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Um, hi.  Remember me?  Couldn’t, wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t.  It feels like it’s been a hundred years since I posted last.

I got stuck in my head, lost in my own issues.  The longer I didn’t post, the harder it was.  Then, I got all over the idea that since it had been so long since I posted, I had to have the perfect post to come back.  As a recovering perfectionist, I usually try to remember that “done is better than perfect”, but that old demon is never far away.  And it jumped on me, big time.

This whole blogging thing has actually turned into a whole microcosm of my various issues.  In non-blogging life, one of the biggest struggles I have is that for my whole life, my only sources of self-esteem have been through achievement and by doing everything I can for others.  This latter idea is a real killer, folks.  Because I derive my worth from service to others, I got into the trap of thinking that if I wasn’t following and commenting every day on my favourite bloggers and those who were kind enough to read and comment on my posts, then I was a failure.  And the longer I let myself think these thoughts, the more intimidating and overwheming they become.

Instead of a pleasure and a joy, blogging had become a duty and I was shutting myself down.  I’ve also had this problem over at Dannan’s blog, but because it was “his” blog, I tried to power through it.  I was more successful over there — after all, I was doing it for someone else!  (How twisted the mind can be…)

I know that I have to get over it and move on.  Read when I can, comment when I can, and post when I can.  And not put all this crazy pressure on myself, or turn what is supposed to be an uplifting and fulfilling creative hobby into another anchor pulling me down.  And I have to stop apologizing all the time.

Fact is, I’m a (recovering) perfectionist and procrastinator.  (The two go hand in hand, if you didn’t know.)  I spend a lot of time stuck in the morass of my issues.  Chronic depression and generalized anxiety disorder often seem to take the starring role in my life.  I started to blog so that I could explore my inner writer and enjoy myself.  And I need to keep blogging for those reasons, for only myself.

I may never be a regular-as-clockwork blogger.  I may not visit all the blogs I enjoy all of the time.  I might not comment on every post I read.  But I’m going to release myself from the pressure of feeling that I have to do all of that.  (And of course, I’m going to have to keep reminding myself that that’s what I’m doing!)  But I do truly enjoy the writing that I’ve discovered, the people behind that writing, and the connections that sometimes seem to spark from our interaction.  I’ll do the best I can at nurturing those connections, without letting my issues hijack it as another stick to beat myself up with.  (With which to beat myself.)

I’ve been told that I over-explain myself, when there is no need to do it, and that it sometimes usually just another manifestations of my issues.  But I do feel that need to explain (working on it), and to be able to “get over it and move on”, I choose to make the explanation.  Here it is, and here I go.

(Therapy in action.  Don’t you just love how, once you start working on yourself, everything in your life turns into a therapeutic exercise?  Or maybe you don’t have any experience with that.  Please excuse the use of “you”.  Not pointing my finger at “you” in particular.)

That’s it for that subject.  I need to write, and I need this blog.  Thank you for your patience.

The other thing I wanted to write about is somewhat ironic, given the timing.  Just as I withdrew from blogging, the fabulous Jack, over at Slightly Off-Centre, gave me an award.  Way back on November 26th.


The irony is not lost upon me, I assure you.  Jack, if you’re out there, I’m sorry for not getting on this right away.  After all, it’s my first award here at The Muse Asylum, and it’s from a fellow Canadian whose blog is very cool.  Head on over and check her blog out, you won’t be sorry.  And I’m going to get back to being that Kreativ Blogger that you gave this award to.  (To which you gave this award.  See, I do know proper grammar.)

And Jack, THANK YOU!

There are rules to this award:

♥ List 6 things that make you happy.
♥ Pass the award onto 6 Bloggers you consider to be Kreativ.
♥ Link to the blogger who gave you the award.
♥ Link to the blogs receiving the award.
♥ Notify the recipients.

6 things that make me happy

  1. Dannan, my Little Brown Dog
  2. My family and my friends
  3. The sight of dogs playing together
  4. Crisp days where the sun is shining brightly
  5. Reading a good book
  6. Making a breakthrough in the work I’m doing on, and for, myself

I’m not going to send this award along to anyone, at least not right now.  I feel rather odd, receiving such an award when I’ve been so checked out.  I don’t feel today like I am able to pass it along, but I will someday soon.  And if I have any readers left at all, please consider yourself awarded!

That’s all for now.  I’ll be back soon, I truly will.

Well, it seems to be Doctor Days here at The Muse Asylum.  Appointments today and tomorrow… nothing to worry about.  Today was all about prescription renewals, updating my GP about which specialists I’ve heard from, and talking about the icky way I’ve been feeling lately (headaches every day, wheezing, tight chest, and feeling just a bit unwell).  She confirmed my suspicions of why I’ve been feeling that way.  An appointment with her takes up most of the day, because she runs far, far behind schedule.

Tomorrow is therapy day.  So it’s always fun, fun, fun.

I also did some shopping today for Halloween.  I’ve been trying to decide on a costume, and I’ve narrowed it down to two:  Queen of Darkness, or a dust bunny.  I can’t make up my mind, so I’m touring all the second-hand shops and dollar stores for supplies to make both.

Must go do my homework for therapy.  Yes, I have had two weeks to do it, and yes, I put it off until tonight.  Not technically the last minute, although I was thinking that perhaps I could do it in the waiting room before my appointment…  The Counsellor is always late, too.

