unico_love: (Hotaru with umbrella)
Habits 3 and 4 from  )
unico_love: (sailor moon beauty)
Quotes and Personal Responses )
unico_love: (sailor moon beauty)
Today went well, for the most part. I copied Michael's mother's Christmas cd's onto my computer. We watched more Christmas specials and will be watching The Snowman momentarily. Michael's mother and sister spent most of the day making Christmas cookies. We were going to stop by Michael's father's house but he didn't answer his phone all afternoon and by the time we got ahold of him it was too late and we were preparing for dinner and gift opening, immediately after Michael and I leaving for church for their Christmas Eve service.

I felt so guilty because I didn't include the gift receipt with Michael's mother's sweater!:( I must have stupidly thrown it out. It was a medium, but she's gained some weight. I really hope it still fits her or she likes it well enough to hold onto in case she loses weight (she's going on a diet after the holidays). I also made her a painting of lilacs, which she liked. I gave Michael's sister eyeshadow and primer and Michael gave her a tripod. Michael's friend Dan also visited in the afternoon and he gave us the Saturday Night Live board game and the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas special (we will watch that tomorrow!) He also bought Michael a video game. Michael gave him some anime.

There was no serious drama at Michael's mother's house for a change, which was nice. It took us 45 minutes to get to church from Michael's mother's house, so it's good we left at 7pm (church started at 8pm). We had lit candles during "Silent Night." There were Christmas readings and carols. We will probably be going to the Christmas service at 11:15am tomorrow, too. It will also be Christmas-themed with carols. We are recording the Disney Christmas parade that will be going on then.

These are the presents I received today:
-A very soft and warm robe with rainbow stars on it from Michael's mother
-Fairy Tales: A New History by Ruth B. Bottingheimer from Michael's sister
-The first two books of L.J. Smith's The Secret Circle (which I bought in 2001 before they were popular, so I gave the copy to my brother as a gift for fixing my internet problem)
-Everwood seasons 3 and 4 from my brother
-A lavender sweater from my mother (which I had to open tonight because the box was all wet)
In my stocking:
-A Disney princess coloring and activity book
-A Tinkerbell and fairies coloring and activity book
-Dark chocolate buttercreams and Mays (chocolate filling)
-Dark chocolate Reese's peanut butter cups
-Candy buttons (which I gave to Michael)
-Ankle socks, some argyle
-A fuzzy, colorful scarf
-My Nicor gas bill:P Almost $90! I've got to keep the heat down this month...

I'm wearing the new robe now:-) I think my Victorian-style nightgown might have to be thrown out due to stains... I always wore it every Christmas to imitate the Nutcracker. I always wanted to be whisked away to a magic land. I also love nutcrackers.

I've decided I'm going to get Michael's mother and sister birthday gifts since they both have birthdays in January. Maybe we can visit them shortly after my birthday. I intend to get his mother a sweater in a size Large with a gift receipt this time. I feel so guilty over that...

Overall, a great Christmas Eve!:D
unico_love: (Unico)
Day 29: 3 Wishes

1. To have some kind of creative success
2. To have happiness most of the time for the rest of my life
3. To make others happy

Day 30: a picture of yourself this day and 5 good things that happened since you started the challenge

I don't want to post a picture from today -- I look awful.
1. Becoming more flexible again
2. Becoming more determined about my art
3. Becoming closer to some friends
4. Switching main psych meds
5. Seeing The Princess Diaries and purchasing it cheaply

30 Day Meme )
unico_love: (red rose girl)
1. Michael
2. Family and friends
3. Having a house I can stay in
4. Good books to read and library card access, thanks to Michael
5. Church and church activities

365 Day Meme )
unico_love: (yellow girl with rose)
1. Disney World!
2. Cheesecake ice cream
3. Michael being happy
4. Spending time with friends
5. Reading my favorite books

365 Day Meme )
unico_love: (yellow girl with rose)
I have many reasons to smile -- good relationships with friends and family, fun hobbies, creative expression, reasonably good health, a nice home, and hopes to return to Disney World.

