Open Thread

This Open Thread Will Be Fine

One of the best (or worst, depending on your personality) things about working as a therapist is that you always get to talk about ~*~feelings~*~.  Stressed out? Feeling a little sad? There is someone who cares. And that’s why tomorrow, for a training I am going to, I have to bring in a song that relaxes me when I’m feeling overwhelmed.  Then we will all listen to our songs and thing calming thoughts. There might even be some guided meditation!

How fortunate, then, that this song was making the rounds on my Facebook this week because I cannot stop listening to it.  I wasn’t sure what song I would bring in that relaxes me (because, let’s get real, my go-to method is usually a break-down at my desk with a box of Oreos.)  If you get a chance, go to the Ze Frank website and read the story about the creation of the song, and give yourself two minutes now to chill out.

By Luci Furious

There are no bad times, only good stories.

78 replies on “This Open Thread Will Be Fine”

I keep putting off grading these goddamn papers. I don’t know why I keep doing this. They’re only four pages long. It only took me 3 hours or so to do it last time. WHY DO I KEEP AVOIDING THEM.

I hate it when I do this, but I can’t seem to break myself from the avoidance-pattern.

Maybe I’ll be able to work myself up to it tomorrow after I take this exam I’ve been stressing out about, since the test is in an hour and a half?

I just worry that if I keep putting it off and putting it off, I’ll be one of those bad professors who doesn’t get shit back to students on time.

Okay, I’ve been engaged for a solid three months and the thought of planning my wedding is still causing me some huge anxiety.  I’m a people pleaser and this is not helping me plan things at all.  I’ve already pissed off a lot of my extended family by stating that I’m going to have a destination wedding (Mr. Nonsense’s family and mine live 1000 miles apart) and my grandma gives me her famous guilt trips every time I talk to her now.

Then there’s my mom who is bugging for a date and a place every time I talk to her, but when I send her a link to a place I’m considering she pretty much immediately shoots it down.  She’s also angry that I’m considering my friend’s work and school schedules when coming up with a date because it should be just about Mr. Nonsense and me and not my friends.  Lately when she spews this off at me I tell her if I was only considering MY feelings (and Mr. Nonsense’s) that we would have just gone to a courthouse on our anniversary a few weeks ago.  She doesn’t like this much and tells me that I don’t ACTUALLY want to do that.

But I really kind of do.  I think.  Argh.  I don’t know.  The thing is that I’m not a wedding person, I’ve never had a dream wedding or any of that crap. I’m also not a planner, I procrastinate and I work better under pressure.  And both Mr. Nonsense and I don’t like attention, so I definitely do not want a big wedding, this much I have always known.  So when I attended my friend’s wedding in Cozumel a couple of years ago, I thought, hey this could work for us.  We had lots of fun and it was relaxing and the ceremony with simple.  But trying to plan it sucks.  And a part of me doesn’t want to spend the money,  And then people start harassing me about details and everything I’m doing wrong and I just want to say ‘FUCK IT’  and go get hitched without anyone but a witness.

I just wish I knew what I really wanted.  I feel like there are so many external influences floating around in my brain right now that I can’t distinguish my own thoughts.  At least, Mr. Nonsense has been supportive throughout all of this….  : )  Things could be worse.

Sorry about the rant though.  My parents just left yesterday and I’ve been holding it in, but then I saw this post and it came flooding out.

Personally, I wouldn’t tell my parents anything until I’d already decided on it. Less stressful, but YMMV.

I’ve also heard good things about Offbeat Bride and their private Tribe forum, for helping with wedding planning and the interpersonal drama that goes along with it…

Offbeat Bride has helped me chill out some.  I saw it mentioned on another thread a few weeks back (perhaps by you?) and checked it out.  It’s pretty awesome.

As for the not telling my parents,  I’ve actually thought a lot about this and Mr. Nonsense has encouraged it…. I just don’t know if I can pull it off for reasons that would take way too long to explain.  :)  But I think it might be the smart thing to try at this point.

