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Harriet

Harriet's Tiny Habits Continued

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

Thank you my pretties. I was starting to get down on myself for being lazy and not wanting to do even the tiny tasks I set for myself. But there are several alternative explanations for why I always seem to get tired on trips. 1. planes and cars make my sinuses worse 2. I don't cope well with the heat 3. sleeping in new beds means lower quality sleep or 4. taking me out of my cozy shell makes me alert and anxious which eats up a lot of energy. Or all of the above. Anyway, I'm going to keep resting and binge watching the great british bake off because it's too hot for anything else. 

Heat drains me too. When I was a little kid I always said cold was better because when it's cold you can keep putting on more clothes. When it's too hot you can only get so naked.

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30 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Heat drains me too. When I was a little kid I always said cold was better because when it's cold you can keep putting on more clothes. When it's too hot you can only get so naked.

 

This is exactly me. I live in a mountain desert that turns into an oven in the summer and I hate heat. I turn into a shut-in during the day, all summer long.

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13 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

This is exactly me. I live in a mountain desert that turns into an oven in the summer and I hate heat. I turn into a shut-in during the day, all summer long.

I call your mountain desert with my lowland desert. Split the pot?

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15 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Heat drains me too. When I was a little kid I always said cold was better because when it's cold you can keep putting on more clothes. When it's too hot you can only get so naked.


Exactly what my husband says :). I agree.
 

15 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

This is exactly me. I live in a mountain desert that turns into an oven in the summer and I hate heat. I turn into a shut-in during the day, all summer long.

 

1 hour ago, Grumble said:

I call your mountain desert with my lowland desert. Split the pot?

 

I'm not in any sort of desert at all anymore. My world is more steam room than sauna. Even now at the very beginning of the warm, my glasses fog up when I walk outside from any air-conditioned space. Still, blech.

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18 hours ago, Harriet said:

Thank you my pretties. I was starting to get down on myself for being lazy and not wanting to do even the tiny tasks I set for myself. But there are several alternative explanations for why I always seem to get tired on trips. 1. planes and cars make my sinuses worse 2. I don't cope well with the heat 3. sleeping in new beds means lower quality sleep or 4. taking me out of my cozy shell makes me alert and anxious which eats up a lot of energy. Or all of the above. Anyway, I'm going to keep resting and binge watching the great british bake off because it's too hot for anything else. 

 

 

If I were taking this test I would totally mark "All of the Above" - that sounds like the exact right answer.

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On 4/9/2019 at 7:16 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Heat drains me too. When I was a little kid I always said cold was better because when it's cold you can keep putting on more clothes. When it's too hot you can only get so naked.


Yep... you can't escape. My least favourite weather is hot and humid, where it doesn't cool down at night and you can't get any rest because it's hot where your back touches the mattress. 

 

On 4/10/2019 at 11:01 AM, Gemma said:

If I were taking this test I would totally mark "All of the Above" - that sounds like the exact right answer.

 

It's a bit frustrating because Mr Harriet is adventurous and loves travelling, and I'm very cautious and anxious and don't. So I try to get out of my comfort zone and do some things with him. But then every time we travel I get extra tired and turn into the worst, least adventurous, most sleepy companion ever. 

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3 minutes ago, Harriet said:

It's a bit frustrating because Mr Harriet is adventurous and loves travelling, and I'm very cautious and anxious and don't. So I try to get out of my comfort zone and do some things with him. But then every time we travel I get extra tired and turn into the worst, least adventurous, most sleepy companion ever. 

 

Why don't you like traveling? Is this a thing you have talked to therapist about? Is it a thing you want to talk about?

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11 minutes ago, Grumble said:

 

Why don't you like traveling? Is this a thing you have talked to therapist about? Is it a thing you want to talk about?

 

I didn't realise it was something to talk about. I don't like it because I'm always anxious and exhausted. I like being in my home, where my anxiety is low and I can rest if I'm tired. Because I can get very fatigued quickly and unexpectedly I don't like being too far from home--it feels kind of like a game where the save points are too far apart.  In new places I don't really feel relaxed. Interacting with strangers is tiring and a bit anxiety provoking for me, I'm socially anxious around interactions with money as well. I can't read maps very well, especially on the go as I get flustered. When Mr Harriet asks me about my preferences for places to stay/activities/where to eat my mind just goes blank and I feel indecisive and my default is do nothing, hide. I feel especially anxious in countries where the laws are different or the police are untrustworthy or where women are less equal. You only have to read the news regularly to feel that just being a woman in the world is horribly dangerous, but at least at home I feel safe because of familiar surroundings (it took a couple of weeks for my anxiety about the USA to go down). It was pretty tense in Cuba when the police stopped us and our driver felt the need to bribe them. I also felt extremely anxious in Myanmar when we went a few years ago because it had just opened up to visitors and we were some of the few foreigners that many of the locals had ever seen, and they have a bit of a fetish for pale skin in that part of the world. I'm basically a necromancer with freckles. So I had men staring, children touching me, and in one hotel the staff left flowers on just one of the two beds (we got single beds for some reason) which just made me feel watched. Also I worry about getting things wrong because of different cultural expectations. Like in Myanmar people would push services on you that you didn't ask for and didn't want, then demand money. Awkward. I also get worried about a range of little things like communicating in different languages, running out of petrol, finding somewhere to eat, accidentally breaking laws or rules that we don't know about, accidentally offending people, getting lost, etc. Gee, now that I'm writing this out, I realise I haven't really dealt with my anxiety, I've just become accustomed to a narrow range of interactions and experiences that are part of my normal routine.

