Tag Archives: self improvment

December Goal: Post 31 days in a row!

From Mt Rainier wonderland trail.

It’s time to set more goals. The first I set in a long time was to go on 1 date by the end of the year in this post: https://theunknownreillyblog.wordpress.com/2020/11/14/goal-go-on-1-date-before-2021/ .

This year, I have focused on self improvement. It’s been my major goal for a long time to be mentally healthy, and I finally was able to break through this year thanks to having a therapist. Thanks to having professional support and guidance. Thanks to the right mix of medications. I’m not perfect, and I have things to work on, and that is okay! Finally my hard work and persistence is paying turning into massive positive change. Finally I’m turning into the person I’ve always dreamed I could be.

Though 2020 has been really hard, I’m healing. I am recovering from my mental illnesses. Those that I can’t escape are managed. Lately I don’t even recognize this person that I’ve become. For a long time, I never thought that I would be enough as I am. That I would like to be around people. I didn’t think that I would like to talk to new people. That I would have so many cool people in my life I can call friends. I’m not alone, and I am comfortable being single, by myself. It would be awesome to have a girlfriend to share my life with. I don’t need anyone to complete me. I am an awesome person by myself. I can be my own friend and help myself. I am a recovering depressed person. I am a recovering Agoraphobic. I am a recovering hermit. I am a recovering Nice guy. I am enough. I am tired of feeling sorry for myself and blaming everything and everyone else. I am responsible for myself and my life. I was watching Avengers: Endgame for the second time, and this quote really resonated:

“I Used To Have Nothing. And Then I Got This – This Job, This Family – And I Was Better Because Of It. Even Though They’re Gone, I’m Still Trying To Be Better.” -Black Widow, Avengers Endgame.

Source

Though this quote is about loss, I feel it really describes what the world currently feels like. Only interacting with friends, family, and people online isn’t the same. We are connected, but not. I really miss pre pandemic life. I took it for granted. Even before this, I was touch starved. Thankfully I’ve had kitties fill this void.

Thank goodness for my dear kitten Coconut.

It’s not like I wasn’t like I wasn’t hugged or had caring touch from family. I simply crave affection. The need for touch, intimacy, tenderness, and affection is a human need. Missing out on romance sucks too. It’s tough for me to admit this.

More on touch starvation:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has meant increased isolation for a lot of people. Even with lockdowns no longer as stringent as they were in March, many people are still working from home, minimizing their social outings, and avoiding intimate contact with people they don’t live with. The truth is, hand-holding, hugging, or kissing outside of your pod will probably feel risky until there’s a coronavirus vaccine. And for people who are super strict about avoiding that risk, that lack of contact can have a serious psychological impact, causing something called touch starvation.

Psychotherapist Alisa Ruby Bash, Psy.D., L.M.F.T., tells Bustle that contact with peoples’s bodies, whether it’s the hug of a friend or interactions with hairdressers, massage therapists, ornail techs, can be a key part of our self-care — and when we’re deprived of it, we experience higher levels of stress. “This has had devastating impacts on the mental health of most of the population,” she says, pointing to the fact that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have found higher rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts across the U.S. since the pandemic began. “Even one long genuine platonic hug from someone we trust may be enough to help our mental and physical health.”

Source

https://www.bustle.com/wellness/touch-starvation-symptoms-ways-to-cope-experts

That said, I am working on my need for romantic connection as demonstrated by working on myself, and joining the limited online dating scene.


Current Goals:

  • Goal: Within 6 months buy a somewhat new car with great MPG.
  • Goal: Within a year move out from my Mom’s house on my own.
  • Goal: Within 3 months get a job that pays enough for me to be independent. Might take longer, that’s okay.
  • Goal: Within 1 month go on one date, in person, distanced, wearing a mask.
  • Goal: Write 30 posts in 30 days of December 2020. Can be any kind of writing.
  • Goal: Don’t go on Reddit or Facebook for 30 days in a row. I need a break. Limit my time around time sink websites that don’t help better myself.
  • Goal: find a long term career.
  • Goal: Be the change you want in the world, and yourself.
  • Goal: hang out with friends.
  • Goal: Get a Girlfriend by becoming someone women want to date.

Songs of the post:

Make yourself by Incubus.
Like a Rolling Stone, Live at Winterland, covered by Jimi Hendrix

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! 

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

The Healing Journey Continues.

Picture of a wall in a room that was painted with green wall paint.

Don’t look now, but 2020 is almost over. Too bad the world will have a long hangover into next year thanks to selfish assholes who won’t wear masks or physically distance.