I have mentioned it before, I think: I’m not anywhere close to marriage but I love their whole approach. Glad you’ve found it helpful:)

If you can just say things like “yeah we’re still considering our options on that venue/date/location/dress… how’s Aunt Phyllis, by the way?” it could be worth a try:)

I’m sorry, that really stinks. If it helps, you could always use us here as feedback for places instead of your family. We might be a little more objective than your mom, who probably wants the giant church wedding in your home town (on some level). But just take a big deep breath. I’m sure you and Mr. Nonsense will come up with something perfect for the two of you.  And I think it’s really nice that you’re taking your friends schedules in to consideration. And to me, that is planning on your own feelings because you want them there, so you’re making sure thay can be there, which is really nice. Good luck, and if you need anything, just ask.

She probably doesn’t really like anything else BECAUSE she wants the big church wedding. So, instead of suggesting it, she’s just going to shoot down anything else until you finally “come around” to the church wedding. All passive-aggressive style and everything.

Sorry your experience planning your wedding sucks.  But congrats on getting married!  I say do whatever the fuck you want.  People seem to be totally fine with “it’s your day” when the bride wants to make 10 of their closest friends dress up in poofy pastel dresses, make their family and friends wear color coordinating outfits so it will look better in pictures or spend hours helping them make handmade centerpieces and other crazy stuff, but the second you say I want simple, it’s no longer “your day”.  I think your idea of a ceremony sounds great, and your family will eventually get over it.  Good luck!

Sounds like you do know what you want, or at least have a good idea.

Mr. Juniper and I had very similar feelings towards weddings and though it “annoyed” a few people, most understood when we ended up having a simple wedding with eight guests (six family, two friends).

You’re right,  I pretty much do know what I want and I know it will work out in the end.  I think I just need to stop worrying so much about everyone else.  This isn’t the first time my life decisions have angered family members and I was hardly bothered by it before so I don’t know why it’s bothering me so much right now.

So, humorous anecdote about taking friend’s schedules into account that will hopefully make you feel a little better:

My parents asked all the important folks to give them schedules when they were planning their wedding. They sat down with these schedules and a calendar and picked the first Saturday that everyone was free. Mom calls the chapel. Girl who works at the chapel tells Mom that it’s a great thing that she called so early as sooooo many couples want that day. Mother pauses for a moment, uncomprehending, then asks why.

My parents anniversary is February 14th. For entirely non sentimental reasons. This is so typical of my family.

Really though, my only advice is to try and focus on what you want as much as is possible with so much outside pressure. And to ask people around you to respect that the decision is yours to make.

Ha!, That did make me feel a bit better.  Thanks.  : )

In comparison, I know two people (my aunt and closest friend down here) that had their weddings on Feb. 14th on purpose.  I was actually my aunt’s flower girl and I jokingly “ruined her wedding” because my 18 month self refused to walk down the aisle.  There’s a picture of me in a satin red dress bawling in my dad’s arms that she occasionally likes to show me.  Yay for family.

I say, if you don’t want to do a big wedding then don’t. If you go along with it you will likely end up feeling resentful. If you are getting too much pressure, you have the option of eloping and telling everyone afterwards.

If you do go ahead with a wedding, I would suggest not accepting money from your parents, if offered. Money buys influence in a wedding. I also second the Offbeat Bride suggestion. I’ve found it helpful and it can provide you with the support you may not get it from family members.

Zyrtec, but when it gets really bad I take a really steamy shower or bath with lavender and eucalyptus. It helps clear out your sinuses and decrease the swelling. Then I lay around with a cold wash cloth on my eye until they don’t feel like daggers are stabbing them anymore.

Sooooo fiance’s sister just posted a facebook status about living in our city for 6 months to do school.  The last time she started talking about doing courses here it was implied she would just live with us, which I definitely was not in favour of (we live in a one bedroom, like 500 sq feet). I feel like a bad person for partly hoping it doesn’t pan out for her.

This sounds like something you need to talk to fiancee about.  “You know I love your sister, but our apartment is so small and six months is a long time.”  (Even if you don’t love his sister.)  Offer to help her find a place in a good part of the city.  Help her find a sublease with someone you know.  Let her live on your couch for a weekend or two while she finds said place.  Compromise with your fiancee, and make HIM talk to his sister.  If it comes from him, it will probably be understood a lot better.

Also, I wouldn’t worry until she picks a program.  Can’t go to classes she didn’t get into!

So my roommate’s cat has been pooping everywhere all night and she seems super miserable. It sort of seems like she just has to fart and then has diarrhea instead. She’s about 10 and he’s had her 7 years and she’s never had this problem before. She even pooped on my bed. Luckily it was on my really really old ratty quilt and not my new down comforter but at any rate, cats pooping on beds is a big bad sign.

