Happy 2011, and an update

Hey folks,

Well it’s been a long time between updates, but I thought I’d drop in to wish you all a Happy 2011.

This year has been pretty rough at times, but I seem to be recovering gradually. There is hope on the horizon. On a bad day it may feel like wishful thinking, but I don’t think so.

Most of my energy in 2010 was taken up with a very demanding acting course, which another friend with Chronic Fatigue recommended as a way of unlocking my blocked emotions. Wow, it was a blast. High highs, and low lows. Plus I got to meet a really inspiring group of people who are pursuing their dreams. I’ll always be grateful for the friend who put me onto it. Did it make me better physically? I’m not so sure, but it was a great experience and I do seem a bit more energetic than when I started the year.

In lieu of any better explanation, I’m going along with Gupta’s amygdala hypothesis that the underlying problem is really anxiety. It seems to fit my symptoms, especially the panic attacks and frequent anxiety overwhelm. I suspect I got more out of doing Path of Love than I did out of doing the Gupta program though, and I’m going to continue to pursue avenues for emotional catharsis, reducing anxiety and eliminating shame through exposure in loving environments.

I’ve spent the last 4 months working on The Confident Man Project, which is now mostly in maintenance mode. There will always be more stuff I can do on it, but I have many other projects in mind to complete. I tend to jump from one thing to another rapidly without settling, which makes it difficult to see anything through to successful completion. I think the more emotional healing work I do, the closer I get to being my true self, and the clearer my plan for the future should become.

One minute I want to be a rock star, the next a famous writer, the next a stand-up comic, and then some sort of life coach. Fear of failure and the amount of effort involved in anything creative to become successful has me blocked. I feel stressed due to a lack of clear direction, but in the mean time I keep working on existing projects. Maybe one day I’ll feel satisfied just “being” without having to “do”; but I want to make a contribution and I want to be rewarded financially. That’s not gonna happen just sitting back meditating all day, even if I did have the patience for it.

Anyway, life is pretty good. I’m not so depressed these days, and less anxious lately. Sharing how I really feel with other people has been tremendously valuable in this regard, as has learning to express my anger and stand up for myself more. It’s all hard work when I’m feeling fatigued, but that hasn’t been so bad lately, so I feel optimistic.

Be kind to yourselves, and be real with other people folks. If people accuse you of negative thinking when expressing frustration, grief or upset at being ill, tell ’em to take a hike. We will get better. Hang in there…

Cheers,
Graham

Just passed six months on the Gupta programme

I’m currently in Brisbane visiting my father’s family, motivated by my aunty’s 80th Birthday. Technically, it’s six months now since I began the Gupta Amygdala Retraining programme for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. So I think it’s time for a review.

I say “technically”, because I only really stuck to the programme for the first four of those six months. After that, I pretty much stopped doing the physical Stop-Stop-Stop business; although I kept doing it in my head every now and then. The other thing I had difficulty with doing was taking six months off life to just recover.

After about a month on the programme, a friend of mine with CFS recommended an acting course that he had found tremendously helpful in unlocking the emotional repression that he believed was at the core of his Chronic Fatigue. His background story was so similar to mine, and the course sounded so amazing, that I just didn’t want to wait until I’d done six months on the Gupta program before starting the classes.

Starting acting classes took all my remaining energy… and then some. I also had a couple of other stressors at the time: I was president of a Toastmasters club (what was I thinking?) where I learned to delegate primarily because I was too ill to actually do anything myself. And I was still attempting to unsuccessfully promote my first book. Which, by the way, is getting rave reviews… but few actual sales! I found the emotional rollercoaster of pushing something unsuccessfully really harsh, so I’ve pretty much sidelined it… at least for the time being.