I found out what the title of this post meant in therapy this year.

The Healing Journey is the Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell, the most well-known mythologist, presented us with the idea of The Hero’s Journey. He studied the ancient mythology from all cultures and found profound, cross-cultural parallels between the hero of those myths. The Hero, he realized, was an archetype so integral to the human psyche and the human experience that it arose in each culture. While mythology paints the Hero as a special or supernatural, the myth serves to reveal the hero in each of us. When we align our healing process with The Hero’s Journey archetype, we perceive our life with a greater sense of empowerment. We gain wisdom about what challenges and support we can expect, and why the experience is vital to our soul.” From https://empoweredsustenance.com/the-healing-journey/

Here is a basic visual of the Hero’s Journey. Source.

More explained about the Hero’s Journey here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero%27s_journey

I first found out about this in the end of a rejection message earlier this year. I took it as a polite veiled way to fuck off for the rest of my life. I already was leaning towards ending that relationship, and was trying one last time to see if there was romantic interest. (Which is a red flag I ignored then) So I broke up because I was done. It’s one thing to be rejected, another to completely destroy a persons confidence. That along with other surprises in the message forced me to reevaluate everything about that relationship. I really thought we were close friends. My letter was cringy and full of red flags, so I get why she responded over text. So I ghosted her. This was immature of me, and not right for anyone to do, but it happened. I made further mistakes by blogging about it while grieving the relationship. I regret everything. It was a no win situation for anyone involved. So the best thing for me to do is learn from it and change. I forgive her. That chapter of my life is over. It’s time to move on.


I’m an average dude, and that’s okay.

This step is big for me, because I have been depressed, have self esteem issues, and caught in a negative feedback loop due to not getting the right help for my problems.

That’s not to say I’m not unique. I’m as human as anyone else. I have strengths and weakness like anyone else.

I am a work in progress. I am enough and I have things to work on.

Is this is what change feels like? Well, positive change I guess since change happens anyway.

My biggest goal in life since I started this long ass journey to self enlightenment, this healing journey, is to be mentally healthy. To be accountable for myself- To not die as an addict like my Dad or my Aunt– To be the Father I feel I never had. Neither my Dad or Aunt really fixed their problems. I started as soon as I was aware 12 years ago. I knew it would take a while, but honestly I wouldn’t have tried if I knew it would take twelve years and counting. It’s like I’ve had multiple broken bones now healed incorrectly, and now I have to do further work to be healthy again. Except there is no timeline for healing. Ugh. I’m tired of dealing with mental illness. I’m worried I might have them for the rest of my life.

I have to remember to practice more self compassion, so I’m in it, working on the problems. And that is enough.

It wasn’t until I did a few months of therapy and read this article that my mind changed about even trying to date while having depression:

https://psiloveyou.xyz/the-problem-with-self-love-88726820fe19

A key point from this article is: “

Esther Perel, a psychotherapist with over 20 years of clinical experience, and a well-known advisor on sex and relationships, says, “We don’t just learn to love ourselves by ourselves. It’s a classic chicken or the egg scenario: in order to love another, we must love ourselves. In order to love ourselves, we must allow ourselves to be loved by others.”

And, more importantly, “Self-love is less about the ability to withstand loneliness or establish independence and more about awareness and acceptance of our incompleteness. It’s about letting others love us even when we feel unlovable because their version of us is often kinder than our own.”

The idea we fail to see when we talk about needing to love ourselves first is that two people can help each other out while together. The other person can help you find that self-love, and vice-versa.”

These three videos by casually explained accurately describe most of my dating experiences:

Even though I officially rejoined the online dating pool, I am worried that I’ll be dismissed by admitting I have depression. Tinder is brutal for men. I did match with some users most which were bots, but one real person already fizzled out. I’m still chatting with one person. So I am grateful for this!

Online dating feels like trying to get a job where the requirements are fuzzy, and you need college level skills. But there are no colleges to go learn things from. I’m not even sure if dating or romantic relationships are even worth the suffering. Must be nice at times like this to have religion or faith. I’m tired of being patient. ( I wish that I was able to go out with the second person I asked out this year. But bad timing is unfortunate, but you have to move on. There are plenty of available partners in the world. I already made the mistake of waiting for someone to be single before, and I’m not doing that again.)


