Monthly Archives: July 2014

Thank the Lord I am Here and Now

(Oh Honey: Be Okay)

This is a song one of my friends posted to facebook in May, and I fell in love with it! So much is going on in my life right now because of a situation at school…and on top of that I am on my community pharmacy rotation and a bit overwhelmed with getting the assignments done…so many of them require a lot more guidance from the pharmacists than I am getting, and hopefully I will get that when my preceptor comes back from her vacation, but in the mean time it is a bit concerning to me that I am a week in and not very far into my assignments…I was also given an additional assignment at my site that I am almost done with but trying to figure out if it would count as one of my assignments for school or if it just going to be an extra thing I did for this site…I think I am finding what I already knew to be true–community pharmacy is not for me, but I can’t really say I’ve given it a fair chance yet since I haven’t learned to use the computer, haven’t learned to use the phone, can just barely use the drivethru and cash register, and have really only been filling prescriptions though…

That being said, I don’t have much time to write, but was reflecting recently about where I am now compared to where I want to be and where I started to kind of think about what I want from this semester beyond the academics that are a given since I am still a student. I am amazed at how I have grown in the past few months. I believe I still have some growing to do as does everyone in the world, but I feel like after some rough times of believing that I’d never be good enough, never be able to be “like everyone else”–which has always been my goal despite my parents telling me it was a horribly low standard to set for myself…which I ignored since the “everyone else” I want to be like is not the bottom of the barrel, but rather the “everyone else” is more like the people I go to school with who are doing okay–I finally am feeling like not only is being “normal” within reach, but I am so close. I no longer feel like I am looking in on the world from the outside, forever separated by a wall of glass keeping me out. I have broken through the glass, and while it might seem dangerous, I can now reach out and touch the world I have longed to be a part of.

I still have some dysfunctional beliefs about germs, and probably am a bit overcautious and get scared a bit too easily, but I am not sure that at the moment I meet the criteria for OCD anymore. This is huge for me! I have recently heard that someone had been vomiting on more than one occasion within the same week and while was a bit anxious, was certainly not overwhelmed, and was able to go on with my day and be near that person as if nothing had happened. That would have never happened a few months ago when I was super overwhelmed and freaking out that a pregnant person had thrown up at home and because she had thrown up she was completely contaminated…and I have also shared a cup with someone, which I would argue is especially strong evidence that I am doing pretty well since most “normal” people would say that was a poor choice in terms of the likelihood of exchanging germs…I probably shouldn’t have done that one, especially since it was a child who I know had a rough infancy and as a result could very well be carrying some things that I might have wanted to think about before sharing a drink…but anyway, as I was saying, I still have some remnants of OCD, but I doubt that at this point any of it is taking more than an hour per day which is the diagnostic cut off, which means officially at the moment, I do not meet criteria for OCD…I still worry about germs, but it is not such a huge thing for me anymore…this is not to say that I would be totally okay if someone threw up next to me again–I am not sure it would necessarily send me into the level of crisis it did last semester, but it would very likely make me over cautious to some extent, but I think that is probably at least close to a normal response to an encounter like that depending on just how strongly I reacted to it, but just thinking about it right now, I am fairly certain that if I were in the situation again I would still throw out my water bottle and probably my pajama pants since they were so hole-y anyway, I think I would be able to eat, and probably be able to drink from the sink at school, and definitely be able to drink just fine at home…It is kind of painful to think about how far into crisis I went when that happened at the beginning of last semester…there may have been some less than ideal things about working with Mchel, but I definitely have grown, and most likely I would have put myself closer to the back burner if I hadn’t had forced accountability every week, so I have to credit some of the growth to her.

