Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I will not think that, Sam I am

Trying for a Dr. Seuss spin on my title here. 'Cause feeling kinda Dr. Seuss-ish.

Spoke with friend. She unloaded. I tried to help. I think I did help. Wasn't too bad, felt like she felt better from relieving emotional pressure, I felt better for having been there for her, and I also got that wonderful and stupid self-inflated ego from feeling like maybe I gave her good advice and an objective opinion.

[Yeah, right. And for my next trick...]

That wasn't so bad. I think it wasn't so bad because, although I felt for her, I wasn't so close to the problem that I started to feel it WITH her. I have to be careful of that, 'cause it's really easy for me to stress myself out over other people's problems.

Then I talked to Mom. She did some unloading. Nothing I can really effect change upon. I'm not sure she really de-stressed. And for some reason, family unloading doesn't seem as synergistic as friend unloading. Or at least, mother-daughter unloading seems merely to pass the load. One party may feel better, the "recipient" is however ready to pull hair out.

It may be in part that my empathy circuits were already starting to tap out. Not sure. Or that I simply worry too much about my elderly parents.

Trying not to OCD over Mom's stuff. Trying to do the whole wise serenity thing:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."

Trying not to let Mom's feelings become my feelings. Well, that's not the right way to say it: I agree with Mom's feelings. Trying not to let myself over-feel them, and then carry them around with me as burdens. It won't help Mom. Yes, be empathic. No, do not allow Mom's feelings to stress me out such that I give Mom a new loved-one to worry about! :)

Trying also to be mindful of my thoughts. "Be mindful of your feelings, young padawan." Heh.

My husband told me about the plight of a friend of his. This friend is trapped by an uncaring bureaucratic part of the government. Yeah, I know: that's most of the government! But I want to protect the innocent, and not piss off the guilty here. :) Anyway, I got all worked up about it. The story was supposed to be funny, because the whole situation is thick with irony. But it's meaning this guy has about 6 months of jumping through hoops, and forced travel every week. It's not clear how much of this he will have to pay for. And no, it's not something that he deserves... it's not something he's at fault for!

I totally got worked up about it. Wanted to go call people, yell at people, do whatever I could to somehow ease his burden. I totally ran with the ball. It's not necessarily my fight, and although I consider it (and I believe my husband's friend considers it) a hardship, it's one of those things that is probably better left alone. Is fighting it going to improve things in the long run? Is not fighting it going to mean my husband's friend gets run over worse? Can I even help out? And should I really be allowing myself to become stressed out over it in the first place? [Calm blue ocean... calm blue ocean... ]

I mean, my husband's friend has decided to see the humor in it. It's basically either that or cry.

And truly, if I asked him if he wanted my help, (a) would he really want me involved, and (b) what could I actually do??

I need to live in the moment, and not in my mentally manufactured sense of powerless indignation. I need to remind myself that there are some things that my OCD is good for, like pursuing software bugs or ensuring I've covered all the bases when making software changes. But my OCD is not good when it's becomes involved in my empathetic nature. Because when it gets involved there, if I am not careful, it goes destructive on me and not constructive. I run with the ball. And I never really make a touch-down... I just keep running. :P

For example, my OCD will have me live out arguments in advance of them even happening. The argument may never even happen in the first place, but I will project and worry ahead, and literally stress myself out to the point that it's as if I had the actual confrontation or argument.

And my OCD will make me second guess what I've said. Did that person take what I said the right way? Do those people over there now think I'm crazy 'cause I made that weird comment? Must remember to apologize to so-and-so since I now think what I said came out too harshly.

OCD is great for regurgitating the past, and finding real or imagined mistakes. OCD is also great for projecting yourself into an imagined, worst-case-scenario future. OCD is not great for serenity.

But, OCD is great for writing software, as I've said, as long as you know when to draw the line, when to keep it in check. And I'm sure there are other career fields where OCD is a good thing.

Just got to keep the beasty in it's place, where it is helpful and not hurtful. Heel! Heel, I say!

I will not think that, Sam I am.
I will not think that in my car, I will not think that near or far.
I will not think that in a bus. I will not think to make a fuss.

I will not... great, now I'm OCD'ing about Dr. Seuss related OCD rhymes! ;)

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