After a few months on Gupta’s programme, I became pretty skeptical of his Amygdala Hypothesis, and particularly of the ability of the NLP business to break the stress response. I’m currently reading The Emotional Brain, by Joseph Ledoux; the neuroscientist whose work Ashok Gupta based his programme on. It’s a fascinating read, very relevant  to what I want to talk about in my public speaking. I grew up in a family where emotions are so strongly suppressed that they’re pretty much taboo, and this has had a tremendously damaging effect on my psyche. So to read this book about the emotional mechanisms hard-wired into my brain is very validating. Ledoux’s key research interest is the emotion of fear specifically, so it talks a lot about the amygdala and the physiological stress response.

I can see how the stress response could become a learned conditioned response, and how the Stop-Stop-Stop technique is intended to break the association. But it’s a bit of a stretch to jump from Ledoux’s research to Gupta’s theory; I’m not sure if Ledoux would go along with it. I’d been under chronic emotional stress for some time before succumbing to CFS, but even if the stress response does become active constantly, I can’t see how this alone can produce flu-like symptoms. It would surely play havoc with my immune system though, and that could allow for a persistent infection.

My main complaint with the Gupta programme is that it’s just so goddam boring. All that Stop-Stop-Stop and meditation; frankly, I’d rather be out living my life. But then it’s really CFS that’s boring rather than the recovery programme. I seem to have fewer days stuck in bed now than I did when I started the programme, and I don’t feel overwhelmed with anxiety so much. I’m functioning well enough that I think the distraction of getting back to what I actually want to do with my life is more productive than walking around saying “Stop Stop Stop!”. Whether it’s Gupta that got me there, or the acting class, or the vitamins, or the rest, or the non-aerobic exercise, or just the sheer passage of time, or some combination of the above… I’m really not sure. I remember a few months ago I was deeply fearful of being ill indefinitely; now I’m not so worried about that. I just feel like I have a mild cold, and a bit zoned out. But that’s quite liveable, so if it never went away, I’d cope.

I’m basically backing off on Gupta now. I’m going to spend less time watching the DVD’s, reading the forums, and probably less posting to this blog. My plan was to spend 6 months recovering, and this blog’s purpose was to reach out to other sufferers seeking support to stay motivated. It mostly worked, and the 6 months is now over.

Chronic Fatigue has felt like a huge distraction for me from what I actually want to be doing with my life. It’s been like driving with the handbrake on; but the brakes have slowly been coming off lately, and now I’m keen to move forward. However, it has forced me to focus more because I could no longer do all the fun stuff I used to enjoy and had to come up with something else. I have enough energy to practise my public speaking, get to an acting class or two a week, plus some practise sessions; and get back to that autobiographical book that I put on hold when I became ill. The book is meant to be inspiring, and I couldn’t see how I could be inspiring when I was stuck in bed most of the time so I put it on hold for two years, but now I’d rather like to finish it.

Focusing on my future gives me less time to focus on feeling ill. And I don’t feel so ill now anyway… I’m hoping the trend continues. If there’s one thing Gupta got right, it’s that the psychological and emotional effects of Chronic Fatigue are enormous. They’re the thing that actually causes the suffering, and we need to pay more attention to these emotional aspects. Getting emotional support from people has been absolutely crucial for me. Sadly my emotional-brick-wall family don’t qualify, but that’s just more material for what I want to speak about down the track.

I’m considering writing a book about my experience with Chronic Fatigue. There was quite a bit of drama in the first 2 years before this blog started, and I think the story itself would help inspire other sufferers. If you think you’d buy a copy at say $10, drop me a comment and I’m sure I’ll be more motivated to put the time into writing it.

My plan now is to rebuild my home page on WordPress, and start blogging there on a more regular basis. CFS and this blog has helped me learn how to do that better. It’s an ill wind that brings no good, as they say. Then I want to get out to more speaking venues, develop a keynote speech, and get this public speaking career thing happening. Having a plan for the future definitely makes me feel more positive, and less anxious. Anxiety is one of the things I want to speak about, so perhaps CFS has taught me a valuable lesson in there somewhere that I can use.

Meanwhile, let me know how y’all are doing!

