Becoming Emotionally Self-Reliant

Oh boy, here I go. My constant struggle with Emotional self sufficiency. If we are emotionally self reliant why do we need anybody else? This is a tuff one for me. I sift through different blogs I follow looking for answers, not to mention my well paid psychologist! Here’s a good one from Zen Habits.

I’m the first to admit that for many years, I was a bit emotionally needy.
Not in a crazy, desperate way, but in the way that many of us are. I wanted someone else to make me happy, blamed others for my unhappiness, sought to fulfill my emotional needs through others.
This caused all kinds of problems I didn’t even realize were there: I’d have relationship problems because if the other person wasn’t meeting my needs, I’d resent it. I’d be unhappy lots of the time, because I thought happiness was outside of me, and therefore it was unreliable and elusive. I was helpless, because if other people are supposed to make me happy and fulfill my needs, then what could I do if they didn’t? What could I do if they hurt me instead?
Only in the last few years have I been becoming more emotionally self-reliant. It’s made my relationships better, and has greatly increased my happiness.
I can’t claim to be an expert on this topic, but I can share some things I’ve been learning. It’s a very, very useful process, as those who are already emotionally independent can attest to.
Test Yourself
Are you emotionally dependent? Ask yourself these questions:

Are you looking for a romantic partner to make you happy?
If you have a partner, do you look to this person for love, for sex, for support, for reassurance, for validation?

Are you upset if your partner doesn’t react in a certain way, doesn’t meet a need?

When you’re alone, do you feel the need to fill the loneliness void with distraction? Are you always on your phone when you’re alone?

Do you complain a lot about other people? Get mad because of things they do?

Is your relationship the center of your universe? What about your relationship with friends or your kids?

Do you get bothered if your partner does something that doesn’t include you, or cuts out something that you’ve been doing together?

Do you get jealous?

This list isn’t comprehensive, of course, but some of you can probably see yourselves in a couple of those questions (or more), if you’re completely honest.

And that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. I still have some of these issues myself, though I’m getting better at them. Most people have a few of these issues, though many wouldn’t admit it, because they worry it would make them look bad. No one likes to look bad, or to think of themselves as bad. But having any of these issues doesn’t make you bad — it’s just who you are right now.
However, while this isn’t an issue of being a “bad person”, I think the skills of emotional self-reliance are useful ones to learn. They can transform your relationships and happiness.
How We Got This Way
Usually this way of thinking starts in childhood. We rely on our parents for our emotional needs — love, comfort, support, validation, etc. And we don’t often develop emotional self-reliance skills as kids, because parents (out of love for us) do their best to provide for all these needs.

And then we become adults, without having learned emotional self-reliance. And so we look for someone else to fill our emotional needs. We look for the perfect partner, and will probably go through a few breakups, because 1) we’re not emotionally independent, and so we do needy things that hurt a relationship, and 2) our partner is probably the same way.
If we’re ever hurt, we blame the other person for hurting us. If they aren’t there for us, we blame them. If something bad happens to us, we become victims, because you can’t move on with your life if someone has done something bad to you, right?
However, there is a solution.
We have to learn this: Happiness is not outside ourselves.
Becoming Emotionally Self-Reliant
We look for happiness from others, but this is an unreliable source of happiness. Other people will come and go, or they’ll be emotionally unavailable for their own personal reasons.

And here’s the thing: it’s not their job to fill our emotional needs. They are struggling trying to meet their own needs.
So instead of looking for happiness from someone else, we have to realize it’s not out there. It’s within us.
Happiness isn’t in the future, it’s not somewhere else. It’s available right inside us, right now, all the time.
How can we find this happiness? It takes some inner searching, but consider these suggestions:
Sit by yourself, without a device or distraction, for a few minutes. Look inside. Notice your thoughts as they come up. Get to know your mind. See how fascinating it is. This in itself is an endless source of entertainment and learning.
One of my sources of happiness is creating, coming up with ideas, producing something. I don’t need anyone to do those things, and they give me wonder at my own abilities.

I also love learning. It gives me happiness, helps me grow.

Curiosity is a boundless source of happiness for me.

Learn to fix your own problems. If you are bored, fix it. If you are lonely or hurt, comfort yourself. If you are jealous, don’t hope that someone will reassure you … reassure yourself.

