Posts Tagged With: cognitive behavioral therapy

Day 2280: Are we having fun yet?

“Are we having fun yet?” was something I expressed several times yesterday, as I

  • started packing for my trip to L.A.,
  • grappled with money issues,
  • added a new verse to a song,
  • dealt with hurt feelings,
  • talked to people about hope and hopelessness,
  • had the self control to have the soup instead of the very fun-looking and highly caloric  pasta dish in the hospital cafeteria,
  • couldn’t find my folder filled with group therapy worksheets and exercises,
  • glanced at the news, and
  • facilitated two groups, one of which focused on fun.

Are we having fun yet in today’s blog post?

Are we having fun yet as we try to read my handwriting in today’s photos?

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Are we having fun yet as I share this story about when I decided to have fun earlier this week?

Wednesday morning, after my second night in a row of insomnia, I looked at the weather app on my iPhone to decide how to dress for the day.  I saw that the day was going to start out cold but become considerably warmer, so I decided to wear a very light coat.  When I was driving to work, I looked at the app again and noticed that I had been looking at the weather for Cupertino, California, instead of the weather for Boston, Massachusetts, which was going to start cold and stay that way.  I decided to have fun with it, so I laughed instead of complaining whenever I felt the cold.

Are we having fun yet trying to guess what music I’m going to share in today’s post?

YouTube suggests that I share this one:

 

Are you having fun yet?  If not, how might you have more fun today?  Would it help to leave a fun comment?

Have I expressed my gratitude yet for all those who helped me create this are-we-having-fun-yet post and — of course — for YOU?

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Day 2223: Be a hero.

“Be a hero” — a sign I saw yesterday —

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reminds me of a post I wrote my second week of blogging, almost six years ago: Day 11: You might as well be the hero of your own story.

As you can see from the blog title and from the post itself, being a blogging hero, back then, meant using far more words and a lot fewer photos.

I guess being a hero changes as we grow, learn, and mature.

Be a hero, to me, and check out my other photos from yesterday.

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Last night, Michael was being a hero by making our favorite vegetable lasagna for me and my son Aaron.

Because I’m feeling nostalgic today, here’s the first appearance of my hero Michael and his heroic lasagna in my blog (starting at 1:23).


Be a hero and please leave a comment, below.

Being a hero includes expressing appreciation and gratitude, so thanks to every hero who helped me create today’s blog and — of course! — to YOU, my heroes!

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2213: Incapable

Yesterday, I was capable of posing the bloggy question, “What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?”   Readers replied with painful memories of being labelled  unkindly  by people who were incapable of seeing that the hurtful labels were unfair and untrue.

Today, my answer to my own question — “what’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you” — is “Incapable.”

I am capable of admitting that I AM incapable in many areas, including

  • getting enough sleep,
  • knowing things before I have a chance to learn them,
  • having a poker face,
  • cooking as well as my boyfriend Michael,
  • keeping my desk neat and organized,
  • wrapping presents beautifully,
  • understanding how dogs think,
  • ignoring cats,
  • giving up hope for humanity, and
  • stopping my busy mind,

but I still think that “incapable” is the worst thing anybody has ever called me.

Three and a half years ago, when I wrote Day 867: Difficult — which had a list of every unkind label people had called me that I was capable of remembering up to that point  — I was incapable of including “incapable” on that list.  However, now that somebody HAS called me “incapable,” I am more capable of realizing that I have harshly and unfairly labeled myself “incapable” whenever  I’ve made mistakes.

Also, even though nobody called me “incapable” until recently,  I got the message I was incapable when I entered 7th grade of  a public Junior High School. The administrators there decided that, because of my heart condition, I was incapable of keeping up with the smartest kids in the class.  I eventually proved that I was not as incapable as they thought, when I became class Valedictorian senior year.

As I’m writing about “incapable,”  here and now, I am capable of letting go of that unhelpful label.  Instead, I am focusing on the ways I am capable, which include the capability to take pictures and share them here.

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I am not incapable of telling stories in rhyme, including this one:

Don’t call me too weepy,

too creepy, too sleepy,

too selfish, too giving,

too sensitive from living.