XMRV and where I’m at

There’s some more research out confirming the association between XMRV and CFS. It’s sounding more plausible to me, although I’ve no idea how I would have picked up XMRV. I wonder if it’s possible to get tested for it, out here in far-flung Australia. Even if I was positive, there’s no recommended treatment yet… so for the time being, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing; which is basically getting on with my life instead of waiting around till I feel well.

I’m encouraged by the news that a friend from my CFS support group has joined a gym. I’ve been working out lightly with weights for a few days, and now that my arms don’t ache like buggery, I seem to be doing OK with the exercise. My insomnia lately has been pretty bad, and that’s been bugging me.

I recently realised that the way to make your dreams come true is to help others to make theirs come true, so I’m going to put more attention into that from now on. It also leaves me less time to focus on not-feeling-well. I still do the odd Stop-Stop-Stop from Gupta’s programme, and listen to the meditation CD occasionally but it’s been a couple of months since I did it hard-core. I’ve been using the Sedona Method release process more than Stop-Stop-Stop.

Tonight is my last night as President of my Toastmasters Club, which means I can focus on my speaking career instead of club leadership. I’m still battling with anxiety at times, but it seems to go away when I get some form of emotional release which is happening more and more often what with my acting classes, and when I’m totally preoccupied with something else. That means I actually feel less anxious when I’m public-speaking or performing, because I don’t have time to think about not feeling well! Weird.

I thought I was Anxious, but actually I’m Angry!!!

I cried myself to sleep last night; the mood swings were really getting to me, and I just felt really depressed about how stuck I feel being ill much of the time. Lee’s advice yesterday to put my dreams on hold and avoid pushing on with the help of medication, while valid and helpful, sounded depressing. Who wants to have dreams on hold? I went to bed feeling like crap. I hadn’t cried in ages, so it felt good to have a bit of emotional release.

I had weird dreams all night, and woke up feeling really anxious. I have a morning class on Wednesdays, and I’ve never been a morning person. Even less so now. I headed off to class, feeling anxious and resentful. When it came time to do my activity in class, the teacher paired me up with another guy. We’re doing scripts in class this week, and the script is written for a guy and a girl; not two guys. I was in a filthy mood, and when the activity started, the guy I was working with was holding back, half-hearted, sly and manipulative. So I called him on all those things… and got angry… really angry. So much so that he was rather blown away by how forceful I was; didn’t know where it was all coming from.

At  the end of the activity, the teacher said my work was brilliant! He asked me where I had got that from, and I said “I woke up this morning feeling really anxious!”.

“Well, do that before every class then! Your work was really good. You had a breakthrough today.” my teacher replied.

I felt so so so relieved afterwards; I was beaming. It wasn’t just the positive feedback, it was also the getting-it-off-my-chest thing. I think there’s something to the idea that when a man represses his anger, it comes out somewhere else, particularly as anxiety or depression. It made me wonder whether I could run a workshop for men on anxiety, teaching the acting technique we use. It’s very simple at heart, but incredibly liberating, especially for guys like me who have a life-time’s practise at withholding anger. After class, one of the other beginners who seems quite like me asked if we could do an activity together, because I was on fire!

I came home feeling really good; and I think that’s how I’ll spend the rest of the day, thanks… taking it easy. Feeling about 7/10. And no, I haven’t had any medication today! (Just the usual vitamin regime).

Feeling positive today

I’m feeling pretty positive today. I had a call this morning from a good friend of mine from acting class, who told me she has scored herself a part in a new comedy series being produced for SBS. She’s gonna be a screen star! I’m very excited because she’s a really unique person and I totally want her to succeed. I also wrote another chapter for my book, and I’m resting up for a Toastmasters conference this weekend. I want to finish reading The Sedona Method this afternoon; it’s already overdue at the library!

The usual pleghmy throat and cough is there, but it’s not particularly sore. I feel about a 7/10 physically.

