Thursday, August 30, 2007

Anticipatory Anxiety over Business Trip

photo by Bruno D Rodrigues
Today I found out that in a few weeks I am going to have to travel to North California for business. I will be doing this trip alone. That scares me to death. I am trying to look at it as an adventure but I know I will be a nervous reck about it. I will have to rent a car and drive which that alone is enough stress and anxiety, but add driving to unknown places in unfamiliar towns and cities and thats really scary for me. I have never done something like this before. At least all by myself. I am going to have to plan as much beforehand as I can with maps and mace. Just thinking about it is making feel like I can't breathe. I am having to take giant heaping breaths even as I type this.


Ok I just took a quick walk away from my desk and was thinking about it and I am trying to focus on the excitement aspect, not the fear. I will be able to take pics of the Golden Gate bridge and prove to myself that I am a capable of doing this on my own. It will be a challenge, but it will also be a huge learning experience for me.

Any tips out there for me?

I also have a dinner with some old coworkers tonight that I am trying to not get freaked out about.

Deep breaths. One step at a time.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rejecting Rejection

photo by wuji9981
It seems that when I am not having horrible nightmares of being shot and dying, I am having dreams of being rejected. The person(s) rejecting me vary from night to night, but the theme is always the same. I am usually back in high school confronting friends, or crushes, or old flames and all of them don't want to be around me for some reason. I spend the entire night pining for their acceptance and mourning over the lack of it. I feel sad, discouraged, and lonely all night long. According to Dream Moods,

To dream that you are being rejected, signifies a lack of self-worth and alienation of others."
Another website about the symbolism of dreams says,

"Rejection in a dream shows that the dreamer either is frustrated by non-acceptance or want to rid himself of certain feelings."

This seems to go hand in hand with yesterday's post discussing Self-Esteem. Ok so I have already admitted that my self-esteem could use some work. But this is not some dream that I have now and then. I have dreams about this almost every night. I can't stand it. I wake up feeling awful. What a way to start the day. So I don't want to do it anymore. I actually emailed a local radio station that has a dream interpreter on it once a week to have her analyze one of my dreams. I can't wait to hear her feedback. I have heard that before you go to bed you can write your dream out in a journal and then change the ending to be whatever you want it to be. Then when you have your dream, the new ending will replace the old. I should try that. Maybe I just need a dream catcher.

Any other suggestions of how to stop having these kinds of dreams? Does anyone have similar kinds of dreams?

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

How Self-Esteem Feels

This is taken from La Belle Foundation which is a self-esteem learning foundation (S.E.L.F.):

"These are general descriptions of how we feel when our self-esteem is high and how we feel when it is low. Those of us who fit either description on a regular basis know that our self-esteem is in tact or in need of work.

  1. You are generally not thinking about yourself and do not analyze yourself.

  2. You feel good most of the time. When you feel bad, it doesn't last long. You are resilient in the face of diversity.

  3. You smile a lot. You have positive belief systems about your self, your family and society as a whole.

  4. You have lots of energy. You are able to
  5. accomplish most of your goals.

  6. You are friendly. You enjoy meeting and being with others.

  7. You draw people to you. You make long-term friendships.

  8. You look others in the eye. You are trustworthy and able to be intimate and affectionate.

  9. You take risks. You are independent and autonomous.

  10. You have positive effects. You have behavioral and academic success in school.

  11. Things others cannot observe include: You talk to yourself positively, tell the truth, keep your word, are grateful to be alive, forgive yourself and others. You are empathetic, compassionate and you have a conscience.

The above actions, decisions about yourself, and beliefs can be started and adopted at any time. They take life long practice and anyone can do them. A decision must be made, and then practice must begin. All of us make mistakes but being willing to forgive ourselves enables us to forgive others.

  1. You think about yourself a lot and analyze why you are the way you are.

  2. You are stressful and fearful of adversity. You may be alienated from and in opposition with parents, caregivers and authority figures in general.

