Wonderful Stuff Wednesday: Feelings Edition

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Yesterday was a hard day, no two ways about it. I woke up on the proverbial "wrong side of the bed" and had not only a bad hair day, but a bad face day and a bad body day. I woke up late, it was raining, and then I left my office keys and my ID in my car (at the off-campus lot) and didn't realize it until I got to my building and couldn't swipe into the back door. Fortunately, my office mate is a gem and we worked out a schedule to make sure that I could get in and out of our shared office. I also had therapy, which was necessary, but hard because there are some days in therapy that you just have a crying meltdown, and yesterday was one of those days. On top of that, my grandmother is officially at home and hospice and we're just... waiting for something (read: death) to happen. It's not a good time.

But therapy. Therapy is a weird beast. You pay someone to sit and listen to you, and you usually end up talking about things that you actively avoid thinking or talking about the rest of the week. I've realized recently that I haven't really been "feeling my feelings," as strange as that sounds. I spend a lot of time "doing life" and pushing any feelings of depression, inadequacy, self-doubt, anger, sadness, confusion... whatever... down and out of the way. As someone who lives with depression and anxiety lurking around every corner, there's a fear that I have that if I fear a little bit of whatever feeling it is that I'm having, it will devolve into a spiral of doom that ends with me in a dysfunctional mess who can't get out of bed. I also tend to intellectualize every feeling I have, as my guiding principle is to make sure things are logical and to problem solve... and it's hard to solve problems when the problems are feelings. Feelings don't have to make sense, they don't have to be logical (often, they are not), and they can be confusing as hell.

But the good (?) news is that that's okay. At least, that's what my therapist tells me. That it's important to feel your feelings. That thinking about them doesn't make them go away, and in fact, feeling them alleviates the need to obsessively think about them. I made a comment to the effect of "Well, that doesn't achieve anything, though," and she agreed with me. It doesn't get me anywhere to feel something, but thinking about them obsessively isn't doing it for me either, and productivity isn't always the be-all-end-all (I know, I was shocked to hear it, too.) The take-home message here is that feeling your feelings is scary and that's okay, and that it's necessary to feel them in order to process them. And no, saying, "Okay, I feel angry that ____________ because ___________" doesn't count as feeling your feelings. That's just talking about them and verbalizing them. They are not the same thing. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

That might not seem like it fits into Wonderful Stuff Wednesday, but I think it's pretty wonderful that I have a right to feel my feelings. And so do you! Also, I've been reminded between today and yesterday that I have a lot of amazing friends who will let me cry and spew feelings at them, and they'll love me anyway. Thanks, guys. That is wonderful.

On to more wonderful things! Living wills! I swear, this is more cheery than it sounds. One of the things that has been brought to the forefront of my mind with what's going on with my grandma is the importance of a living will. Thankfully, she has one and so my dad and other family aren't really making any real decisions. She made them all for us and we're just carrying out her wishes. If you don't have a living will, Caring Connections is a great place to learn more about them and download the forms required for your state. You don't need a lawyer (although you can use one if you'd like), and they're fairly easy to set up. You can also go to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization to learn more about hospice, end of life care, and living wills. When I was talking with Michelle about them, she said:

"Have I told you my plan if I live past 90? I plan to liquidate my bank account, fly to an exotic island, write DNR on my forehead and OD on heroine while surrounded by male strippers with a lap full of kittens and puppies. I may be gumming a lobster at the same time... Haven't decided yet. Will definitely be drinking expensive Singaporean apple tea though. I'd be on a beach too. I didn't specify, but definitely on a beach."

I'm not sure how one could get that into their living will, but I'm sure if you tell enough of your friends and loved ones that that is how you'd like to go, they'll carry out your wishes for you. At least, they should. Even though death and dying aren't exactly beloved topics of conversation, I think it's wonderful that there are tools out there to help people with handling the end of life (for ourselves or others). Also, I'm truly thankful that my grandmother put together a living will, because this entire process would be way more difficult than it already is, and I can't imagine how that would go. (My guess? Not well.)

And now some levity. An actual email exchange that I had today:

Me: Should we use an office for the meeting, or should I book a conference room?
Doctor: Let's use (Doctor's name)'s office. He has jellyfish!

(It's true. One of our docs has a jellyfish tank in his office. It changes colors!)

Also this:

Me: I'm tired of living in life limbo.
Rachelle: Some things don't evolve as fast as we'd like them too. See: applying for things, republicans, winter turning to spring. But they'll get there eventually... minus the republicans*.

*I'm aware this might be offensive to some of you. Sorry, it was a joke. I happen to know and love quite a few republicans and understand that the crazy ones don't represent all of you sane ones out there. No need to start a riot in the comments or on Facebook or anywhere else, for that matter. Carry on.

