Day 30 – Speaking Up: I Can’t Want To


Wow. I haven’t touched this blog in over a week. I hit a wall, and no matter how much I told myself I SHOULD write something, in the words of my 4(?) year old self…”I can’t want to!” So, no posts.

There’s one more day to this writing challenge, but I can tell you now, based on my schedule tomorrow (Halloween!) I will not have time for thinking, much less thinking AND writing.

I have to say that I did learn a few things with this exercise — speaking up is something that takes effort, and I think in most cases, it’s worth the work.

The last kind of Speaking Up I think I’ll talk about tonight, is Speaking Up for myself, to myself. When the anxiety and depression are at war in my brain, and I feel both helpless and hopeless, one of my “go to” practices to restore peace is the Think/Feel/Want assignment. When I don’t know what to do next, I grab a journal and pen complete these three sentences:

I think…
I feel…
I want…

And I keep going and going until I come to an understanding (of myself, or perhaps another), or I develop a resolution about an action I can take that will help me.

This practice helps me review my thoughts (maybe I think something that isn’t true, or is an assumption, and needs clarification), my feelings (what am I really feeling — a lot of my feelings start out masquerading as anger, but end up being very different), and my desires (this is the toughest one). Speaking up and letting myself verbalize what I actually want — that there is powerful stuff!

(And I guess there’s a tie-in here after all. It’s only taken me 40 odd years to go from “I can’t want…” to “I want…”) Huh.

31-days-of-speaking-up100x100 My topic for the project is “Speaking Up”.
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Day 22 – Speaking Up: Shut Up


The “never enough” monster has lived in my brain too long. The nit-picking, the quick skimming over successes, the extensive dwelling on the shortfalls. I can be a real bitch.

Today I’m speaking up and saying “SHUT UP!!!” to that inner voice who can’t seem to get enough.

For a lot of years I’ve used that voice as a “white glove check” of my performance. If I can survive “the worst” that my internal voice can dish out, maybe, just maybe, I’ll be prepared to handle external criticism and failure. That level of fear served me for a long time. Always the prepared one. Very methodical. Uber planner. The one who has dental floss, needle and thread, nail clippers, spray neosporin and TUMS packed in every purse and bag “just in case”. Those are great things to have, of course, but it requires imagining and focusing on every terrible thing.

When I do have success, and things go smoothly? That voice jumps right in, scanning the future – imagining all sorts of new horrible things to be prepared for. There’s no time for rest, for enjoyment, for relaxing, for celebrating.


I’m just saying “enough”. Time to take a breather. I had a nice lull in the chaos this week and did some focused, good, hard labor and I plowed through a backlog at work that has haunted me. As soon as I was done, I got this horrible pit in my stomach. It took me a while to realize why. The voice was already on the job, pointing out all of the OTHER things that I had NOT yet done.

So tonight, I’m saying “SHUT UP”. But I don’t want to end it on a bad note. My inner voice is a part of me, and needs to be retrained. So, I’ll say this instead…

31-days-of-speaking-up100x100 My topic for the project is “Speaking Up”.
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Day 19 – Speaking Up: Things I Love

2012-11-07_140513 Leaves

Ok, so not all of these are technically “things”, this is me “speaking up” about what makes me smile, gives me hope, fills me with joy:

  • Facebook posts that inspire me to close Facebook and go find something enjoyable to do
  • The drop of the temperature in fall, accompanied by sharp blue skies and fiery reds an oranges against stalwart green
  • People who by default try to “Stand with and for…” rather than “Stand against…”
  • People who do business using “What’s the right thing to do here?” as their plumb line
  • The arrival of a new book, just sitting there, waiting to spend time together
  • Getting into a neatly made bed

And with that one, I’m out.

31-days-of-speaking-up100x100 My topic for the project is “Speaking Up”.
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Day 18 – Speaking Up: Owning It


I did something today that I never thought I would do. I freely told a distant (extended) family member about being in therapy. Yup. At a family event, I was simultaneously pulled into a conversation, and outed as someone who is a “worrier”. It could have been really embarrassing, awkward and uncomfortable, but surprisingly even to me, I just owned it, shared my story, and may have even validated someone else’s struggle in the process.

I am not ashamed of being in therapy. It’s actually an amazingly healing thing. Where else can you work out the stuff that keeps you up at night without having to concern yourself for the impact of your truth on the listener? As a recovering people-pleaser, this is critical. No judgement. Just review and assessment, then a plan of action. What’s not to love?

If that family member decides that this news is shocking and needs to whisper it down the familial lane…so be it. I hope it reaches someone else who can feel a little less alone or scared, and will get help for themselves!

And if that someone else could be you. Just do it. You are worth it.

31-days-of-speaking-up100x100 My topic for the project is “Speaking Up”.
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Day 16 – Speaking Up: Friday Night


I have nothing to talk about this evening, that much I can tell you.

It’s Friday night.

I just finished re-counting the squares I’ve crocheted so far for Jack’s Creeper Blanket (see February 25’s post “Getting Craft-y“). Due to the size of the individual squares, I had to reduce the number of squares from 768 to 576. I only have 127 left to go!! I’d taken a hiatus during the summer. For me, crocheting is definitely a cold weather activity. Curl up on the couch, watch TV, and have the warmth of your project to snuggle under. This sucker is going to be HUGE!