Does anyone have any advice about what we can do to help her right now? I offered to take her to the vet tomorrow since I don’t have to work but so far he hasn’t taken me up on the offer.

And here’s a picture of her from the other night when she was trying to sit between my roommate and I for maximum attention.

I’m sooo tired, but I have to catch a very early flight, so I am staying up all night. I have a couple of short connector flights before the main stretch, on which I plan to sleep. Coffee is my lover. The end.

Also: Has anyone seen Betty White’s new prank show? It’s kind of awesome. I just watched an elderly man rip some old school tricks on a skateboard.

Two completely unrelated questions.

1) Where does everyone shop?  I tried shopping yesterday and it was a completely failure.  It’s mainly tops I need.  I’m almost 30, and can wear more or less whatever I want to work so look as it looks pulled together.  I typically shop at Nordstrom, H&M, Ann Taylor/Loft and TJMaxx, but I’m not finding anything.  Ann Taylor seems really boring lately and I feel like where I have the freedom to wear different things I should.  I like modcloth but find the shirts don’t typically fit well because my breasts are on the larger size.  Any brilliant suggestions or at least comforting thoughts that clothes this season are kinda fugly.

2)  It occurred to me tonight on my way to my OKC date that I really don’t want to give my cell out to a bunch of semi-random guys.  It looks like I can text and receive calls via google voice.  Has anyone tried it?  Can I block numbers with google voice?

Clothes this season are kinda fugly. I went in quest of office appropriate button down shirts with short sleeves and everything was either same old same old plain button downs in blue, more different blue, yellow, pink, and white or THE LOUDEST PRINTS EVER. So I now have button down shirts in blue and more different blue. Because that was the best of what there was.

1. I’m having the same problem this season. The clothes are Terrible. I don’t know what designers were thinking this go-round, but I’m just praying something better comes out for summer and fall.

2. You can text, receive, and block calls with google voice. I’m not sure how exactly, but my sister used it before she had a cellphone and is pretty well versed with it. I’ll try to track her down and get more information if you’d like.

Thanks for agreement and the offer to help.  I’m sure I can eventually find a guide online or play around with it enough to figure it out.  I’m leaning towards buying a bunch of black V-neck t-shirts and wearing nothing but that, a pant or skirt I already own and jewelry or a scarf all spring/summer.

If I were to lay out the entire situation, it would seriously fill a book, but the short version is that I’m resigning from my current job soon and moving to a new state. One of the reasons I’m resigning is that I am not being fairly compensated for the specialized work I do, and which none of my other co-workers have the skills, education or aptitude to do. When I asked for a raise commensurate with what others in my field earn who perform my same job duties at my skill level, I was given a baffling explanation for why that would never happen, even though it had nothing to do with my job performance or budgetary concerns. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me, and although I had been toying with the notion of leaving for some time, this cemented my resolve and I will be leaving soon.

I work at a relatively small institution, and the staff are pretty close. My boss is extremely conflict-shy, to the point of letting the staff get away with murder (one staff member, a 30 year old male, recently made out with a 14 year old girl in the library and my boss was still loathe to fire him), and not showing up for any meetings which may require him to be assertive in any way – in other words, to be a boss. I was gone last week to finalize a few things with a new job/new home in a new state where I’ll be moving in 6 weeks or so. I came back yesterday and spoke to a co-worker, who told me that while I was gone, she had been lamenting to Boss that I was leaving. Apparently, Boss scoffed and made my job sound like it wasn’t important (and it absolutely is! I’m in charge of the adult department, do all the grants, run the website, create technology initiatives, and do all adult programming! It IS important!) and then hinted at who he was going to hire in my place. Replacement Lady, as I shall call her, is nice enough but absolutely does not have the skills, education or background to be a success in my position. It is a bad, bad fit. But see, Boss doesn’t care, because he avoids conflict, and he avoids change by moving her into my position. But it will be terrible for my institution.

I am honestly more mad than hurt, and even then, not terribly so – I guess because I decided a long time ago that I was simply done with all of this, and refused to give as much of myself as I had been, because I was getting absolutely nothing back from it; no encouragement, no guidance, not even a thank-you. I have even raised over $16,000 in grant money in a little over 3 months – this from an institution whose yearly operating budget is not quite $200K.