If you need some inspiration, I recommend this video on achieving your childhood dreams:

I need more energy, the teacher says!

I’m  just going to go stream-of-consciousness with this one:

Went to acting class today. We do “activities” and “doors”, where we work together in pairs. One person is doing an activity in their lounge room, when the other interrupts at the door. The two of us dialogue using repetition, both attempting to get our needs met without directly saying what we want. The inherent conflict inevitably leads to drama.

My activity today was practising Auslan, on the premise that I’d met a deaf girl on an Internet dating site, and my sign language was really rusty so I needed to practise. My Auslan dictionary is difficult to use at the best of times; even more so when I’m nervous because I’ve got an audience watching me. When the partner knocked on the door, things went OK from there. Shit, I can’t even remember who my partner was! Has my short-term memory gone too, or was I just always too self-focused to remember stuff like that? Maybe both.

Anyway, the feedback from the teacher was that “my rep lacks energy”, and I need to boost it up more. Actors do this, because otherwise we end up looking dull and subdued. I think that’s mostly because I’ve always been rather inhibited (or rather, I learned to be because I’m a sensitive person and when I acted more outgoing, I often got hurt). But nevertheless, the message that I need to put more energy into it naturally made me wonder where I’m going to get that from. And it restarted me thinking: Do I lack energy because I’m ill, or am I ill because I lack energy?

Anyway, I’m coughing away as I write this, and feel like I’ve got a mild headache. I woke up with one at 5am this morning and took some Nurofen, went back to bed and felt mostly better by the time I had to get up for class at 8:30 this morning. At the moment, I just feel the usual crap run-down afternoon version of ill.

Love-life wise, things are interesting. I’ve been chatting on the Internet with the woman I had lunch with on Sunday. She sent me pics of her artworks, which I think is quite brave for a creative person to do, suggesting that she trusts me. One was a partially-nude self-portrait, although she only fessed up that it was a self-portrait later via SMS… still, lots of trust there if you ask me! Meanwhile, I’ve fallen pretty badly for a girl at acting class who is both very pretty, and very sweet. A seemingly rare combination. And on the way to rep last night I started chatting up a pretty girl I met at the bus stop, who was unusually friendly for a stranger; we ended up sitting together on the (almost-empty) bus and having a really fun conversation. Perhaps I’m more approachable with my head shaved. I’ve also been working on my conversation skills lately, so it was great to have some success just enjoying talking to an attractive stranger, making her laugh and brightening her day. She seemed quite interested in talking to me: made eye contact and said “hi” when she first sat down, asked about my guitar playing and acting. My pick-up line/opener (note this down all you single guys!) was: “What the heck’s with this weather?”, and just ad-libbed from there. I paniced slightly when she got off the bus earlier than I expected and I slipped her my business card; not a particularly classy move, and given that we both catch that bus regularly I probably didn’t need to do that. I’ll probably see her again. I’ve always felt that the thing that I lacked when it came to relationships was options; I dated people just because they were willing to date me, and didn’t feel like I was in a position to be choosy. Nice to see that changing a bit. Just gotta get that girl from acting class out of my head… she has a boyfriend!

I have a Toastmasters meeting tonight, where I’m doing the timing. Very easy. I even have a short semi-impromptu spiel prepared for when I give the report. That should give me a boost. Meanwhile, I’m off to play a little guitar. I think I’ve developed a Pavlovian association between feeling ill and sitting at the laptop, so after a while it just makes me want to run screaming from the room. Like about now! See ya!

What a weekend!

In the beginning…

The story of last weekend really begins on Friday evening. A bit before then in fact, when two girls from my acting class Vanessa and Monique, both expressed interest in coming with me to a psychodrama introductory evening on Friday night. I thought “Great, be good to have their company”, and I particularly like Monique.

