How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?

After Anna Akana mentioned Looking for Alaska in one of her vids, I acted on impulse and downloaded the book and read it within 24 hours. The “labyrinth of suffering” is mentioned throughout. There were still unanswered questions left at the end, yet everything was put into perspective and I was OK with leaving it that way. Questions I wasn’t necessarily seeking were answered and after I slept on it for the night, I am fulfilled.

After finishing the book, you can’t help but wonder to yourself, “How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?” aka LIFE(imo).

LABYRINTH: a complicated irregular network of passages or paths in which it is difficult to find one’s way; a maze. 

You pass your adolescence and the “labyrinth” only gets more complicated. Perhaps we never get out of it. Perhaps we only grow accustomed to it, inhabiting it and not allowing it to destroy us…

“Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the already-dead, so I came here looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends and a more-than-minor life.”

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Exhausted

I went through a glimmer of an emotional breakdown Saturday night and then a complete one on Sunday. The most frustrating thing about these kinds of breakdowns is the unknown cause of it all. I was at a wedding Saturday. Drunk off wine. I forget when the tears started pouring down, but rushed to the bathroom only to sit in the stall overcome with emotions. The tears just wouldn’t stop. So I left. Without any good-byes. The upside of going stag that night was that I didn’t have to convince anyone else to leave. The rest of the night was spent in debauchery with friends, once again masking my feelings. 6am…SLEEP.

10am. Wake up and go home. From then till maybe 4 or 5pm, the emotions start rolling out. I had a few good cries by myself in bed. All the hiding of feelings really get built up and come crashing down all at once. Let it out. But how much longer can I do this: Appearing to be emotionally and mentally level-headed yet secretly a complete mess.

I don’t like to admit vulnerability and I’m not sure where or when I learned this survival technique. I’m so emotionally awkward until I’m under the influence of something. It’s the only way I’ve learned to be OK with pouring my heart out. But I wish I was different. It’s eating me up inside and becomes unhealthy in all aspects. Damaging.

I see my therapist today and haven’t really done what she’s asked me to. I have to be honest with her though.

It’s Monday and I’m exhausted.

Insomnia, you devil!

Frustration today as another sleep deprived night torments my life. Usually I end my night with sleeping pills but for some reason chose to skip that step when I realized it was getting a little too late. I didn’t want to over sleep. 2 am…3am…4am…NOPE 5am…hello sleep. 9:00am W A K E U P. I feel like a zombie. My brain never shuts off unless I force it by swallowing a pill or two.

Every time I think I can shut my brain off myself, this happens. And all I want to do is strangle myself for believing I could do it on my own again. Apparently I don’t learn from my own mistakes.

The worst part is those hours are never used for doing anything productive. Room is still a mess. Clean laundry is my constant cuddle buddy whilst dirty laundry inhabits the floor. I actually did a little bit of reading thinking that would put me to sleep but it just got me annoyed somehow. I tried 2 different books.

The past few days have been a nightmare, now that I think about it. Even with the pills, I’ve been tossing and turning throughout the night never seeming to get comfortable for too long. And I’m supposed to function clearly throughout the day.

F M L.

It could be worse.

Therapy Day 3: I’m a Perfectionist?

My therapist suggested I was somewhat of a perfectionist according something called an Enneagram. I was surprised because I don’t think I’ve ever thought of myself that way…until now. After our session, I immediately looked it up and was surprised to see how much of the perfectionist I fit into. 

Overview
You want to be accurate, thorough, fair and objective. More importantly, you want to be respectable, to do what is right and what you feel is appropriate. You see yourself as rational, orderly and principled. You would like others to see you as reliable, responsible and ethical. Your idealized image is that you are hardworking and do what is right.
Gifted with a strong sense of purpose, you have high ideals and like to follow protocol, policies and procedures. You are sincere, earnest and diligent. You like to excel and take pride in doing things well. You value honesty, integrity and objectivity. Conscientious and methodical you focus on paying close attention to detail. Earnest and hardworking, you are particular and constantly strive to improve. You take action from your heart because, for you, the heart is the only thing that is truly perfect.
You have a strong ‘internal critic’ that reminds you of what you should and shouldn’t do. At times, you can be judgmental and critical of others, telling them what you think is right. You behave this way because you want to help people avoid mistakes. You believe that there is only one way to do things and that is the right way. As a perfectionist, you feel that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. As a result, you are only satisfied with what appeals to your strong sense of what is moral. Idealistic, you naturally wish to educate others to help them improve themselves.

