The Hardest Things to Say.

I know my posts are erratic. I jump from moments of the present to moments of the past. I’ve decided that this is the right time for me to write about things that seem to be affecting my future. I don’t want it to be mistaken that I’m unhappy, because I’m not. Quite contrary, it’s because I am in such a good space that I feel it’s a good time to address some things. I feel that, in some way, writing about past experiences helps me. I haven’t yet found the key ingredient to relieve me of worry and anxiety. I need an outlet. Writing has proved to help, however.

Why do I drink? This is a question that I don’t want to answer out loud. I’ve over analysed my behaviour dozens of time. I tell myself I do this because of that and that because of that. I may be wrong, I may be right. And in no way, is what I say a justification of my actions. They aren’t. I do know it’s time to let go. I’m merely sitting here behind a computer screen, as if I were sitting in my own psychology practice. I’m hard on myself. There’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t feel responsible or guilty for my fate.

So, why do I drink? I started drinking to fit in. I was thirteen years old and got mixed up with the wrong crowd. I’m happy to say it ended before it got too far, using drugs at such a young age – however, I did spent a good four years using drugs on a weekly or bi weekly basis starting in my last year of High School. It didn’t define me, but it did tear away the most important person in my life. She became addicted to speed and we lost contact for many years. That, regardless of the rest of this content, was probably the hardest thing I ever had to go through. Blaming myself for leaving her when she needed help, but didn’t want it. Light, however – she is now clean and back to her normal self. She is the only person on earth I can call my sister, and I feel utterly blessed to have her and her wisdom back in my life.

Why do I drink? I’ve been blogging for almost six months now. and although I’ve written this down many times in word documents, on paper, in poetry – I’m not sure I wanted the world to hear. Many people have become desensitized by cruelty and disorder, and we all have our demons. I can’t say it out loud, I don’t want to say it out loud. It instills the worst kind of fear within me, I feel it in my body and my words that come out shaken. I almost want to type it out in one sentence, and let it be gone, but that is not the point of this exercise.

In April, 2001, I was fourteen years old. My two friends and I went over to the neighbours for the night. His parents were away, so we drank. My two friends and I shared a bottle of brandy. I remember we hid it in a corner so the boys wouldn’t drink it. I kept going back for more, sneakily. I always want more. It’s like I need to be 100% sure that that feeling will be sustained. I’m always wanting more, whether it’s drugs or alcohol. I blacked out. My body was still so young, and I’d drank a lot. I blacked out, and I was paralytic drunk. My next memory was being placed and held up on my knees by one of the boys while he shoved his penis in my mouth. I kept falling over, and he kept picking me back up. It tasted like rubber in my mouth. I remember the clothes I was wearing – light blue jeans, a green Adidas hoodie and Etnies. My next memory is of me laying on the ground, unable to get up. His face in my face and the pain along with my ability to do nothing. I couldn’t speak and I couldn’t move. My next memory is of me waking up in a bed. My mother was furious that I didn’t come home, and it was after 1 in the morning. I was carried home by my two friends. I woke up to blood stained underwear and not a single ability to comprehend the severity of what had just happened. To this very day, I have never been unable to take care of myself again. The part which makes me more sick is that the people at the party didn’t know of the circumstances, and watched from the living room window. When I told my mother about it a few months later, she indicated that it was partly my fault for being drunk at the time. Truth, yes – but it’s stuck with me in a negative way to this day.

What did this do to me? My first sexual experience resembles distrust, pain, hate and sickness. Prior to that experience, I had only kissed a boy before. I was ruined at a young age and it affected the way that I view sex and men. I had been rejected by my father my entire life, and had been physically and emotionally abused by my brother. I had no male figure to lead me in a light which shows them favourably. This experience cut me off emotionally when it comes to sex. It scarred my ability to be intimate or even show affection – even a hug is hard for me to do. I began sleeping around, feeling no emotion whatsoever and doing it only when I was drunk. I still find it difficult to have intercourse when I’m sober. It’s a big thing that gives me immense anxiety. I didn’t want to know their names, I didn’t feel anything for them but at the same time, all I wanted was their affection and acceptance.

