reflections, week 21

skipped another week because things have been even wilder… I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, now—I’m hopeful but nervous, and I’m just trying to put one foot in front of the other until then.

write something every day (except Shabbat). really fell off the wagon for this for the month, not just this week—from an abandoned bullet journal to various works in progress that have seen no action whatsoever, and I haven’t even been updating my word count spreadsheet. and, as you can see on the blog, it hasn’t been any better here! the truth is that this has been a really difficult month for me on a personal level, and these struggles have consumed every waking moment. it looks like we might be on a path to some resolution, which I hope will allow me to take the reins of my life in the last week of the month!

be better about money. this has been so-so over the past couple of weeks—I think I’ve been doing more spending to try and fill the hole that I’m feeling because of these personal conflicts. I have tried to not buy things that are too frivolous, but the truth is that I did not need all this new baking equipment or the ingredients to test like 10 new recipes (recap coming soon, once I crack the code for the brazo de reina)… I just got them because they made me feel better. I have also replaced my laptop and I’m waiting for the new one to be delivered—but I don’t feel guilty about that because I have had my current laptop for seven years and I love her dearly but she’s ready for retirement.

self-validate more. I’ve realized that there is still a part of this which I am struggling with and which is not so much giving myself credit for the work that I have done or trusting myself to do things—but more about trusting myself and my instincts and my needs without needing anyone’s permission. I really thought that I had gotten over my issues trusting myself but honestly it’s another day, another way in which complex PTSD continues to impact my life. I think that realizing ADHD is part of my life has made it a lot easier to give myself room to struggle with staying organized at home and come up with more regimented systems to support myself in executive functioning—but now it’s time to spread that to being kind and supportive of myself regarding whatever I need for life after trauma.

throughout these dark few weeks, I have been incredibly blessed to have friends and family near and far offer their support in a myriad of ways. if nothing else, that has been a beautiful part of all of this—to know that, even if sometimes I am writing here just for myself, I am not in fact alone. 🙂

Advertisements

reflections, week 19

a day late because of permanent residency interview shenanigans with my husband (please send your thoughts, prayers, and offerings so he gets approved!!!), but here are some thoughts on my goals for the year:

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve done some really good writing lately—but there hasn’t been a lot of time to write. a part of that is that my final course for my doctoral program (!!!!!) ended last Sunday and I was focused on it, and part is just that things have been wild both on a personal and professional level. the thing that most shows how little time I’ve dedicated to this is that I’ve really fallen behind on my bullet journal. if I can’t find the time to sit down and update my bullet journal for a few minutes every day, then I’m definitely struggling to find time to write with any sort of intentionality. that said, I do have some voice recordings from my commute to and from job #2 that I’m hoping to type up this week to get myself in more of a writing groove.

be better about money. this took a bit of a hit this past week because I’m using some of my summer money to take care of some things that needed replacing at home as well as requesting a new passport which my married name (yes, almost a whole year later, I just didn’t want to be passport-less during the immigration evidence review process). I’m still in a better place for the summer than I was last year—but the bar is pretty low, as I had zero savings last year because I’d spent most of it on the wedding and his immigration paperwork. I’m hoping that, now that I’m caught up on bills and have taken care of the replacements and the like, I’ll be able to do some more saving in these last few paychecks before summer shenanigans hit. fingers crossed!

self-validate more. this remains the one where I feel like I really maxed out early and I’ve been working on maintaining it—which is hilarious because, when I added it to this year’s goals, I 100% did not expect that I would ever really be able to say that I had succeeded in this. it has been a mark of how much I have grown in my understanding of myself and in my coping mechanisms that I am able to pull myself out of self-loathing puddles before beginning to spiral and that I can separate myself and my worth from mistakes that I’ve made. I’ve got my very last therapy appointment with Dr. S next week, though—so only time will tell if I can keep this up once I’m flying solo.

until the next time, y’all!

thirty, treinta, trente.

a week ago yesterday, I headed out to afternoon tea at The Drake to celebrate my thirtieth birthday with my girls—the same amazing women who helped my wedding happen (with the exception of A, who had to work during our tea time). we had a chance to dress up and just relax with some tea and some treats, and then we went shopping and just had… a chill day, which is something I rarely have a chance to do.

I didn’t want to do anything big or flashy, you see—for a long time, I didn’t even think I would make it to 25, let alone 30.

for most of you, I don’t need to rehash what it’s like to live with mental illness, to wonder whether you’re going to make it through the next fifteen minutes, to try and figure out what the hell is wrong with you that you can’t seem to be an actual human being like everyone else. I was undiagnosed for so long that I managed to convince myself that I was just a complete disaster of a person—and trying to pretend otherwise felt really pointless.

but somehow, between therapy, my friends’ support, and sheer stubbornness? I’ve made it to my 30s, and I’m actually excited to see what happens next!

so, like any other self-respecting millennial, I came with a bucket list of sorts: my 30 for my 30s. I don’t know how this is going to go, seeing as I’m not great at long-term goals like that… but I figure, if there’s ever a time to try, it’s now. 🙂

we’ll see how it goes!

reflections, week 18

it has been a wild time around here, seeing as I’m officially in my thirties! also, this is the last week of my last class for my doctoral program—next up is the comprehensive exam this summer and then it’s dissertation time!

write something every day (except Shabbat). this was not amazing this past week, but the days I did write were really good! I wrote a fair amount and I am excited about the projects I’ve been working on, so I’m hoping this will be better next month!

be better about money. this continues to be pretty decent right now because I have a cushion thanks to that tax refund—I just need to keep a cushion so that things remain this easy moving forward! I will try to keep it together throughout May, but we’ll see how the summer goes…

self-validate more. having my work wife out on field trips and other meetings meant that I have had to do more stuff independently and validate my own work this past week—so I’m still doing well with this so far! recognizing that ADHD is a thing in my life and dealing with the things that are due to ADHD but I had previously considered personal failures has also gone a long way in this department. 🙂

until the next time, when things are hopefully less wild and I don’t have to be oh-so-brief!

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!

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!

Continue reading

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! 🙂