  3. You do not smile easily. You may have a negative, hopeless view of yourself, your family and society.

  4. You are tired a lot. You may be unwilling or unable to set and achieve your goals.

  5. You stay to yourself. You prefer being alone to meeting new people or being with others.

  6. You keep people away. You have trouble making and keeping friends.

  7. You avoid looking into the eyes of others. You have difficulty with genuine trust, intimacy and affection.

  8. You refuse to take risks. You are needy and may have a tendency to cling or to fake independence.

  9. You create negative effects. And in extreme cases you can be antisocial and perhaps violent.

  10. Things others cannot observe include: You talk to yourself negatively, you do not tell the truth or keep your word, you do not forgive yourself or others. You may lack empathy, compassion and remorse.

Raising ones self-esteem takes changes in behavior. Behavior will change with practice and intention. Self-esteem is an achievement--a process that empowers, energizes and motivates. It is not something that we have, but the experience of things that we do. Self-esteem is the experience of being capable of meeting life's challenges and being worthy of happiness."

Unfortunately I can relate to more of the lower self esteem items than I care to admit. Maybe a few of the positive from time to time, but I really can relate to some. I don't smile easily. I always wished I had one of those laughs that were contagious, but I rarely laugh out loud. If I think something is funny I will maybe smile and let out a small chuckle but it takes a good pin down tickle torture to really get me laughing. I AM tired alot. I love to stay home and do nothing as opposed to going to social events, I have a hard time making friends, I rarely take any risks, etc. I think alot of these scenarios are common with people with social anxiety disorder. The statement that has made the biggest impact on me in this article is the first one. "You are generally not thinking about yourself and do not analyze yourself." How can I ever get to that point? I am so introverted that I don't know if I can ever NOT analyze every little thing I do.

Which statements describe you?

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Pulled in all Directions

Quick Post to let you know that right now I am feeling pulled in all directions. Work, wife, church, all is extremely stressful right now and I am sorry that I haven't posted. I have been thinking about it but I don't have much to offer right now as I am just trying to keep my head above water.

I successfully prevented a panic attack on Sunday by breathing deeply and writing down positive affirmations and some mistaken beliefs- ex I asked myself, "Whats the worst thing that could happen? How would I handle that? Is it really all that awful?" and I also took some clonozepam. It was really helpful.

I promise to post something useful soon, hopefully today.

Here is an interesting article from about replicating the out of body experience you feel when having a panic attack.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

What to Do When Your Spouse Gets Fired?

Yep, my hubby got fired this week from his job. The stress is horrible. So many thoughts race through your head. What are we going to do for money? What can I do to comfort him? What kind of changes are we going to have to make to our budget? Are we going to have to move? Am I handling this the right way? Should I be angry? The list goes on...

Also, I think this would be a great time for him to go back to school, but he is still deciding. I have told him my thoughts several times, but I can only nag so much and its his life. Its so much easier for me to say what to do when I don't have to do it.

So for now we will see what happens. Honestly I think its a blessing because the company he worked for was horrible and didn't appreciate his hard work at all. Plus now he can hopefully find something he loves doing or like I said, finish school. I have tried to be very supportive and loving. I have tried not to worry too much because I know he can find another job easily if he needs one soley to pay the bills. Its still stressful though. I am not sleeping well lately at all.

My latest favorite song on the radio is by Sara Bareiles, called Love Song and the first few lines of the lyrics are,
" Head under water
And they tell me to breathe easy for a while
The breathing gets harder, even I know that"
Hits home right about now.

Has anyone ever had a spouse in this same position, and if so, how did you handle it?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Blog down ALL DAY and potential Book Review

Unfortunately Blogger has been having some issues and my blog has been unaccessible in IE all day long! So I am sorry for anyone who keeps getting an error. It works in Firefox- woo hoo! I personally love Firefox.

So lately I have been feelin the stress. BIG TIME. I am trying to stay positive but we're talking potential life changing events. So I can't really focus on very much else right now. I just pray that it will all turn out okay. I will keep you posted. Usually when I get like this I bite all my nails but since I have fake ones one, I have resorted to ripping them all off. Now my fingers hurt.