I rang Vanessa Friday to confirm the details, and she said “You’re gonna hate me, but I’m having a girly spa party instead because my parents are away. Wanna come?”. I was already committed to the psychodrama evening, so I said no; but I could come later. A girly spa party did sound a bit like one of my wildest fantasies, especially if costumes were, or became, optional. I checked with Monique, and she was still in for psychodrama.

Psychodrama

I rock up at psychodrama, and Monique is running late. So late, that she never makes it. “Looks like it wasn’t meant to be” (she’s very spiritual). I can’t help but be a bit disappointed, and I work on letting that go… albeit ineffectually.

In the first psychodrama exercise, one of the women in the group role plays going out to dinner with her family and her husband, who don’t get along. The facilitator has the rest of us play various roles including tables, and food on a buffet. I was a creme brulee. It gave the woman involved the opportunity to see what it was like for her husband and family in the situation, and role-play reconciling them. Afterwards we had a sharing session where I revealed my envy at her ability to show great excitement at being able to eat lobster from buffet. Which made me the target for exercise two…

In my exercise, the facilitator had me use other members of the group to portray the fear that I feel about being embarrassed; the shame that holds me back from being myself and being free to express emotions like excitement freely. The fear was a screaming mass of people, standing on chairs and yelling wildly. They were overpowering. Then this was contrasted against the part of me which is able to express myself freely, played by one of the other men I chose from the group; it was small and crouched on the ground. I asked it to get up, and play a bigger role in my life. The facilitator had me swap roles with the small-me, and give me the opportunity to express it’s fear at the possibility of getting hurt. In the end it stood up, we gave it some backing from other people nicked from the overwhelming fear, and the two of us hugged for a while. I felt kind of sad and mildly relieved, as the fear of what other people think and the resulting inhibitions it gives me is like a massive weight on my back.

We did a few more exercises in the group, and each time I found myself moved by what was going on for the other participants, even when the drama wasn’t about my story directly. I left thinking “I could use more of this”, wondering when to fit it in to my schedule without overwhelming me.

The Party

Then I headed over to Vanessa’s party, which was in full swing by the time I got there. There was a bong on the table, and a bunch of people guys and girls lounging about in the spa. Vanessa had given me the distinct impression that it would be girls-only aside from her boyfriend Justin, who she suggested I could bond with. She’s a very loud and insecure girl, and has broadcasted the fact that he cheated on her, widely. Justin and I talked for a while, and he seemed like a friendly enough guy. He’d obviously done a lot of drugs. Not just that evening either, I don’t think.

Eventually there was room in the spa for me to jump in. I’m always really reserved about jumping in at pool or spa parties. I seem to have a really wide personal space exclusion zone, and end up just feeling overwhelmed; while pretending I’m not. One of the girls drank too much, vomited and passed out. Meanwhile another girl who I really liked from class was being toyed with by one of the guys in the spa, and she was totally falling for it. By the end of the evening they were kissing, and in fact all the guys had paired up with a girl… except for me. I kept telling myself not to feel bad about this,… but I really did. It totally triggered my “Why aren’t any of the girls interested in me?” insecurity, which turns out to run extremely deep. Yeah, I know it’s because I’m withdrawn and inexpressive. “Robotic”, to use a term I hear a lot in acting class referring to me. I hate that. And that’s why I hate myself… but fuck it’s hard to change. Being the only guy in the spa not kissing a girl felt just weird, so I jumped out, got changed, and went home. I didn’t even say goodbye to the host Vanessa, as she and Justin were upstairs in the bedroom by this stage. No thanks, I wasn’t keen on walking in on that.

So I went home feeling like shit. Upset. Unhappy. Beating myself up. I tried using the Sedona Method techniques to let go of the emotion behind it, but to no avail. I just hate being trapped in this inhibited personality. Nothing I try to break out of it seems to work as quickly as I’d like. It’s like chipping away slooooowly. Yet other guys just act like pricks, and they get the girls. Yeah, I know that’s how it works, but it pisses me off. When I got home I played guitar for an hour or so; it’s the only thing that seems to sooth my hurt feelings. Went to bed about 3am and couldn’t get to sleep.

