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this week has been GREAT!...alicat
January 8, 2006
1:32 pm
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Anonymous
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I started the new year with intentions of a "makeover".

I created an action plan, a reward system and went at things with a new set of beliefs.

I CANNOT tell you how rewarding this week has been!!!!!!!

I am earning my rewards. I have tweaked the system to recognize those achievements that are harder won than others.

I think my zoloft is kicking in. Although I am still struggling with getting a good night's sleep.

My attitude is great, and I feel really good and things are improving around me in great volumes.

Normally, I would be wondering when this "lucky streak" will end - but this time I am not - I am positive that this change is permanent and that the effects are lasting. The outlook I have now is something entirely new to me, and it's so refreshing. I have never felt so positive in all my life.

And some of you may argue that resolutions always start off well, and then die off after a short time. But I have never made resolutions before - because I can't even keep them for a day - so even if this is true - a week is a HUGE accomplishment for me - and I will take it! And since I know I can do it for a week, I am inspired to keep going. And if I have to, I will just find a new system to keep up the changes if the old system fails.

I am here to say the "lightbulb" went off over my head - and I finally "got it". And so far, so good. And please don't ask me what changed - I still don't think I can answer that. I have been talking the talk for so long - I knew what had to be done - but didn't understand HOW. I think I do now. But more importantly, I know WHY. And I don't think I knew why before. I said I did, but hadn't really accepted it as truth.

This truly is going to be a special year!

January 8, 2006
2:27 pm
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Ali I am glad things are looking up for you. When i made my first post you were the first to respond with great advice. Since then i have taken a special interest in you and wish you only the best for this new year. I hope i can become as strong as you.

January 8, 2006
2:50 pm
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Thanks!

Where there is a will, there is a way.

I have finally found my will!

I trust you will too, in your own time.

January 8, 2006
3:00 pm
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(((Alic)))

You have been a great inspiration to us all! I wish you all the best, honey! Thanks for the tips on my other thread! (((Hugs)))

January 8, 2006
3:06 pm
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bonni
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Ali,
I'm so glad you feel so positive. How much of this do you attribute to the zoloft? i've resisted medication, but you're making me reconsider. any other changes you've made that have helped that you feel like sharing?

January 8, 2006
3:14 pm
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Ali,

I'm so glad to hear that your plan is working....you deserve it.

I hope this year brings you everything your great big heart desires.

Love,
Lolli

January 8, 2006
3:17 pm
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This is fantastic news, Alicat! I'm so proud of you. It's such an incredible feeling, isn't it, when you know it's going to "stick?" That's how I was a year and a half ago with starting to lose my weight. So far, I've lost 63 lbs. I'm just going to continue eating correctly and exercising, and my body can stop where it wants. I no longer have goals in mind, just changing my lifestyle. It becomes a whole different scenario, doesn't it? Good for you!!

January 8, 2006
3:24 pm
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How much is the zoloft????

REALLY hard to say. But I refuse to go off it to find out.

I have tried many other meds - and felt no differently by them - and some had side effects I couldn't tolerate. I think I tried seven different ones all total.

Perhaps the zoloft is helping me stay positive. It hasn't removed ALL the obsessive stuff, but when it comes up, I do ALOT of internal "self talk" in my head - telling myself that I am giving my power away by letting a situation that is out of my control, control my moods.

I chose to make a list of things I can do during the normal course of a day that will "boost" my esteem. And some of the things are as simple as keeping up with the dishes or praying. But these are things that make me crazy to NOT do, and I am complacent about doing them.

And then I "reward" myself with a dime or quarter (dime for the easier "tasks", quarter for the harder) and at the end of the month, I spend the money ON ME. Which is something I always didn't do. Things like a haircut, new clothes, nails done, a movie I want to see, or something. I don't treat myself well, and this is how I am improving that.

And now that I am treating myself better, I am finding others are too.