Don’t call me too bitchy,

too itchy or twitchy,

too soft or too loud,

too modest, too proud.

If you’re gonna type me or hype me,

pigeonhole, assign a role,

Decide I’m a saint or some asshole,

Don’t call me.

Don’t call me too funny or too serious

I find it deleterious,

So don’t call me.

© Ann Koplow, 2018

Here‘s Keyshia Cole very capably singing “Incapable.”

I know you’re not incapable of leaving a comment.

I am not incapable of expressing my gratitude to all who helped me create this “Incapable” post and — of course! — YOU, for being capable of reading it.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2212: What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?

Yesterday, on Facebook, I posted and posed the question: “What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?”

Was that called for, to invite people to remember the worst thing they had ever been called?  I believe that if we expose and share the worst thing we have ever been called, we can

Now, somebody may call me out and ask, “Ann, what if the worst thing that anybody ever called me IS true?”  If  there is truth in it, you can decide what you want to do about it. However, in all my years of asking this question, and people answering

  • stupid,
  • lazy,
  • worthless,
  • crazy,
  • selfish,
  • fat,
  • ugly,
  • incapable, and
  • other harsh, hurtful,  and over-generalized judgments,

I have seen no helpful truth there.

We could do worse than examine today’s photos for worst things we’ve been called.

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Has anyone ever called you despicable, including yourself?

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Has anybody ever called you gross? Artificial?

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Has anybody ever called you out for  hanging on for too long?

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Has anybody ever called you weird-looking?  Scary?  Too starey?  Too expressive?   Too transparent?

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Has anybody ever called you an ass? Too distant?

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Has anybody ever called you too spacy?

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Has anybody ever called you foolish?  Greedy?  Not knowing what’s good for you?

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Has anybody ever called you vain?  Up-tight?

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Has anybody ever called you pushy?  Has anybody ever told you you’re not doing enough with your life?

 

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Has anybody called you thoughtless?  A doormat? Catty?  A baby?

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Has anybody ever called you a psychopath?

I’m working on a song called “Don’t Call Me” (and I’ve called out the lyrics here). Before I can call that song finished, here’s “Call Me” by Blondie.

Also, I found “The Worst Thing You’ve Been Called” on YouTube, which shows the same exercise I’ve done in my therapy groups.

I call that effective.

Now’s the time I call for comments.

I’ve never been called ungrateful (at least to my face). Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2195: What’s allowed

Because I often think about what’s allowed in this world, I just searched WordPress for any previous posts I might have written on this subject, because that’s allowed.

I can now allow, aloud, that I was surprised that the only post WordPress allowed in that “What’s allowed” search was Day 717: Interrupting.  Four years ago, I allowed myself to write that looooong post (which features, doctors, cows, and lots of interrupting) when I was dealing with some very confusing medical issues.  Writing about those medical issues daily and receiving helpful and supportive feedback from my readers allowed me to navigate through them.  Thank goodness all that was allowed.

So, what allowed WordPress to find a connection between “What’s Allowed” and “Interrupting” today?   I am allowing myself to speculate that interrupting, according to WordPress, is something that’s allowed. Therefore, I’m allowing myself to interrupt this post to share my photos from yesterday.

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According to those photos, it’s allowed to

  • get irritated with technology (and other things),
  • dress animals in outfits,
  • be welcoming,
  • gobble until you wobble,
  • use cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia,
  • make it all work,
  • spend four days in Fenway, and
  • appreciate Prince

… but it’s NOT allowed to go into stores with animals and bare feet (although maybe bare other things are allowed).

Sharing music is allowed, so here’s Prince with I Would Die 4 U.

While I wouldn’t exactly die 4 u to comment, I hope u know that all your thoughts and feelings about what’s allowed are allowed in the comments section, below.

Gratitude is always allowed here, so thanks to all who allowed me to create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2028: Comparisons

Not to make comparisons, but I’ve written at least two previous posts about the cognitive distortion of comparisons (here and here).

