I’m Not an Idiot: a Daily Reminder

Drinking coffee while the snow falls

Taking some time to slow down and relax while the snow falls

Whether struggling to put a seat belt on or not understanding a cash register at work, I face numerous situations that leave me feeling defeated and ashamed. I hate looking stupid or incompetent. When others are around and (potentially) judging me, giving myself the grace to make an error becomes even more challenging.

“I’m not an idiot.” I repeat that phrase to myself daily. Is it because I truly believe it, or is it what I want to think?

Sometimes the mistakes I make can be attributed to my ditsy side. Other times, my desire for perfection and fear of making someone upset makes me so anxious that I struggle to focus. Interestingly, my struggles can also be traced back to sensory overload. When someone else is talking in the same room, I struggle to hear anyone speaking to me. If an item isn’t exactly where it should be, I can search fruitlessly as all the other objects around me start to overwhelm my brain. Or if I try to do a task in a new order, I often stumble over my words or forget an essential component of the task.

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Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with OCD

bulletin board

My bulletin board might not look perfect, but that does not mean I am free of OCD.

“Oh, I must set everything up in a certain way. I am so OCD.”

How often do you hear that? People often make comments about OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) that are dismissive and unsympathetic towards those who actually have the disorder. This creates lack of awareness and support surrounding mental illness.

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Top Ten Signs of Discontent

Me in black and white

Are you struggling with being discontent?

I am discontent with my life. Today, that realization dawned upon me. So many times, my mind turns to what is wrong with myself and the situations that I am in instead of being content with the journey of each day.

Being discontent takes root in many ways and can change with each moment. I am anxious with people but lonely alone, nervous with romantic feelings but unloved single, stressed busy but bored without plans, etc. The list of my fickle discontent goes on much longer than I care to admit.

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Listaliciousness: Rapping Worship, Homemade Breads, and Gender Equality For All

Singers in Oxford

In honor of my links regarding studying abroad in Oxford and religious singing, here is a picture of some people who sang wonderfully at the Blackfriars Mass and vespers in Oxford.

This Thanksgiving break has been both a blessing and struggle. Mostly I feel awful for working the past six days at least 8 hours each day (but mostly more) instead of spending time with my family. However, today at work, a couple came up and raved about my service to me as well as my manager and then online. The fact that my small interaction touched them brought tears to my eyes. I want to be able to love people even if I am only taking their order, bringing them food, or smiling at them. Everyone can add light into the lives of others.

Anyway, this crazy work schedule is the reason I did not get out a blog yesterday. I feel really awful about that. That is the third one this year. Instead of beating myself up, I am continuing to attempt self-compassion. Preaching that is one thing, but following it is so much harder.

That all aside, here are some links. There are some fun videos as well as top ten lists and mental health articles. Enjoy!

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Forgiving Myself for Missing a Post

Bridge

The bridge at the pond near our house

Earlier today, I was prepared to start this post confident and skip the apology. However, my depression has kicked in majorly this evening which makes that more difficult. So I will say that I am more disappointed in myself  that at 1:00 AM this morning but still am granting myself grace.

Yesterday, no post was written for this blog.

I really intended to post one. Honestly, this is something that I will never forget. After a long day working four shifts, leading a university student event, attending several classes, going to play rehearsal, and engaging with others, my brain was shot. When a friend and I decided to study together, we ended up talking until past 1:00 AM. Let’s just say that I lost track of time and had no idea that the day had flown by without my blogging.

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Sometimes We Try Too Hard

Trying your best is often upheld as a great thing. We all want to be hard workers who make a difference in the world.

However, sometimes we push ourselves to to the point where our work becomes worse. Instead of making an impact, we are only harming ourselves by draining our resources and being perfectionistic.

People with eating disorders might do this by trying to look perfect. I certainly struggle with this at times. This video has a great message about not always trying so hard.

Just being yourself can be beautiful, bold, and enough sometimes. Take a deep breath and don’t try so hard even if it is only for one day.

Coping Skills: #60. Set Reasonable Goals

Path in Oxford garden

What path are you taking and what goals are you setting?

Yesterday, I moved onto campus and slept in my new room. All of today was spent at my university. This past day has been wonderful but also nerve-wracking and stressful. Escalated eating disorder symptoms have made that more and more apparent to me.

Just like in Oxford, symptoms that I rarely used are sneaking back into my life as are ones that were still present but tamer. Now, I feel flooded with urges that I either lack the will power to resist or seem more appealing than following my meal plan. Although I am trying to stay on track, this school year and eating is becoming an important issue that I need to address.

One of the ways that I have already begun to work through this issue is by setting reasonable goals. Writing lists and setting goals is one of my favorite coping skills. I enjoy checking off what I have done and thinking about how to accomplish what is left.

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Perfect Everywhere Except with Family

saint on building

A saint at Oxford

Growing up, most people had one of two comments after talking with me for a little while – “You are so sweet/perfect/nice/angelic/holy/happy!” or “Did you grow up under a rock?’

Neither one of these comments is completely true or fair. I certainly was not raised under a rock, in a barn, or locked in a tower. Also, I am not perfect. My family can attest to that.

Being thought of as an angel on earth was reassuring at times but also stressful. Suddenly, the pressure to be perfect came not only from myself but also others. Everyone seemed to expect me to do the right thing, keep a smile on my face, and never understand anything crude or kind. Thus, I constantly worked to be innocent, cheerful, and sweet.

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10 Best C. S. Lewis Quotes

Narnia in the attic

Narnia in the attic

When the name C. S. Lewis is mentioned, so many images come to mind. Fauns dancing in a gland, a rosy-cheeked man smoking a pipe by the fire, nearly comical demons writing letters, the booming voice that inspired Treebeard – these are just to mentions a few.

Being in the city where this great thinker and writer lived, studied, and died is hard to fathom. Last Saturday, a group of us went to the Kilns and visited his home and grave. This visit was especially special considering the fact that I am taking a class on his works right now. Just tonight, I finished a paper on his view of Heaven and Hell in The Great Divorce. Despite difficulty narrowing down my topic, the finished essay seems decent. I always struggle with perfectionism regarding my work. When my tutor praised my paper today, she was shocked that I did not believe that it was great work.

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I am so Drained but at Peace

C. S. Lewis' house

C. S. Lewis’ house and garden

Normally on Mondays I post a review of a movie, book, or musical artist. Today, however, I barely have the strength to type a few sentences. Hours upon hours in the library, typing nearly 10,000 words of quotes for my 2,000 word paper, and hanging out with friends trying to study has left me drained. Plus there is all of the walking about Oxford that I do daily.

Yet, I am so happy. Not in a giddy way but in a deep, peaceful way. Nothing is perfect not even here. Still, something clicks inside of me while I wander these streets and laugh with classmates that I never have felt before even in Minnesota which I love. This is where I belong.

My friends and I in front of the Stonehenge

My friends and I in front of the Stonehenge

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