Anyway, I will try to come up with a good post in the near future as the last little while I have been feeling drained. I want to read "Feeling Good" because I have heard good things about it. I reserved a copy at the library and look forward to getting it. Anyone already read it? Any reviews?

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Yoga for Workaholics

If you are like me than you spend the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. With all of the work that I do it makes it difficult to set a time to do yoga even though I know it is so very beneficial to me. I always feel so much better after doing it. Luckily I came across some really cool, short videos that show you different yoga techniques that you can do at your desk at work to help you take a break. Its nothing huge or life changing, rather something small and easy to implement that could help you have a better day. The majority of these I could do at my desk without drawing very much attention to myself. A few I probably would get some weird looks if anyone saw me. I think they are worth checking out, especially the neck stretch, shoulder, wrist, spine, chest, seated twist, and seated twist with legs crossed videos.

Enjoy :)

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Simple Stress Reliever- Have a Good Chuckle!

I don't usually post funny things on here, mostly because I feel that my anxiety isn't funny. I also am hesitant to put anything controversial on here because of my SAD nature. I very much so want everyone in the world to like me. If Heaven forbid someone didn't than I would have to spend forever analyzing why and what I needed to do to change their opinion. Thats how I have always been and probably always be. Middle of the road, happy go lucky, be nice to everyone. However I do think that its nice to be able to laugh at yourself every now and then. Otherwise we stay in our self awareness nit picky judgmental attitudes right?

So since I have been working a lot and am getting tired of it, I can use a laugh.

While surfing for a serious webmd video on Youtube, I came across this parody instead. Personally it made me smile. If it offends anyone, sorry, but like I said, I think its good to laugh at what you are going through occasionally.

Ok if you want a really good serious movie about reducing stress and anxiety you have to go to the WebMd website cause its flash so unfortunately I can't bring it to you.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

How To Gain Confidence- Express Yourself Creatively!

I don't have very much time to post today so I decided I would leave this quick thought:

I know that the biggest reason I have social anxiety issues is due to a lack of confidence in myself. I've mentioned this before but since its so constant in my mind I will mention it again. One way I am trying to overcome that is to pick up hobbies that I like that allow me to express myself creatively. This not only allows me to be proud of myself and what I have accomplished- but I feel it also gives me a sense of depth as a person, and it helps to define who I am in small ways. Also, it seems to relieve stress for me. Maybe it can do all of that for you too.

So one of my latest hobbies is photography. I also love to scrapbook, play the piano, blog (yes I consider it a form of creativity and expression) and I am sure I will pick more up along the way. I don't claim to be a professional at any of them but it is very fun. Here are some recent pictures I have taken with my new camera I got for my anniversary:

These above are a couple pics of my newest nephew that I took while babysitting.

Here is a combination of 6 pictures taken at different settings and then meshed using an HDR program. Just playing around to see how it works.

Here is a closeup of a flower using a macro filter

Anyway, if you haven't found anyway to express yourself you should. You don't have to be good at it. I am a beginner at pretty much everything I do, but it still brings me a sense of accomplishment and worth to look back and see my progress. Some ideas for hobbies are:

  • photography
  • sports (water sports, team sports, etc)
  • sewing/knitting
  • carpentry work (woodwork)
  • scrapbooking
  • writing
  • painting
  • gardening/ landscaping
  • videography
  • skateboarding/ longboarding
  • training for marathons or races
  • creating webpages
  • dancing
  • RC racing
  • play a musical instrument
  • sing
The list could go on and on! Now that I have shared one of my hobbies- what do you guys do to express yourself?

