Enneagrams, Russian Doll, and Killing Yourself

killing the self

A Mental Health Update

Yesterday I went to a therapist for the first time in my entire life.

I’ve been overcoming depression on and off for about twenty years give or take. It’s not that I’ve ever necessarily been afraid to go to therapy. I tell strangers my problems all the time over the internet. I’ve always thought that I could work through everything myself, I thought I was strong enough, that comparatively my problems were nothing.

Well, a few things happened all at once to finally get me to make the call. First, I ended yet another toxic relationship. Then, I went to Planned Parenthood after the end of this toxic relationship and discovered my pH balance in my vagina was off. Shock shock. Not a big deal. This happens to women all the time, we just tend to keep it to ourselves. They put me on antibiotics and thus for the last week I have not been drinking. I’ve instead been filling my time with a lot of reading and a lot of Netflixing.

Broad City Collection

One of the many books I’ve been plowing through is a book about Understanding the Enneagrams. At first, I thought this whole thing was going to be bullshit but bullshit can be entertaining. Initially, I was drawn to it from a writer’s perspective to better understand the motivations behind different people’s actions and reactions. Enneagrams divide people into 9 different personality types that continue to get more complicated and nuanced as you learn more.

As I was reading it I found that people I know fit within certain numbers perfectly. Like the guy I fell for most recently was an unhealthy 3; no self-worth thus manipulates and deceits people until he brings them down to his level. I found myself too. I’m an 8. The Challenger. The Challenger rises from a loss of innocence that can then manifest itself in lustful ways.

Fast forward.

I’m binge-watching Russian Doll on Netflix. I love Natasha Lyonne and Chloe Sevigny. I stick with it even though it starts off as this Groundhog’s Day-esque format of which makes me go mad. Yet, I put my anxiety on hold.

There was something quite powerful with this show even though the repetition of repeating the same day can make a person crazy, which is exactly the point, right? You keep getting thrown these same situations over and over because you’ve never solved the problem you were meant to solve.

The only difference is that our patterns come back with different masks, we don’t get a do-over. (I will not go down the rabbit hole of alternative dimensions today because that just gets complicated.)

Anyway, so we can see the main character repeating the same patterns within the same time frame of a day, day after day, but it’s just the same as us waking up day after different day and getting to try again.

At the end, she is finally confronted with her loss of innocence. She has no where else to go and must take the steps to overcome the pain of her past. She has to kill the part of herself that she no longer the needs. The part of herself that has been trying to protect her all of these years but has instead started to do the opposite. This is not a physical death. It is a letting go.  

Is this character an enneagram 8? Most def.  

Is this all just coincidentally unfolding right here right now for me? Nah. It’s time.

It’s time for me to take proactive steps to stop my pattern that are holding me back.  Sure, I’m strong, but I’m stronger now because I can admit that I can’t do everything on my own.

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Uncuffed and Alone: An Exercise to Help You Get More (And Better) Dates

tips for better dating

A Tip for Better Dating

Love, Romance, And The Art of Being

So, you survived the holiday season as a single entity. January has been alright since everyone is all about getting healthy and transforming into a new ‘you’ blah blah. But, the season of love approaches and your dating life has seen better days.

I’m going to offer a simple exercise to add to your daily life to potentially improve your dating life, because just like one would do crunches in order to strengthen their ab muscles one must also actively exercise their social skills.

I’m not going to tell you to delete your dating apps or to learn to love yourself more, I think both of those suggestions lean on the bullshit side of things.

Sure, dating apps can be discouraging, to say the least, but they are but one resource, one tool, in the world of romance and you might as well use all that you have, right? Because you never know. You definitely won’t know if you don’t try.

Male Sex Toys 300x250

I also want to take a minute to unpack the concept of “learning to love yourself more.”

I mean, is wanting to have a meaningful relationship with another person keeping you from loving yourself? No.

Are you living your life doing the things you want to do?

Are you working on your own personal growth and development in the best way you can?

Because here’s the thing, we all do the best we can at the place that we’re at. Some days are going to better than other days. Some days you might be hard on yourself or be annoyed with yourself but that doesn’t mean you don’t love yourself enough.