Why do I drink? My head is a mess. I have anxiety to the point where I can’t sleep, I can’t function optimally and get panic attacks fairly regularly. Alcohol has always been that getaway that lets me escape my own mind for a few hours. I get black out drunk to a point where it’s like I don’t even own my own body anymore, it’s as if I don’t exist. It was a lot worse, it is getting better. Alcohol gives me the confidence to be the person I should be.

Having said all of this, I know that it’s my past. I know that I cannot change it, I just don’t know how to accept it. I am very proud of the progress I’ve made over the last few month. I’ve stopped sleeping around, and even while I was doing it – I did not want to do it. A girl who sleeps around is desperately looking for love and affection.

It’s now written and it’s out there and whether it gets read or not, is not really important. I’m releasing my demons. It’s out in the universe and it’s time that I stop letting it define me.

How to Win Friends & Influence People.

I’ve just finished a self-help book that was recommended to me called How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It was advised that I make notes on the book afterwards, to keep me inspired and have easy reference, if needed. I’ve underlined the parts that are particularly meaningful to me.

“It is frequently easier to find fault than to find praise. It is more natural to talk about what you want than to talk about what the other person wants.”

“What lessons can I learn from that experience?”

“Criticism is dangerous because it wounds a person’s precious pride, hurts his sense of importance, and arouses resentment.”

“Let’s realize that criticisms are like homing pigeons. They always return home. Let’s realize that the person we are going to correct and condemn will probably justify himself or herself, and condemn us in return.”

“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbours roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”

“It takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.”

“God himself does not propose to judge man until the end of his days. Why should you and I?”

“There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it.”

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

The desire to feel important is what drives one to wear the latest styles, drive the latest cars and talk about your brilliant children.

“Many people who go insane find in insanity a feeling of importance that they were unable to find in the world of reality. If I could stretch out my hand and restore her sanity, I wouldn’t do it. She’s much happier as she is.”

“There is nothing else that so kills the ambition of a person as criticisms from superiors.”

“There is nothing I need so much as nourishment for my self-esteem.”

“The difference between appreciation and flattery? One is sincere and the other insincere. Flattery is telling the other person precisely what he thinks about himself.”

“Nothing pleases a child more than a kind of parental interest and approval.”

“Hurting people not only does not change them,, it is never called for.”

“Give honest, sincere appreciation. People will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime, repeat them years after you have forgotten them.”

“The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want.”

“The world is full of people who are grabbing and self-seeking. So the rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage.”

“You knew by some divine instinct that you can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

“When you see a group photograph that you are in, whose picture do you look for first?”

“If we merely try to impress people and get people interested in us, we will never have many true, sincere friends.”

“Let’s put ourselves out to do things for other people – things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness.”

“Let’s greet people with animation and enthusiasm.”

“The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.”

“A smile says “I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”

“People rarely succeed at anything unless they have fun doing it.”

“Force yourself to smile. If you are alone, force yourself to whistle or hum a tune or sing. Act as though you were already happy, and that will tend to make you happy.”

“Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.”

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – William Shakespear. 

“Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required to for the fulfillment of your desire. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual. Thought is supreme.”

“A right mental attitude. All thingscome through desire and every sincere prayer is answered.”

“A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”

“Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it.”

The value of a smile:

– it costs nothing, but creates much.

– It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.

– It cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.

– For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give.

“One way to warm it up is to remember people’s names.”

“One of the simplest, most obvious and most important ways of gaining good will was by remembering names and making people feel important.”

“Half the time, we are introduced to a stranger, we chat a few minutes and can’t even remember his or her name by the time we say goodbye.”

“We should be aware of the magic contained in a name and realize that this single item is wholly and completely owned by the person with whom we are dealing… and nobody else. The name sets the individual apart; it makes him or her unique among all others.”

“Listening is one of the highest compliments we can pay anyone.”

“A sympathetic listener – that’s what we all want when we are in trouble. That is frequently all the irritated customer wants, the dissatisfied employee or the hurt friend.”

“Always make the other person feel important.”

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

“Jesus summed it up in one thought, probably the most important rule in the world ‘So unto others as you would have others do unto you’.”

“Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.”

“Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you?”

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

“Control you temper – remember you can measure the size of a person by what makes him or her angry.”