Life for you is about adhering to your strong internal set of standards. Sometimes, you wish that you could let go and have more fun. This can be hard for you to do unless you are on vacation because of your strong work ethic. You innately recognize that in most situations there are standard operational procedures. Privately, you may criticize yourself for your shortcomings far more than you ever criticize anyone else. Because you can be so hard on yourself, you long for positive feedback, serenity and happiness.

Need
You need to know what is expected of you so that you can act accordingly and excel. You want to know what is considered appropriate and to do things by the book to avoid making a mistake. You continuously strive for self-improvement and expect others to do the same. You always act in accordance with your high standards, moral beliefs, philosophies and principles, instead of basing your behavior on another person’s rules.

Avoid
You avoid impropriety, irresponsibility, high risks and/or extremes. Most importantly, you avoid expressing your anger, feeling that to do so is wrong or inappropriate. Underneath your attitude of moral superiority and need for correctness, you have a deep fear of being wrong, bad, evil or corruptible. You prefer what is practical, grounded and stable and avoid appearing silly or frivolous to others.

Virtue
Your integrity, wisdom and adherence to sound procedure can bring clarity and guidance to a confused world. You are a true pioneer with the ability to envision utopia and the discipline to put in the hard work necessary to make it happen. Like a White Knight, you are not afraid to act according to your strong convictions– even if your actions go against the beliefs of your parents, boss or society. You have a special gift for teaching and you enjoy helping people learn and improve.

Vice
Your vice is resentment because you work so hard to repress your negative emotions. You feel that showing overt anger demonstrates a loss of control, so you suppress your wrath when others are not working as hard as you and don’t feel the same level of responsibility that you do. At times, you can be self-righteous, overly strict and rigid. You can become irritable, nit picking and critical when others don’t abide by your lofty moral code and need for procedures. Remember, that people think of you as a teacher, and the best teachers lead by example, not criticism.

Attention
Your attention goes outward, to the environment, creating improvements, correcting imperfections and righting what is wrong. In your search for what is perfect, you can become mired in details and lose sight of your original goal and intention. Often it is more important to compete a task than wait for perfection.

Spiritual Path
Your spiritual journey is to reclaim a sense of serenity. Even flaws may have a purpose. Recognize that true perfection and spiritual growth will come to you when you realize that all things are inherently perfect just as they are.
Mantra
True perfection already exists in every moment, and there is nothing that needs to be reformed or improved in the eyes of God.

Wing

If you are the Enneagram Type 1 with the 9 Wing, you desire to appear patrician. You see yourself as classic, casually elegant, simple, relaxed and natural.

If you are the Enneagram Type 1 with the 2 Wing, you desire to appear cultivated. You see yourself as put together, fashionable, moody, apropos and unique.

Famous 1s
Amish, Julie Andrews, John Bradshaw, Tom Brokaw, Susan Brownmiller, William F. Buckley, John Calvin, Cesar Chavez, Ong Teng Cheong, Hillary Clinton, Confucius, Crusades, Jane Curtin, Angela Davis, Michael Dukakis, Mary Baker Eddy, Dr. Dean Edell, Daniel Ellsworth, Harrison Ford,Jodie Foster, Barry Goldwater, Al Gore, Lillian Hellman, Katharine Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Inquisition, Glenda Jackson, Peter Jennings, Joan of Arc, Samuel Johnson, Dean Jones, John Kerry, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Ted Koppel, Dr. Laura, Laura Linney, The Lone Ranger, Martin Luther, Nelson Mandela, Miss Manners, Thurgood Marshall, George McGovern, Arthur Miller, Ralph Nader, New Zealand, Leonard Nimoy, Gregory Peck, H. Ross Perot, Pioneers, Sidney Poitier, Pope John Paul II, Emily Post, Colin Powell, Puritans, Marilyn Quayle, Yitzak Rabin, Ayn Rand, Tony Randall, Vanessa Redgrave, Donna Reed, Cliff Robertson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bernard Shaw, Singapore, Gene Siskel, Kenneth Starr, Martha Stewart, Peter Strauss, Switzerland, Margaret Thatcher, Emma Thompson, Harry Truman, Jack Webb, Joanne Woodward, Jane Wyman.

