Blogtember: Let Me Offer You This Chaise Lounge

Friday, September 6, 2013

Annnnd we're still behind! But hey, look at the bright side. You're getting to read a LOT of posts from me in short order! (I guess that's a bright side?) I promise you'll get a life update soon, which I know you're all just dying to read, but for now, we march on through Blogtember!

Day 3: Pass on some useful advice or information you learned and always remembered.

Somehow, I've gotten the reputation for being a great pseudo-therapist. Maybe it's because I've spent the better part of the last 15 years in some sort of therapy. Maybe it's because I'm a really good listener. Maybe it's because I'm not afraid to tell it how it is. Maybe it's because I have a lot of experience with anxiety and depression. A lot of conversations have started, "So, how did you know you needed to go to therapy..." or, "How did you know you were depressed and not just sad/tired/being a weirdo/etc..." and it's usually followed by some kind of awkward half-apology about how they aren't saying that I'm an "expert" on depression or that I "have problems". At this point, I generally stop them and tell them that I'm not offended and that I am more than happy (if that's the right word?) to talk about mental health with them. (The stigma and beliefs around mental health drive me nuts, no pun intended, but that's another post for another time.)

All that to say, I like to give advice. I like to "fix" things. This presents a problem, because when I can't fix them, I feel bad, and there are always times where people ask for advice and then staunchly refuse to do anything you're recommending (and really, didn't want advice, they just wanted you to agree with them), and that makes me want to punch people in the face.

It's probably a good thing that I'm not an actual therapist.

Anyway, without further adieu, useful advice and information:

1. Always put a bathmat in the bottom of your tub. And no, I don't care if you're "old enough" and don't need one.
Once, I was a naive individual with a completely intact spine who thought, "Hey, I'm 22, I totally don't need a bathmat anymore! I'm an adult, damn it!" And then I slipped on conditioner and landed with my legs in the tub and my butt/back/head out of the tub. I gave myself a concussion, herniated 2 discs, and fractured my spine, but of course, I didn't know any of this because I also refused to go to the ER (I was a med student, all of my friends were med students... I had someone do a neuro exam and I didn't go to sleep for a few hours. In retrospect, this was a terrible way to have handled the situation. Perhaps 1a should be, "Always go to the ER if you think you have a head injury."). Now, I have chronic back problems and a fear that I'm going to slip in the shower. Just put a mat in your tub. Seriously.

2. Most of the world doesn't give a flying fuck about you.

Excerpt from Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown
I'm not saying this to be mean. I'm saying this because it's true, and I constantly have to remind myself of it. I am extremely self-conscious and I internalize a lot. Someone seems to be in a bad mood at work? I must have done something to upset them (even if I barely work with this person, clearly, it must be my fault). I tend to make everything my fault in some way, shape, or form. It's a problem. I also tend to worry a lot about what people are thinking about what I'm doing/wearing/etc. This is stupid, because most of the time, what I've chosen to put on my body or how I am standing in line are even registering on people's level of consciousness. As I like to tell people, "You are SO not a priority to that person." Obviously, you should be a nice person. A considerate person. You should hold doors and say "thank you" and wash your hands when you use the bathroom. These things are important. But in general, the rest of it doesn't matter. The world doesn't care.

Corollary: The world is not out to get you, so stop blaming it for your misfortunes. Get up off your ass and do something about your life; it's the only way things have ever gotten done.

3. Always keep napkins in your glove compartment.
 First of all, does anyone actually keep gloves in there? Whenever I think about this, my brain goes to Eddie Izzard. Start at 2:05 to see what I'm talking about.


So, instead of "a bit of an apple, a cassette with no holder, and a map of Belgium" I suggest keeping napkins and/or tissues in your glove compartment. You never know when you might need to blow your nose, kill a bug (Sidenote: Is there anything scarier than a giant bug getting into your car!?), or wipe something gross off of your windshield. Also, if you let people eat in your car (which I do), you can never have enough napkins. Inevitably, someone spills something or throws something on the floor. Just... whenever you go to Starbucks/Wawa/through a drive-through (don't worry, I won't tell anyone you eat fast food... spoiler alert, I love Wendy's chicken nuggets), throw the extra napkins in the glove compartment. If you're like me, you'll have more napkins than you know what to do with, so clean it out occasionally... but seriously. Napkins in the glove compartment.

And here's some miscellaneous advice:

- Don't touch things that are hot (seriously, I somehow manage to do this on a regular basis)
- Cut toxic people and things out of your life
- Don't lie
- Eat dessert

So readers, lay it on me. What's your advice? Check out the link-up here, and maybe by the end of the day, I'll be able to me caught up on Blogtember!

- A

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