My Thursday Thirteen tomorrow might not be posted until later in the day, but it’ll get up there eventually!

That’s one of my favourite Matchbox 20 songs.  Okay, I love all the Matchbox 20 songs.  And that song really has nothing to do with what I’m going to type.

Thanks to everyone who posted during the National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, and everyone who posted supportive things after my last therapy session.  I’m gradually catching up on things, but I might not reply to all the comments made last week.  I usually like to reply to all the comments I get, but that just might not happen.  Thanks to everyone, though, for reading and sharing.

So, Tuesday was a bummer of a day.  Therapy is hard work.  Sometimes, it really hurts.  Tuesday was one of those brutally painful days for me.  Neither The Counsellor nor I thought we’d end up where we did.  I didn’t even know that what we found was in there.  One of the things we learn about in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is core beliefs.  Here is one way to describe what a core belief is (from

Core beliefs are fundamental assumptions people have made that influence how they view the world and themselves. People get so used to thinking in these core ways that they stop noticing them or questioning them. Simply put, core beliefs are the unquestioned background themes that govern depressed people’s perceptions. For example, a depressed person might think “I am unlovable” or “I am inadequate and inferior” and because these beliefs are unquestioned, they are acted upon as though they are real and true.

So I found out that I had a core belief that I didn’t even suspect that I had.  I’m not going to go into it;  suffice it to say that it totally threw me for a loop.  A painful, icky loop.

However, the fact that it’s there explains a lot about my life to date.  And while I feel like I’ve poked a big monster in the eye with a stick, I’m going to keep working on it.  I know that it will probably really hurt and be really hard, but let me tell you this:  if I can change this core belief, then I can change my life.  Seriously and truly change my life.

The Counsellor is a very gentle and supportive guy, and he lets me call stop when we hit something I’m not ready to deal with.  It’s a safe place to work with him, and when I said that I didn’t want to go any further, he accepted that and we stopped.  He’d always told me that we’d work at my pace, and to let him know if I wasn’t ready, but I’d never tested that before.  I trusted him before, but it’s always nice to have trust proven when you’re dealing with bits and pieces of the mind and soul.

So I’m going back, and we’ll continue to explore this new bugaboo we’ve discovered.  At my pace, which might not be fast, but I will get there eventually.

Just wanted to let you all know that I’m back on my feet, and feeling positive again today.  Back to good.

I had the most traumatic therapy session ever today.  Usually, I feel better after I leave my counsellor’s/psychiatrist’s office.  Today, I felt horrible.  Really, truly awful.  I know I’ve felt worse in my time, but I don’t remember when I last felt this terrible.  Guess that means I’m getting somewhere.

I am struck by the idea that this week has been a major downer. Lots of negative posts; well, if not negative, then certainly gloomy and depressing (sorry, I couldn’t resist!). So there are some final thoughts I want to share with you.

I am thankful that I had my breakdown. Yes, very thankful.

The first reason that comes to mind is that at the time, I was involved in an abusive relationship with The Narcissist. (I used to call him The Bastard, but The Narcissist fits him better.) I didn’t know how to leave, and my breakdown was one way to do it (not the best way, but hell, it worked).

The second, and more overall reason is that I am so much better off now than I was then. It seems like a bizarre thing to say, but it’s true. If I had kept living the way I was, I probably wouldn’t be alive today. I was headed toward suicide if I didn’t get help, and the ways I tried to get help didn’t work. So, big reason to be thankful.

Also, through my years of therapy, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever knew in the preceding 28 years I’d been alive. There are some unflattering things I’ve learned about myself, more than I’d like to admit. And there are some amazing things I’ve learned. But more importantly, this knowledge is genuinely, truly about me. Not about the person I thought I was supposed to be, or the person that other people wanted me to be. About me, the person I am when I look deep inside myself and leave behind the Mask.

I’ve learned better coping mechanisms. I’ve learned how to make my life better, by not listening to my negative automatic thoughts, for instance. I know how to change those automatic thoughts (although it’s always easier said than done, and by no means am I able to do it all the time). I know how my thoughts can set me up for painful feelings. These are all things I probably wouldn’t have learned, but for my breakdown and illnesses.

Most importantly, perhaps, I’ve learned that I can make my life better. I know that the darkness always ends, it just takes time. Feelings are transient; if you wait them out, they’ll change. I know I will feel better, because I have felt better before. I know I can come out of a depressive episode, because I’ve done it before. I might relapse again, but I can hold on to the knowledge that this too, will pass. And I will not only survive, but I will learn from each relapse. I might always have chronic depression and anxiety, but I don’t have to always suffer from them.

Thank you for sticking it through this week. I hope that you learned at least one thing here that you didn’t know before. And that today’s message that there is hope and that things can get better reached at least one person who needed to hear it.


Today was the Kamloops SPCA’s annual Paws for a Cause Walk for the Animals. I was in charge of registration again this year, and we had 143 registrants. We don’t have a final total, but it’s over $30,000, which is awesome!

I spent over seven hours going full bore today, and have exhausted myself. So I might take a day or two (more!) off from blogging, but I’ll be back! I just need some sleeeeeeeepppppppp!

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