks like she is starting a relationship with someone else.  Which is fine.  While she was attractive, I never quite felt that intense connection with her like I did with the last couple of poly relationships I did get into.  It makes it easier on me really.
    • I’ve been talking on and off with T via hangouts.  I kind of like that she represents another introverted soul but I’m unclear on what she is looking for romantically speaking.  At some point I’ll have to push for at least 1 in person meeting.  Ideally before faire season, where she expressed interest in hanging out.  A whole day thing might be a bit much without at least 1 earlier in person meeting.
    • I was thinking about my first poly relationship, and how I screwed things up there.  It wasn’t perfect, but it felt really nice to have someone that was actually into me.  My own shame issues made it irrecoverable.
  • Social
    • I had planned to start using tuesdays to invest a little more social energy, and at least hop onto a friend’s twitch channel to support.  That didn’t happen.  Doing anything during the week is difficult with my morning schedule, and I haven’t really formed any workout friends.  I wonder if that is a thing I should push for?
  • Career
    • I think this is stable for the most part.  Work is still tough with the many projects I’m juggling, along with the support and security issues (Which can often seem at ends to each other).  I do feel a bit bad that I haven’t been able to make as much progress as I would like.  Getting RDS to work on Azure has been a pain, and I still have a couple ghost support issues.
  • Goals
    • I’m pretty focused on the fitness aspect now.  Maybe because I put so much of my time into it I’m feeling frustrated that I’m not making more progress.  Progress being wanting to get into the 170s…maybe even 160s.  I should spend more weekend time doing something fitness related, aside from SF.  I’ve felt overwhelmed just trying to keep up with house maintenance to even get that time.

I think this is enough for now.

5-22-19 unhappy emotions

Not feeling great emotionally today. The workout was fine and starting rucking last night was good too. But all these things I’m working towards…health…mental fitness… financial stability…art… I realize I’m doing them alone. I realize my greatest gains have been when I accept that change and improvement only happen through the force of my will. It is my journey.

But the thing is that even though I am an introvert, I don’t truly want to be alone. These are the paths I need to take and I won’t veer from them. My journey is a hard one. For a little while my wife seemed to want to tag along. But I don’t feel that is the case anymore. If she does join, it feels like it is out of obligation or atonement…not because she genuinely wants to travel on this metaphorical journey with me.

5-16-19 therapy

Topics discussed in no particular order

  • Shame cycles and how they interact with partners shame spirals
  • Alpha, beta, theta waves. Ideal to be operating at alpha with short shifts into beta. Extended operation at high beta leads to crash (depression)…makes particular sense with last year extended anxiety leading to depression
  • Financial advisor recommendation to find a balance between working towards financial goals and still enjoying life

5-15-19 pre-therapy dump

At the moment I feel mostly ok. A little tired… didn’t sleep great. Also quite sort from pt yesterday. I’m back little frustrated with not performing as well as I would hope on upper body. Bench presses specifically. I’m also not happy with my weight loss progress. I’ve been making more mistakes on food due to internal emotional turmoil. A little over 3 months until MDRF so I’m feeling the pressure.

I’m thinking what I need to do on that front is slash my protein portion in half for my meals. It worked before. After this week I should be able to keep to the early morning training sessions more regularly. Then I need to add a low intensity cardio session at night or weekend afternoon. Eat less move more. And sleep.

The other challenge to all of this is the social stuff. Thursday night dnd is sorta waivering lately but I still have to assume it will be happening which makes sleep tougher. Then there is the poly stuff. Nothing romantic has happened or even looks imminent. I still have deep rooted fears about allowing myself to be physical with anyone else will be used against me. Physical intimacy with my wife has been more infrequent (as if it wasn’t already more infrequent than I liked). I watched this interesting presentation on Ted by a sex worker that made the link that because men typically feel judged based on money, physical prowress, or their “mojo”, and that control on the first 2 can be a bit more limited, it leaves men often needing to use sex to allow themselves to be vulnerable and express emotion. It certainly makes me feel better, but not necessarily because of the physical release. There is a sort of play there.

I’ll continue this post later… hopefully. Work time. Another source of anxiety.

One more thought to explore later

With my understanding of locus of control, I better realize the depth of the problems I faced last year.  I strongly lean towards an internal locus of control.  The pro of this is that I can be very driven in going after a goal I’m interested in and I take responsibility for my actions readily.  The problem is I also tend to “inflict” responsibility on myself for others’ actions/responses (internalize negative responses).

I also have a bit of a fear of conflict, possibly related to this same issue.  Things got really challenging last year because I found myself in a situation where I had lost control, and the only way I could get it back was via confrontation.  I was afraid of conflict, because a probable negative response would have become internalized as a comment on myself…and so I choose to abstain, which only made the whole situation worse.  I then started approaching the external locus of control, which in the extreme can lead to depression from feeling helpless.

