unico_love: (Hotaru with umbrella)
No news on the MRI yet. I just got called about my *urine test* from awhile ago. It was normal. But that is the most unreliable of the tests, often giving, not only false negatives, but false positives. I'm going to have to fight her for a late nigh salivary test for Cushings. Also she said I didn't need a bone density test even though high prolactin and missing periods puts you at high risk for low bone density, regardless of the MRI results. I asked the office worker I talked to to ask the endocrinologist again. If she says no, I'm going to ask my regular doctor for a bone density test, or even my psychiatrist. I had to get my testosterone test from my psychiatrist. Which I still don't know the results of because he's so busy and I haven't seen him since then. I did try to get those results sent over to my endocrinologist *I think.* My memory is horrible now. But I think basically all my hormones were low but cortisol and prolactin, so I'm not surprised the endocrinologist hasn't told me about it, if she did get those results. I don't like my endocrinologist. I want a doctor that wants a lot of testing. I'm going to wait until I get my MRI results back, then push for more Cushings testing. Or if I just get a chance to talk to the doctor. Hopefully something showed up on my MRI and I can see the doctor soon and get all this stuff straightened out. I might need to go to a specialist, anyways, so all these issues would be handed over to them. If that's the case, no point in trying to find a new endocrinologist. Best just to stick this one out.
unico_love: (Snow White)
Wow. An ex-friend certainly went to great lengths to break Michael's heart. She's proven herself to be quite the little liar.... All those morals and ethics she talks about? Non-existent. All for show. Can't say I feel too sorry for her about her problems now that her "true self" has been revealed. Yikes.
unico_love: (Delight)
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
Dealing with stressful, anxiety-provoking, scary, painful, negative, unjust, and cruel situations.

30 Day List Meme )
unico_love: (mermaid moon)
I had a dream last night about guns, the Tea Party, and a war. However, it wasn't an apocalyptic war or anything, which is part of why it took awhile for me to remember it had just been a dream. I hate politics, so I don't know why I'm dreaming about them.

Also, I felt irritable waking up. I hate feeling irritable or angry more than any emotion. They tend to make me feel like a bad person -- especially when I express them. I imagine most people feel irritable far more often than they feel angry, but that is not true for me. In fact, I have a high frustration tolerance for people (other situations, not so much). When I burst into anger it may seem most logical that I'd been irritable for awhile, piling up irritations until I couldn't take it and exploded in anger. That isn't how it works for me. I get angry all of a sudden, usually from one specific incident. But when I reflect on the past I can see other things, which for a long time I just remained "curious" about, seem to match my reason for being angry and that leads me to think my anger is justified. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. Fortunately my irritation seems to be leaving me...
unico_love: (Cat mask)
Michael and I have some differences in how we've felt about our past in relation to other people. We are about equally extroverted -- just more extroverted in different ways. Sometimes Michael feels like he always has to have outside social contact in-person (he says this is because he didn't have it as a child/teenager). I often don't need as much contact as him. Sometimes he will be more talkative than me, but sometimes that's the other way around. I am more trusting about people and open up easier than Michael (at least, for the most part). I often talk on behalf of both of us.

Michael also has a history of deep loneliness due to lack of friends and not being able to relate to people. I intensely miss people I'm already close to, but I don't usually feel "lonely" in and of itself. In fact, I'm not really sure what it's like to feel lonely other than missing concrete people who already exist in my life. And I'm pretty good at dealing with long-distance relationships or seeing each other less than most couples. I also often lacked friends and never had a boyfriend/girlfriend until college, but that didn't bother me. I resented my father for the fact that he was so dangerous and controlling so I couldn't really have a social life, but I didn't mind being by myself with few friends. My autism also made it hard to find friends I related to closely. Still, Michael was depressed in his youth and, despite the abuse I faced, I was not. I loved immersing myself in Sailor Moon. That was good enough for me. And I don't think I'm lying to myself or anything -- I just don't tend to get lonely. I was a mostly happy child when I wasn't being abused or overloaded. Until my first depressive episode at age 19 I was probably happier than the average person (and I know I was at age 18 when I was hypomanic).
unico_love: (childlike empress)
"Unfortunately, because people on the spectrum experience and express empathy differently than neurotypical people, they have traditionally been viewed as lacking empathy and feelings for others. Recent research has not supported this idea, however. Researchers have divided empathy into cognitive empathy and emotional empathy. Cognitive empathy happens when you think about another person's feelings without necessarily feeling anything yourself. "The relatives of the deceased are sad," but you don't necessarily feel sad yourself. Through a purely intellectual exercise you have arrived at a correct answer. Emotional empathy happens when you not only correctly identify the other person's feeling but also feel some of the same emotion yourself. In the funeral example, you would be experiencing emotional empathy if you said to yourself, "I feel sad when I think about how sad these people are." Your sadness is coming not from the fact that you lost someone (you did not know the deceased) but from your empathy for the people who did lose someone.