What right does anyone else have to tell you how much love you have for yourself?

It’s sort of like when someone suggests that you “just be yourself,” as if that means anything, as if it was possible to somehow transform suddenly into another body with another personality.

If people were really trying to give you some good advice, the best advice would be to cut the “yourself” from the phrase and to suggest that you “just be.”

To be present in the moment that you are in and to not attach yourself so severely to your thoughts or your emotions.

Do you remember a time when you were angry or joyful or afraid? You can feel how that feeling felt but you also know that it’s a memory and you weren’t stuck in that feeling for your entire life. In that sense, when feelings arise in the present you can remember that they will not necessarily stick around either. This is an important skill to have in not just your dating life but life in general and is a much better suggestion than learning to love yourself more.

But, I digress.

Here’s a simple exercise to add to your everyday life. When you venture out into the world, try for the next couple of weeks to engage in conversation with at least 3 random people every day. I’m talking complete strangers–old ladies, kids, teachers, baristas, neighbors, friends of friends etc.

No, it doesn’t count to say, ‘how are doing’ to the guy at 711 every morning when you buy your doughnut or whatever, that’s just being a decent human being. I am suggesting a short dialogue involving at least one question that requires an answer beyond “fine.”

I know that this task may sound daunting to some people. Start with talking to one random person and go from there if three overwhelms you, but let me breakdown why this exercise has the potential to help your dating life.

Talking to strangers opens up connections. Suddenly, you and the people you interact with will feel a little less alone in the world. It’s a small act that contains much larger consequences. It’s recognizing our humanity. It’s a way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and break the invisible wall that we all often put up while in public spaces. It’s a way to be more engaged in your surroundings. It’s a way to make you an active participant in your own life, to write your own script instead of just watching your story unfold like a passive consumer.

Plus, you never know who you might meet. Once you’re at ease talking to someone else’s grandma or your best friend’s random cousin, it will not be out of character for you to talk to a random person you’re actually attracted. It will come out naturally. You will not be invested in the outcome but present in the moment of the interaction and thus will be more confident.

People are attracted to other people who are confident. We all know this, but many people don’t understand what it means or how to gain it, and I’m telling you right now. You have to hurl yourself into the unfamiliar until the unfamiliar is familiar.  

You think I’m being overdramatic, I dare you to give it a try.

Here’s a short example of something that could happen. Let’s say you enjoy reading books, so one day you go to the bookstore and you’re hanging out in your favorite genre section. While you’re there you see an older woman in her 50s also browsing. So, you say something along the lines of,

“Excuse me. Hello. I just finished a really amazing book about _____ and now I’m afraid that nothing I pick will live up to its amazingness. Do you have any recommendations on amazing life-changing books? I feel it’s always better to ask another book lover than to just randomly pick something.”  

Somehow you get into this crazy conversation about books and the best authors in the entire world.

As you’re wrapping up she says something like, “You know what, I think my niece would get a kick out of you. Are you seeing anyone?” And then, whoa, you just randomly got set up on a blind date.

OR nothing like that happens but you did just have an amazing conversation AND found a new book to read.

See where i’m going here?

Movember

Anyhoo. I am also single. So, if you’re willing to do this, I will do this as well because nothing is more bullshit than someone who tells someone else to try something that they aren’t willing to do themselves.

There will be days when you are just not in the mood. I would suggest to try it anyway because it’s the type of thing that could actually get you out of that mood.

Keep me posted on what happens, how you feel, etc. This shall be quite fun.

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Does Traveling Just Make You Want to Travel More?

I Do Not Miss Denver

or

Denver Doesn’t Miss Me

Traveling is weird. I’ve been in Florida for 9.5 days and I don’t want to go back to Denver. Clearly, Denver doesn’t want me either because it took me through a slew of “friends” to find someone able to pick me up from the airport (thank you S btw, you’re a lifesaver aka a money saver aka a good person).

People in Florida just seem way friendlier, overall, no offense Denver people, but maybe a little offense.

For example, this gentleman I met off of Tinder just a few days ago agreed to drive me to Orlando from St. Augustine (like a 2ish hour drive). Becuase he wants to spend time with me. Because I am awesome.

