40-Day Check-in: Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down

Am I using too many hyphens? I got in my head trying to write this blog post title.

Yup. It’s been 40 days since I left my job. 

Looking back, I’m pretty sure I was being “quiet fired.” That’s the only acceptable explanation I have for the terrible experience leading up to my resignation. I refuse to believe anyone could be that incompetent, but I have been wrong before. I do believe people can be that cruel.

Yeah, I know. I need to move on. I will, eventually. Let me brood for just a little while longer, will ya? 

Ok, done. 

What Have I Accomplished Over the Last 40 Days? 🤔

I wrote this question, and it bothers me. This kind of mindset causes me anxiety. We don’t always need to be accomplishing things. Sometimes it’s ok to just be. (Can you tell I’ve been practicing mindfulness? )

Work-related updates? None really. I haven’t been applying to jobs (just one; here’s a hint: 🧗 )but I’ve been putting together my pitch list. TBD if anything gets published.

To be honest, I’ve been mostly focusing on rest. I’m very type A. I have to actively try to not guilt myself for not accomplishing X, Y, or Z. It’s exhausting. Yes, I make rest exhausting.

I’m Practicing Mindfulness and Affirmations

I’ve been meditating on and off since 2019, when I started having daily panic attacks. Since then, I’ve been working on distress tolerance skills, something I plan to talk about in a later post. 

Practicing mindfulness has helped me notice negative and intrusive thoughts as they happen, and it gives me the opportunity to change them.

Across from me on my wall are index cards and notes with exercises, affirmations, and quotes that I’ve been collecting since 2019. They’re self-care pointers. They’re reassuring. They remind me that I have been through shit before and I can do it again. Here are a few examples from just one note card:

“Thoughts are temporary passing ideas.”

“Anxiety is stress that is based on an assumption.”

“How we interpret events affects our stress.”

Those help snap me out of rumination and clear my head.

I even have a post-it note that simply says, “Don’t worry. You’re great. 🙂 ” I don’t know why but the smiley face helps. 

Other notes read things like, “I have great ideas. I make useful contributions.” 

You know those pep talks I seem to be so good at? I’ve been practicing on myself for the last decade.

I’m Feeling My Feelings

There are some days where something feels off, and I can’t quite figure it out. So I’ll literally ask myself how I’m feeling. If I can’t figure it out, I try journaling which often gives me some answers. 

So, let’s say I’m feeling down. I’ll ask myself why using “you” statements. It’s a mind trick. Self-compassion is hard, but compassion toward friends comes more easily. Talk to yourself as you would a friend. 

How are you feeling? Why are you feeling sad? Is there anything else that is causing you to feel this way? What can you do about it?

Then I sit, close my eyes, and allow myself to feel those feelings. It’s weird but it works. That doesn’t mean I don’t fight it though. Who wants to sit around and feel sad?

Finally, I tell myself that things suck right now but they always get better. We are resilient. Sometimes we need a reminder. 

I’m Accepting Praise

I know people assume I’m confident because they tell me so. And in some ways I am. I feel confident in my writing abilities, but I’ve always struggled with my self-esteem and have been working on that. 

I’ve been learning a lot about attachment theory and discovered I’m a fearful avoidant person. My trust issues make it hard to believe something as simple as a compliment. I’m also very hard on myself. As a perfectionist, I constantly have to remind myself that giving it 70% is ok. I find 85% is the happy medium. 

So what I’ve been doing for a while is collecting those positive moments and saving them in my phone. It’s literally a “Compliments” folder with screenshots of wonderful things people have said to me, about me. If multiple people say those things about me, they can’t all be wrong, right? I don’t save everything, just enough to lift me on bad days. 

Next Time on ‘Cristy Writes’

I’m tired of people thinking I have my shit together. If only you knew… and perhaps soon you will. 

I have two invisible disabilities. I plan to share more details about my struggle with mental illness and neurodivergence in the near future. But I’m not gonna lie — it’s scary! 

Anytime I’ve been honest about my disorders, I receive private messages from concerned people advising me to not give anyone a reason to discriminate against me. As a result, I’ve spent years hiding parts of myself, and it’s been very painful. And lonely.  

Also, it’s my “strong personality” that makes or breaks relationships, not the disorders. I’m ok with that. I wasn’t before (and I tried really hard to change it) but I’ve had enough therapy and life experience to learn to accept that’s who I am. I’m proud of standing up for others and myself, even if it’s uncomfortable. 

(Remember kids, just because something is uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s wrong. But sometimes it is, so trust your gut. If you’re still not sure, ask Cristy. If she doesn’t know, she’ll refer you to her psychic.)

I’ve built a system that works a lot of the time, surrounded myself with people who love me for who I am, and I’m constantly trying to grow as a person and be my best self. I’d like to share that journey with you. Maybe it can help you too.

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