What else is wonderful? I somehow managed to not discover Vampire Weekend until a few days ago because apparently, I live in a pop culture box. I'm kind of obsessed with their song, "Unbelievers" and I started listening to the album that it's from (Modern Vampires of the City) and it's pretty good. I think it needs a few more listens before I pass final judgement.

I also finally read Divergent and greatly enjoyed it. I had been waiting for it from the library for approximately 937 years, and last time I got it, I totally forgot to read it (I had downloaded the e-book) and so they stole it back off of my Kindle. I'm currently reading Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh which is a dystopian fiction set slightly in the future in a world where the media and technology have overrun peoples' lives (okay, that's not too different from today) and young, beautiful women who die young can be cryogenically frozen and revived by men for brief "dates" or to marry them.  It's based on McIntosh's short story called "Bridesicles" and I'm really enjoying it. I love dystopian fiction, so if you have any good recommendations, let me know! I am also going to attempt to join Bon's Book Club for this month's reading of The Husband's Secret. We'll see how well that goes.

Another wonderful thing is that 23 people filled out my poll for whether I should blog. The results are in and... most of you (15) don't care whether or not I blog, 6 of you really want me to, and 2 of you definitely don't want me to. I'm going to try and not take that personally, haha. I'm leaning towards doing it, since at least 6 of you think it's a good idea. TBD.

Also also, you may notice that I haven't posted my first project for The Creative Collective. That's because I haven't made it yet. WHOOPS. I'll... hopefully get to that.

And, since Megan at The Freckled Italian posted a "currently" post today, I thought that I'd include one here as well:

Watching oh so many things! TV came back to us these past two weeks or so, so The Black List, American Horror Story: Coven, Law and Order: SVUTwo Broke Girls, and Criminal Minds are all back. Also, I just started watching Helix on SyFy (can I just say how much that spelling annoys me?) and so far, I like it. A recent article I read touted it as the show to "fill the Fringe-shaped hole in your life" but so far, I'm not getting much "Fringe". I do like it though. (Context: Fringe is one of my favorite shows ever.) Ken and I finished season 4 of Breaking Bad and apparently, only half of season 5 is on Netflix, so I'm trying to decide how to handle this. We also started watching the entire season of Top Chef: New Orleans that was on our DVR and are still somewhere in the late October episodes... and Face Off started again last night. Thank God for DVR right? (Also, I apparently watch a lot of TV. Whoops.)

Thinking about feeling my feelings. My grandma. My dad. My med school interview next Friday. How I should really start going to the gym. If spring will ever get here.

Listening to Vampire Weekend, the Downton Abbey soundtrack, The Black Keys, Matchbox Twenty... one of those things is not like the other.

Reading as much as I can! My current Goodreads list include Love Minus Eighty, The Noonday Demon, and Adulting:  How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, but I only read the last 2 sporadically. I also just checked MaddAddam (Margaret Atwood) and The Soft Apocalypse (another Will McIntosh dystopian novel) out of the library, and just put in a request for The Husband's Secret. I love books.

Loving the (probably illicit) space heater that I have under my desk! And also the heated blanket on our bed. Basically, things that keep me warm.

Drinking coffee and loose leaf tea... not at the same time, but often in the same day. I need to drink more water. I'll work on that.

Eating more meals at home! Hurrah! I feel like I've also been eating less lately, which isn't terrible.

Missing my sweet Little Friend, Sarah. It was so nice to see her a couple of weekends ago and I wish Kentucky wasn't so far away!

Looking forward to having my dad here this weekend and having Monday off! And my med school interview next Friday. Eeeek!
What are you up to currently, and what's wonderful in your life today?

- A


  1. It figures that sarah would live in Lexington and you visit periodically after I no longer live there

    1. Well, periodically might be the wrong word, as I haven't been there since your wedding, haha.

  2. First of all. Your poll was set up for disaster. I think the moral of the story is that people like pushing buttons. And when you give them that option that's what they're going to choose. I still think people like if you blog. Second of all, feeling emotions is just so EXHAUSTING. You're right, I talk about how I feel a lot, but actually feeling them. Do you know how much time that takes? I need to take time out of my day, to be alone, to feel like shit, and figure out why. That just sounds awful.

    1. Haha, I really should have just left it to, "Should I vlog, yes or no?" Oh well, lesson learned. And yes, feeling emotions is hard! That's why I carve out an hour a week to go do it in therapy, haha. Otherwise, I'd never get anything done. I think it's interesting how many people I run into, women and men alike, who are bad at "feeling their feelings", though.


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