Socially I also have a success story to tell. Using the phone had been a huge barrier for me, and that was something that was only going to happen if I was forced…I knew I needed to do it, but whereas with written communication and even other forms of verbal communication while I might struggle with it and put it off, if I know it is necessary I will eventually get it done, with the phone that wasn’t happening. I simply could not break past the barrier on my own. Michelle forced me to do it, and while talking on the phone is still something I do not like and I am very glad that no one has taught me to use the phones at my rotation site yet, it is something I am doing SO much better with. I will avoid talking on the phone when possible, but I will answer my phone if it rings, and if I really need to use the phone, I can…and it doesn’t even take an hour to practice and talk myself into it first! That is incredible. Outside of the phone realm, I am also getting better at communication. I do not believe that I will ever find going on retreats to be an exciting experience–I don’t think that is who I am–but I am able to engage in conversation with people without the other person having to hold up the entire conversation, and I LOVE it! It is so freeing to be able to say the words that I want to say instead of feeling the icky trapped feeling when I really want to say something and have the words in my head that won’t come out. It makes me feel a lot more independent to not be so reliant on other people to communicate for me.

I still could make progress in both areas, but “can’t complain about much these days, I believe we’ll be okay.” There are some unresolved issues at school that are really stressing me out, but I believe in a big God who I know will work it out to his glory.

Side note–My phone has to stay off on rotation, and I don’t have internet access there on my computer and even if I did I can only access the computer for rotation related activities which I’m not sure if checking the email address my preceptor has would count but obviously blogging is not rotation related, and after the first day when I got home and opened up my computer with the internet I felt kind of like an addict getting her internet fix, but after a couple more days while I still feel like it is the responsible thing to do to check my email as soon as possible, it feels totally okay to not open every single new blog post on the internet, and if I don’t open most of them and barely even read any of the ones I do open, no one is going to care…yeah, I have less of an online community that way, but at least at home I have a great real life community now…and backing out of the online community is going to be helpful when I have to go back to school…

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Were hearts made whole just to break?

(porcelain heart–barlowgirl)

This is one of the songs that has been on repeat on my computer for the past few weeks. A lot has been going on. I have amazing friends and an amazing God, but I am overwhelmed. I don’t want to go back to school. I used to have a lot of friends at school to look forward to seeing again, and I had a place to belong at school. It was a transition to go back, but it was ultimately a good thing because I’d get to see my friends again. Things have changed though. Besides the friends I lost to rotations, I am losing almost all the rest of my friends to a new rule. I know the rule is designed, in part, to protect me, but taking me away from the place I belonged, away from my friends, and away from the place I could help people and therefore taking away my identity is really hard. Also there are so many logistics that need to be worked out–in particular, girl needs to eat is a big one that will become a problem immediately. I don’t want to go back to school. At home I have friends and I belong. There are a few kiddos in the nursery who are very attached to me–I know that is bad since I will leave, but I can’t help it–and even if they aren’t my preferred age group, it feels good to be needed…and at home I still have places where I have authority, and that has pretty much been taken away from me at school. I know God has a plan for me and there has to be a reason he changed my plans to end up at the school I am at where things from the beginning have not been going so well. I may never know why, but I have to believe that God is going to fulfill his purpose through me–not just throw me here to break me over and over again.

UnGame Bonus day 10

Level 1: Sandy’s birthday is coming up and she wants to have a big party. Tell about a party you remember.

Well, parties are kind of hard for me, so I don’t have a lot of them, but I do have a lot of “private parties.” I like to celebrate things with myself. One of my most exciting parties was my junior year of high school when I celebrated my first year free of self-injury. I had skittles and juice bags and all sorts of other treats, and I also changed the way I spelled my name as a reminder of how God had changed my life.

Level 2: When Kathy had to give her speech she felt nervous. When do you feel nervous?

I feel nervous in most communication or social situations, because I feel like I do not know how to act or what to say, and I do not like the feeling of people looking at me. It is rather limiting, because I very rarely can ask for or obtain what I want. Yeah, I know frequently all it would take to get it is a few steps and reaching out my arm, but that would make me feel like I was being watched…other times all it would take is acknowledging out loud that I’d like some juice or a bagel or whatever it is that I’d like rather than claiming I do not need anything…

UnGame Bonus day 9 and a huge success!