Interestingly, some recent research has revealed that on tests of cognitive empathy people with ASDs tend to score lower (show less cognitive empathy) than neurotypicals. However, on tests of emotional empathy, people with ASDs scored higher, indicating that people on the spectrum actually feel more intense emotion in the face of the troubles or distress of another person(s). Some people on the spectrum report, in fact, that they get very anxious when someone else is in distress because they believe it is their responsibility to alleviate the other person's pain by fixing the problem. The pressure they put on themselves can get overwhelming if they don't know what to do to help."
-pg. 69, Living Well on the Spectrum, by Valerie Gaus

This is so true for me! I used to think I couldn't be autistic because I always felt so much emotional empathy. I do lack cognitive empathy often, though. Just seeing someone upset upsets me. And I always feel like I have to fix other people's problems so they can be happy. I don't doubt some autistics have trouble with both types of empathy (cognitive and emotional), but I think I've met more with extreme emotional empathy than lack of it.
unico_love: (Strange Beauty)
I really like Taylor Swift and her music. I've heard a lot of people complaining her music (or at least her lyrics) are immature and childish, but I relate really well to them. Maybe this is partly due to the fact that I emotionally feel much younger than my age, I'm really naive, my emotions tend to be really clear and basic (though strong), etc. Taylor Swift often writes from personal experience, including about break ups or how ex-boyfriends wronged her, which I would probably write about if I were a musician (I already do in my poetry, anyways).
unico_love: (Hotaru with umbrella)
1. Animal abuse
2. Being insulted or criticized
3. Losing friends
4. Seeing sadness in others
5. Looking back on past good memories and knowing they are over

365 Day Meme )
unico_love: (Unico)
Happiness is when you feel comfortable, at ease, full of positive energy, feel love towards other people and the world as a whole, you are enjoying yourself, and bad memories/worries aren't bothering you. To me, happiness is intricately tied to love.

365 Day Meme )
unico_love: (crystal ball)
"Out of a misplaced sense of loyalty, adult children often give and give and give, even when they're not getting. Quite often they fool themselves into believing they are getting because they enjoy giving. They are not the same. Be loyal to others, but be loyal to yourself first. Be loyal to others, but set reasonable limits to your loyalty. If the rewards of a personal or business relationship don't match the costs, you need to renegotiate the terms of the relationship."
-pg. 87, Life-Skills for Adult Children by Woititz and Garner

"It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness."
-Chinese proverb

“May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams. May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays.”

“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.”
-John Heywood
unico_love: (childlike empress)
I am having an ecstatic experience right now. This is my first one in quite awhile. It feels like "going home." I feel like I've been away on a long, arduous trip, separated from important parts of myself that I am just now getting back. I feel like I forgive everyone, bear no ill will toward anyone, and deeply love everyone. I feel union with God and the universe. I feel pure and good instead of my usual feelings of inferiority. Everyone who has hurt me or others is hurting themselves at a very deep level -- even if superficially, right now, they don't feel it. Someday they will. And in my beliefs, someday they will turn away from that cruelty and feel love, because deep down they are love.

I haven't meditated today yet, but I'm finding it pretty easy to meditate and so far have not had any bad experiences from it (like falling into negative obsessions or seeing horrible things mentally). Unfortunately my anxiety often returns pretty quickly after meditating:( But, overall, my anxiety is much better than even a couple weeks ago. Maybe I am heading in an upward trend...
unico_love: (crystal ball)
There is something I have learned in Dialectical Behavior Therapy that is probably obvious to most other people, but it was a big revelation for me: We are not our emotions. We experience emotions, but we don't have to act on them -- we can even act opposite of them. We are not defined by our emotions and we are more than our emotions. I have always felt like my emotions were the best reflection of me and when I experienced negative emotions, other than perhaps compassionate sadness, I was a bad person. Likewise, we are not our thoughts. Our thoughts happen and have meaning, but they don't define us any more than our emotions do. Thoughts can change at any time. Like emotions, they pass. Our true self is more solid than our emotions or thoughts. We are something deeper than those things. When I feel despair I feel hopeless. I think that is the "real" me and allow it to define my life. My sense of self constantly changed depending on how my emotions changed. In some ways I have a well-defined sense of self, but in other ways I allow myself to be overwhelmed and control.ed by my emotions and, to a lesser extent, my thoughts. It's easier to like myself when I don't feel like my negative emotions or thoughts are the truest depiction of me. It's also easier for me to see I am still being honest and true to myself when deciding not to express or act on certain emotions. It also helps my relationships.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
Why is this question so much easier than what makes you sad?