I am so ready to be done with this journey. It’s frustrating because I feel limited by only having online contact with people. Like I feel I haven’t really been able to tackle being on the autism spectrum because the weird culture of the pandemic makes it easy right now. I’m either in comfort zones like doing therapy right out of home, and I can take my time with interactions. On the other hand, this is absolute hell for my internet addiction because everything is online and it’s a real problem for me. Imagine if AA groups had to meet in a bar. While I am working on it in therapy, like all bad habits and addictions, it takes a long time to change. And that is frustrating because I’ve wanted to change all these bad habits about myself for so many years.

Well, at least I have support now. So that is progress. One step at a time.

The healing journey continues…




Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Exhausted… But a good week!

Source: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-low-fuel-gauge-image3795734

I am completely wiped out today. This past week was really busy. On an average week, I need at least one day to rest and not do anything strenuous to recover. This past week was really busy. I had a job interview on Monday and was hired on the spot. I started on Tuesday and worked 10 hours. I haven’t worked a shift that long since 2019. I was wiped out, sore all over on Wednesday, but it felt good to be productive!

My new job is for a startup hemp infused soda company called Clēēn Craft:

https://cleencraft.com/

For now I’m packing cans of soda into boxes and cardboard trays for orders. It’s a tiny company, so I’ll be taking on more as I learn everything about the business. I like the impression and vibe so far.


I apologize for the late post. To be honest, I’ve had trouble writing much the past few weeks. Between my grandpa dying, adjusting to a higher dose of my antidepressant, American politics because of the ineptitude of Trump, the invisible threat of corona virus outside, and working on improving my life… I’ve been exhausted. I need to do something different to refill the creative tank.

Despite the healthy exhaustion, this past week had some positive things happen!

  • I started a new job! I’ve only worked there a total of 2 days so far, but I really like it!
  • I got a really nice rejection letter from another infused beverage company that I had a zoom interview with last week.
  • I believe I was hit on by the attractive clerk at my local pet store, so that’s cool… :0
  • I am so glad I adopted my new 4 month old kitten, Coconut! She is very affectionate, loves to snuggle, and is a ball of energy that plays all the time. Such a good kitty!
  • I had a nice visit with My Aunt M, and Uncle D on Saturday. I haven’t visited with either in person in like a year! It really is so great to have the option now to do distance visits in person, even with masks on. The pandemic has made me really appreciate all the wonderful people in my life.
  • Also yesterday, I went to visit my brother N and my buddy N for my buddies kid’s 2nd birthday. From my aunt’s house it was a 90 minute drive, but I didn’t mind doing it. It was nice to drive alone for a long time. I listened to a couple parts of audiobooks, and had a wonderful visit. I got to meet my brother’s new puppy for the first time, and it was nice to visit with my Buddy and his family for the outside social visit… Distancing, and wearing masks. In person beats online every time.
  • On the ferry ride there, a pod of Orcas swam by. They were a good mile ahead of us, but that was a first time seeing them that close in the wild before!
  • It was nice to be around people again.

Writing this post has been an absolute grind. It’s been a one word at a time thing. Recovery days look like wearing pajamas, resting in bed or a comfy chair, and not doing anything.

Sorry this isn’t the best post. It’s a day late, and I feel a bit sloppy being a first draft… But there is no need to beat myself up like I have in the past. So, I think I’ll take an editing pass, and work on this some more tomorrow. I need to figure out some long term goals and direction for future blog posts. My life is changing for the better, this is the best I can do today. One day at a time…

Song of the week:

Running on Empty by Jackson Browne

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. I share updates and news if posts are late there. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance from others to fight Covid-19!

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Six months blogging!

From the hike at my Rainier in August.

6 months blogging!

It’s been 6 months since I started this blog in March! The anniversary was last Sunday, but my dear Grandfather passed last week. It felt wrong not to honor him in a post. It’s still hard to believe that he’s gone…

Grief is a difficult thing to deal with, and it comes in waves. I’m sad. I’m grateful and happy to have known such a wonderful human. That I had an example of what a good man, a great human. I strive to be as good a man as he was. The hardest part about this loss is that its dangerous to visit family due to the threat of covid-19. Visiting online through Facebook and zoom helps… But it’s not the same. I really wish I could visit family, and give hugs. 2020 has been a long year.

It’s important to celebrate the little things… To acknowledge the steps forward I’ve worked hard for. Despite this unusual year, there have been good things that have happened. More after the pictures.

Posts to date and stats:

I feel like I have grown alongside this blog. This next section is about life this past month, and goals for the future. Healthy self esteem is giving credit to your growth.