So let’s start with something really amazingly awesome that I am pretty proud of! So this girl who shampoos, conditioners, and rinses her hair with only her left hand because her right hand gets contaminated from touching the bottles…she shared a cup with a toddler yesterday…as in taking turns drinking from the cup…Yeah, this girl who will NOT use a drinking fountain at work because of the germs on it SHARED a cup with a toddler…I can’t say that I will do this on a regular basis, or that it will necessarily even be something that feels possible again, but it feels so good to be able to do that! Socially I still feel pretty held back, and obviously germs are still an issue to some extent, but I am so excited to have been able to do this…and it wasn’t even like I was really focusing on doing exposure–I was thirsty and knew I couldn’t get away with getting a drink without giving one to the kiddo with me, but also wasn’t sure of my ability to keep two cups un-spilled and keep my kiddo going the same direction as me…

Level 1: [QC skip] Robbie enjoys cooking and sewing on the weekend. What do you enjoy doing on weekends?

I like the same things on weekends that I like any other day…biking, hanging out with adorable children, eating, reading blogs, working…I don’t see why my interests would change based on the day of the week…just sayin’

Level 2: Clark is writing a song about love and needs help. Share some things about love that he could put in his song.

Umm, well the things I can think about love have already been put into songs…Human love is fallible, but True Love is unconditional and never ending…also, I love Kati Morton. (not in the icky way, just in the she’s awesome way). She maintains a website www.katimorton.com and is on pretty much every form of social media, and is currently trying to gain nominations for the streamys awards on youtube in the Science and Education channel category. It would be awesome if you could nominate her!

UnGame bonus day 8

Level 1: [QC skip] The family decided where to go on their vacation. Describe the vacation you would like to have.

Well, a real vacation is kind of a foreign concept right now, but I suppose on a vacation I would like to stay in my sleeping bag in a small space in a hotel room that has chocolate chip muffins and donuts and grape juice and lemonade for breakfast and those individually packaged boxes of the normal cheerios. Also, I want a normal sized pool (25yds/25m/50m) that is heavily chlorinated. Maybe I could find a way to get my bike on vacation with me, too…although if I did that it would kind of discourage actually doing anything so I might as well save my money and just do a staycation.

Level 2: Jerry felt tricked by Tammy and wanted to get revenge. Did you ever want to get revenge? Talk about it.

I have wanted to get revenge many times. The vast majority of those times I realize that someone needs to be the bigger person and not retaliate, and if the other person started it, then it will have to end with me, but a couple times I have lost my cool and retaliated. I sometimes feel frustrated though that other people can get away with practically anything because I won’t complain about it and even if I did, I’d probably just get labelled a tattletale and nothing would happen, because who would want to hurt me…umm well, if my life experience has proved anything then a lot of people want to hurt me.

UnGame Bonus day 7

Level 1: Sometimes Amy would rather sit and daydream than be with her friends. What do you like to daydream about?

Is it cheating to say I don’t know? I frequently think about the emails and texts I am working on inside my head or what I will say to people, but that isn’t daydreaming, it is just being distracted inside my head…sometimes in my imagination people randomly come up to me on the sidewalk as I go past and offer me red kool-aid but I am not sure if that is truly daydreaming either or just wishful thinking…I like kool-aid.

Level 2: On rainy days Amy feels depressed. When do you feel depressed?

I don’t know. I think depressed is kind of a strong word…when do I feel sad? Umm, also a hard question…I know I’m kind of cheating, but this is my blog and plus this is just a bonus day anyway, so I get to play by my own rules…some things that have frustrated me recently though: I am responsible for the email account for cru…and the password is not working…and I thought maybe I remembered it wrong so I searched through my old texts which because they are from a stupid smart phone they are not in order by date and time making it really hard to find what I needed, but I eventually found the password and it was exactly what I remembered it being…so yeah…and so I thought perhaps someone had entered cru into the password recovery system…but then I realized that I had no idea how to get to that from a non-STLCOP computer…and also that it was also very possible that since the questions assume that you are a person rather than an organization that for one thing it wasn’t super likely cru was in there and for the other thing someone would have likely had to have gotten really creative with the answers, so knowing none of the answers might make it interesting to try to get in…another frustrating thing: today is Monday and not only do garbage trucks tend to freak me out when I am outside, but today I am waiting for a UPS truck to come so hearing trucks is like teasing me over and over again…

UnGame Bonus Day 6

Hey, I didn’t want the commitment of continuing the series, but that doesn’t mean I can’t continue it a little longer.