Spending time with friends/loved ones, Disney World, childhood toys and cartoons, My Little Ponies and other fantasy ponies, Pullip dolls, books, reading, writing, painting, drawing, fairy tales/folklore/mythology, rainbows, unicorns, boating, cherry blossom and magnolia trees, shopping, folk rock music, Tori Amos, Neil Gaiman and Haruki Murakami's writing, going to the Unitarian Universalist church, ballet, gymnastics, yoga (very new for me!), desserts, mountains, giving and receiving gifts, fantasy movies, learning, playing certain games, being complimented, being loved, spending time with animals, and completing a difficult project all make me happy:-)
365 Day Meme )
unico_love: (crystal ball)
Death, pain, suffering of anyone and anything. Being criticized or disappointing people. Not being liked. Environmental destruction. Losing people from my life. Unrequited love (not just romantic). Plans to which I was looking forward being canceled. Darkness. Being alone. Looking bad in photographs (since I think that must be how other people typically see me and I then feel inferior. Doing poorly on something on which I worked hard.

365 Day Meme )
unico_love: (Delight)
I was feeling a bit depressed and anxious when I woke up this morning, but I pushed it aside and took a shower/got dressed and then went over to my mother's house. I talked to my mother and brother for awhile and then felt a lot better. I just think I need more interpersonal contact. I find it difficult and overwhelming to meet new people (it's much easier online), but I like having close friends and spending time with people. Even when I want to do independent activities like art or reading I like to be in the same room as people I like. It's very rare that I prefer to be completely alone. I do get overloaded at social events with a lot of people (especially if I don't know them well) and I am an introvert, but I'm not as introverted as some people I know.

Going by Jung's personality typology, I am Introverted Intuition dominant with Extroverted Feeling secondary. I definitely do relate to people most through my feeling faculty. Emotions, personal issues, values, evaluations of things from a personal perspective/likes and dislikes are what I like to talk about and the angle on which I tend to focus. I'm not as in to exchanging less emotion-ridden factual information the way a lot of autistics do, though I can monologue about my special interests and foci if given the opportunity. I have an intense interest in people and relationships and spend a lot of time thinking about them. I also think a lot about my own self and trying to understand myself, which is more introverted. My special interests like fairy tales and archetypes I try to apply to myself and relationships. I think it will be good for me once Michael lives here all the time.
unico_love: (Unico)
I'm feeling rather forgiving and non-judgmental right now... Here are some nice forgiveness quotes I found.


From: http://www.tentmaker.org/Quotes/forgivenessquotes.htm

We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies
--Voltaire

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.—Unknown

Many people are afraid to forgive because they feel they must remember the wrong or they will not learn from it. The opposite is true. Through forgiveness, the wrong is released from its emotional stranglehold on us so that we can learn from it. Through the power and intelligence of the heart, the release of forgiveness brings expanded intelligence to work with the situation more effectively.
--David McArthur & Bruce McArthur

Sincere forgiveness isn't colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don't worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time—just like it does for you and me. --Sara Paddison

You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well. --Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness is the answer to the child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again. --Dag Hammarskjold

"Not to forgive is to be imprisoned by the past, by old grievances that do not permit life to proceed with new business. Not to forgive is to yield oneself to another's control... to be locked into a sequence of act and response, of outrage and revenge, tit for tat, escalating always. The present is endlessly overwhelmed and devoured by the past. Forgiveness frees the forgiver. It extracts the forgiver from someone else's nightmare." - Lance Morrow
unico_love: (Cat mask)
From: http://www.tenthousandquestions.com/
Wrong, wrong, wrong
What is something about you that is often misunderstood or hard to grasp, or something that people mistakenly assume about you?