Personal growth this year:

  • Restarted therapy despite years of struggling to find the help I’ve wanted, and finally got it! I’m growing every day.
  • Finally found an antidepressant that works!
  • Made a bunch of new friends from coworkers from my last job. I haven’t been able to visit much in person with them this year. I want to in the future. All of us were laid off when the company closed on Jan 31st out of the blue.
  • Reconnected with family.
  • Learned about self love, and self care. How to take care of myself. How to assert myself, continue practising communicating my needs. Continue practicing boundaries.
  • Started a meditation practice.
  • Started exercising on a regular basis again.
  • Started a blog.
  • Practicing gratitude and appreciation for the good things in life.
  • Restarted therapy, and being fully committed and engaged in the process.
  • Practicing Forgiving myself when I feel depressed or anxious.
  • Continued practicing being assertive and speaking up for myself.
  • Committing to being the best possible version of myself.
  • Fighting with depression when it lies to me.
  • Being independent for myself.
  • Learning mindfulness and practicing it.
  • Learning to listen to others, and not interrupt when they are talking.
  • Sorting through old unhealthy thoughts and patterns and deciding whether they serve me now, and the future.
  • Saying thank you.
  • Learning how to apologize.
  • Hanging out with friends before the pandemic happened.
  • Respecting other peoples needs and boundaries.
  • Admitting when I have made a mistake.
  • Being accountable for myself.
  • Quit drinking for good! I don’t miss consuming it. 7 months since I stopped!
  • Reduced my cannabis consumption from 4 bowls/2 dabs to one bowl maybe once or twice a week!
  • Started reading books again.
  • Being comfortable expressing my feelings.
  • Rebuilding validation from within instead of from others.
Pciture of Seward Park in Seattle.
How it the blog started!

Goals for the next 6 months:

Note: all of these things will depend on how the Covid-19 pandemic lasts.

  • Get a car. Hopefully something from the past 10 years. The last two cars I’ve owned/shared have been over 15 years old and were constantly in the auto shop for repairs. The cars were a 2000 Volvo s40, and a 2005 Dodge avenger. I spent several times more than what I paid for them in repair costs, and both had awful MPG. I have some savings, so once I get a job I can buy a car. I’ll do what I have to, to get to work… Be it Uber or public transportation for a little while more.
  • Get a job. I had an interview this week, so that is a good sign!
  • Move out. I’ve lived in the same house my entire life, and I’ve wanted to move out for years. I haven’t been able to until now because my mental health. I finally have it managed after 12 long years.
  • Keep blogging. I don’t know my long term goal for the blog. For now I want to keep growing and have each post get more traffic and comments than the last. Right now, I love talking to other bloggers in the comments, and reading their blogs.
  • Keep writing.
  • I want to go back to college and pursue a new career and degree.
  • I do not want to continue working minimum wage jobs the rest of my life. What worked for the past doesn’t line up with my future.
  • Hang out with friends, and make new friends. Hang out in person.
  • I didn’t think it was possible, but I am over my friends-breakup from earlier this year! I am ready to date again! I learned so much from this failure that I am a better person today.
  • I want to date, and have a girlfriend.
  • I want to visit with family.
  • I want to love, and be loved.
  • I want a healthy relationship where I can be support my partner and take care of myself. To have healthy boundaries and clear communication.
  • Continue working through my issues in therapy.
  • Once the pandemic is over, parties for friends and family.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything. But I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do, interfere with what I can do.” -Edward Everett Hale.

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/edward_everett_hale_393297

Music of the post:

Read more

End of the month health insurance bullshit

Picture of fire
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

An American Healthcare rant:

My lifelong mortal enemy strikes again to make life difficult: So Sunday I sent in a prescription in for a refill because it ran out. Following my doctors plan, I was expecting to pick up a new dose for my antidepressant from 20 to 40 mg. I get a call from the office saying that the insurance company (Applecare) not only won’t cover ANY dose of that antidepressant, but “suggested” other drugs to take instead. Drugs I’ve tried before in the past which did nothing for me or gave shitty side effects. My current med doesn’t give bad side effects and is the only antidepressant drug that’s ever worked for me and changed my life for the better.

Long story short, I called the number on the back of my insurance card and it was resolved in 5 minutes. Which is the great coverage and service I’ve come to expect from Community Health Plan of WA. I’m incredibly lucky to qualify for this right now because I’m unemployed. I get full coverage. I am so grateful for this health plan. So, having this happen was a slap in the face.

At the end of the month, insurance companies try to deny patients any prescribed drug which would be expensive for them to cover to save money. Apparently this has been happening since before I was born. Insurance companies count on you not fighting them so they can save money for themselves at your health expense.

