I started the real portion of my therapy today with my psychiatrist. It looks kind of scary. According to her, the best way for me to treat my issues is to, essentially, force me to confront them and then deny me any of the normal coping mechanisms I make use of. Now, the whole point of this therapy will be to cause me distress, which will apparently, eventually, acclimate me to having those thoughts without them causing anxiety. She described it like hearing Muzak in the background at a mall - you hear it, but you don't pay it any attention.

Since the whole point of this therapy is to make me do something that causes me a lot of fear and guilt, if I wasn't bothered by the idea of it, that would be a strong sign that this therapy technique won't do me any good at all. If that relation works in the other direction as well, my level of nervousness about this means it will probably work great. Most of this session was spent with me describing things that might happen that would upset me a lot and rating them by subjective levels of distress. So, for example, calling my parents might be a 50, while finding out that a close friend secretly hates me is, say, a 90. It's interesting that while the scale is 1-100, I have apparently given it a logarithmic scale without conciously thinking about it. Just examining where I put things on the scale, it's obvious though. 80 is nasty but really only somewhat worse than, say, 70, and then something I rated 90 would be really bad, 95 is horrific, and 100 would have to be something so traumatic I probably wouldn't live (or want to live) through it. Anyway, the idea of rating the distress levels is that I will start going through them (starting from the lowest stress ones) and going up from there. Some I will do IRL (such as calling a friend I haven't seen in a while, or any of the other anxiety-causing situations which are easy to do for real), while others will involve me imagining them happening or recording a tape of me describing something anxiety-provoking related to my obsessions, and then listening to it over and over again.

The part that makes this so hard for me is that before I started taking Prozac, I spent all of my time obsessing over the things that bothered me, living them over again and again in my mind, going over every possible angle and nuance for days on end. Since then, I have been able to just not think about things that bother me. I still get the thoughts popping into my head, but I can, with relative ease, force them out again. I would really enjoy continuing to just not think about these things, because damn it, I'm a lot happier not thinking about things that bother me than I am when I spend all day, every day thinking about them endlessly.

A few weeks ago, I helped a friend move. On a mix tape he had made for the move, he put the Weezer song Suzanne. It's an old song, but wasn't easy to get ahold before recently with the new 'deluxe' edition of the Blue Album; I think before that it was just on the Mallrats soundtrack. It's a great, great song and I just know it's going to be one of those that I listen to it again and again until I get completely sick of it.

"Suzanne, you're all that I wanted of a girl / You're all that I need in the world" [...] Now I just need to find a nice girl named Suzanne to fall in love with, and I've got the perfect song all lined up.

The results of a 3-Day New Year's Celebration Conference

The Facts

Mission Statement
To help those who want to become more than what they are now - to find their path and to become who they are meant to be.

Goals for 2006
Interbiz Cruise on Caribbean Princess - August 2006
This will be achieved by going Business Builder. Principles in Servant Leadership is the foundation of the business.

Diamond Engagement Ring - August 2006
This will be chosen and bought on the Cruise. A financial goal of $5000.00 is set.

The Emotion

What can I say? I'm serious about moving onwards to a future that was meant to be. All the signals are pointing to this great success, and I cannot *wait* until we head to the port where the great ship launches.

The smell of the salt air, the breeze coming off the shore. And then the view of this gigantic vehicle - what was it, 18 storeys high?

Ok, so now I'm obsessed. I head straight to Google images and find the best view of the ship as my wallpaper at work. And when I come home, I do the same thing.

We can't NOT go on the cruise.

The Learning

I'm reading 3 to 6 books all at the same time and have been doing so for the past few years. After finishing "The Serving Leader" (by Ken Jennings and John Stahl-Wert), my perspective on leadership principles have changed. This combined with the heart that was given these past few days has made everything about myself and who I want to become more clear.

We also learned how to do the merengue, the salsa and the tango. (What's this? Learning how to dance at a business conference? It's not your ordinary seminar.) Alberto and Selena Hoyas has given a great gift to us and the many people who participated. Down the road, we must set a goal to have them teach us more thoroughly to dancing more fluidly.

The Actions

Effective activity and not "busy" activity must be excercised. I don't want to become what Bucky Fuller calls the money-bee. I want to be the bee that impacts others' lives. The only way to reach my goals is to concentrate on those who want it the most. Those with the hunger to become who they were meant to become. Even those who just want to start a new journey - one of challenge and blessings, new friends and loved-ones, financial success and wealth described by the self and not by others.

Keeping focus is key. Also remember the points made by Donald Trump.

This year feels right. This year, it will get done.

Woke up this morning with a nice gentle feeling, and Loud Mouth screaming at the manager. "She's drunk, a slut, a crackhead, AND she talked to my boss! I wanted to hit her in the face! I'm going to lose money this way! I'm going to lose my job! My boss is still talking about this!"

I stuck my head out the window, puppy-in-a-purse print pyjamas on, and said, in a sweet, contrite, tone, "I'm sorry."

Loud Mouth turned to me in horror. "Keep...keep away from me!"

"With pleasure." I said, in a nonplussed, what's-HIS-problem manner.

The manager just shook her head and chuckled. Loud Mouth got into his Pool Cleaning truck and sped off.

I've gotten to be friendly with the cleaning staff, a nice old couple who don't know too much English. They come in every day sometime between nine and eleven and vacuum and give me towels. They're nice, but picky. Nothing on the bed. Nothing on the floor. Nothing on the table. Otherwise I get a chiding from the owner's Americanized daughter. But when I do, I get smiles, high-fives (which seem weird coming from an elderly Patel woman) and extra towels. I'm thinking of taking language lessons, a word at a time.

So, I watch the news, check the weather, and phone home. Mom's better: last night her shingles kicked up and I found, to my horror, I'd lost my room key. I read a report that states that life in the French Quarter during the height of the flood was similar to life in Dhalgren: bars and churches the center of life, restaurants giving away free food, people helping each other/committing senseless crime for fun, even holding a parade for the sheer heck of it. Pretty much what you'd expect if you were going to write a novel about a disaster hitting New Orleans. I do a little stretching, put on my tank top and head off...

Worried about day after tomorrow. I don't know whether to ask for an extension of my stay. Pmail me with ideas....It has been so hard.

Well fall is here. The air is getting crisper, nights are cooler, we're to the point where we can shut off the AC for a while and open windows. This is normally an awesome time of year. Ever since I've been out of school I have loved the end of summer and the beginning of the colorful, cool season of autumn. I love hockey (it's finally coming back this year!!), Halloween - always have, and more recently I have developed a taste for touring the wineries in October, breathing in that crisp, cool air and photographing some of the beautiful technicolor scenery while sampling some great wines and cheeses. There's nothing like a relaxing Sunday drive around wine country here in east central Missouri; if you ever visit here in October, try to get out to places like New Melle, Washington, or just drive up Highway 94 between Washington and I-70, it is truly an experience.

This fall, however, hasn't been all that great.

I did have a lot of stuff here about financial and baby troubles, and I asked the e2 community for some advice, and I got some good stuff and I'd like to thank everybody who tried to help. Four days later I decided to remove all of that and put this paragraph in its place because things are starting to look up a bit.

Thanks again, folks. :)

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