Saturday

Saturday was a complete wipe-out. I was exhausted and felt dreadful. Got up every few hours to eat something, and then went back to bed. By evening I was still feeling wretched. I was supposed to go to a farewell for two friends I met at dancing, who are headed overseas. Really didn’t feel in the mood for another party, and I figured it would be kinda painful since dancing was one of the greatest joys in my life which I had to give up when I got CFS. So I was in two minds. I didn’t really feel like another party; at least there wouldn’t be a spa scene at this one though. But the point was moot because I was just too frigging exhausted anyway. So I went back to bed and fell asleep. Got up about midnight and played guitar until 3am, then went back to bed. I just can’t sleep for 24 hours straight regardless of how exhausted I feel. I need to get up and do stuff in order to fall back to sleep again later.

Sunday’s Date

Sunday I woke up feeling reasonable. My emotions had settled down a bit by then, and I logged on to some internet dating sites. Turns out Sunday is the day to meet women online; all the girls who’ve spent yet-another-lonely-Saturday-night decide to take matters into their own hands and hit the Internet on Sunday morning. I ended up chatting to two girls, one named Alyshia was keen to meet up for lunch. She says she’s very sensitive, and was quite brave to ask me out to lunch. I would have asked her, but I had a reunion that afternoon for a personal development course so initially I thought we wouldn’t have time, but when she asked me I decided to just go for it anyway. We had lunch at a cafe, and she obviously enjoyed meeting me; said I had a great sense of humour, and we laughed and joked like old friends. Alyshia is quite artistic and interesting. We seemed to click, and I went off to my reunion feeling quite good.

The Reunion

The reunion was a good opportunity to catch up with some really great, loving people I had met before, including the friend that recommended the acting course to me. He’s still struggling with chronic fatigue symptoms too, and all the bullshit that goes along with it. He seems pretty happy though; he sees it as part of his journey of self-discovery. I remarked at the reunion that when I’m in a good mood, I can be optimistic about it, but when I’m in a bad mood, I wonder whether life is worth living and fantasise about ways of killing myself… none of which are even remotely feasible because I don’t want to hurt the people I care about. Plus there are so many things I want to do still; just wish I felt well enough to do them!

Girls… again!

I chatted online to Alyshia in the evening. She asked me why I was so into the whole exploration of emotions thing, and I admitted to having a family which doesn’t express emotions well, and CFS. She seemed understanding. I think we’ll catch up again. She even inadvertantly gave me an idea for my class activity to use today.

The way I feel about my life always seems to reflect what’s going on between me and the women in my life at the time. I hate the way my moods are so at the mercy of other people. It’s no wonder I feel anxious when people are in my comfort zone. I’m slowly learning to be more reactive through acting class. It’s a struggle to avoid pushing myself into overwhelm by taking on too much; pretty much everything I do is aimed at dealing with my illness and whatever underlying emotional stuff might be driving it.

Anyway, I’m glad that weekend is over. I feel OK today; not too exhausted, nor particularly upset. I’ll be seeing Vanessa & co in class today, so that’s going to be interesting. I’m not really in the mood. We’ll see how I feel when I get there. Think I’ll go play a bit of guitar, have breakfast and then head off to class. Thanks for listening.

PS: Do you like the new theme on the website?

Jealousy, Fear, Anxiety, Setbacks and Starting Again

I went to acting practise last night, and had a good time; it always gives me a lift. There’s a girl there who I really like who has been quite friendly towards me, and I’ve been hoping to get to know her better. Last night I heard her say to one of the other guys “We’ll have to get together for coffee sometime!” Urgh. I felt really jealous. I’ve had a few minor setbacks in the romance area lately; a number of girls I’d been interested in turned out to have boyfriends, or to just seem uninterested in me. Another girl I met on the Internet has turned fickle and negative towards me (yeah, there’s a story there). Definitely triggers my whole abandonment fears. But there are plenty of other fish in the sea, right? So I stayed up late last night sending contact requests to women who sounded interesting on an online dating site. The problem for guys online is that with the usual inhibitions out of the way, women are swamped with requests from introverted guys and you end up lost in the noise. If I get any response at all, most of the time it’s a rejection… which hit’s that abandonment button square on. Gawd, I’d love to be less sensitive. Just brush it all off and move on. I felt really lonely and looked around for someone online to chat to, but there was nobody… and I was too tired to keep my eyes open anyway.