 

That said, I'm trying to stay chill on this trip and am doing okay with that. I'm just letting Mr Harriet do all the driving and decision making, and I'm just floating along for the ride like a disembodied spirit. A spirit who eats steak. I just want to finish this anxious venting on a positive note. Last night, we got a meal that makes me feel we've really discovered the America that I imagined before arriving. It was a steak, but it was about three times larger than a normal large steak, you know, like the size of a medium-length novel. Also, it was delicious, tasting like smoke. Apparently it was grilled on mesquite, which I understand is a kind of wood. Also, there was outrageously salty, creamy mashed potato with an oasis of gravy in the middle. There was a bit of asparagus, but not too much. Mr Harriet ordered the "small" serving of ribs and got a chunk of meat the size of a small cat. USA, hurrah! 

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So the "laziness" and tiredness whilst travelling was definitely option 1: planes make my sinuses worse. I have come down with a proper cold sort of thing. This happens basically every time I travel. This in addition to having had mild sinusitis since mid January. I need a better plan to cope with this. No amount of healthy eating or lifting or meditation is going to make me shiny and healthy enough for this to stop happening (or is it? Regular meditation can have an anti inflammatory effects in the body, as can the right diet. But the internet doesn't agree on the right diet. And maybe intense cardio would improve my respiratory health and thus my sinuses by association... or maybe I'm delusional). Anyway, I'm off the hook for laziness, but I'm angry at my stupid sinuses for constantly letting me down.

 

Also I am exhausted from travelling whilst sick and this morning I cried because Mr Harriet asked me why I'm eating bread for breakfast and not weighing myself. I don't think that taking a break from focusing obsessively on health and weight is going to make me fat and unhealthy immediately. But I still feel guilty and afraid that it will in fact do this. But there was nothing in the cupboard for breakfast. And I don't want to find out how much I weigh after several days of restaurant eating.

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Well, this challenge did not go well, at least by a boring, standard measure of whether or not I did the things I said I would do. I quit the leg exercises because bodyweight exercises bore the **** out of me and I already work out six days a week, leave me alone, leg exercises. Also my knees got better spontaneously with different shoes and better kicking technique. I did take my vitamins and make that a habit (which I stopped while travelling... no matter how easy the task, there's nothing I can't avoid when I'm in a low patch). I did get into a bit of a habit of cleaning the kitchen at night after cooking. I did keep writing (except while travelling, now I have to pick up the thread again and I'm feeling cowardly and passionless). All attempts to control my eating backfired, and I have concluded this path is not for me. If I COULD get thin with restriction, I would, but my swolebellum wants other things for me, and sends me nigh irresistible messages to put things into my face, and it's been getting more and more sensitive and reactive with each attempt to lose weight. I feel if I attempt one more diet, or "cut" to pretend it's lifty and healthful, I think my brain will start reaching out directly and transferring entire legs of ham into my face. I did, however, start reading about intuitive eating. I am currently attempting "unconditional permission to eat" which is scary but won't last forever. I did not clean or meditate consistently, or check in about aimless computering after lunch.

 

I'm a bit unsure what to do for the next challenge because I made the habits tinier and tinier so I could stick to them, but I failed at them anyway. I think the next step has to be a mental transformation. My anxiety is under control only within my existing routine--any changes make me anxious again. And I'm using a shitload of escapism to avoid just being with my thoughts or in my body or being in the moment. I don't know why, I expect this habit started in school when I would get all my work done in five minutes then be forced to sit quietly doing nothing for another 40 minutes. Then I used escapism when I was badly fatigued all the time, because I had no energy to do anything interesting, but the days were still a normal length and had to be filled. So I've been using daydreaming, video games and tv/film (but only familiar ones, nothing new, because that would be too emotionally demanding) and excessive checking of social media and news (which I don't even read attentively, I just sort of skim), and excessive reading about food/watching food shows in order to avoid... what exactly? Feeling things, trying to decide what to do with my time now that I have a little more energy, being physically present, etc. It's interfering with my actual real life and preventing me from doing more stuff. 

I think now that I have a bit more energy (thank you lifting) and some practicing managing my anxiety, this retreat from the world is the biggest hurdle to me transforming my days. It could be the difference between writing for a few hours a day like a proper writer, and just writing for a few minutes before scuttling back to safe and numbing mindlessness. It could be the difference between doing the same old things and staying anxious, versus actually having and enjoying adventures (including but not limited to travel). The question is, how to proceed?*

*You don't have to answer that, I'm just pondering in writing. 

 

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That's a lot of insight you've got going right there. Sometimes the challenge is understanding you have a better grasp of the problem than your anxiety says you do. You'll get there.

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