Take responsibility. If you find yourself blaming others, tell yourself that the other person is never the problem. Of course, you can believe the other person is the problem, but then you are reliant on them for the solution. If you believe that they aren’t the problem, then you look inside yourself for the solution.

If you find yourself complaining, instead find a way to be grateful.

If you find yourself being needy, instead find a way to give.

If you find yourself wanting someone to help you, help yourself.

Create your own source of built-in happiness. Walk around as a whole, happy person, needing nothing.

Then come from this place of wholeness, of self-reliance and independence, and love others. Not because you want them to love you back, not because you want to be needed, but because loving them is an amazing thing to do.
By Leo Babauta

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Nice and easy

Let’s just take it nice and easy.
This was a well written pattern with many options for variation. Both with yarn weight, color and yardage. I chose Adriafil Kimera, a cotton yarn, purchased at my LYS Pinch Knitter. I used 2 balls and had only a shoestring worth left over. I also think this yarn would make fabulous dish cloths. I’d knit them on a 3 or 4 and have the stitches be small and tight. But that’s another post! 

Wet and blocking

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Rondelay 

Pattern & yarn review Rondelay By Jennifer Dassauimage
& Malabrigo Mechita; color 866 Diana

purchased at Pinchknitter.

 Love this pattern. Very well written and I even got over my fear of short row shaping. I avoid patterns that say “seamed” or “short row shaping”. My two least favorite things when it comes to knitting! Quick knit yet challenging enough to not put you to sleep.

Malabrigo yarn. Need I say anymore? I’ve knit with many different weights of this yarn and have never been disappointed. My only fyi about this yarn is if your knitting a large project, like a sweater, and using multiple skeins of yarn in the same dye lot, I would alternate every few rows so you don’t end up with pooling. You can actually plan pooling into a pattern but that’s a post for another day.

Pooling
Pooling is a term for when colors group together in a visible and strong pattern.

If you wish to prevent pooling, randomness is key. You may wish to alternate two skeins every other row, so as to break up repeats. Please note: alternating exactly every other row is also a pattern, so pooling might still be noticeable. Try and keep your alternating more random.

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Bhaaaa


Oh yes, this is happening! Found this pattern at PurlSoho. So fricking cute! 

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Product review 

Tally Pro
Wow do I love this app! I have multiple knitting projects going at the same time. I don’t have a problem, I’m a normal knitter:) Tally pro lets me not only count the rows on each WIP but you can also make counters within counter by renaming them. For example I’m working on a mitten and I’ve put the thumb on stitch holders to work on the mitten portion. I know how many rows I had left off on on the thumb. Sunsequently I can finish the thumb and make a counter description that says how many rows I finished with. I can then used that as a guide for the second mitten. I have a habit of altering projects mid stream and then forgetting how many rows or when I decreased stitches and the like. 

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Color

Working on a few WIP’s that I had set aside. Interesting that they are both the same color family, both are being knit double stranded and both are both shawls. One is knit in a triangular shape and the other is a rectangle. The triangle one I really don’t like personally but somebody might find it nice. The rectangle is more of a loosely knit pattern. A mix of hand dyed silk and a natural linen. The linen is stiff as I knit but will soften up after it’s been washed. Hoping to finish them both by weeks end. Set my current project aside after finding a mistake, missed stitch, and have lost the patience to fix it. 

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Who am I?

Lots of thought about that this week. What makes me smile? Working through the thoughts in my head so I can be the best me.

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Double knit

Picked the yarn for my double knit hat classes. Know I get to knit samples. 

   
   

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Journaling……not

I stare at the pages…..

     

 

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As far as I can go

I want to travel as far as I can go,

I want to reach the joy that’s in my soul,
And change the limitations that I know,

And feel my mind and spirit grow.
I want to live, exist, “to be,”
And hear the truths inside of me.

~Doris Warshay

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Home Office Complete

Not a bad view from my office! 

   

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rip·ple ef·fect

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Do you remember?

This is my world, everyday! I’m not complaining but it’s a lonely place to be sometimes.

Do You Remember?
By Ashley Ringstaff—September 3, 2015
I wanted to touch base (again) on the whole memory issue with MS, because that has been a really big issue for me lately. (Previous Article: Disability Stereotype)

I’ve come to find that my MS has a ‘selective memory’. Meaning, I don’t forget everything that is said to me, for instance. However, there are ‘blanks’ in some of those memories. I can remember talking to someone, what we discussed, but there are key parts that my brain just seems to erase.