365 Day Meme )
unico_love: (childlike empress)
I just took my second dose of Ritalin LA. I have a lot left for this month, so I figured it was okay. It really does help my anxiety and mood... I should be happy, though, and usually I am now. Sometimes I even think I'm happier than average. I still self-monitor a lot -- constantly looking for any sign of anxiety or depression or fear. Then if I do notice it I start panicking:-/ Just too many years of too many bad emotions... Life is better now. I have to remember that. Also my pap smear test results came back normal so not another one of those horrible exams for two years! Yay!

I think I'm kind of the opposite of a nihilist. I think there is meaning in everything. When people ask questions like "What is the meaning of life?" I get very confused. It's not like I know a deeper truth than them -- I don't know an objective "meaning of life" on this earthly existence that stands true for everyone. I do think all of our existences have some kind of deeper purpose, but I don't know what it is, and I don't think one has to know that to have meaning and purpose in their life. Perhaps like in existentialism we have to create meaning in our lives. I would still count that as important. I do not just think we're useless, tiny dots existing for a moment in history, of no real value. I believe all things in the universe are sacred and divine. There's nothing wrong with being a little focused on yourself and understanding yourself and your life -- we're all sacred and valuable! Ants are just as important as humans who are just as important as any higher-up spirits or organisms that may exist/will exist. I am more hedonistic than I used to be -- I think we should all enjoy life to the fullest. Life is meant to be enjoyed and cherished. For me the ultimate meaning of life is to experience love and to love as much as possible. That is my main goal, as well as somehow making the world a better place in some small way. As Emily Dickinson said, "If I can save one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain." My views on ethics and spirituality are constantly evolving, but the core of who I am remains the same and probably so will my belief that love is of utmost value.

I have met so many creatures (including humans) that are so inspiring and great in some way or another -- I am learning so much. I am inspired always. Hopefully my self-criticism will die away and I will focus only on how I can improve instead of thinking of the ways in which I fail compared to other people. I've had great opportunities in life, too, and I have many wonderful people to turn to. Some of my past is hard to overcome, but I will keep trying.
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)
I always have a list of goals going, so a list of New Years Resolutions wouldn't list anything new. However, here are some accomplishments from 2010, inspired by someone else on my friendslist.

Accomplishments in 2010:
1. Beginning to work on Dialectical Behavior Therapy
2. Spending less time in mood episodes than usual
3. Getting more over Him
4. Making progress to better my relationship with Amber
5. Becoming closer friends with Maria
6. More serious steps in my relationship with Michael
7. Starting to exercise regularly again (mainly stretches, though)
8. Getting my digestive problems diagnosed properly and treated
9. Going to Starved Rock for the first time
10. Seeing Tuna and the Rock Cats perform
11. Going to see Swan Lake and (again) The Nutcracker ballet
12. Seeing Shedd Aquarium for the first time in a long time
13. Going to Brookfield, Lincoln Park, and Cosley zoos, and Kuiper's Farm
14. Going to the Wildlife Haven
15. Buying a new (pink) camera (before I just kept borrowing my mother's)
16. Learning more about cleaning
17. Repainting my kitchen
18. Learning how to cook some more simple things
19. Reading many more books, including (finally) the Harry Potter books and The Chronicles of Narnia
20. Seeing many wonderful movies and cartoons and anime and playing more video games
21. Listening to new music (though mainly songs I first heard through Glee and songs Michael listens to)
22. Apologizing to people after I had behaved wrongly
23. Finding ways to help improve my anxiety besides Klonopin (though I often need more than one technique to control my anxiety)
24. Improving my sexual dysfunction (still a long way to go)
25. Starting to drink more water
26. Eating more fruit and yogurt
26. Writing many more poems
27. Getting a short story published in an e-zine, and as an "Editor's Choice" story
28. Editing short stories and novels
29. Adopting another cat
30. Going to Anime Central and seeing all the panels I wanted to see and wearing Lolita clothing for the first time
31. Boating and going innertubing again
unico_love: (Cat mask)
Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder made me start thinking about ways to improve my mental health. I never really considered how other symptoms like irritation or being quick to anger can be related to bipolar, even if you aren't currently in a serious mood episode. Also PTSD and OCD are very commonly comorbid with Bipolar and what I read recently is that nearly everyone with bipolar has anxiety problems. This kind of makes sense to me because all of my mental health issues started about the same time. I'd already gotten severe overload problems and meltdowns due to autism, but when I was put in a calmer environment I was fine. And I did get some sadness/anxiety at night, but nothing severe. My first bipolar episode was hypomania with started college and it lasted my first semester. I felt like my brain "switched" over winter break. Then I came back mildly anxious and mildly depressed, but then I ended up being stalked and fell into a severe depression (my first ever). Then a few months later it gradually turned into a bad, long mixed episode which is what I was in for my first psychometric testing.