Even if prescribed by a patients doctor, and even if that patient has tried every other available RX for that condition. If I had to pay out of pocket, my medicine would be $250-300 A MONTH for 30 pills. Which is what I’ll have to pay when I get a job again since most health plans don’t cover shit for prescription drugs, like my last plan with Kaiser Permanente. Hopefully I will know by the end of the day if this is resolved. Fuck you insurance companies.

Due to current prescription drug laws, it will be another 18 months before this medication is generic. AKA Affordable. That is if Trumps pick for the Supreme Court doesn’t throw out The Affordable Care Act and brings back “pre-existing conditions” to deny coverage.

So, if you need to refill your prescriptions today, expect denial by your insurance company. Hopefully, it will be resolved with a phonecall and be covered again. That is if you have a reasonable health insurance company like I do. I wish anyone dealing with our nightmare American healthcare system luck. This alone is why nobody should move to America.

I hope that I don’t have to go long without my antidepressant. If I have to, I can cope until Thursday when it becomes October. I’m already feeling sad because my Dear Grandfather passed last week, and not having my regular dose of medication doesn’t help.

I dunno what is making me the most grumpy… The stressful world we live in, the uncertainty of finding work, not socializing with friends or family much, or the preexisting state of my DNA which led to my current health conditions I manage.

I’ve been on this unwilling ride to a healthy mental health for 12 years. That is far too long. Going in, I expected maybe 5 years at most. I’m so tired of having my life on hold because insurance won’t cover my medication or therapy visits. I am really trying to be positive and believe that this year is the turning point. This is not for a lack of trying every other way such as self improvement tips, exercise, meditation, healthy eating, and so on. Half my depression is physical brain chemistry. The only way to treat it is with medicine.

This is why voting is so important this year. Trump hasn’t done shit to change the fucked up Healthcare system. Not that he has done anything to help anyone but himself and his cronies. I like Joe Biden. I doubt he will change much in the system thanks to how fucked up Trump has destroyed America. It’s simply a huge amount of work to recover from and so many burning issues to address.

God dammit, I just want to live in peace with minimal suffering. To make my way and have anyone struggling with medical conditions to not have to pay the equivalent of car payments for medicine. This system feels like its setup for you to fail. Going through the slow process of finding the medications to treat you is difficult. I am so fortunate that my daily survival doesn’t depend on my medications. Insurance companies don’t care about you. All you are is another expense while they pay their CEOs millions of dollars.

Thank you for reading my rant. How has your experience been with prescription drugs and the American Healthcare system?

American flag
Photo by Aaron Schwartz on Pexels.com

https://www.usa.gov/register-to-vote


Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! 

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19! 

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Ikegai: or, finding meaning and purpose

I need to let go of some things from earlier this year. It was wrong of me to blog about the friendship fallout online. So, I am deleting all the related posts. (It is possible to do harm with a bad apology.) What served me in the past, is not who I want to be in the future. Our present becomes our future selves. Keeping those posts online is only keeping the past alive.

“In the Tao Te Ching it says: By letting go, it all gets done” This is how the meditation below begins. Since I found this meditation on Spotify, I’ve began to use to sleep every night since July.

Therefore I must change. To begin by removing and editing the posts that talk about this relationship. From now on I’ll keep these things private. I don’t want to be that person anymore. I chose to break up. I said that I would keep my word and move on, and I haven’t. It was cruel and immature for me to vent about this online. I regret doing this, and am ashamed that I did this. It’s time to move on. I hate how things ended. This is reality. It ended how it did, and I can’t change that. It’s in the past and will always be a small part of me like every other experience I’ve had. I don’t know what she wanted of me, but I don’t need to know. I didn’t want to end it. All I know is that for my own health, for my own future, it was time to move on. You give yourself closure. No relationship lasts forever. No one is entitled to a friendship with you. We weren’t compatible for any future relationship. That chapter of life is over. I did her a favor.

In order to step forward in life, I need to stop shooting myself in the foot every time I make a mistake.

“Apparently, the Buddhists say that any time we suffer misfortune, two arrows fly our way. The first arrow is the actual bad event, which can can, indeed, cause pain. The second arrow is the suffering. That’s actually optional. The second arrow represents our reaction to the bad event. It’s the manner in which we chose to respond emotionally.”

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/dont-shoot-the-second-arr_b_5102701

This is explained better by this awesome blog post where I first learned of this concept:

https://bullshitpositivity.com/one-step-at-a-time-a-meditation/

I highly recommend this blog called: “The Bullsh*t Positivity Project: “A tribute to self-love, grace, and real people living real lives.”

Continued on page 2