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Progress Report

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I'm having trouble sleeping tonight, so I thought typing some stuff out might help slow my mind down. I don't make it a point to keep actual progress reports on my overall life, but I do find it helpful to document the progress I do make on the forum so that I can turn to my past self to remind me that I am slowly changing for the better. So, here goes a general report of my feelings towards certain aspects of my life. My hope is that somebody else can compare this to my older more depressing posts and see that it's not impossible to improve their life in little ways.

Skills: I've gotten a fair bit better at sewing recently. Was able to mend two big holes in my brother's shirt, so that felt really good. Really, it's just nice to help preserve something, even if it's just a sleep shirt. Part of me actually kinda looks forward to finding new holes along the seams of my clothes so I can practice sewing some more. I definitely don't regret asking my Mama to teach me this extremely useful skill now. My cooking hasn't improved much though. I feel I've hit a mental wall that keeps me from experimenting more in the kitchen. It'd be nice if I could get over it. Would like to try cooking more fish to help encourage my dad to mix up his diet a bit more.

Sociability: I've done several video game streams in an attempt to get me a little less shy around strangers. I'm still not very comfortable in groups though. I tend to not think I have much to offer, but I guess I'm also reluctant to put myself in a group for fear of being pressured to conform to some group hive mind mentality. Makes it hard to meet new people, but I've met a couple and even reconnected with an old friend. Getting out of my comfort zone can be helpful, but I'm starting to wonder if I should push it since I really do better in one on one conversations.

Romance: I've made a lot of progress on this front. I don't mean to say I'm dating anybody, but I've kinda accepted the fact that, even though I'm 27, I'm still just not ready for any romantic relations. I'm not self-sufficient, and am thus, unable to make meaningful promises. Will I ever be? I hope so. I'm certainly working on it. Still, despite the fact that I've pretty successfully moved on with my life, and am even able to have normal interactions with my ex and her fiance again, it's difficult sometimes to not look back on the short time I had with my ex and feel anything but regret. I know that's not a good way to feel about my first relationship of that nature, but it is what it is. I can only hope that given another year or three, I'll have matured past having any regrets over that, because I don't think I can do anything to force myself to get over it anymore than I already have.

Career: I'm taking the GRE on May 4th. If I get a good score, it will help my chances of getting into graduate school. My goal remains the same; earn a master's degree, get LPC certification, become a counselor, and become self-sufficient so I can ditch the government's pity money they send me every month for being legally blind. If I'm being honest though, I feel my career is my weakest aspect of my life. I'm overly anxious about the future, and not in a helpful way that drives me to work harder at building a bright future for myself. I find myself trying to make contingency plans for scenarios that aren't even that likely to happen, leading to a lot of wasted effort and sleepless nights over stuff that won't even matter if I get into grad school. Mama tells me that I need to have faith, otherwise I'll agonize over every unknown for the rest of my life. She's right, but it's hard for me to let things go. Maybe this is my punishment for all those years of acting like a snobby atheist  and looking down on everyone in high school? In any case, stress management is still something I need a lot of work on.

Overall, I'm cautiously optimistic about all of this. Looking back, I can clearly see I've changed for the better. I've learned some valuable lessons about when to stop trying to help people and just be a harmless listener, thanks to a very good friend of mine. I've become a bit more comfortable expressing myself in creative ways. I probably pay too much attention to politics and what the mainstream media says still, but maybe my optimism in spite of all the negativity I see in the media is a sign that I've gotten better at not letting others control my feelings so much. That, and I'm sure the anti-depressants have helped.

That's all for now, but please feel free to talk about your own progress if you like. I really do think it's important to acknowledge progress when it happens and document for your future self when times are rough. Speaking from experience, I feel the severity of my depression has lessened ever since I started coming here sometimes to take note of the positive changes in my life, both internal and external. If you made it all the way through this lengthy post, congratulations to you. You deserve a reward, but I don't have one to give, so I'll just say shine on.

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