January 8, 2006
3:51 pm
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bonni
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Thanks Ali,
We definitely teach people how to treat us, both in the boundaries we set and in how we treat ourselves.

i'm having a depression day. just showered at 2pm. just started cleaning house. sick of cleaning house. think i'd be fine sometimes if kids didn't work so hard to thwart my every effort.

i'm so glad you are where you are. i know you've worked hard to get there. i hope i can get there too.

January 8, 2006
4:01 pm
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Bonni,

I know how it feels to feel miserable about housework.

But if the house is a mess, so is my mental state - so I made it a priority to keep my house clean - so that I mentally stay "clean.

I think you need to set some boundaries with kids - IE - yesterday, I was "spring cleaning" my upstairs - bedrooms and bathroom - all nooks and crannies. The downstairs was cluttered and messy and I told my daughter to take her stuff to her room. I didn't care where it ended up once there, but as long as it wans't in the living room, I was happy. Perhaps the kids need responsibilities too - that will help them as well as help yourself. Sometimes it's hard to enforce, but I find if you are fair and consistent, it gets easier and then relieves alot of pressure for you in the end.

Also, in the midst of all the cleaning - take time for yourself.

If you spend all day cleaning the bathroom, like I am known to do - be the first one to run a hot bath and enjoy it first.

But also, find time for fun - the housework CAN wait. And if you tell the kids they can go out to the park if they get the house clean - they may work hard to help you get to that....so what if it isn't done perfectly like you may do it....at least it's done....and the kids get to play and eveyrone is happier.

January 8, 2006
4:09 pm
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I am so happy for you, Alicat. Discipline is easy once it becomes a habit.

LL

January 8, 2006
4:42 pm
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bonni
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Thanks Ali,
took me exactly 15 minutes to clean kitchen and about 7 to do the bathroom. having dh take both girls to grocery store now that he's home. girls wouldn't work on their toy mess, but they did jump at making the grocery list, so that's something to build on.

i know what you mean about home reflecting mental state. i'm pretty sure if the house were straight i'd have gotten moving alot sooner. maybe not. i'm going to start changing linens next. that should take no more than 20 minutes. part of the weekly home blessing. maybe by bedtime i'll feel better.

Thanks for sharing; you've given me quite a lift. ((((((Ali)))))))

January 8, 2006
4:46 pm
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I put my daughter's toys in "time out" if they won't tend to them.

They go in a basket in plain sight and they stay there until saturday - and then on saturday, they ahve to be put away, or stay there until the following saturday.

Seeing her toys in time out makes her think twice about leaving her stuff out.

again, consistency and staying firm.

And perhaps, you could have negotiated and told them they could do the grocery shopping after their toys are cleaned up.

January 8, 2006
5:04 pm
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Hi Ali,
LOL they don't want to go to the grocery store, but did want to WRITE the list. Since one is learning to write and the other needs practice, i went with the flow.

getting ready to hand them each a basket and let them know that whatever they don't pick up, i'll either toss or put in time out. also, they are going to pair socks when they are done.

January 9, 2006
10:25 am
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I am on such a freaking HIGH!

I can't tell you how good I feel.

OMG, this is like a feeling I have not had in......well.....in a LONG LONG TIME.

I got up this morning, made my bed (accomplishment), took my shower, got dressed, found time to walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes, made myself a cup of tea, got myself a healthy breakfast and got to work on time....the sun is shining, the sky is a beautiful blue.....I LOVE my BF and all is great with the world.

My BF had to leave early cuz his nana was in the hospital with bleeding on the brain and he left the hospital late and was too exhausted to come home - and I was OK with that - which he is still trying to get used to. We had an awesome night together saturday night, out enjoying eachother's company. we are communicating better. our spirits are up. we are hopeful and excited about the future. and I feel like my heart is going to explode with all this good feelings.

and it's not taking ANY effort.

hell, I even took my dad a plate of dinner the other night. we had roast beef and mom made tuna casserole and he HATES tuna casserole and we had enough, so I offered him a plate of it....and he nearly fell of his chair. My BF and daughter all felt my forehead to make sure I wasn't feeling sick.

