reflections, week 17

we’re back at it, folks—trying to get this done early today so I can keep working on the old to-do list…

write something every day (except Shabbat). this has been a massive issue this month, for some reason—I know it’s been a really busy month but I really had dreams of catching up during spring break and it just did not happen. I did better at writing this past week than I have throughout this month, but it still is not where I want it to be. I also went the longest I’ve gone not working on my bullet journal so far (about 10 days!!!!), so I’m trying to come up with some ideas to do better next month.

be better about money. this has been pretty steady so far—I think getting that big tax refund really made a difference in letting me get caught up and then ahead on some payments, so I’m finally in a comfortable place. also, my husband is now working, and I’m actually going to have summer savings to supplement my summer job money—so I might be able to stay caught-up/ahead for the first summer in a long time.

self-validate more. my therapist and I have been having some wind-down sessions (she’s retiring and we think I might be able to fly solo!), and she remarked on how different my self-talk is during sessions. she specifically pointed out that she has not had to correct any negative self-talk in over a year because, whenever it slips out, I have corrected myself. it was so exciting and validating to hear it from her because she has seen my journey very closely and understands better than anyone how much growth this entails!

until next time, y’all!

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getting tasks done with adhd

something that has always bothered me about my executive dysfunction—and which preventing me from accepting that there was an issue rather than just laziness on my part—is that I do not often struggle to complete tasks, no matter how difficult… but I always struggle to start them. (this is especially the case during bipolar downswings, where motivation is at its lowest and nothing seems rewarding enough to bribe myself with.)

my struggle with task initiation is not unique among fellow ADHD peeps, I have learned; in fact, there are many articles describing it and giving tips. however, I have found that years of maladaptive behaviors on my part mean that some of those tips do not work for me—so I figured I would share what does work! while I used my personal examples for each of these, I have also seen some of my students be successful with these… but, as with everything, YMMV!

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reflections, week 16

we’re back on the saddle after a week off from updates, y’all! it’s honestly been absolutely wild over the past two weeks, between SAT and PSAT and a paper due for my grad class and my husband’s 30th birthday and then preparing for Passover since I’m hosting seder for the first time this Friday… but I’m taking a minute in the middle of my spring break to breathe and reflect.

write something every day (except Shabbat). this definitely hasn’t happened in the last couple of weeks, as might be expected according to the aforementioned wilderness. I even missed my weekly updates for the first time! I had a lot of dreams of getting caught up over spring break that haven’t panned out, particularly since I’m now sick (as is the case every time we have a school break)! I’m not super convinced that things will be very different over the next week or two, since I’ve got another paper and then it’s my 30th birthday, but maybe things will even out again in May?

be better about money. this has remained pretty steady—that tax refund was really life-changing because I’m finally caught up on payments and I have a little rainy day fund. I worry that the rainy day fund will just be a summer fund, as it often happens… but J is finally employed and I think this summer might be a little easier than usual… fingers crossed!

self-validate more. this was harder to do when I lost my writing momentum, but I’ve been trying to be kind to myself and just remember that I’m doing so much stuff and I’ve got mental illnesses and it’s honestly a miracle I find enough time to do the essential, let alone the extra stuff. I just think I need to rethink my priorities for this next quarter a little bit.

fingers crossed I’m back here soon—I did miss the chance for reflection last week! 🙂

on touch and boundaries after trauma

(cw: sexual assault, PTSD, complex PTSD, trigger responses, dissociation, emotional abuse, relationship violence)

the last couple of weeks have been, to be frank, an absolute mess. the stress at work was beyond wild because of this past Monday’s site visit, the results of which will determine whether we get funding to continue our personalized learning journey—and then I had an interesting conversation with a colleague on Thursday the 30th that left me too shaken to write about until, well, now.

it started out innocently enough. we were discussing something unrelated and I mentioned to my colleague that I missed seeing them around, as we just have not coincided in a while. they breathlessly revealed that they have been taking some time off because they were sexually assaulted and are trying to recover from the experience. they then went on to describe the situation in pretty specific detail—and, as (bad) luck would have it, it was really close to my own experiences with assault.