Level 1: [QC skip] Billy got on the scales and notice he had gained weight. How do you feel about your weight?

First: how many scales did Billy have to get on to figure out how much he weighed? What the what? About how I feel about my weight: I honestly do not really care. To me, appearance is not that important. If I could totally choose I would redistribute my weight a bit, but I don’t think it is really such a big deal what size I am…and I have very little sense of fat/skinny anyway…

Level 2: [QC skip] Janet cries when she watches a sad movie on TV. When do you cry?

I cry when I am really overwhelmed and upset, but usually only if I am alone, because I really do not want the attention that crying draws. I try really hard not to cry in front of people, but sometimes I can’t help it, and like over spring break I chose to let my guard down and that was an awful choice. Crying in front of my (former) counselor caused her to tell me to undo the exposure I’d just done which made me even more upset…and after that I learned not to let her see me cry if possible even if she told me it was okay to…because it really might not be okay.

UnGame day 5

I made it! As I wrote this intro in my head last night it talked about how tired I am because Thursday is already a late night and then last night since I haven’t had my computer in a while I started singing my favorite songs to myself at bedtime and ended up on “Shake Your Body Down” which is not only a high energy song, but the song that I used to tell my body to wake up for lunch/dinner/going to work when I was working the night shift a few weeks ago so it is certainly not conducive to sleeping…and yes when I was working nights I did keep my feeding schedule constant except for the added snacks in the middle of the night and then worked sleep around that)…

Anyway…

Level 1: Billy says “anything can be fun if you want it to be.” Do you agree or disagree? Why?

I’m kind of in the middle on this. I do think that enjoyment can be affected by state of mind, and even something very un-fun can be made enjoyable with the right attitude about it, but I also think that there are things that it may be extremely difficult and bordering on the impossible to be made fun, and that some people have a higher capacity for fun than others.

Level 2: Sometimes Chad teases Kenny. How do you feel when someone teases you?

Well, my answer here might not be very typical, but I have been teased so intensely for so long that most of the time it really doesn’t bother me. I’d really rather people target me than anyone else, because I know I can usually take it. I used to want to set people straight (which probably did not help the situation much), but I have since learned that the response that usually makes me feel okay about it and doesn’t prompt further teasing is depending on the situation to either shrug it off or to completely ignore it as if I didn’t even notice…well, and a couple times on facebook last semester I stood up for myself, and while it may have been more appropriate to ignore it at that time, standing up for myself worked, and I actually got apologies, so I am not going to say that standing up for myself is necessarily the wrong answer…although in 6th grade when I was getting kicked under the table and couldn’t reach to kick the other girls back, it was definitely wrong to get up to kick one of them back…as it turns out though since I was already crying so hard and the teachers probably knew I hadn’t started it, I was pulled out of class until I could stop crying and then allowed to go back to class as if nothing had happened…much better than the time I was hit in the head with a rolling pin in FACS and didn’t retaliate but told the teacher and her response was not to talk to the girl who did it, but to lower my participation grade for the day because that was not good teamwork…also, crying in general is a lousy response…in 9th grade when someone called me the b-word, I got really upset and started crying and oh my, I cannot get the satisfied look on her face out of my mind to this day…and because my friend’s sister saw me crying, she told their mom who told my mom and so my parents found out…so yeah, whenever possible, DO NOT CRY…not that crying is really ever a preferable option…

Dysfunctional

Umm yeah, the first paragraph I wanted to write I am smart enough to not actually post, because besides the fact that my mom would have just about killed me if she found out I had said it, I actually am smart enough to realize that there are some things that can be said in the privacy of my own home and at Bible study, but not on the internet in a forum where anyone can see it…(and if any friends see this and know what I wanted to say, please do not add it in the comment section or I can and will moderate your comment…)