All content Katherine Chernick Fauvre and David W. Fauvre, Enneagram Explorations, © 1995-2007

Life isn’t abou…

Life isn’t about keeping score.
It’s not about how many people call you
and it’s not about who you’ve dated, are dating, or haven’t dated at all.
It isn’t about who you’ve kissed,
what sport you play,
or which guy or girl likes you.
It’s not about your shoes or your hair or the color of your skin
or where you live or go to school.
In fact, it’s not about your grades, money, clothes, or colleges that accept you or not.
Life isn’t about if you have lots of friends,
or if you are alone,
and it’s not about how accepted or unaccepted you are.
Life isn’t just about that.
But life is about who you love
and who you hurt.
It’s about how you feel about yourself.
It’s about trust, happiness, and compassion.
It’s about sticking up for your friends and replacing inner hate with love.
Life is about avoiding jealousy, overcoming ignorance, and building confidence.
It’s about what you say and what you mean.
It’s about seeing people for who they are
and not what they have.
Most of all,
it is about choosing to use your life
to touch someone else’s
in a way that could never have been achieved otherwise.
These choices are what life is about. — unknown

I’ve been around for 30 years and still don’t really know what life is really supposed to be about. The older I get, the “wiser” or more experienced I get, the more complicated things are; and the more aware I am of the stupid world we live in.

I don’t see the point in procreation. It feels like it’s more superficial than anything else. More things seem more superficial nowadays. I’m not sure if I’ve been naive till late to finally see it, but it’s more noticeable.

I still haven’t figured out life. What I really want out of it. What I want to do with the rest of it. Is this normal?

I was asked in my first session, while beginning the meditation, to think of a place that makes me happy. I sat there and had a conversation inside my head and for the sake of wasting time, I mentioned my bed. Although, that could maybe be a lie because I have a love/hate thing with it since my back has been giving me problems. BUT, let’s not go down that road.

A place that makes me happy…. I’ve been thinking about that since she asked me and, still, I can’t quite find the answer….

Lifebook – LOVE THIS

Lifebook – LOVE THIS

Health:
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants, and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
5. Make time for prayer and reflection
6. Play more games.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.

Personality:
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day —- and while you walk, smile.
11. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don’t over do; keep your limits.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously; no one else does.
15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

Community:
25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your family and friends will. Stay in touch.

Life:
32. Do the right things.
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. Forgiveness heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, don’t take it for granted – embrace life.
39. Your inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least:
40. Enjoy LIFE!

Therapy: Day 1

depression-quotes

Yesterday, Monday, marked my first day of “therapy”. I still feel a little weird calling it that. But for lack of a better word, I’ll refer to it as this. I didn’t feel much of anything about the appointment, until yesterday. Anxiety started kicking in. I questioned myself all morning as to whether or not I could gather up the courage to get in my car and see the therapist. I stopped making excuses and went. The experience was actually refreshing.

Rewind to 2013, maybe the last quarter of the year some time. I saw 2 different people at a hospital under behavioral health regarding some issues. It was a bad experience, to say the least. The first psychiatrist ended our session by telling me I was basically spoiled and just need a boyfriend. After I left, I was a bit offended. No, a lot offended. I somehow made an appointment with someone else and he wasn’t much help either. This idea of “getting help” was then out on the back burner.

I was hesitant to try this experience again. I, however, am glad that I went with a private practice because it just seems so much more comfortable and inviting. I didn’t get a glimpse of that from my last experience.

Day 1 results: Because the therapist needs to submit a diagnosis to my insurance, she had to diagnose me. Severe depression and anxiety.

The process to come to this conclusion probably has something to do with the questions she was asking me throughout our session. They seemed pretty basic, didn’t dig too deep, but I never felt that I was “depressed” while I was talking about it. My mood, in my opinion, was factual. Just spewing out what came to mind and my concerns. Not that I don’t agree with her about her diagnosis, I was/am just still getting used to saying that I have that much of a problem.

My brain goes a million times a minute and is completely jumbled most of the hours of the day. I can be pretty confident that this happens in my sleep as well. My therapist gave me a simple meditation exercise to do everyday to help with this. We did it together but I have yet to do it today. It’s really hard for me to sit still and focus…even for a short 5 minutes. BUT, I will try and that’s the best thing I can ever do.

I’m actually excited to get on to the next session.

Well I was feeling such a mess, I thought you’d leave me behind // Well I was feeling so upset, I thought the sun never shine // Then I found

Forever // Hey, hey love // We’ve been best friends forever darling // That’s’ what’s up // Forever // No matter what // You’ve got my love to lean on darling // That’s what’s up

That’s What’s Up