People often have a hard time understanding I can be really nice a lot of the time (and mean it completely) and at other times get scarily angry and sometimes verbally abusive. I wish I didn't have such a bad temper -- at least it doesn't always come out easily. I usually have more of an anger problem when my bipolar is not well controlled, though when I'm depressed I internalize a lot of my anger. I generally like people very easily and want to make them happy, which makes it easy to appear nice or friendly. Sometimes I seem shy and quiet, but I think relatively polite. My anger can come out at people I know or strangers whom I feel are being unjust or rude in some way. I can make frightening faces when I'm angry, but I think they're similar to the faces I make when terrified, so sometimes people get confused. Even when I don't raise my voice or make threats I've been told I can be "scary." Maybe part of the scariness is the contrast with my normal demeanor. I want to become a calmer and more laidback person. I hate feeling angry and I hate feeling out of control. I wish I had better control over my emotions, in general...
unico_love: (Delight)
I don't think I've made a post yet about the book The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want" by Sonja Lyubomirsky yet... If I did, I can't find it.

The findings of what the happiest people in their studies revealed that the happiest people tended to do this (pg. 22-23):
1. Devote nurturing time to their family and friends
2. Express gratitude
3. Quickly offer help
4. Optimism about their futures
5. Savor life's pleasures/live in the present moment
6. Regular exercise
7. Committed to lifelong goals and ambitions
8. Poise and strength in coping with problems/disappointments

Activities I Find Natural:
1. Acts of Kindness
2. Goals
3. Nurturing Relationships
4. Gratitude
5. Savoring Life's Joys
6. Practicing Religion and Spirituality

Activities I Find More Difficult:
1. Cultivating Optimism (I tend to be anxious)
2. Avoiding Overthinking and Social Comparison
3. Developing Strategies for Coping
4. Learning to Forgive
5. Doing More Activities That Truly Engage Me (Sometimes my anxiety or lack of attention get in the way)
6. Taking Care of my Body
unico_love: (childlike empress)
From time to time I am still having negative feelings or judgments, but I am getting better at noticing those thoughts/feelings and reasoning with myself why I shouldn't act on them and how those thoughts/feelings will pass. They always do pass. I go back to feeling happy with my life and the people I know. I don't want to ruin a relationship to spout vitriol which temporarily relieves me. Just reminding myself those negative thoughts and feelings will pass usually works, though a few times I have been caught off-guard and have been unkind back. I get so afraid of being walked all over again. I need to continue working on expressing myself and how something affects me while still being respectful and kind, even if the other person isn't respectful or kind back. I'm still too sensitive about what others' impressions of me might be. Criticism and accusations still give me panic attacks. If someone said something awful about me I'd probably take them too seriously instead of assuming the person saying such negative things probably has a problem they are taking out on me.

Sometimes I still feel powerless, but knowing I can change my perspective of myself and the world and taking steps to live a different lifestyle makes me feel more in-charge of my life and happiness. And my medication helps, too, so the anxiety and bipolar don't rule my life so much and I can make wiser decisions and don't feel bad for no reason. I still have to work on my worrying or focusing on the past or future instead of on the present. I am getting better about worrying about the future, though, and keeping my thoughts more on the present or near-present. The past I'm starting to see as an unfolding story that led me to wear I am now, which is overall a pretty good place, so even the bad things that happened seem purposeful and less destructive. It was a state of great pain and wishing to die that made me want to turn around my communications and focus. Hopefully those incidents in March that made me so desperate and depressed won't repeat themselves. I may feel very negative feelings and have very negative thoughts again at some point, especially due to being bipolar, but hopefully I've learned how to better handle those situations when they arise.
unico_love: (Unico)
I wish I weren't so hypersensitive and didn't take things so personally. I tend to be an overthinker, and I assume other people think/feel like me, so little things people do I assume are planned out and exactly what the person wanted to do/say and it had a deep meaning. Sometimes this leads me to think people don't care much about me, like when friends don't do what they say or contact me less often than usual, etc. I'm working hard on being polite and respectful, no matter what happens (though in fights I will still be rude if someone comes on really strongly -- I hope that I change that). Just because I feel something doesn't make my feelings/thoughts about that topic based on fact. I need to just trust people will like me or do still like me and act naturally and considerately. I can't get too obsessed with people where their reaction to me or little actions that have nothing to do with me greatly impact my emotional state. I have to decide to be happy and not allow other people power over my mood because of what's going on in their life or what they feel toward me (though the latter is very difficult). With kindness and sincerity people I love probably won't abandon me. Sometimes people grow apart for awhile and I just have to accept that and be there for them if they want to be closer to me again.

I also have to think of life's good things existing in abundance and that there's plenty for me and everyone I know to be happy and reach our goals. There's no reason someone else has to have a hard time just because I'm happy or having an easy-ish time. My happiness can make other people happy and other people's happiness can be inspirational and help me be happy. Also there's no reason to compare myself to others -- we each follow our own path and things that are right for us will come along (though I'm usually only jealous/envious of other people if said people are closer to a loved one than I am).

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August 2013

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