Really not sure if this is the effect of the zoloft working (never had a med work for me before), but at the same time, not going off it to find out. I love how I feel and know that 90% of it is my CHOICE to feel good.

I have plans and goals and dreams spinning thru my head - this is TOTALLY new for me - as I was always so wrapped up in stressing about the past and worrying about the future to FEEL the present....and be hopeful about the future.

I am enrolling in some craft classes and continuing ed. I am making an effort to be like a kid with my own kid - and have fun. Her attitude is changing too - she is having more fun herself and learning to relax and smile more.

LIFE IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 9, 2006
12:37 pm
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alicat, great work..! I hope the light bulb stays on. Keep believe that its always on and it WILL be.

This reward system is nice, maybe I could think about changing the quarters to dollars and keeping account on paper OR putting them in the piggy bank. How does this work? What kind of tasks do you reward yourself for? Interesting idea.. hmmm. I want to know more.

January 9, 2006
12:42 pm
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Alicat,

Its SO nice to see someone so happy, and so at peace with their life. Im sure it has taken a great deal of work on your part to get to where you are, and its inspiring to hear about.

Im a little jealous of the inner peace you seem to have found, but am VERY happy for you.

Snow

January 9, 2006
1:25 pm
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Hey Ali:

Keep it up, you sound so wonderful!!

when u discover what it was let me know ok???

Lots of love Kasie

January 9, 2006
1:31 pm
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I hope you tell us one day this thing you cannnot tell us. i would have been nice to know why suddenly you have succeeded. And I understand. I am glad for you and all is well in your world.

January 9, 2006
1:34 pm
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I'll get back to you guys when the boss isn't around.

later!

January 9, 2006
2:02 pm
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sorry, typo again ahhhh: "Keep *believing* that the lightbulb is on and it will be."

January 9, 2006
3:17 pm
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Okay, boss is gone - for now.

What is different?

Well, I started coda meeting. And I did therapy for a while. And then I went to joint therapy.

And the whole time - everyone's answer was "he treats you like dirt, get rid of him and you will be better off".

Well, I did believe that I would be better off alone. But I didn't think I would "learn" anything by it.

And the reason being is that when the going get tough - I get going. I flee. And this is NOT teaching me how to deal with anxiety, confrontation and roadblocks. It's only teaching me to be a quitter.

And I was TIRED of being a quitter.

I did alot of reading on borderline personality disorder. And quite honestly, I feel I fit the profile in many ways. I "split" things into black and white, good or bad. I don't know grey areas. I often forget what "love" feels like if the object of my love is not in my physical presence. I am explosive and can't handle anxiety well. I have a long history of frequent moving and job changes. The list goes on.

Well, I read this and got scared.

I did NOT WANT to have BPD. And everything I read showed that the recovery process involves healing the void inside, loving yourself and building your self esteem and self worth.

So, I sat down and decided to make a list of all the things I could do FOR MYSELF that would make me feel mentally and physically and emotionally "whole". And to that list, I assigned a reward value to it. A dime for the tasks that are easier to accomplish, and a quarter for the ones that take more effort and discipline. And at the end of the month, I get to spend it on ME - which reinforces the idea that ***I COUNT***. And I am worth it. Cuz for so long, I gave to everyone else and went without myself. I guess I fed my feelings that I didn't deserve anything. Often I would need my mom to buy me the things I needed - like a kid needing a parent to validate them.

So - this is my list - 10 minutes of exercise, 8 glasses of water, take my vitamins, eat 3 meals, positive thinking, do a puzzle/craft or game, clean one room, wash dishes, limit computer time, pray, journal, pay attention to my needs, ask for what I need directly, go to church, go to coda meetings, go to therapy, make my bed, cook dinner, fold clothes, read/study.

Now, some of these seem like normal "adult" responsibilities. And they are. But frequently, I neglect them - out of laziness - and then the consequences make me insane. So taking care of my body and the environment I live in contributes to the sense that I am a responsible adult, makes me proud of my home and my accomplishments, and makes me proud that I am taking care of my "stuff". And a messy apartment makes me insane - and ashamed to have people in my home.