This can be frustrating to people we interact with, on how we can’t remember certain things. I just sit there and I’m like, “Yeah, I know it’s frustrating… try dealing with it!” But I don’t want to let out my frustrations on those I care about.

I’ve come to find that with the hotter months here in Texas, my memory took a huge change for the worse. My husband would ask me something, and not even 2 minutes later, I forgot what he asked me. It’s kind of like, getting up to go to the kitchen to get something, but once you’re in there… you forgot what you came to get.

I know many people, that don’t even have MS, deal with forgetting what they came into the kitchen for… and it’s funny to laugh it off. But do you know how frustrating it is, to go through that feeling every single day, multiple times?

Sometimes, when I forget about something, it’s not that it actually slipped my mind. For example, if I have something coming up, on a certain date or time… I know it’s coming up. I’ve prepared myself to go to the appointment, event, whatever it might be. But then my mind decides to play tricks on me… get caught up and forget the time. I don’t even remember what day or date it is sometimes. Yeah, I know… I can just look at my phone. But by the time I get around to doing that, I probably forgot what I was checking it for in the first place.

Before you say anything, yes… I write things down. I put them in my phone, I do everything I can… but I have to remember to look at these things. Do I set an alert on my phone or computer calendar? Yes I do… but if I’m in the middle of something, I’ll just dismiss it thinking, “Okay, I’ll remember that.” But in the long run… I completely forget.

This is all something that I file under my cognitive issues aka “Cog-Fog”. Do you now how bad it is that I was searching for my cell phone, to leave the house to go somewhere… when I was talking on it? I didn’t voice that I was looking for it out loud… I was just getting SO frustrated because I couldn’t find it. I will be looking for my sunglasses, and they’re on my head. The list can go on and on. Yeah, it’s funny to talk about now… but it was extremely frustrating at the time. Then I just got to feeling pathetic afterwards, that I did something so ridiculous in the first place.

Same thing goes for; “Oh did I take that medicine yet? I can’t remember… “, So what should I do? Yes, I’ve used a ‘pill box’ before… but guess what? I kept forgetting to refill it! Take in to account that I have two young kids, that I don’t want to be able to get into the pillbox… and I seem to be always on the run, it’s easier for me personally, to not use a pillbox. Cause my daytime meds; I need with me when I’m out and about.

Now, let me clarify that I’m not sitting here just whining and complaining about this issue. I’m sitting here writing this out, because I want everyone to know that I’ve been through it too. Sometimes, when I’m sitting here writing even, I’ll think of something that I need to do but I don’t want to leave what I’m writing, because I don’t want to lose my train of thought. Well, guess what… I end up forgetting what I needed to do, while I was writing. But if you look at it a certain way, It’s a ‘lose, lose’ situation… because I either forget what I needed to do, or I forget what I wanted to write about.

When I’ve lost something, I will literally go back and re-trace my steps… I even do this if I forgot about something I thought up, hoping that retracing my steps will jog my memory. This sometimes works, but not all the time. Mainly because I don’t remember the stupid steps I took in the first place.

Doesn’t this sound frustrating? For those people who DO NOT have a chronic illness, they try and ‘relate’ to this subject… by making it seem like it’s not that big of a deal, and it’s not just MS; Talking about it like everyone goes through this. You’re right, everyone DOES go through this. However, do they go through it on such a regular basis? Do they forget really important things?

Let me just do a comparison here. Because before I had cog-fog, before my diagnosis of MS… I had a really good memory at some point; like photographic memory almost. Did it disappear? Did the MRI machine eat it? Does that ‘good memory’ quality now have a big fat white lesion covering it now?

I think one of the biggest lies I tell myself sometimes is, “Oh I can remember that; I don’t need to write it down.” **rolls eyes** I sometimes think I need to have a post it note permanently attached to my hand or something, so that I can write things down that I need to remember that day, and I can’t really miss it on my hand… right? I would hope not.

xoxo

Ashley Ringstaff

Ashley was diagnosed with MS August 2010. She is a mother of two little boys and an MS advocate for MSWorld.org & embracing life for what it is and making the most of every day.

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