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Causes of Morning Anxiety

photo by piotr zurek
It seems that there is a lot of interest in morning anxiety. I was curious about this because when my anxiety is the worst, its always in the mornings. So I decided to do a little research on my own. Interestingly, Jerry from rxlist says,

"Yes, depression and anxiety are worse in the morning. That is when your body's cortisol level is the hightest(cortisol is stimulating) and that accounts for probably part of what you are feeling. Cortisol is the stress hormone, your body produces when you are under stress.
The paradox of stress/cortisol is that anxiety produces cortisol, which produces anxiety which produces more cortisol, which causes you to feel more anxious...etc....
Soon you find yourself in this never ending cycle of anxiety and depression.
What you must do to get well is ACCEPT your anxiety. You must ACCEPT your feelings and not try to fight them. Do this long enough and an interesting thing happens, the anxiety goes away."

Deanne Repich from her article Understanding Early Morning Anxiety says,

"Another reason why symptoms can be worse in the morning is because your blood sugar is low when you first wake up. You have gone all night without food.
It's important to maintain a constant blood sugar level because the brain uses sugar, also known as glucose, as its fuel. If blood sugar levels are too low or drop too fast, then the brain starts running out of fuel.
This causes the brain to trigger the "fight or flight" response. The "fight or flight" response sends a rush of adrenaline, cortisol, and other neurotransmitters through your body to prepare you to fight or flee the perceived threat (low fuel).
This process can trigger physical reactions ("symptoms") such as trembling, rapid heartbeat, sweating, panic attacks, fatigue, insomnia, mental confusion, nervousness, dizziness, and more."
That makes sense to me. It couldn't just be a coincidence that so many people seem to have anxiety around the same time. Other reasons I strongly believe we have morning anxiety are because of anticipatory anxiety and Negative Self Talk.

So how can we overcome our morning anxiety? I did a post awhile back on some interesting habits you can get into that's worth checking out. Also, here are more from Deanne about making your environment more friendly,

"...get a radio alarm clock that wakes you up to your favorite music. Another alternative is a Zen Alarm Clock (R). It wakes you up gradually with pleasant chimes of increasing volume and frequency (found at
Keep a robe and slippers next to the bed so that you can warm up quickly and minimize a drop in body temperature as you get out of bed.
If the bright lights of the room bother you, install a dimmer switch near your bed. You can gradually increase the light's intensity over a period of several minutes after you awaken."
Furthermore she recommends having a snack next to your bed to eat when you first wake up to help get your blood sugar going. For me what worked best was putting positive statements around my morning routine. I had one on my alarm clock that read "This may be hard today but I CAN DO IT". Then on my bathroom mirror and closet drawer I had a couple more affirmations that lifted my spirits. Also listening to my favorite music in the morning on my mp3 player helped to distract me from my loud morning thoughts.


UPDATE: Because this is such a popular topic, I have revisted it the more I learn. You may be interested in reading:

    I would love to open this up for any other suggestions people have.

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    Monday, August 13, 2007

    Cloudy on the Inside

    photo by illustriousbean
    Lately I have been feeling a little bummed out for really no apparent reason at all. I had a rough work day with excruciatingly long meetings and I know that the rest of the work week will require some extensive overtime. So I guess thats a reason. I got home and started cleaning my house but lost interest and energy after a little while. Now I feel really grumpy and can't really explain it.

    Maybe its the last days of summer flying past me with the heat thats causing me to feel so lazy and sad. Maybe its just a bad rut. But I can't really focus enough to write a really decent post so I just decided to write how I feel.

    I am starting to not like going to my church for the simple fact that everyone has children except me. So I sit there and all I can think about is how many people have babies and little children and why can't it be so easy for me? It makes me feel defected in a way. But I know I just need to put my trust in God and he will support me in my trials. He knows better than I do when I should go that route. Plus the other benefits I get by going to church always outweigh the comparing thoughts. I can never escape comparing myself. Thats not to say I only want kids cause everyone else does- because I have already gone a lot longer than most couples that live near me without kids and for a long time I was proud of that fact. But now I see a baby and its more of how I want one.

    Also I acted like a huge know it all and started a little family drama that is too draining to even get into. So I have a sister that won't return my calls and she is getting married in a month and I don't know if she even wants me to come.