“You cannot teach a  man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.”

“Be wiser than other people if you can; but do not tell them so.”

“Nobody in the heavens above or on the earth beneath will ever object to your saying ‘I may be wrong. Let’s examine the facts’.”

“When a person says no, and really mean it, he is she is doing far more than saying a word of two letters. The entire organism – glandular, nervous, muscular – gather itself together into a condition of rejection.”

“He who treads softly goes far.”

“You may be tempted to interrupt. But don’t. It is dangerous. They won’t pay attention to you while they still have a lot of ideas of their own crying for expression.”

“Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.”

“Be 100% sincere.”

“Three-fourths of people you will ever meet are hungering and thirsting for sympathy. Give it to them, and they will love you. “

“Sympathy the human species universally craves. The child eagerly displays his injury; or even inflicts a cut of bruise in order to reap abundant sympathy. For the same purpose adults… show their bruises, relate their accidents, illness, especially details of surgical operations. Self-pity for misfortunes real or imaginary is, in some measure, practically a universal practice.”

“For after all, we are either men or monkeys – and the choice usually lies with ourselves.”

“If you are satisfied with the results you are now getting, why change? If you are not satisfied, why not experiment?”

“This is the day of dramatization. Merely stating a truth isn’t enough. The truth has to be made vivid, interesting, dramatic. You have to use showmanship. The movies do it. Television does it. And you will have to do it if you want attention.”

“All of these dramatize for the viewer and the advantages offered by whatever by whatever is being sold – and they do get people to buy them.”

“All men have fears, but the brave put down their fears and go forward.”

“The one facet of the jobs that was most stimulating? Money? Good working conditions? Fringe benefits? No – not any of those. The one major factor that motivated people was the work itself. If the work was exciting and interesting, the worker looked forward to doing it and was motivated to do a good job.”

“That is what every successful person loves – the game. The chance for self-expression. The chance to prove his or her worth, to excel, to win. That is what makes pie-eating contests. The desire to excel. The desire for the feeling of importance.”

“It is always easier to listen to unpleasant things after we have heard some praise of our good points. A barber lathers a man before he shaves him.”

“Begin with praise and honest appreciation.”

“I didn’t exhort him to stop or make threats or warn him about the dangers. All I did was point out how I was hooked on cigarettes and what it had meant to me. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.”

“Admitting ones own mistakes – even when one hasn’t corrected them – can help convince somebody to change his behaviour.”

“Asking questions not only makes an order more palatable; it often stimulates the creativity of the persons whom you ask. People are more likely to accept an order if they have had a part in the decision that caused the order to be issued.”

“I have no right to say or do anything that diminishes a man in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him, but what he thinks of himself.”

“Praise is like the sunlight the human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.”

“He had singled out a specific compliment, rather than just making general flattering remarks, his praise became much more meaningful to the person to whom it was given. Everybody likes to be praised but when praise is specific, it comes across as sincere – not something the other person may be saying just to make one feel good.”

“Nobody wants insincerity.”

“Abilities wither under criticism; they blossom under encouragement.”

“If you want to improve a person in a certain respect, act as though that particular trait were already one of his or her outstanding characteristics. Give them a fine reputation to live up to, and they will make the prodigious efforts rather than see you disillusioned.”

“Tommy.T – the school’s most notorious bad boy – I understand you are a natural leader. I’m going to depend on you to help me make this class the best class in the fourth grade this year.”

“Tell your child, your spouse, your employee that he or she is stupid or dumb at a certain thing, has no gift for it, and is doing it all wrong, and you have destroyed almost every incentive to try and improve. But use the opposite technique = be liberal with your encouragement, make the thing seem easy to do, let the other person know that you have faith in his or her ability to do it, that he has an under developed flair for it  – and he will practice until the dawn comes in the window  in order to excel.”

“It is naive to believe that you will always get a favourable reaction from other persons when you use these approaches, but the experience of most people shows that you are more likely to change attitudes this way than by not using these principles – and if you increase your success by even a mere 10 percent, you have become 10 percent more effective as a leader than you were before – and that is your benefit.”

Key Principles:

Become genuinely interested in other people.

Smile.

Remember a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Talk in terms of other peoples’ interests.

Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Never say “you’re wrong”

Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

Dramatize your ideas.

Begin with praise.

Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.

As questions instead of giving direct orders.

Praise the slightest improvement.

Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to.

Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

Give honest and sincere appreciation.

Arouse on the other person an eager want.

Not Good Enough.

I am positively in inspirational heaven with all the material I have to read, watch and do. My potential is endless right now, and having literature and other forms of inspiration in abundance leaves me feeling so excited, almost so that I can’t sleep at night. Having said that, I feel I am on a really great path in life. I’ve spent some time re-reading old blog posts and see only growth. I am not perfect, but my present and future look great to me from here. It’s things that have happened in my past which hinder my progress and agitate my anxiety.

I lay in bed earlier and thought about my behaviour. Being a Psych major, I am constantly over-analyzing myself and my actions, diagnosing myself and telling myself that I act a certain way because of things that have happened. One incident came to my mind. One that I hadn’t thought of for a long time, but that which I feel contributes sincerely to the things I do, the way I see myself and my actions.

I am the youngest of three in the family. My father is emotionally dead. We have never had any kind of relationship. In fact, he makes me feel like a stranger in my own home. I’ve always experienced rejection from him. If not making fun of me, he never attended school events, dance recitals, University graduation etc. He makes me feel nervous even talking to him. I try hard not to blame him for anything. My brother, who is 6 years older than me is a great friend of mine today. As a child, however he used to hit me a lot. He lacks respect for women and it’s evident in the way that he physically and verbally interacts with my mother and I. For all of my years living at home, he used to do this thing that made me feel insignificant, like what I ever had to say was unimportant and that I should just be quiet. This has stuck with me to this day. If I am in a social situation, I am quiet and shy and nervous. I don’t feel good enough to speak, or feel like what I can contribute is good enough. When ever I would open my mouth to speak he would say, under his breath “Be quiet” “No one cares” “Shut up” or “Shhh!” and then carry on talking in my place. This affected me more than I thought. Coupled with this, is the fact that my father always used to embarrass me in social situations and say “Keep quiet, Helena – no one can get a word in!” making fun of the fact that I rarely spoke. My friend and I went out for dinner with some other people the other day. I felt awkward and I was quiet and she said that exact same thing to me, leaving me with those exact feelings I had as a child at the dinner table. I witness what this has done to me in the way that I never feel good enough. I am constantly seeking approval “does this look OK?” “Is this right?” etc. I suppose all of these feelings came rushing back after the dinner with my friend.

My question now, is – how do I deal with these and other demons?

Life, Love and Beauty.

I want to know what type of girl you think I am? Do you think I am hard and easy-going? I want you to know that my past is not something I am proud of. I want you to know that I’ve battled hard and wished for a life that was different. To know that I am emotionally raw and this is all new to me. That I wished for better life choices, but have failed in executing it. That my heart is big and warm and craves only one. That, in my words I feel limited except for when they’re written or thought up in my messy head. That it’s hard for me to let things or people go. I can’t forgive myself for things that have happened – that one thing that happened, but I’ve tried to live as best I could. I’m nervous, anxious and shy and it’s that which makes people believe that I’m lacking passion and drive. I see beauty in things ordinary people don’t. I appreciate love, life and little things that make me tick – a beautiful dance, a sad film or somber lyrics. My lack of verbal skills is a poor reflection of how deep I really am.

2013 Lifestyle Change (Not resolutions!)

It’s the first day of the new year and I will admit, I feel miserable. I don’t know if I am happy or desperately unhappy and it’s scaring me. I’ve decided that I’ve been doing a pretty good job of fooling myself into thinking I want to be in Korea for a third year. Regardless, it’s happening.

I’ve made a list of goals I want to achieve this year:

Drink 2 litres of water every day.
Go on real dates (no drinking or partying on a date).
Less partying, more cultural.
Take photos.
Read.
Write.
Write a book.
Visit 1 new country.
Save.
Don’t party with strangers.
Make a new and good friend.
Be less indecisive.
Gym 4-6 x a week.
Don’t make stupid decisions.
Don’t have one night stands.
Follow my gut.
No more douchebags who make me feel bad about myself.
I am worth it.

Happy New Year, everyone. xx