My boss and I used to be friends, I guess. We’re still friendly, but he has made so many poor management decisions over the years that I now find it impossible to respect him as a director, or sometimes, even as a human being. I strongly believe that he has undiagnosed depression; it would explain a lot of his behavior, which had been steadily getting worse. Mostly, though, I’m sad that my projects and initiatives will not get finished when I leave (things that I poured my heart and soul into!), and I’m worried about even my basic job duties being covered if Replacement Lady takes over. I’m also pretty hurt that apparently my boss does not think what I do is important, although I am comforted by the fact that if he believes this, then all hell will break loose when I’m not here to do those “unimportant” job tasks.


Some people just suck at management.

Sounds like you are moving to a much better environment.  Congrats and best of luck on your new job.  As much as it may be painfully to watch/hear about, it’s not your fault if/when your replacement fails and hopefully your boss will realize how much you did, even if it is too late.

Ahhh… I see that in research all the time. It’s called being a doucheweasle.
But really, bosses like that are just digging a hole for themselves. They don’t compensate as they should, thereby keeping profit up (or keeping enough money for pet projects if it’s a non-profit). Then when undercompensated people leave, they put in underqualified people at an even lower rate (but higher than unqualified person used to make! oooh!). And when everything goes to shit they can cover their ass by blaming a) underqualified person because why can’t she keep up with technology, she said she could do this! or, b) you because you were the meany that left them with only Replacement Lady and it’s really easy to blame the person who’s not there anymore.

But new job! Better job! New city/state! Soon, it will all be but a memory…

Speaking of therapy, my therapist told me that my MMPI results indicated that I had dysthymia, and the indicators of that were even higher than the indicators of my anxiety (the reason I’m seeing him). I’m not sure how to feel about that. I mean, it matches up, but I’ve never thought of myself as depressed or anything. Just kind of blah and not particularly optimistic. I’m not sure what it means exactly (I know what it is, just not what it means for my life) or what to do about it.

I’m seeing this therapist at school, and he’s been great, but it’s a free service, and I don’t want to be taking up a slot that someone who needs it more could be using. I don’t know if it’s important enough to really go to a therapist regularly for, although what I’m reading suggests therapy as a solution. I don’t know if I should stick with the school therapist (I have three more sessions with him this semester, and then if I take classes this summer, I can continue through that time), or if I should try to find an actual therapist somewhere who does CBT or something to more specifically help me.

I kind of wish I didn’t know that, because I think I feel worse about my life and future than I did when I just thought I was dealing with anxiety.

Ok, although I am in no way qualified to give you medical advice…. I have dysthymia too. And, if you aren’t feeling great you should absolutely still see someone. Part of having it is just thinking that depressive thoughts are part of life/can’t be changed/that what you’re experiencing isn’t worthy of treatment because it’s your normal.

I agreed to do another project at my lab today. Which is exciting, because it’s some really good stuff and all manner of opportunities. But at the same time, I’m just a few centimeters short of being swamped already, and a new project may not have been the smartest of ideas. I have not yet hit the crash-and-burn stage of phd/work/wedding/and rest of life, but I think I might be toddling up to that edge.

To combat recent potential stress (I also spent three hours of my morning being repeatedly foiled by Microsoft Access because my dataset is too big), this is one of the songs that I have been listening to on repeat:

I think it’s pretty apt. (although after a couple edits, I can’t figure out how to embed…)

I like it.  I don’t find it as revolutionary as everyone else seems to but I definitely like it.  I think it’s cheapest through the clarisonic website.  I’ll also throw out Lush products as a huge help for acne prone skin.  I use the 9 to 5 cleanser with the clarisonic, the celestial moisturizer and the grease lightening on any breakouts.  Using lush products was a bigger change for my skin than the clarisonic.  The grease lightening is amazing!

In my personal experience, the Clarisonic is only helpful when my skin is being good. When my skin is pimple free, the Clarisonic makes it look glowy and extra clean. I think it improves circulation or something. However, when I have zits, the Clarisonic makes everything inflamed and terrible. If I could go back in time with the knowledge I have now, I wouldn’t buy the thing. Switching birth control and lactic acid peels are what got rid of my acne (knock on wood). Of course, everyone’s skin is different. If you do decide to get a Mia, just make sure you buy it from a store with a good return policy just in case you don’t love it.

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