    So life isn't super fun right now so maybe the grumpiness isn't without reason.. And thats ok. It can't always be great. If the clouds never came than I would never appreciate the sun.

    In other news, I've been asked to be a guest blogger on another anxiety blog. If there is any suggestions on what you want to read about, let me know. Its not as comfortable trying to post on someone else's blog as opposed to my own. Maybe there is such a thing as social anxiety via blogging?

    P.S. I added a song "Speeding Cars" by Imogen Heap to the playlist, its one of my all time favorites that I was finally able to find.

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    Friday, August 10, 2007

    Vitamin B and C for Anxiety

    A new commenter to the blog recently asked some questions on Vitamin B. I thought rather than have a novel reply I would do a post on it so everyone can benefit. I have to say I am not a doctor so please don’t sue me for anything that I say and you do and it doesn’t work ;) Ok so what I am going to tell you is all from the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook. I will paraphrase it but he says it much more elegantly:

    Vitamin B
    When your body is going through stress it depletes stores of B and C vitamins rapidly. The B vitamins are necessary to help maintain the proper functioning of the nervous system. Deficiencies in Vitamin B can lead to anxiety, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, etc. There is more than one kind of Vitamin B. (B2, B6, B5, B12, etc.) It is best to take all eleven of the B vitamins together in a B-complex supplement since they tend to work together synergistically.

    Vitamin C
    Vitamin C enhances the immune system and promotes health from infection, disease, and injury as well as helps the adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands (when properly functioning) help you cope with stress. (Vitamin B5 also helps with the adrenal glands and many people find that taking it is helpful in dealing with excess stress)

    So what and how much to take?
    If interested here is what the Ph D says:

    • B-Complex: 50 to 100 mg of all eleven B vitamins once a day (twice a day under high stress)

    • Vitamin C: 1000 mg in a time release form, twice a day (double this dose under high stress)
    Make sure you take them with meals so they can be broken down properly otherwise its useless.
    You cannot overdose on B Vitamins as they are water soluble. The one exception to this is Vitamin B6. DO NOT exceed 100 mg per day if you are taking it on a long term basis. Repeated daily doses in excess of 8000 mg per day of Vitamin C have been associated with stomach complaints and kidney stones.
    Hope that answers your question. If you have any more questions on this subject let me know :)

    Did you find this article helpful?

    yes, it answered my questions.

    no I didn't find what I was looking for.

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    If you answered no, please leave a comment to let me know what you are looking for so I can help out.

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    Wednesday, August 8, 2007

    Focusing on the Negative Only Makes Things More Ugly

    photo taken by me with a macro filter on a Cannon Rebel XT.
    **You have to click on this picture to enlarge it to see the details of this fly. Its kinda gross.**

    I am going to go off of some thoughts I had taken from SA D’s blog post about Modifying your Perception. I won’t quote any of it but it is a really good, helpful post in my opinion.

    There is a quote that hangs in a coworker’s cubicle of mine:

    “Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you.”

    One person can be stuck in a traffic jam and think to themselves, “I can finally listen to this CD that I never have time to” and they are enjoying the situation the best they can. Meanwhile the person in the back of the car can only think of how horrible a situation they are in and curse and moan about how life stinks and now your going to be late and what kinda moron would get in an accident here and cause all this traffic etc. etc. They are fully upset and angry. Happiness is not dependent on our environment, instead its our attitude and perception that have a huge impact.

    Who owns a magnified mirror? The kind that shows you all your pores? WHY ON EARTH would anyone do that to themselves? They should call those mirrors what they really are- “Self Esteem Demolishers.” I don’t need to focus in on every little minor flaw that I have because that will only make me feel depressed and ugly.