And mentally - I stopped looking at the people and world around me to make me happy. They can't possibly do that. If I can't make myself happy - how the hell can they? It's a no win situation. (which I have heard expressed before to me).

I have found that if I take care of my "stuff", my optimism and attitude SOARS. And when they soar, the people around me notice, and THEIR attitudes soar too. When I am negative and critical - so are they. When I am pessimistic and controlling, so are they.

What I dish out to MYSELF comes back to me tenfold. What I used to dish out to others - didn't.

People ENJOY being around me now. And that makes me feel so much better.

And I have NO expectations, yet, my silent expectations get met anyway. For example - I used to freak out when my BF wouldn't come home from his mom's house - I felt he didn't love me enough to want to be with me - it was a control issue too. How dare he not want to spend all his time with me??????? well, this weekend his nana was in the hospital and he did a great job of NOT running down there immediately, and spent a night with me, and then went down early the next day, but couldn't make it home the next night cuz he was tired and it was too late. WELL, in the past, I would have thrown a hissy fit and demanded that he feel bad for not coming home. And he would get stubborn and dig his heels in and refuse to play my game. And this time, I was NOT unhappy about it. I understood and accepted it. And yet, he DID feel bad. And apologized profusely. And I had to explain that there was no need for that anymore...and he says it takes getting used to.

I also have to wonder how much of my mental "stability" I can credit to the zoloft. I have taken several types of meds over the last few years, and nothing made me feel any better. I won't go off it to find out - but know that it probably has something to do with it.

I think each of us needs to dig down deep and DECIDE they want to be happy. And then decide how to make yourself feel like you deserve it. Stop worrying about what others think. Stop focusing on other's stuff. Fix you and the rest will follow.

My relationship seems to be working out this time - we enjoy eachother sooooo much more than we have in a long long time. But EVEN IF I decided to go solo - I know that my world would be better.

I don't advocate sticking with an abusiver partner. If there is an alcohol issue or drug issue or any kind of physical abuse or mental abuse - think of yourself and your kids first. But if you and your partner simply are not seeing eye to eye, and seem to be bringing out the worst in eachother - see if making yourself into a happy person has an effect on the relationship first...if not, then get out. Sometimes we just need to break that tug of war or cycle of negativity to make our world a better place.

god, I sound like a motivational speaker.

Let me tell you - not too many weeks ago, I really didn't "get it". And I was reading all the books, talking to people here, going to therapy - and I still didn't get it. I knew the lingo - but had no idea how to make it happen.

And for me, making a list - of even the stupidest things - has made me feel like I can accomplish ANYTHING...cuz if the house is clean, my mind is clean and if my mind is clean - I am feeling pretty good. And if I can keep my house clean - then I can do anything.

Also - I was never good at long term planning and goal setting, so my list has MANY things I can do each day - but don't have to do ALL of them - and don't even try - I just get rewarded for the ones I DO, and that's good enough. And it's okay if I do nothing all day - cuz I choose to - and that's okay too. I am doing what *I* need to do at that moment. I made the choice. I am not worrying if I can keep doing all these things every day thru the end of the year - I am focused on today - what can I do to make TODAY great.

off my soap box...I hope this helps.

January 9, 2006
3:35 pm
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(((thanks Ali)))) for the positive inspiration and glad all is well in your life & things are looking good!!!! ((camer))

January 9, 2006
3:38 pm
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alicat, I'll read what you wrote more later but for now: Didnt you ever slack off and say "screw the reward, I want to enjoy sitting on this computer"

January 9, 2006
3:43 pm
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Attention, we have a new motivational speaker in our world and her name is Ali.

You've always been searching for something. And now you have found it. I hope you have the continued success that you have reached the past few week. It really is nice to see a success story. I was wondering what could be happening for this heartbroken girl turned into a free flying butterfly. I have to say I am quite envious. You have to stay on here to help the rest of us learn to fly.

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