Monday, September 1, 2014

The Deep End of The Immersion Therapy Pool

My "Fake It 'Til You Make It" Hub for Socially Anxious Introverts was really fun to make, but it took a really long time to write because a lot of thought went into it. Thankfully, I had a little help from my friends, for which I am eternally grateful.

The article may look whimsical, but Social Anxiety is anything but a joke. I still suffer greatly from it but I've learned the power of immersion therapy and am able to force myself to do the things I need to do in order to get stuff done. Perfect example; when I was in summer camp, I was asked by the counselors to put on a show for the rest of the camp. I wanted to sing, so I chose a song I knew and liked, practiced it for weeks and when the time came to perform in front of my peers, I panicked and ran off the stage.

Textbook stage fright. I was a battered child and emotionally associated failure with being physically punished, and so the fear of failure lead to the utter inability to function at all. This theme played itself out for many years with everything from public speaking to asking strangers for the time. It was crippling; something had to be done.

Since I've never been terribly gentle with myself, I threw myself into the deep end, so to speak. I got a job selling goods door-to-door. Not decent goods, but pure crap: broken watches, Far Side calendars with missing pages, ginormous kids books with Loony Toons characters on it, etc. I peddled some of the most useless garbage imaginable... but to my surprise, I became astonishingly good at it. For every item I sold, the company got $4 and I kept $1.
I made $50 profit on my first day out. Don't ask me how, because my confidence level was in the negatives. Maybe I smelled particularly good that day? Maybe the planets were aligned in my favor? Though more than likely, people are just impulsive and will buy pretty much anything.

Whatever it was, it was doing wonders for my social anxiety. I was not getting over it, per se, each time I would speak to strangers, it felt as though I was about to get into a fight. I had to muster all my courage just to keep from having a breakdown. Though my encounters became easier and easier. Handling rejection became par for the course and less devastating to endure.

Pretty soon after I succeeded in garbage peddling, I gained enough confidence to proceed to the next level of immersion-- I needed to defeat my stage fright. What did I do? Stone cold sober Karaoke.
Oh yes, and it was glorious. I wish I had video, but it was sadly before the invention of the smartphone. I shook like a leaf at first, and had many many shaky starts, but with the cheering of my drunken friends from the peanut gallery, I became quite good at it. Sometimes I even got cocky. One time I went to a bar in ABC City by myself, registered myself as "Satan", belted out a near pitch-perfect rendition of Queensryche's Eyes of a Stranger and left as mysteriously as I had arrived. People were stunned. I was able to hear their cheering and whooping from two blocks away. It was one of my proudest moments.

Now I can go up in front of any crowd, no matter who they are, how many stocks they own or what they're doing, interrupt them like I'm the one who signs their checks and then give an improvised speech without worrying too much if I trip over my words or if nobody gives a crap what I have to say. I will make them listen. This deep end therapy I've given myself isn't for everyone, but it worked wonders for me. I still have my moments of self-doubt, but I've realized that nobody on this earth is more important or deserves to be heard any more than me. It's all about putting out the right vibe. If you fake being important hard enough, people will listen to you. It really is that simple.

For anyone who is on this path, I wish you luck and lots of patience with yourself. It's a difficult road but so, so worth it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

See? I'm not the only one who's fed up of the BMI

They don't mention that the rise in obesity didn't come until 1980 when they put out High Fructose Corn Syrup, and proceeded to put that shit in everything. Avoid it and the BMI at all costs!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Power of No!

Self-love is so important, I'm sure you've heard that before. Do you know why? Do you know why people say you can't love anyone else until you learn to love yourself?
Because all love comes from within; and until you learn to love yourself, you have no clue what love even is. You give what you think is love but it's just a desperate plea to get love. And if you don't actually love yourself, you won't allow the person you're trying to love give you any love in return.
It sounds convoluted, and I would normally write it out better but it's after 2 in the morning so bear with me.
Since I've began on this journey, the difference in me has been absolutely, unquestioningly profound. I just started; I still struggle with basic interactions every single day. I have to ask myself constantly, "What would someone who loved themselves do?" and just DO IT even though a part of me still thinks I'm undeserving. Of course that's crap, but at least I'm at a point where I can see that now.