Comparisons.
We compare ourselves to others, with ourselves coming out short. For example, “I’m not as smart (or good, competent, good-looking, lovable, etc.) as that other person.” Or, we compare ourselves to how we think we should be, or how we’ve been before. We might think that comparisons help motivate us, but they usually make us feel worse.

Yesterday, in a therapy group, we focused on comparisons.

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I believe the human mind is built to make comparisons, in order to make meaning of what’s around us.  However, when we compare ourselves to others, the resulting blows to our self-confidence and self-esteem can be beyond compare.

I’ve been making a different type of comparison lately.  I compare the blog posts I’ve written after and before the November 2016 USA presidential election and I see differences. Less joy.  Less hope.  Less confidence in the future.  Less faith in humans to be respectful and kind.

Some might compare me to a snowflake.  Personally, I don’t mind being compared to a snowflake — each one is beautiful, intricate, and unique.

Let’s see how the rest of my photos compare to the one I’ve included above.

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When I search YouTube for “comparisons,” most of the results have to do with money and wealth — not particularly useful comparisons.

If we don’t realize all animals are beyond compare, we will continue to lose more and more to extinction.  Here’s a video showing comparisons of animal size:

The most recent comment on that video includes this: “Fake news.” I now compare my life to how it was before I heard that phrase so frequently.

Here‘s one result for “comparisons music.”

I look forward to comparisons in comments, below.

Now it’s time to compare  two ways of my expressing gratitude to all who helped me create another “comparisons” post and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Day 1937: What could go right?

In therapy lately, several people have decided to ask themselves “What could go right?” instead of consistently focusing on what could go wrong.

I’m pulling for everyone to have success in this valiant effort to change habitually negative thinking.  Would you like to follow us and redirect your thoughts from what could go wrong to what could go right?

What could go right, here and now?

These photos could go right.

 

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For those of us who think about what could go wrong when we can’t fall asleep, it’s a relief to focus on what could go right.

There are endless YouTube videos about what could go wrong and this one about what could go right:

 

Gratitude for those who help me create these daily blog posts and  for you — of course! — always goes right.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 1925: No reason at all

Sometimes, I have judgmental and negative thoughts for no reason at all. These include

  • assumptions that other people are judging me and
  • negative expectations about the future.

I have many reasons to believe that I am not alone in having thoughts like that for no reason at all.

Yesterday, I had no reason at all for taking these photos.

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I could think of no reason at all why those bags were hanging that way near the ocean yesterday.

Here’s an answer we can all use when there’s no reason at all:

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Here’s Steve Martin doing his stand-up routine in front of dogs on The Tonight Show for no reason at all.

 

Even if you have no reason to leave a comment, please do so, just because.

As always, I have lots of reasons to thank those who help me create this blog and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 1909: Reasons Not to Read This Blog

While I appreciate every reader who visits this blog, here are some reasons not to read it.

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  • You dislike cats and/or dogs.

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  • Water views make you squeamish.

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  • You avoid puns.

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  • You are in therapy with me. If that is the case, there might be Too Much Information in this blog, which could interfere with the important work we are doing together.  If you are in individual and/or group therapy with me, I strongly recommend we have a conversation about this.

 

 

  • You find gratitude annoying.

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Warmest thanks to all who help me create this daily blog and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1860: Love Never Dies

“Love Never Dies” is

  • the title of today’s blog post,
  • the name of the musical I’m seeing today with my ex-sister-in-law, Deborah (whom I love), and
  • true, because even when we die, love lives on.

I have undying love for the people who made my 65th birthday so wonderful, including

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Megan.  I love Megan. Yesterday, Megan and I expressed an undying wish that, before we die, we let go of worry, anxiety, overthinking, harsh self-judgments, and fears about the future. I know that love never dies, but I hope that painful and unhelpful thoughts will die (or at least become less strong).

Photos on the internet never die, so here are more photos from yesterday:

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My love never dies for chocolate, my boyfriend Michael (who bought me that yummy dessert), my son Aaron, my family, my friends, my work, and my blogging community.

Here’s “Love Never Dies” from Love Never Dies:

If you make a comment on the internet, it never dies.

My gratitude never dies for all who help me create these posts and — of course! — for YOU.

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Categories: friendship, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

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