It was almost 1am by the time I got to bed, and I had a pretty good sleep. I woke up about 8:30am this morning feeling an anxious sensation in my chest. It was accompanied by the usual thoughts about the Big Three: health (when is it going to get better?), career (what am I going to do?), and relationships (when am I going to sort that out?). I listened to the meditation CD, and calmed down a bit. I wish it was possible to have an amygdalectomy and just get the bastard removed. My emotions only ever seem to cause me trouble.

I went to see an amateur production of Grease on the weekend which some friends of mine were in. It took me back to my first role, where I played Kenickie… before I got ill. I almost cried when Rizzo sang “There are worse things I could do”; I was actually moved by it. My acting teacher has been telling me to “be more affected by things”, so I guess I’m getting there. I’m still hoping that the acting course unlocks my emotional repression enough to release some of the stress I feel, allowing my body to recover faster than it would just with the Gupta programme alone. I seem to be getting more expressive during practise, and I’m really enjoying the course as it definitely gives me a lift most of the time. Just as long as I don’t wear myself out with the extra workload. I also want to try some psychodrama… I’ll let you know how that goes.

I visited my parents yesterday for the first time in a couple of months, which went OK. I’d grown a beard and shaved my head since last seeing them. My mother didn’t recognise me. Later on she asked “If you could do anything, what would you like to do?”. I think she was reaching out and trying to be helpful; but I wasn’t in the mood. Too tired to really engage, and I had a busy day yesterday which didn’t help. A pre-CFS friend from dancing rang while I was there to invite me around for Good Friday lunch. It’s nice to know I still have a few friends who keep in touch since I dropped off the planet.

I’ve just watched Session 3 of the programme, so I’m back to starting again with Stop-Stop-Stop. I hope the testimonials give me more motivation, as I’ve been kinda slack lately. I haven’t felt too bad physically though lately; mainly just tired and a bit anxious. I’m kinda at the “I can live with this; but it’s still a pain in the ass” level. I’m taking my guitar to acting class this afternoon for my activity, and doing two classes today. That should be fun!

Anxiety and Overwhelm

I felt anxious in acting class today, and somewhat overwhelmed. Felt a bit pissed off with life and the whole emotional struggle thing. I still have a backlog of email to read & answer from my meditation retreat, and an overdue book report to write. Plus I haven’t seen my family in eons. My tendency is always to take on too much; it’s like an addiction!

Things got pretty heated during my exercise in class, and I got to have a bit of a yell, which was quite cathartic. Afterwards when the teacher critiqued me, he said I wasn’t taking things personally enough; I wasn’t being effected by what was said to me. Makes sense really, what with all the bottling up of emotion and everything. One of the girls in class came up to me afterwards and asked if I was OK, saying I looked upset after my exercise. Felt upset too. That was kind; one of the things about hanging out with a bunch of creative types who are working on their emotional awareness is that you get to meet some really caring people.

I’m back to watching the Gupta DVD’s again. I watched the first one again yesterday, and I could relate really strongly to it; perhaps even more so than last time. I think he’s hit the nail on the head. I’m pretty sure I don’t feel as exhausted as I used to.

I’m playing guitar this afternoon with a friend from my old guitar class. Then it’s off to Toastmasters tonight. Three things in one day… what, am I crazy? I’m taking tomorrow to catch up on my email. And that book report. And some rest. And remind me to listen to the meditation CD again. And…