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reflections, week 14

I thought last week was difficult—but nothing could have prepared me for this week. I had a pretty intense PTSD episode (post incoming), did some laundry, and tried to keep my head afloat. on a bright side, the walkthrough happened this past Monday and it seems to have gone quite well!

write something every day (except Shabbat). I actually did write every day except Shabbat this past week, not even including academic work, and it was super exciting! I’ve started Camp NaNoWriMo strong—okay, it’s only three days, but I don’t usually start on the 1st so I’m giving myself credit—and I’m actually excited about this story! we’ll see how this goes!

be better about money. I got my tax refund today and I’ve never been more excited to see a deposit in my savings. I’m trying to keep at least 40% of it in savings, so we’ll see how that goes—but all I did with that money today was pay this month’s bills early (aaaaaaand buy tickets for Endgame for myself and some of my closest friends since it comes out my birthday weekend)! I’m gonna also buy some supplies for my classroom and some hair products from ULTA because I’ve been waiting forever to buy them. but overall, I feel pretty excited about making good money decisions lately, including accepting a summer job that I know will be more work but will pay way better than my other option.

self-validate more. my therapist actually remarked on this just this past Monday, as I told her about my PTSD episode and managed not just to avoid negative self-talk but also give myself props for how I handled things. I’m also sitting on that post (I’ve literally got five in the queue), but I’m trying to figure out what makes the most sense when (and what I can finish first).

until the next time, in whichever post that might be!

reflections, week 13

this past week has been… rough. I don’t know if I’m just taking my therapist’s retirement harder than I thought I was or if PSAT bootcamp at work is just ruining my whole vibe, but I’ve dissociated more in the past week than I have all year so far—and I wasn’t stellar on my goals, either.

write something every day (except Shabbat). this was, for the first time this year, a total fail this past week. I wrote what was essential for grad school because I absolutely had to—but there were way too many days where I went, “I could write right now, but I could also just play this new The Sims 4 game pack…” and that just was not a productive approach. I’m hoping to try Camp NaNoWriMo (yet again, lol) next month just to see if being surrounded by other people who are excited and writing will get me, well, writing.

I’ve also gone back to the idea of trying to establish a routine. I really think part of the issue is also that I do so many other things sitting at that spot on my computer, so my ADHD brain is struggling to conceptualize writing when we don’t have to as a task we do there—but sitting literally anywhere else would give me issues breathing (due to the cat being all over every other surface) or just completely isolate me from everyone else in the house. So I think I might compromise by getting an old netbook back into shape and using that to be my writing computer? If I keep it plugged in near my other computer, it might be easy enough to switch between the two and focus on writing for a little bit.

be better about money. this hasn’t been stellar this whole month, to be honest—I made the grave mistake of being too excited for my tax refund and, since it has yet to arrive, I am struggling. I have to spend this weekend getting caught up on my finances and setting a plan for next month, or my 30th birthday plans are not going to be the only thing that I have to drop next month. on a bright side, I have remained strong on all my canceled subscriptions!

self-validate more. this was exceedingly difficult this week because I did so poorly on the other two resolutions and I have, in general, been in a really weird emotional place lately. however, despite some negative self-talk rearing its head this week, I’ve managed to not berate myself or go into a self-loathing spiral—and I’ll take that win, damn it.

until the next time, in which I will be discussing my issues with my nemesis, the laundry!

reflections, week 12

a couple of days late because I’ve been wrapped up in Purim and birthday shenanigans for our lovely roommate, M! we slept in and baked and had ourselves a mini Marvel marathon—and I did a fair amount of processing over the fact that my therapist of eight years is retiring at the beginning of May and I have to figure out whether I want to find a new therapist or try and fly solo for the first time in a long time. we’ll see…

write something every day (except Shabbat). this has been a tough week for this; I haven’t even kept up with my bullet journal! what I have written has been piecemeal and unfocused, none of it going to any actual project I have begun this year. I haven’t even made progress on any of my drafted blog posts—which has been equal parts obnoxious and exhausting.

be better about money. this has been better than expected and, thanks to the fact that my husband might be working soon, I expect I will be able to keep making progress towards this. right now, my focus just has to be on not spending my whole tax refund on taking us on an amazing vacation somewhere new but I am so, so tempted.

self-validate more. I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to do this lately, mostly because it’s been a wild week, so I’ve been focusing on being kind to myself more than anything else. negative self-talk has been a huge problem for me in the past, so even just avoiding continuing down that path if I start on it has been progress.

until the next time, y’all!