Sometimes I think Denver people forget that.

Let me remind you.

I am awesome.

I also have an ego and I’m not afraid to use it.

Traveling is weird. I don’t want to go back to Denver. Yet, I HAVE to go back to Denver. I’m not sure exactly WHY I have to go back to Denver, except I have a return flight already paid for and I have a house I pay rent for and friends and stuff with social obligations coming up that I’m sort of like ‘egh’ about because I’d rather be on the beach ignoring everyone.

I’d rather be on the beach thinking about nothing. Being nothing. I’d rather feel the power of the waves. I’d rather be punched in the vagina by the ocean water then go back to Denver and have to deal with the reality of my situation.

What’s my situation? My limited reality?

Oh, just that I can’t keep hiding from myself and I have you know, get back to work.

Traveling is weird. I don’t want to go back to Denver. But, I have work to do. Sometimes travel inspires you. Transforms you. Reminds you of who you are; who you want to be. Sometimes it lets you know that where you are may not be the best place for you. Sometimes it shows you possibilities of a life you could live. Or shows you what’s missing from the life you are already living.

Maybe all of those things happened.

Maybe none of them did.

All I know is traveling is weird. I’ll see you all in Denver tomorrow, you fucking assholes. Love you.

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Addiction and Personal Growth, Bullshit?

addiction

Maybe It’s Okay to Not Be Better?

or

Words of Wisdom From a Professional Drinker

Yes. I am addicted to shit. Not literal shit, but a bunch of stuff people become addicted to, alcohol mostly. Though, not in an alcoholic way quite yet, more in a binge-drinking sort of way.

I’ve been drinking since a young age. First to numb the pain of growing up in a culture that thought I was too weird, too stupid, too woman to do anything with myself. Second to numb the pain of trauma. Third to numb the pain of being around other people while maintaining a sense of self (aka being able to talk to other people). Fourth to feed my depression because it gets really hungry and loves booze. 5th because beer tastes good.

Blah blah. I could keep going with a ton of reasons, but who cares.

I have drank  (drunk?) A LOT.

And I don’t even feel bad about it.

I only want to admit that I do it. Perhaps because I haven’t hit rock bottom. Or maybe that time I drank and got raped was rock-bottom and I just can’t get myself to admit that the drinking was the problem not the rapist… wait. That sentence is wrong. It was for sure the rapist’s fault that he raped.

But anyhoo, back to me, enough about that loser.

I love to drink. Drinking loves me. But perhaps we’re not in the healthiest of relationships? Perhaps we’re a little too dependent upon one another?

I’ve been in Florida for just a few days and my desire to drink has shockingly subsided. Sure, I had 4 beers over like 7 hours earlier today while at the beach, but I could have lived with or without and been fine. I didn’t continue to drink after I woke up from a nap, which I would normally do. So, progress not perfection right?

That’s the other thing though. I’m really getting tired of personal growth bullshit. Can we all just admit that we’re not good at certain things? That we are in fact BAD at certain things? Why do we have to feel this constant need to IMPROVE? I’m not advocating stagnation. I believe we should move more like water in a river than water in a puddle. Yet, if you’ve ever watched a river it does have times where it just chills. It’s okay to fucking chill.

“Transformation”…”Personal Growth”… “Mindfulness”… In the U.S. these concepts are part of an industry… this industry is rooted in capitalism. Trying to improve your spirit is just as much about making money as trying to make yourself prettier. You are already pretty. You already have spirit.

Feeling guilt or shame because you’re not namaste enough will not make you more namaste it will just make you feel guilt and shame.

Do we need any more of that?

I think not.

How does addiction and personal growth interconnect?

Well. How many people feel guilt and shame about whatever the fuck is wrong with them?

Everyone.

Why not just embrace that there is shit wrong with you? Be a fucking chill ass river for a day or month or year or whatever. Maybe stop worrying about BEING BETTER and just be whatever the fuck you are?

It’s at least more liberating for me so far. And my addictions have stopped being so addicting, so perhaps there’s something to “not growing” after all?

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