This is the very first article I ever published, and I'm so proud!!
I wrote it for people who have been so hurt and scarred from abuse that they are starting from a negative vantage point where normal people are concerned. Not only do they not know what love is, but they have to unlearn all that self hate just to reach a neutral point where they would allow themselves to learn about love.

It's got a few comments already which has encouraged me to move forward. I'm so excited and optimistic and I've already got so many other topics in mind to write about that I can't decide which to do next!!

Healthy Fear

So I'm really doing this freelance writing thing, like, for real. How terrifying! No really, you guys don't even know so I'm going to explain it to you.
All my life I've held the crappiest, most menial jobs you can imagine. I've cleaned toilets, I've shoveled cement in the street, I've toiled away in a windowless basement stacking totes for retail stores at 4 in the morning. I even dressed up like a Teletubby, for pity's sake! 
And then all of a sudden my friend got me into this ritzy condominium in the city for more pay than I'd ever made before, full union benefits and everything. I am indeed grateful, and glad I managed toughed it out for 5 1/2 years, (4 of them being the graveyard shift that kicked my ass without mercy) but I feel like now I'm in a position where I'm doing something I've never done before:
I feel like I deserve more. I feel like I deserve happiness. The kind I'm not getting here. I mean not that I don't enjoy standing around for 8 hours doing nothing but opening doors for people, but y'know, some folks need a challenging career to keep them focused.

So I'm venturing out into the great field of uncertainty- the world of freelancing. It's so exciting, I'm near paralyzed with abject terror! I'm trying to go about this the right way because the last thing I want to do is quit  my job and not get any jobs or revenue for like 2 months. That would be a disaster, I'd be out on the street! To prevent this, I'm trying to build myself a safety net. I could do this one of several ways. (And my gawds, let me count my blessings that there are so many of them available to me) 

  • I could get a part-time job at this spa in Scarsdale I've got an interview for on Wednesday, which is about 30 hours a week. That would leave me plenty of time to write and the opportunity to take a few freelance jobs from oDesk and Elance.

However, my profiles aren't fully set up yet. I could get to that tonight but after 1 in the morning is probably a bad time to take skill assessment tests. I would also have to pay for health care out o pocket, which would be like $200/month. $300 if I go through empire directly for a PPO so I could keep my doctors. Ugh, balls, that's horrible. 

  • Another option is getting a full-time writing gig, or just a regular office job; you know, the ones I'm not really qualified for because I was too busy getting spinal surgery to finish college? But yeah, I've been trying for those too. A whole shitton of them, actually. 

Unfortunately, full-time gigs are physically trying on me and leave me with virtually no time to write or take freelance gigs.

  • I could totally dick around and get myself fired, go on unemployment and finish writing my books.

  • I could also go on disability, which I know my lumbar stenosis qualifies me for, but then I'd have to scrap my writing because as long as I earn benefits, I can't earn money. 

I know several people who are on full benefits and they have no lives. It earns them just barely enough to pay rent any maybe eat a little? But then you don't have enough left to travel or go enjoy your life, you're just stuck. People stagnate on disability; they just waste away and I refuse to be like that even when this friggin' illness puts me in a wheelchair. I'm just not made that way.

So, in light of all these choices;

I've been thinking about the part-time one, because it would leave my schedule open for all the crazy stuff I want to do if I'm going to follow my joy. It doesn't hurt that the spa promised free massages for all employees. lol
I can do this. I CAN. I WILL, I've decided this. I have one last article to write on hubpages before I can start earning revenue. I'm syncing it with Technorati which is a task, but there are tutorials for that. I started this blog so I can link you directly to each article, this way you don't have to sign up with Hubpages to view it, because they're a pain like that.

But in the meantime, if you'd like to view my profile, be my guest! Watch this space because there is so much to come, you won't even believe your eyeballs. I'm gonna be famous and junk, just you watch!!!!!!!!!11ONE