Today as I was coming home the POTSC (people of the second chance) logo popped into my mind with the phrase “I believe in second chances.” I haven’t read that blog since high school and honestly don’t even know if they are still around, but that is not really the point…I was thinking about the phrase “I believe in second chances,” and was like, umm yeah, that is my problem. I believe in second chances…and third chances, fourth chances, fifth chances, sixth chances, seventh chances, eight chances, ninth chances, tenth chances, and so on…but unlike the intent of the phrase, I do not believe in those chances for myself–I am really hard on myself–but I wholeheartedly believe in those chances for other people, and that can be a big problem. Grace is a great thing, but at some point you need to realize that you are being taken advantage of and while extending grace is a good thing to do that you really need to stand up for yourself and either separate yourself from the person acting against you, or work with them to let them know that what they are doing is hurting you and let them know that it needs to stop–and if it doesn’t you will need to separate yourself from that person…It is good to extend grace and give second chances, but it is not healthy to let people walk all over you…

Another thing that is kind of dysfunctional is the way in which I tend to use my phone…The three times I am most likely to send a text are right before going to bed, while stopped to reapply sunscreen while biking, and early in the morning…none of these are very functional/convenient times to text people…at night, I send one text, and if the person responds I will likely not see it until the morning…probably annoying for the other person since I stop responding…in the morning I send the text but the other person is most likely asleep and by the time they wake up and respond I may very well have set my phone aside and forgotten about it…and if I send a text while out biking then inevitably someone will text me back (or possibly call me 😦 ) causing me to have to stop again…at which point I frequently respond…leading to yet another stop when I get a response back…kind of annoying when you are trying to bike to constantly stop for another text…now that I’ve noticed this though, I have a possibility of making a change 🙂

I feel like I had some other things to say when I was composing this in my head while biking, but I haven’t a clue anymore what those things may have been, so yeah…the end 🙂

UnGame day 4

Level 1: [skipping first card b/c it is create your own Q/C and I don’t feel like creating my own content right now] Brian wishes he had a credit card so he could charge things at the store. Say something about credit cards.

For me it is a lot easier to pay with plastic than to pay with real money. It is a social thing for me. It makes it easier for me to quickly hand a cashier enough money (if I pay with cash I end up with piles of coins because I can’t use them once I have them and they only disappear when I go to the bank)…it also makes it easier after the transaction so I only have my card and the receipt…with money it is hard because I have the change to deal with…and so I end up dumping the change and receipt in the bag with my open wallet…messy and really just asking for something to be lost…

Level 2: [same problem with 1st card] Bret broke his mother’s vase and blamed his little brother. Have you ever been blamed for something you did not do? Talk about it.

Well I have been blamed for doing a lot of things that either never happened or did happen but the suggested alternative option was impossible (I’m sorry, but I cannot walk through a locked door and no amount of getting mad at me for not doing so is going to change that). So one thing I do not mind writing about being blamed for is that 2nd year my counselor accused me of listening to another counselor’s session. I did not, and there are a variety of reasons why it is not even possible. Let’s see, issue number one: She leaves campus at 11–I am in class from 8-10:50 and go directly from there to the cafeteria to get food then go to my room to eat and get ready for my own counseling. Next issue: Motive–why in the world would I have any interest in listening to someone’s session? That doesn’t even make sense. I barely wanted to be present for my own session so why would I want to be there for someone else’s? Next issue: it would be rather physically impossible to listen even if I had wanted to. The year before I had studied a lot at the table that was directly outside the counseling office. Even there I wasn’t hearing sessions. I did hear Anne scream when she and Tiffany Gayle were hanging out in there, but I’m not sure if the door was closed that day. There was also a day (also with TGNP) that there was a parade of people showing up, getting candy, and leaving. After the first few people I started listening because I wanted candy too. The people who walked all the way in the room before asking I could not hear–I could only hear the ones who started asking while still in the hallway…but I still didn’t get any candy because even once I heard what they were saying and mimicked it to myself a few times I didn’t have the courage to ask for it for myself…plus Tiffany acted as if I were invisible for some reason, so I’m not sure she’d have had the same response to me as to everyone else…