May 2019
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learning from dating Kylei, 5 years later: tools for managing my anxiety w terrible memory & ADD


icon: "ADD-PI (two electromicroscope photos of crystallized acetylcholine, overlaid & warped in several ways)"

As my ADD has gotten more unmanageable and my memory has gotten worse at the same time my anxiety has risen to disorder levels, I find that I am needing a lot of the same tools I helped Kylei create when we were together (or tools I thought of back then).

I started a reassurance book for the worries that crop up over and over: for instance, feeling like Topaz doesn't value being immersed in me-ness and therefore doesn't want come to my house. In reality they are allergic, but I forget all the ramifications of that when I'm in the grip of anxiety. I wrote down all the reasons in clear, bold phrases so that I could re-read them and reassure myself rather than asking Topaz to reassure me of the same thing again. I actually can't remember, so the same things will give me relief every time I am reminded.

I am keeping this little book in my purple bag that I carry everywhere. Anytime I have a conflict where I am feeling unvalued, I'm going to write down whatever reassurances the person gives me. Anytime I'm feeling unvalued, I will check my book before asking for reassurance, so that people don't have to do it over and over. I'm probably going to go through my love bank also and write down things that feel like proof people love me. My own handwriting is comfortingly concrete: when I read my handwriting saying "So-n-so values my time and energy" it feels more real even then when they say it to me.

I'm also going to offer people the option to use 'check' as a code word like I used to use with Kylei, where they can say that to me if they think I'm feeling anxious and blowing things up. If I am feeling anxious, I will respond by going away, taking a few minutes to think about the situation through the lens of best intentions, calming myself, and coming back when I am not all mixed up with worries. All people have my permission to use this, but it is unlikely I will talk to you while anxious unless we have a close connection, and I won't go away unless I'm actually having an anxiety overload, so it's not an easy out of an uncomfortable conversation.

Thinking of other things I suggested for Kylei, I'm going to read back through old texts and emails when I am feeling disconnected or unloved (for Kylei I suggested they read my LJ, especially stuff tagged with their name). I was reading though old texts with Topaz to find other things they may have already reassured me on, and just skimming over the loving texts made me feel more connected, so I think that will be a good tool also. Hopefully I can remember it.

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Comments
seifaiden ══╣╠══
You talk about things using terms like "feeling valued" and "unvalued", which are unfamiliar to me. I know these words and their meaning, but I have never thought of them in the context of human relationships re: myself, to be valued or unvalued. I'm not sure what that implies about me.

What does it mean for someone to be immersed in you-ness? That sounds kind of intense.

Your writings always interest me, but your thoughts are still mysterious and foreign to me. On the upside, it keeps me on my toes, mentally.

I hope my tone doesn't transmit here incorrectly, I worry that I sound confrontational (when that isn't the intent).
honesty
belenen ══╣honesty╠══
Hm. I guess I used 'valued' to differentiate from 'loved' -- people can have loving feelings toward someone while (for instance) wishing they were different in significant ways, whereas for me valuing someone means knowing them, knowing what they offer and respecting and appreciating that as it is. It doesn't even have to contain affectionate feeling; I want to be understood and I want people to be glad that the individual aspects of me exist.

Immersed in me-ness: I make my house into an external expression of me. My bedroom most of all but also the living room and to a lesser extent the rest of the house. I collect art and put it on the walls. I arrange furniture to best accommodate activities that matter to me like crafting, talking, and smoking hookah. I organize my books according to subject matter. Nearly all of my objects have a story, either from being gifted to me or from me finding them for very cheap somewhere. Also, when I moved into this house I did a cleansing & dedication ritual that ended in everyone drawing/writing on the walls in chalk, and this has continued sporadically since then. So, coming into my house one is surrounded by me, as expressed by the decorations and intentionality of all the things. People usually tell me how good it feels, which I take as a compliment and a statement that my intentions for creating safety, creativity, and connection are working.

No worries, you don't sound confrontational. I'm emotionally puzzled by the idea that I contain mystery as I am so unsubtle, but I logically understand that thought patterns which differ significantly from ones' own can be baffling!
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.