Pusheen the Cat

I discovered an online comic called Pusheen the Cat.  It’s very creative and funny. I think one of the artist’s best pieces is Careers for Cats. It shows Pusheen moving her front paws up and down, as cats sometimes do, for various careers like masseuse, pianist, and baker. There’s a book and a shop. I wish Pusheen’s whiskers were closer to her nose, but overall, I think she’s cute.

She’s up to all kinds of shenanigans in the comic, even trading Pokemon with another cat. Facebook has Pusheen stickers that you can use in chats, which have added a lot to my online discussions, such as when my mom helped me order a pizza for the first time and I sent a picture of Pusheen eating pizza when I was finally able to complete the order.

I’m a fan of this cat!

Advertisements

Transportation and Mental Health

My therapist recommended that I learn how to drive. I’m not sure whether I want to or not, or even if I can. She believes that I’m smart enough to drive and that I can work through my anxiety. I’m not as confident that I can process all of the necessary information while driving. My driving society is so severe that I’m not sure if I’ll ever find the courage to try.

I’m afraid that if I drive, I’ll get in an accident, hurting or killing myself or someone else. Less urgently, I’m also worried about damaging my car or someone else’s. Also, my dad said that if I get in an accident, I can go to jail.

Since I’m currently on disability, I’m not sure if I could afford to drive.

Even if I could drive, I’m not sure if I’d want to spend the money and effort on it that could go to other things. For example, maybe if I drive, I’d have less energy for my writing.

Driving is a huge responsibility. Someone on Reddit said that they once had to pay $1200 for a repair. Even if I manage to work on the car myself, buying parts could still be expensive. I’m not completely against sudden, major expenses…I love animals enough that I’m willing to get a cat and risk having vet expenses. I’m not sure if I could muster enough of a positive attitude about driving to be willing to deal with expenses like that for a car.

There are other risks that I’m more confident about taking, such as going to college, than I am about learning to drive. I’m not 100% certain that I’ll be able to get through college and get a therapist job, but I have enough confidence that I’m willing to take some small steps towards those goals, such as doing a college prep program. I’m a lot more conflicted about learning to drive.

Other forms of transportation come with their own stresses. The bus service in my city tends to be worse on evenings and weekends. Buses can get very crowded. Although I’m a friendly person, I find it uncomfortable when we’re packed tightly together. If I have to stand, I worry about being in the way. I just got a rolling cart to take groceries home on the bus, but I worry that people will resent me for taking up more space with my cart. I’m so anxious about it that I’m considering walking two miles to the store and back or arranging for a taxi to take me home every week. Taxis have more breathing room and are more convenient, but they’re expensive.

I’m thinking about learning to bike as a compromise. If I have a bike, I won’t be restricted to the limited bus schedule, I won’t have to pay a fee, and I won’t have as big of a responsibility as I would with a car. There may be repair costs, but they probably won’t be as expensive as car repairs. I’ll do some research on biking. Maybe I could get a bike trailer for groceries. It would be nice to at least somewhat increase my options for transportation.

My Thoughts About Blogging

The main reason why I started Oasis Charm was because I’d like to offer my writing as a contribution to society. I write about my experience managing my mental health in case someone dealing with similar things can connect with it, or someone not familiar with mental health struggles can better understand it. I pour my heart into this blog to share my story as one person trying to find mental stability, positive relationships, life skills, ways to improve my character, and more. I share what I learn about these things to try to help other people.

I have a feeling that even though I work very hard on my blog, and on commenting, liking, and following other peoples’ blogs, my efforts aren’t actually helping anyone besides my mom. I have a lot of anxiety about my hard work going nowhere. As someone who wants to feel useful and like I have something worthwhile to offer, it’s difficult for me to think about.

I’m trying to cope by telling myself that I’m doing my best to help and that it’s up to other people whether to take anything out of the experiences and information that I share on my blog. At least the material is there in case anyone ever wants it. Helping people is a process that requires someone else to desire the help and make the decision to use it, so a lot of it is out of my control. I’m still sad that my blog doesn’t seem to help people and will be even sadder if it never makes a difference to anyone, but it would be saddest to me if I didn’t bother blogging at all, so I’ll keep trying.

How I’ve Worked Through Difficult Feelings Towards Humanity

There have been times in my life when I’ve been scared of or angry with humanity as a whole. Although I’m a friendly person, there were times when I thought, “Forget people.”

Every time I went through a phase like that, I pulled myself out of it by thinking about how much different aspects of my life are connected to other people. People wrote the books I read. They grew the food I eat. They made the clothes I wear.

I try to look at the big picture. We all rely on each other. My life depends on the work of other people, such as  the bus drivers who transport me and the baristas at the coffee shop I go to. People give to me. I have a lot from them to be grateful for. Sometimes they upset me, but ultimately I want to cooperate them, give back and be part of society.

The Mental Health Clubhouse Called Me Today

My local mental health clubhouse called me today to set up an interview for becoming a member. I’m very excited. This is a baby step for me that will get me a little closer to my goal of working in the mental health field. I’ll also get to practice social skills, which will hopefully help me find friends and a partner. Here’s a link if you want to learn more about what clubhouses do for people with mental illness.

I’m trying to find information about how to introduce myself and make a good first impression. After I find enough, I’ll write a post about it.

Countering Depressive Thoughts

Psychologist William J. Knaus recommends fighting depressive thinking, a strategy which I’m also using for my anxiety (24). So far in the book, I haven’t seen him elaborate about this, but I’ve come up with my own ideas for fighting my mental illness. I write about problems that I’m depressed or anxious about in my journal and then write any possible solutions, coping strategies, or insights that I can think of. For example, I’ve been stressing about how to finance going to school to become a mental health therapist. I’ve come up with the following ideas:

  • I can call Social Security to ask if their Ticket to Work program can help me go to school. If I understand right from what I’ve read, it can, but I want to make sure.
  • I can ask the community college (I plan to start there and transfer to university) if I can talk to someone from the financial aid office to help me look at my options for financial aid.
  • If, worst case scenario, I’m not able to find a way to fund school, I can be involved in the mental health field in some other way, such as working as a peer counselor. However, to my understanding, peer counselors don’t actually treat mental illness, but are there more for being supportive. I really hope that my first career choice works out because I want to actually provide mental health treatment. Being a peer counselor would be the next best thing, though.

From my experience trying this strategy lately, fighting against my negative thinking makes me feel more capable of dealing with my problems.

Works Cited

Knaus, William J. The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step By Step Program, 2nd ed. New Harbringer Publications, Inc, 2012.