I have already made goals of ways to improve my life, but here are some changes I'm going to try making specifically for my mental health:

1. Drink 3 bottles of water a day
2. Take my multivitamin and also vitamins of Omega-3 fatty acids
3. Eat (dark) chocolate occasionally (apparently it helps some people)
4. Try to eat a fruit a day
5. Eat peanut butter and yogurt for protein
6. Eat raw vegetables
7. Try to eat the amount of calories my psychiatrist (Eating Disorder specialist) thinks I should eat
8. Stretch daily and maybe try to do yoga (turning off outside stimuli and focusing on breathing)
9. Try to do meditation exercises at least when upset (preferably a daily thing, like stretching)
10. Try to do more strenuous exercise 3x a week (ballet exercises, stomach crunches, and push ups?)
11. Journal out all my problems, obsessions, and worries
12. Take Zyprexa daily and Klonopin as needed, as well as my medications for physical issues
13. Unless it's a special occasion, go to sleep by midnight
14. Have people who know me well watch for any signs that I'm beginning to enter a mood episode so I can do something about it
15. When behaving in unsafe or negative ways, have people close to me point them out and explain why they are problematic
16. Have people try not to argue with me rationally when I'm in a mood episode, but help me find ways to stop the mood episode and cope
17. Email one of my psychologists if I need to talk about something due to mental health problems
18. Page my psychiatrist if I am having problems and need a medication change/increase/decrease
19. Talk to a friend when I'm feeling depressed or lonely
20. Wait out angry feelings before doing anything drastic (write about my feelings and tell someone what I'm feeling and why, maybe having them point out why it would be a mistake to act on my feelings)
21. Do soothing activities when my mood is becoming problematic (art, reading comforting books, writing poems)
unico_love: (Unico)
I finally finished rereading Sailor Moon Super S. I should read a bit of Sailor Moon every night -- it always improves my mood. It makes me very happy and the world seems like a brighter and kinder place. I don't relate to any of the main characters too much (I relate most to Sailor Saturn), but I relate to qualities within each of them. All of their motivations and feelings and desires make sense to me. Love is the ultimate feeling and the ultimate goal. Love always wins in Sailor Moon. The senshi are all friends who love each other deeply, as I love my own friends. Appreciating what your loved ones do for you is important. Even ordinary people can at least mentally be a kind, loving ruler of their own kingdom. We each are our own world; we create our own world. Everyone protects their own inner kingdom and can choose whether to battle and be competitive and harsh with others and their kingdoms or choose love and mutual support. Like Usagi (Sailor Moon) and Mamoru (Tuxedo Mask), Michael and I can love innocently and contentedly, taking care of one another and teaching one another to love more deeply. There are difficulties we must face, but somehow we will always cope. The world can be beautiful and filled with hope. Dreams do come true. My dream is to be happy and to be with my loved ones, maybe even helping others' dreams come true and to help others feel loved and important. Those are obtainable dreams and wonderful dreams. I am blessed in so many ways.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
In Authentic Happiness it mentioned the importance of having a meaning to your life. Sometimes in bipolar episodes I would dwell a lot on my life purpose and whether I could even justify continuing to live at the expense of other living things. Sometimes I thought that maybe there was a trick to being alive and we were all meant to kill ourselves so we would no longer kill other things in order to exist. I'd also obsess over what choice I made would benefit the most other living beings (including micro-organisms). However, I generally maintained the outlook that the world was an enchanting place that was primarily good and human beings were also fascinating and primarily good. I never really felt hopeless to affect people and the world in positive ways, though I would be keenly aware of the times I had negative impacts.