    So why do the same thing with our souls and personalities? Why nit pick apart every little thing we may or may not do right in a social situation when all it will do is cause anxiety and nervousness and make us feel bad about ourselves? I say throw the mirror away and get a new perspective.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2007

    Overly Sensitive of Society's Ignorance but Feeling Justified

    So yesterday my old boss instant messaged me out of the blue. She was always like a mother to me and I really loved working with her. However here is how the conversation started:

    MA says:

    Hey, send me your blog site again so that I can see your Hawaiian pictures. I didn't get to look at them before.

    Aimée says:

    Aimée says:

    I don't put very much on there unfortunately so it hasn't been updated in awhile

    Aimée says:

    how are you?

    MA says:

    I am good. I went to the site and your pictures are great. You look way too thin. Are you losing weight? Your trip looks wonderful.

    one of the photos she would have been referring to me looking "way too thin"

    Now after I read that last line I felt like she had just punched me in the face. For me that statement would come across EXACTLY the same way as if she had said it the opposite way, “You look way too fat. Are you gaining weight?” Had anyone said that to most people in America you would have been floored and very offended. That’s how I feel. Although I know she didn’t mean it maliciously and she is just generally concerned, it just goes back to the fact that telling some one they are too skinny, too fat, too ugly, too tall, too short, too anything = YOU ARE NOT NORMAL AND THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU. I wish our society understood that more. I am learning not to take offense in their ignorance but I did seriously think about replying with some nasty comments. Instead I decided my weight was none of her business and instead of trying to make excuses for the way I am or try to justify myself to her I would simply say,

    Aimée says: I'm fine thanks. The trip was awesome. Have you ever been?”

    I figure that was a nice way of saying “thank you for your concern although it is unwanted and you no longer need to feel the need to ask me such personal questions again.” It reminds me of some older posts Absolutely Unapologetically Thin and Every Journey has a Beginning which both touch on this topic.

    Am I the only one that is sensitive to this issue? I feel that I am justified in being sensitive because I hear it ALL the time ALL my life and so I constantly am being told that I am not good enough just the way I am. That’s why this has been such a hard challenge to gain confidence in myself just the way that I am.

    If anything I am learning to not let those comments wound me so deeply and to just push it aside. I also didn't try to make excuses for why I am the way I am. At least that’s some improvement, a step toward sticking up for myself as I am.

    Monday, August 6, 2007

    Taking Notice

    photo by augfw
    After my long weekend off I was worried that I would have lost some readers and would have had a hard time picking it back up. However when I checked my email I saw some amazing developments. What a surprise! I received an email telling me,

    "...we have selected The Reality of Anxiety as one of our Top Site Award recipients! We are honoring the top Anxiety blogs and sites on the Web, as picked by our experts. Your blog delves into the issues surrounding social anxiety with candor and compassion. We applaud your efforts to keep the Anxiety community informed and involved."
    How awesome is that! I am so excited about it. You can go to their Top Sites Award Page to see the other blogs that won the award. Many of them I link to and some I do not but have looked at before. All are great sites in my opinion for more information on anxiety. So I have posted the award on the side of the blog but here it is for you all to see in all its glory... (drum roll...)

    Tah Dah! (trumpets play, confetti thrown, red carpet rolled out)

    Also my traffic has gone up tremendously and its not because of Brinn in Beaumont ;) Its because another web page has linked to one of my previous posts about my Top 10 Resources that I use to help me with my anxiety. You can see it at Psych Central under August 5th's post entry if you are curious. Other websites are also posting this article such as iVillage.

    Its so nice to see people taking notice of my goals and hopes for this blog- a place where people can find information to help them with their struggle with anxiety and a place to find some support. I really appreciate all the support and can't wait to see what happens next.

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    Sunday, August 5, 2007

    Personal Bill of Rights

    photo of one of my dogs on the way to the mountains on Friday

    I am so sorry that it has been so long since I've posted. I took the weekend off for a little get away for my anniversary but I am back now. I had a really great time and I got a new Rebel XT Digital camera so hopefully I can put more of my own pictures on here in the future.