It is no wonder I had such a hard time.  This is why I have to face more situations in which there will be a negative response.  I need to balance out my drive on being responsible for my actions against not taking responsibility for things out of my control.  This will help me with facing conflict, and not beating myself up if things go wrong (and yet somehow still be able to learn what I can better from those interactions).

Being human is tough.

Recognizing and respecting anxiety

So I finished the game Celeste today. Well, not counting the free dlc anyway. It was a beautiful experience and one I’ll write about in more detail later. The main point the game makes is that anxiety and/or depression (insecurity) is an important aspect of yourself that is there for a good reason and shouldn’t be ignored just because it might be getting in the way of the thing you want (or the event you fear coming to pass).

In the game, due to the special properties of the mountain the protagonist is trying to climb, that insecurity gets a body and can communicate the way people do.

Real anxiety can’t talk to you. It has trouble understanding what you are doing. It lives in that primal part of the brain that considers your survival the first priority. Since it can’t talk, it uses your emotion to communicate it senses danger. That emotion translates to physical responses in your body. It varies from person to person just how that manifests.

In my case, one of those responses is feeling my body start to become cold. I remember talking about that before in an emotional intelligence class…

I got cut off while I was working on this post. Part of that whole trying to be social despite my anxiety…and somehow trying to find a way to work with it.

So in addition to that cold sensation, I have started to understand the tension I feel building up in my muscles. Like a coil getting ready to be unleashed. It gets bad when I’m in group situations with a bunch of people I don’t know. I understand better where it comes from. I was picked on and exiled from groups as a kid often. That stuff was traumatizing. That “part of me” is just trying to protect me. It is not an unfounded fear either. People in groups tend to be dicks. I mean just look at the political environment. Tribal political for the lose.

Somehow I need to figure out how to be ok with that anxiety. Maybe I just need to continue to build my self-effiacy in those social scenarios. I need to believe I can survive those situations, and even benefit from them. Small bits of exposure may be the best way. It’ll be slow going, and there will be some bad moments. But I can do this.

2-28-19 therapist

Talked about my wife, health, my fears of her falling into the same end my mother did. Trying to find a balance between my measure of control and how the situation effects me. Locus of control…I tend towards internal locus…heavy on thinking I am responsible for what happens, causes anxiety (the opposite would be no influence, no control which leads to depression… which I definitely experienced last summer with the Natalie situation).

The trick, it seems, is how much do I allow external events or decisions effect how I feel about myself. The answer is not necessarily to be straight in the middle.

Can I just sit back and not care? In light of my health fear? How likely is that situation? Can I more involved elsewhere for that not to matter? Is that even congruent with my values?

Also, I need to take more stock on what positive things my wife has contributed to my life. Moreover, does she feel like she contributes to my overall well being at all? Does anyone? How much of an effect does this have?

2-27-19 pre-therapy thoughts

With the reduction of crisises in my life and a shift to an evening workout schedule, I haven’t been posting as much. In the morning I have the will to write, but all the noteworthy activities tend to happen later…and by then I’m not enough of a place of solace to write (standing at the back of a metro train is effective isolating).

I’m going to try to recall the signficant events since my last session.

Had the one argument (maybe more like frustration venting) with my wife maybe 3 weeks ago now when she tried to get out of a Sunday workout session for a side gig by allowing a reschedule in top of her class time.

Started being active on OKC and poly after talking it over with my wife. Had one date. Or Maybe it was a Meetup? It was a whole afternoon in DC visiting a museum followed by dinner at a restaurant. It seemed to go alright but I’m already getting the feeling it won’t go anywhere as messaging has died down, even with me making another contact attempt.

I am talking with one other person but I don’t see it going anywhere but pen pals. Which is totally fine.

Scheduling has made it difficult to find an improv class my wife and I can both make. While I could do one on my own, the idea was to do it with my wife so she could see me place myself outside of my comfort zone in the interest of self development, and hope that helps her confidence when going to soldierfit. We’re looking at a class on Sunday afternoon starting mid march

I’m looking at getting back into kenpo next Monday afte sifu Joe asked me directly about it. I was going to go this week but I was very sore from the Sunday strength training session and had very bad sleep.

I’ve started 1 on 1 pt sessions. I’ve learned a lot about the nuances of barbell work…with so much more to learn.

12-27-18 solo therapy

Doing this in reverse based on memory

Talked about my ability to dig in deep for extra reserves (fitness, but also life)

Being able to define baselines on health with my wife. Impact on me, her. Being able to incorporate shared physical activity (maybe dancing) to give reason

What does she need from me?

What happens if I go completely hands off?

Will discuss progress on my goals next time