Thursday, December 29, 2016

12-29-16-- Attentiveness

Well, after some rest, I can feel my brain getting back into gear. On good days.  Right now, I'm on one good day then one bad day then one good day.  Well, that's alright.  It's progress.  Still need more rest.

I also have my first goal of my post-quitting life.  One of the reasons I quit is because my mind is so busy that I can't love people appropriately.  But what is love?  I focused on this a bit, and discovered that the first step of loving anyone is attentiveness.  To really love someone is to give them our full attention, at least for a bit.

This is a real problem for me, since I have become so distracted.  My way of dealing with stress is to just avoid thinking about stressful things so long (until they all come crashing down on me in the middle of the night).  So no one got my focused attention for more than a few moments at a time.  I couldn't look anyone in the eye.  On my good days I'm getting better at this.  But I still have a long ways to go.

Here's my current to do list to achieving attentiveness:

  • Slow down.  Do less.  Be satisfied with doing less.

  • Allow myself to be bored.  See it as a discipline.

  • Practice meditation.  Live with my thoughts, not allowing myself to be distracted.

  • Instead of reading the darting fishes of internet posts, I should read books. Novels when I'm not doing well.  Non fiction when I'm able to.

  • Stop and pay attention to what's around me.  Notice not only the flowers, but the construction, the people walking by.  Wonder about them all.

  • Get enough rest so my mind is able to focus.  

  • Reduce caffeine so my mind can rest sometimes. 

  • Take time for myself.  I find if I get alone and take photos or write notes of my thoughts, then I'll be better able to relate to others later.

  • When I have to work, focus on work.  Apologize to people that I can't focus on them like I want to.

  • Focus on one person at a time.  Try not to multitask multiple people.

  • When I am listening to someone, occasionally let them know what I've heard so they know I'm paying attention.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

12-1-16-- Anger

Last night my daughter and I had a knock-down drag-out fight.  Verbally, of course.  This morning we apologized to each other.  The fight is my responsibility.  I'm the grown up (in theory).

But I've been angry a lot.  I believe that I have good reason to be.

  • People whom I helped and sacrificed for years betrayed me and my work by oppressing people on my (former) property, forcing me to shut down.
  • A local church is doing outreach on my (former) church property, to undermine all that I was doing.  
  • The neighbors have been complaining and trying to undermine our work for years, and they finally succeeded.
  • Two cities I've been working with have been endangering homeless people's lives by sweeping them without giving them a place to go, but out of the cities.  Yet they still claim to be helping these same people.
  • One city had me arrested for protesting their actions.
  • The other city constantly threatens my friends.
  • People have been gossiping about me.  I confronted one and that person turned around to gossip even more about me and my people.
  • I have to pack up and move out, giving my hard work to someone else, and I have to stay away.
  • The solutions for my folks on the street are as far away as they ever were.
Okay, pretty good reasons.  But why am I so furious now?  And if these are the reasons, why am I taking it out on my family?

Well, I'm not sure.  But these are some possibilities:

-I pushed my anger aside for the last year and now it's all coming out

-I am going through a grieving process from losing my two-decade old work and this is the stage I'm going through.

-I am in depression from my drug withdrawals (adrenaline) and part of this is anger.

-I am overwhelmed by people and so I'm likely to explode at anyone.

Or some combination thereof. 

I really think my best option at this point is to find a bunker and hide there for a year until the feels go away.  But more realistically, I will need to keep living at a lower stress level and to keep reminding myself that it isn't the person in front of me I'm upset at.