    I also had a bridal shower on Saturday and when I showed up I noticed tables set up in another room with place settings, and the smells coming from the kitchen told me there was a full on meal being prepared. Usually at showers there is a light amount of food, fruit, desserts, maybe a croissant sandwich, but this smelled heavy. Sure enough it was a two course meal and I got nervous. I took a spot that was in the corner but surprisingly the table I chose filled up with people while others stayed more empty. I cursed myself for picking the spot. I was hoping to be more secluded so I wouldn't feel like I was being watched. So I took a little clonozepam. The first course was a soup served in wine glasses with a shrimp garnish. (the grandmother making the food used to own a restaurant). I tried it and although it wasn't gross, it wasn't my favorite. So I took my time and watched everyone else. Some ate all of theirs, others hardly ate any which comforted me to feel like I didn't have to eat it all if I didn't want to. So I didn't. he next course was served buffet style and it was a mexican dish with tortillas, rice, veggies and grilled chicken. It was really yummy and I was able to take an amount I was comfortable with. I LOVE buffets for that very reason. So I made it through and the dessert was a yummy sorbet. I was proud that I made it through something I didn't prepare for at all.

    So thank you for the thoughts my way and support.

    Here is an interesting concept found in The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook:

    Its called your "Personal Bill of Rights". This concept is drawn on the idea that we all have rights as human beings and sometimes we either forget or we don't realize that we have them because we weren't taught them as children growing up. If we can not only realize these rights but also learn to exercise them than we can build a more assertive attitude which means we respect ourselves enough to be conscious of our basic human rights. Here is the list:

    1. I have the right to ask for what I want.
    2. I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can't meet.
    3. I have the right to express all of my feelings, positive or negative.
    4. I have the right to change my mind.
    5. I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
    6. I have the right to follow my own standards and standards.
    7. I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe, or it violates my values.
    8. I have the right to determine my own priorities.
    9. I have the right not to be responsible for others' behavior, actions, feelings, or problems.
    10. I have the right to expect honesty from others.
    11. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
    12. I have the right to be uniquely myself.
    13. I have the right to feel scared and say "I'm scared."
    14. I have the right to say "I don't know."
    15. I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behavior.
    16. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
    17. I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
    18. I have the right to be playful and frivolous.
    19. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
    20. I have the right to be in a non abusive environment.
    21. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
    22. I have the right to change and grow.
    23. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
    24. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
    25. I have the right to be happy.
    He says that if you read through this list everyday carefully, eventually you will learn to accept that you are entitled to each of the rights enumerated.

    Personally, my favorites are 19, 15, and 21. Which ones are your favorites and why?

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    Wednesday, August 1, 2007

    When Do the Walls Come Down?

    First off, I apologize for not posting yesterday about goals like I originally planned. I was without a computer for most of the night and I can't find my book that discusses what I wanted to talk about. So in the meantime I will list the book in case anyone is interested in it, and hopefully I will find it soon and post on the topic. The book/manual is called "Getting An Edge- Student Edition" and has a lot of really good stuff on making short and long term goals. So I will try to find it.

    In the meantime, I have my friend Rachel coming over tonight. We are going to make some magnet boards to give to our other friend Lindsey for her bridal shower. I am nervous about tonight in the fact that I worry we will run out of things to talk about and there could be some awkward silence.

    I forget what its like to not have to work at a friendship. I remember having best friends in high school or growing up where I felt completely comfortable around them. My walls were down and I was outgoing. We had sleepovers where we would tell our secrets and ogle over boys we liked, talk about things we had in common like school, and jam to music in the car- singing our hearts out.

    Now I feel like its all about keeping the other person entertained. Do they have enough to eat or drink? Are they having fun? What should we talk about now? Do I look okay? Am I acting appropriately? All these worries swirl through my head and sure I still have fun but its limited somehow. I don't feel like we are truly friends yet because its still a performance. Its like the dating scene all over again! I can't let my guard down, the walls are up and firmly in place.

    So I hope that things go well tonight. Maybe someday we will reach that kind of friendship that I remember, or maybe I am just being naive.

    How are all of you doing?

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