Never wake up angry

We’ve been in our house for nearly three months now. Unfortunately our adjoining neighbours aren’t the best, especially the kids. My mam made us three little ornaments for the little flower bed in our front garden. I was antsy about leaving them there, convinced they’d be stolen. For a few days they weren’t touched, except one of the kids walking on the plants my mam had planted to get into their own garden (we don’t yet have gates).

After a night out, we returned home on Saturday night and found one of the ornaments missing. I was devastated. I cried that night and I woke up the next morning furious and yet not able to confront my neighbours. I’ve a fear of being yelled at, mostly because it reduces me to tears. For example, my brother snapped at me on Saturday for giving his six-month-old son a soft biscuit and I had to fight my tears.

Do classes exist where people continuously shout at you until you can handle it? The closest I’ve found is assertiveness classes, which I keep promising myself I’ll do.

In the meantime, I took up the remaining two garden ornaments and put them in the back garden.

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Stoicism in the face of rudeness

I’m trying to avoid getting upset or annoyed when someone is rude to me or cuts me off in traffic, but it’s not easy when there are so many people who seem hellbent on making your life miserable. For example, a car driving behind me yesterday nearly collided with a car coming the opposite way in order to overtake me. The other car flashed its lights in a panic because they came so close. He/she couldn’t hang on just a few seconds until the other car passed. And in the end, I wound up ahead of him due to traffic lights. What was the point?

Getting angry at someone else gives them power, and I truly believe that. The best I can do is get annoyed in the moment but try to let it go so I’m not dwelling on it.

How do you deal with rude people?

Challenging my anxious brain

What I hope to gain from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is the ability to challenge my negative and anxious thoughts. I’m currently learning a little about it in Rewire your Anxious Brain by Catherine M. Pittman and Elizabeth M. Karle and I get the general idea of it, but I also find it extremely difficult. I’m essentially trying to change thoughts that I’ve had for most of my life.

For example, this morning I couldn’t force myself out of bed an hour early to do my morning pages and meditation. I gave in to the temptation of going back to sleep. For the entire month of January, I never missed my morning ritual. In my bullet journal habit tracker, they’re both full lines of colour (I mark them with colourful squiggles). Now the first of this month will be blank, my perfect streak broken for not one but two habits. I really did try and am still trying to challenge my thoughts by telling myself it’s an opportunity to see if I can break my record of 31 days. But that voice in my head tells me otherwise, reminding me of how I failed and that I can’t justify being so lazy.

Perhaps I need to go to bed a little earlier to ensure I’m not so tired in the morning. Right now, I go to bed at 10.30pm but it takes me a little while from that point to fall asleep. A new habit I developed last month was putting away my phone and tablet at least half an hour before bed. I just worry I’ll miss an important text from my parents if I put it away any sooner. Putting it away at 9.30pm might be doable, but if I must go to bed earlier, at say 10.00pm, putting it away at 9.00pm will be a struggle.

Do I need to be tougher on my thoughts? Would writing it down help? I’m hoping this will become clear once I find a good Cognitive Behavioural Therapist, but I don’t want to suffer until then.

Pay us and you’ll feel better

I’ve ranted about this before, so I do apologise. But I recently read an article listing the best apps to download for your mental health. Now I absolutely LOVE apps so of course I read the article and downloaded about 6/8 apps mentioned.

Only TWO of them didn’t require a subscription.

Even a free version wasn’t available, instead these apps opt for free trials whereby you must give your payment details and they hope you forget not to cancel it when the trial ends. To me, that’s a scam and should be done away with.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have a few app subscriptions now: Headspace and Memrise (I’ve cancelled the latter because I don’t think it’s really helping me learn German that well). And I understand where they’re coming from, you have to make money somehow. So, I’m not against subscriptions entirely, but the app must have something worth subscribing for. One app promised better mental health. I don’t believe anyone can promise that because it’s on the part of the user to improve their own mental health. If they’d promised better mental health provided you follow these steps religiously, then that might be better.

Anyway, that’s my rant over. Anyone else subscribe to apps? Mental health or otherwise?

First world problems: when you don’t get what you were expecting

I feel quite spoilt when I react negatively to what are classed as “first world problems”. For example, I was devastated on Saturday when I forgot to charge my phone meaning I couldn’t listen to podcasts or Spotify during my trek into the city centre because it was only drain it completely. And it turned out not to be so bad, I got to hear a guy getting fined for not having a tram ticket give the name ‘Jimmy Tits’!

But it was yesterday that got me. M and I decided to order Chinese and I was looking forward to my beef curry (no onions) and chips (fries). It took an hour to arrive but I knew it’d be worth it. Now M is notorious for pretending something is wrong when it’s not just to be funny. And when he opened the bag of food and frowned, I thought this was one of those times. But no, they had forgotten to include my chips. I was disappointed to say the least. A rational person would’ve called the Chinese restaurant and reported it, or gone up to any of the Chinese restaurants close by and gotten some. Instead I just ate my curry while seething.

Then I cried. I’m trying to work on accepting things as they are but I threw all that out the window yesterday. And I’m still a little salty about it (no pun intended!) even though I know it’s silly, but I was really looking forward to those chips!

What’s your first world problem?

#14DayStoicChallenge Day 14: Do something good (for someone else, for your community)

Today’s the last day and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed with all the challenges. Some of them felt quite lazy. Perhaps they should put more thought into them because I imagine they’ll have another one.

As I mentioned, at the end of the last Stoic Challenge I lost my dog Poppy. This challenge hasn’t been without its heartbreak either. My youngest dog Jessie was diagnosed with a severe heart murmur last week and she’s having trouble eating now and then due to a possible growth in her throat. The 23rd marks six years since we adopted her from a local dog shelter. There’s been too much heartbreak in my family and I can’t bear to lose another member of my family. But I’m going to stop acting like she’s already gone and cherish every moment I have with her.

As for today’s challenge, the opportunity presented itself when the very dog shelter we adopted Jessie from asked me to help out with fundraising on Saturday. I do this as much as I can but last year I neglected it. I’ve made a promise to myself to make more of an effort this year and so I’ve signed up for Saturday. For Jessie.