Archive for March 13th, 2011

Getting Focused

I’ve come to realize that a big part of my depressive thinking style has me feeling worried, guilt ridden, and anxious much of the time. I worry so much sometimes that I find it difficult to feel positive, and I also have a hard time acknowledging anything I do to help myself as a step forward.

I’m ready to change this.

Two weeks of journaling about my thoughts and goals, as well as an insurance scare that had me thinking I wouldn’t be able to continue therapy has pushed me to come a place where I have cultivated very real and pretty exciting goals.

Okay! so, my online classes through Northeastern are going well, and by getting in touch with a few friends who have the same major as me, I’ve come to learn about a research opportunity being offered at Rutgers University called Project Learn. It’s a summer internship that gives students a place to live on campus with a stipend for their expenses, and connects them with a professor to do research in the health field. Many students do it after their junior year, which for me will be the summer after next. I have to apply to it with a resume, good academic record, and essays about my research interests, and since I have quite some time before that summer comes around, I can work towards getting to a place where I feel ready to do some volunteer work at a local hospital and get involved in some community activities before I apply, which will give me some good experience for my application. I feel happy about this, because it feels uplifting to have a nice opportunity like that to work towards, and the friends I have that did it said that they got to meet a lot of people, which I think would be good for me, in addition to getting to see my long missed friends around the time that I would like to volunteer.

Also, as far as feeling comfortable in my own skin again, I have noticed that my hair has been steadily improving. It has its natural texture and curl back, it is shiny, and it feels strong. The only thing is that I have a lot of breakage so it still looks frizzy and uneven, but I know that it is only a matter of time before I can eliminate that as well by staying away from a lot of heat styling and getting trims. For awhile I was upset that I was going to be left with short and dark hair, albeit healthy, but I have decided that come next fall, I am going to get a small part time job so that I can afford to get my hair blown out and styled once a week at a salon. I’ve come a long way in eliminating my feelings of guilt and worrying about my unhappiness about my appearance, and I just truly think that I deserve to feel happy and comfortable in my own skin, and if it means putting in extra effort into looking nice and presentable, than I feel that I am doing the right thing. Also, with the extra effort of dressing nicely and doing my hair and makeup, I at least know that I will be more inclined to be productive and active in my day, because that is a different feeling than being okay with being in sweats for the day.

A few months ago, a good friend of mine encouraged me to stay busy and focused on where I want to be. I wasn’t sure that I could do it at the time, because while I’ve been working towards doing better for a long time, I just didn’t know where I wanted to end up. I felt so torn down that I didn’t know what I wanted, or what I could have anymore, and that was heartbreaking.

I’m happy to say that I basically have three major goals that I would like work towards for next fall. In no particular order, they are to take care of myself mentally and physically, to continue studying and working towards being social again (with plans to see my friends, volunteer in the community and put myself on track for the Project Learn opportunity),  and the most exciting one, which is to continue singing and to learn how to play guitar over this next year, which has forever been a dream of mine.

Getting clear on my goals and my vision feels like a powerful step forward, and a good place to act from. Everyday can be a step forward, and that is so uplifting. I need to keep myself super busy, because the only time that I can stop my train of thoughts is when I’m focused on tasks. I don’t want to think anymore. I know what I want, and I am getting focused.

That being said, it’s sobering when your problems seem so small compared to the suffering others can experience. I can’t believe that another natural disaster has occurred in the world, and my thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan, may the country recover safely and as soon as possible<3 .

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