Usually, though, I have had a feeling of meaning in life and my idea of that hasn't changed much. Around age 12 I became more aware of other living creatures and how I didn't want to hurt them and wanted to do good. For me the purpose in life is to help other living beings as much as you can while also enjoying your life and finding happiness and hope in whatever you can. The world is a good place with many tools you can use to improve circumstances for yourself and others. Kindness and mercy are of the utmost importance. Forgiveness should always be cultivated -- though it took awhile to see that forgiveness didn't have to mean having abusive people in your life. Being grateful and aware of how much others sacrifice for you was also always important. Also I've always believed in God and prayed to God, though I see God as everywhere and largely beyond comprehension. For me God was always intimately tied to my beliefs about meaning in life. I want to experience God as purely and openly as possible and allow love to fill my life. I equate God with love and love in the world is of the utmost importance to me. I want to feel as much love as I can and to spread love to others and reassure living things that they are loved and appreciated. Life is difficult and filled with many roadblocks, but being able to see the good in life and fill yourself with love and happiness, contributing to the love and happiness of as many beings as possible and in as much depth as possible, makes living purposeful and worthwhile even in the darkest times.
unico_love: (Unico)
Michael is leaving tomorrow instead of Thursday because he needs to do things at home. I hate unexpected changes and being alone, so this is slightly difficult for me. Also my moods have been very erratic. I don't know if this is breakthrough bipolar symptoms or not. I'm not having any current interpersonal problems and I think even if Amber said she could visit next week I'd feel the same -- irritable, anxious, blah-ish feeling. A big reason I don't think this is a depression is because every depression I've had in the past has been completely incapacitating and I was very suicidal. Also I do feel happy and content sometimes (especially at night; I feel pretty good right now). When I'm depressed it's very chronic. I'm going to try and keep myself busy and see if that helps.

Here is what I plan to do for the next week (or longer):
1. Draw/sketch people
2. Write poems and journal
3. Yoga and possibly bike riding
4. Watch Ai Yori Aoshi Enisha (anime)
5. Watch Glee (new Fox episode Tuesday) and Who's the Boss? (Hallmark Channel) and Merlin, season 2 (netflix)
6. Read Sailor Moon manga (Super S and Stars)
7. Read the astrology book I checked out from the library and compare to my natal chart (I used to be really into astrology)
8. Do tarot card readings
9. Play Dragon Quest IV and Mario Kart on my Nintendo DS
10. Read my Scandinavian Folktales book
11. Read Singing Innocence and Experience by Sonya Taffe
12. Visit April this week
13. Read A Course in Happiness by Mardi Horowitz
unico_love: (Unico)
These are things making me happy right now:
1. Clearing up the problem with Amber
2. Having a really kind psychologist who is helping me
3. My DBT books and lessons
4. Michael keeping me company and helping me
5. Probably seeing April and Phil tomorrow
6. Having lots of books to read
7. Affectionate cats
8. Having less obsessive thoughts about my weight/size
9. Having a lot of dependable friends
10. Listening to music, watching movies, and watching cartoons
unico_love: (Unico)
Affirmations in Shadow Dance by David Richo (pg. 73-74):

1. As I let go of being subject to desire, real joy enters my life.
2. I am brave when I return good for evil.
3. I am heroic when I forgive.
4. I let go of the option of retaliation even in my mind.
5. I bypass and override my ego's appeals and seductions.
6. What I criticize in others may be true of me.
7. I look into my motivations and actions and endow them with gentle love.
8. I create my own path by walking.
unico_love: (Unico)
Today is a good day. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened, but my anxiety and obsessions are under control and I am happy. I had to buy a couple necessities today, but I'm not worrying about money. I'm watching The Emperor's New Groove which I only recently realized I had not seen before. I will probably play it again tonight before returning it to netflix tomorrow. I haven't been paying close attention because I'm eagerly awaiting a book being delivered from UPS:P I'm going to write a poem, read, paint the sky of my painting, and eventually do stretches and yoga. I really have to work on the mental aspects of yoga... I have never been into meditation other than guided visualizations. I'm not good at emptying my mind. However, it seems like so many people learn to calm their mind through yoga and/or meditation and I want more control over my mind. I feel at peace and content with my life.