This is my favorite time of year. The weather cools. Just enough of a chill that I need the blanket AND comforter, and I sleep a lot more soundly. I think we’re going to be picking out pumpkins and a Halloween costume for J5. Oooh! And that means I’ll be roasting pumpkin seeds too! Mmmmm! I need this weekend to recover from last weekend filled with Water Park Fun and migraines.

Aaaaaaand that’s it. I’m out of things to say. At least to the interwebs. :)

31-days-of-speaking-up100x100 My topic for the project is “Speaking Up”.
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Day 15 – Speaking Up: Sandra Bland


I learned today that the Sandra Bland tragedy struck closer to home than I realized. I was reading a blog post, by this pastor, about how Senator Bernie Sanders took the time to sit down and talk with Sandra’s mother recently. (I have to say, I have a great deal of hope for our country if our leaders will take a lesson or two from this man.)

As I scrolled down the page and looked at the photo taken of the group, I immediately recognized a woman from my neighborhood! Shante, who I now realize is Sandra’s older sister, lived just down the street from us for years! Our sons were good friends in early elementary school!

If for some reason you don’t know or remember who Sandra Bland is, please google her. [Interestingly, I’ve been thinking about how to write this post all day, and just now I saw that someone on HuffPo just wrote a piece about the blog post I was reading this morning.]

I’ve been trying all day (and now evening) to find good words to say. To find a way to speak up and amplify Sandra’s story. I don’t believe that Sandra killed herself. I think something ugly and tragic happened and I do hope the truth comes to light. I don’t know that my one voice can do much at all, but today, this is how I’m Speaking Up.

Please take some time to read through some of the Twitter threads below. Twitter is a plethora of opinion, and many links to additional information. If, after reading, you feel inclined to help her family dig deeper into what happened, you can contribute below. Thank you for being part of a momentary remembering of a beautiful woman whose life was cut short too early. She should not have died this way.


31-days-of-speaking-up100x100 My topic for the project is “Speaking Up”.
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Day 14 – Speaking Up: Depression and Anxiety


Neither depression, nor anxiety are fun topics. I struggle with both. It’s not something I hide, nor is it something I talk about publicly very often.

I have been in regular therapy for a few years now. I have had moments when I feared that maybe someone would try to use that knowledge against me in some way, or worse, their opinion of me would be permanently damaged by knowing I’m “broken” somehow. Now, I feel that “that” kind of person is someone I don’t care to spend much time around. I need authentic people in my life, not those preoccupied with keeping up their “good reputations”.

Sitting here, I can’t say that I have anything huge to reveal. Physical, mental, and emotional health all need attention. If you don’t attend to them, they’ll take you down at the knees. Trust me.

So, things I’m doing right now to stay healthy…I’ve set a bedtime for myself (which I’m now almost 45 minutes past to write this post…). I’ve been reading a lot of good books lately. I’m on sort of a voyage to discover what’s unique about me, how this “Lundie’s Life” looks now, and how I want it to look different. I am starting to change things up a bit.

Therapy has been an integral part of this process. As I type it, it all sounds so pleasant and clinical and proactive. Reality, not so much. Thought it’s been messy, I want people to know that freaking out, feeling ready to give up, being scared to go anywhere or do anything — these are all normal feelings to have at one time or another. They shouldn’t become a destination. Once I started to realize that was how I was spending a large portion of my time, I knew some help to get headed in a different direction. And thankfully, I was able to find someone who listens well, and asks the right questions.

The changes are still coming. Bits at a time. New job here. Less hair there. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

31-days-of-speaking-up100x100 My topic for the project is “Speaking Up”.
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Day 13 – Speaking Up: Recovery

After the migraines this past week, I realized that although my writing topic is Speaking Up, I am needing to do some “listening up” as well. My body is sending full out alarms about the way I am managing the stress in my life. (Hint: not very well.)

I hit a real low earlier in the day. Had a good cry. Then found the song I needed to hear.

Today was full. Cubs won. #DemDebate. I am calling it a night.


PS – The music. It’s coming back.

31-days-of-speaking-up100x100 My topic for the project is “Speaking Up”.
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Day 12 – Speaking Up: When Things Aren’t Ok

Another migraine tonight. Things are not going well. Maybe tomorrow.

Day 11 – Speaking Up: Giving Status


Back after a mini vacation with J4 and J5 to a nearby water park for a couple of nights. We had a nice little getaway. Ended it yesterday, though, by having 3 almost back-to-back ocular migraines. I haven’t had one of those in years. Needless to say, it was a rough day.

Today was restorative. Sleep, chores, respite from noise. Even spent some time making progress on a work-related issue giving me grief. I’m showing up to pick up where I left off…but I’ve sort of run out of words already. Just finished watching this week’s Grey’s Anatomy. (Boy, that woman can write a story.)

So, on that note, I’ll end with a delightful “speaking up” clip:

31-days-of-speaking-up100x100 My topic for the project is “Speaking Up”.
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