Coping Skills, Uncategorized

Staying Busy: The Coping Skill of the Week

This week has been better than the last week, and I think it’s because I was busier and did more things.

I went on a walk with a friend, had lunch and hung out with another friend, did some volunteering online and in person, went to my high school’s graduation, went to a reunion, repainted my door, cleaned my room a bit, helped out at the dress rehearsal for my sister’s dance recital, went to therapy, taped things up on my wall, started a new project for my family, and started learning new languages on duolingo.

I had some bad days this week, when I was feeling depressed, or anxious, or triggered/flashback-y. But I also had some great days: the day I hung out with my friends, the day I volunteered, the day I went to the reunion, the day I discovered duolingo.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I felt best when I was busy doing things. I think staying busy helped to keep my mind off other things. It was good to be around people, too. I felt valued and not alone, and being with my friends reminded me of good things I that used to like and had forgotten about.

It also felt good to be productive. My repainted door looks beautiful. I did that! It took a good amount of time and a lot of help from my brother, but it’s very satisfying to have it back in my room now in its beautiful, new, sky blue color.

Duolingo is another way that I can be productive. Instead of mindlessly turning to buzzfeed, I can open the duolingo app and actually learn a new language. I can see my progress very quickly, and it’s really cool to think of the new skills I’m learning.

Yay! Now I just have to make sure I have plans for next week, too. 🙂

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Uncategorized

Something over Nothing

(Please be aware that the first part of this post has to do with life/death and wanting to die.)

It’s the name of my blog, so I might as well say why…

I believe something is better than nothing. That’s why I’m alive. If you’re dead, you have no opportunities, no chances, no smiles, no sunny days, no cute babies, no flowers. None of that. If you’re alive, you might have a lot of pain. It might take up almost the entirety of the day. Or the week. Or longer. But it is not like that all the time. There are still some good things. There are some good moments.

Once, when I was having a bad day, had been in the throes of a flashback all morning and part of afternoon, was overwhelmed by school and life, and wanted to die, I had a meal with my friend, and she asked me what good thing had happened that day.

I nearly started crying at the question. I thought there was nothing good. Everything was horrible. But I thought about it. It took some time, but I came up with an answer. I had had peanut butter on my bagel that day, and it tasted good. I told my friend this. She smiled, and we talked about how good and versatile peanut butter was. It was a lighthearted conversation. It lightened my mood and made me realize what other good things there had been that day. I had had other good foods to eat. I was currently talking with my best friend, an amazing person.

There were a lot of things going wrong, but it wasn’t all bad. There were still things I could enjoy in life. As long as there is still something in this life for me (and I think there always will be, since even if nothing else good happens in a year, spring will always come), I. am. staying. here.

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I also remind myself that something is better than nothing when I start to worry about making things perfect. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good enough.

In school, it’s better to submit an incomplete or imperfect assignment than to submit nothing at all. It’s much better to fail an assignment than to get a zero. I’ve been there and done that! Zeroes affect the final grade so much more than even a 50%. I once spent a whole year trying to bring up my history grade from one zero on a summer homework assignment at the very beginning of the year. If I’ve been in class a little and done some work on the assignment, I can make something. It’s much better to submit what I have than to not submit anything. Even if it’s below the minimum page length. Even if my code doesn’t execute. Even if I know it’s the wrong answer. I tried. Most teachers give partial credit. Some are even understanding when I explain that I couldn’t do it or haven’t been in class all the time because of mental health issues. Some will give me an extension so I can bring up my grade from at 50% to a 70, 80, or even 90%. Partial credit exists and is beautiful, and teachers are humans and understand struggles. 

I often worry about sending the perfect text or email, too. I delay replying until I know what perfect thing to say. But at some point, a quick, short, not-the-best-but-okay reply becomes more valuable than the perfect reply a week later… if I even send it a week later. Sometimes it’s just better to send something and let the other person know I’ve read their message. I can give a quick answer, or maybe say that I’ll get back to them later. But I’ve said something, and that counts for a lot. It’s better communication.

Even with this blog, I could have waited a few more months, or years, before starting it. But who knows what will happen in a few years?! I can do what I can and learn more as I go along. But I’m starting something now.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

Let it be good enough.

Something is better than nothing. 

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