Hopefully I will get an opportunity to spend time with April soon and Michael will be returning soon (tomorrow or the following day). I need to clean the house up a bit, which isn't fun, but it will be nice when it's done. I'm talking to Maria a lot on msn and the company is nice and she's a great person. I hope I can find her something nice at the Ginza festival this weekend. I'm not obsessing over food or my weight right now and I'm feeling better about my abdomen right now because I'm less bloated today. I feel like I actually look pretty today... I think I'm going to keep my hair long for quite awhile because I think I look best with long hair. I intend to keep growing it out indefinitely, though I might get some shorter layers added in the front again eventually. Sometimes I contemplate getting bangs again, but I'm not sure if I'd look good with bangs. I didn't like myself with the very heavy bangs I had until age 18.

I hope I continue to feel this well.
unico_love: (crystal ball)
I've been looking at the site tinybuddha.com a lot lately, and I liked this list and will try to apply it to my life. What is bolded in the list comes from the site.

From: http://tinybuddha.com/category/blog/regret-blog/
40 Ways to Live Life Without Regrets

by Jenny Nichols

“The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~ Unknown

Here is a list of 40 things you can do to practice living life with no regrets:
List of How To Live With No Regrets )
unico_love: (Unico)
I was feeling a bit depressed/anxious for some reason and took a Klonopin. I can't tell if it's working or not... I'm reading a good new book on positive psychology and it brought up the topic of joy. Here are some things that make me joyful:

-Talking and doing activities with friends
-Giving and receiving gifts
-Being with my mother
-Doing art (which I have to do more of)
-Writing poetry and coming up with story ideas (which I also have to do more of)
-Reading
-Going on bike rides
-Going on trips
-Going to Michael's house
-Watching anime, children's cartoons, and some movies (especially fantasy)
-Reading and thinking in terms of fairy tales
-Looking at my favorite art (Waterhouse, fairy tale illustrations, fantasy art, etc.)
-Spending time with animals
-Going on nature walks
-Going to Disney World
-Eating my favorite foods
-Fireflies and butterflies
-Getting and wearing pretty clothing
-Listening to my favorite music
-Finding people "like me" in some way
-Suddenly feeling good after feeling sick
-Making people happy
unico_love: (Cat mask)
I find it interesting how the bad experiences of our past shape us and change us. I have more fears than I did before some bad experiences happen. I guess that's fairly normal, but I let my fears get the best of me and they often turn into obsessions. Some people seem more resilient, learn from their mistakes, and live happily while just being a bit wiser. I'm shocked at how Michael's friend Dan can go on so happily despite being homeless and losing his fiance to his best friend (and she also started prostituting herself). They also stole all his savings. Yet he goes on with life, works at Walmart, and seems to be doing fine emotionally. Even little things can really upset me and make me obsess. I'm trying to think that my bad experiences that traumatized me can make me stronger in some way. That I haven't died or become permanently unhappy yet, so I should keep going on without too much fear because I will somehow recover. I still have a lot to recover from, but I'm doing better and I'm content a lot of the time.

I think sometimes I act in worse ways as a defense mechanism due to bad experiences, and maybe that wouldn't have happened if my life had gone more ideally, but hopefully it's something I will someday overcome. I want to be kind to people, helpful, and not difficult or fragile. I don't want to judge people and be cruel just because bad memories surfaced when that probably wasn't even their fault -- they were just a bystander to my personal internal drama. One of my biggest goals is to stop being verbally abusive, to stay calm in disagreements, and to take care of myself and my needs without harming anyone else. Maybe someday I will be more empathetic and sympathetic due to my bad experiences. I want to be a benevolent and patient person. I've often felt my bad experiences made me a more vicious and unkind person, but it's my responsibility to make the best of what happens in my life and to become the kind of person I want to be. All of that is more important than my goals that involve writing or art. I love those things, they're fun, but being a good person takes priority. Being a happy person, too.

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August 2013

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