Over the past few years I’ve had a couple of informal, online accountability coaches. Since I don’t do adulting well, and depression often thwarts any sort of productivity, I’ve loved this. These were responsible friends willing to roll their eyes at my pathetic lack of self-motivation, and willing (sometimes gleefully) to kick my keister when necessary and attagirl me when warranted. There were other people, probably named Nic, who offered but who apparently needed their own accountability coaches to remember to keep me accountable. Being an effective coach is a skill.
Accountability coaching is a real thing that real people actually get paid for! This kind of coaching can be used from anything to businesses meeting productivity goals to individuals wanting to keep a reading schedule, and everything in-between.
I recently lost my coach, damnit. I miss this a lot, and my adulting skills plummeted immediately.
Of course we should all be totally self-motivated. None of us should ever need oversight. We are not children! Insert some moralistic, Puritanical platitude or aphorism here. If you scan the Internet on having someone help you with accountability, you will see plenty of articles and studies showing the usefulness of a coach.
Hello my little blogosphere peeps! I’ve just volunteered you to be my very unpaid accountability coaches! Now, unlike my recently defunct coach, you won’t have much in the way of things to do. There will be no lists to check, no finger-wagging, or anything other than just being there, as you already are, pretending to read this. It isn’t nearly as effective for me to just post intentions, I really do thrive under one-on-one supervision (god, that sounds pathetic! so shoot me!), but I’ll take what I can get or foist upon you.
I’ve been working super hard to combat the crap that is PTSD.
There are two things, kind of related, that are kind of weird manifestations of PTSD for me. They make sense if you know that “anger” is one of my favorite dysfunctional go-to’s when having PTSD reactions. (Ohhhh, how much of that is actually fear faking as anger? That’s another forty posts…)
I’ve always had colorful :::cough::: language. I kept it in check. I’ve worked places where other people wouldn’t swear around me because they thought I was all uptight. That amused the shit out of me. If I let fly with an f-bomb, people would stop what they were doing in utter shock. That also amused the shit out of me. I mean, for fuck’s sake, look at the name of this blog! I can point to at least one study/article that shows a direct correlation between swearing and intelligence. I’m intelligent; therefore, I swear (thank you Descartes).
But. Over the last few years I have noticed an increase in my use of profanities. A substantial increase. The verbiage has increased in frequency and vehemence, and the latter is not cool. In other words, I’m using the words more in spiteful anger instead of my adorable quirkiness. I think there is room and need for a good exclamation of “fuckety fuck fuck” or “fuck a duck” or “cluster fuck” or… well, you get the drift. I am not vowing to never swear, plus damnit, now I have to define what the fuck “swearing” actually is. Shit.
So my new accountability folks, I do hereby pledge to stop swearing. I’m going cold turkey! I will fail, but hopefully not miserably. I’ll keep you posted. Swearing then may or may not be let back into my world, but if it is, it won’t be for PTSD reasons. It’ll be a conscious decision to be adorable. It’ll also be necessary because I’m a
fucking klutz who crams her damned toe into every fucking piece of furniture in the apartment.
The second of the two related (anger adjacent) things I want to change is a little more subtle and will be more difficult,
damnit. Sarcasm is my native language. Humor is my default. Therefore sarcastic humor is my lifeblood. I wouldn’t change that for the world. Plus, I’m converting to Judaism, and I think sarcastic humor is a commandment. It makes me beam with pleasure when I can put a smile on someone’s face with an odd little quip. Lately I’ve been cracking up medical personnel. I don’t think in terms of being funny, and I can’t tell a joke to save my life. Often people crack up when I’m not even trying to be funny or aware that I am being. Sarcastic humor is just the way I think and communicate.
“So,” you may be thinking, “where does accountability coaching come into play here? Once again, you’re sounding incredibly adorable, and why would you want to change that?” (I hope you guys are reading with your sarcasm/irony glasses on for all of that.) Sarcasm or irony doesn’t have to be mean. It often can be. I’d say in the past few years my quipping has taken on a very dark, sharp, hurting edge—not all of the time, but enough of the time. That’s not ok. Snarky is not cool. Bitchy is not cool. Hurting people because I hurt is not cool.
This is difficult because, again, my default is this kind of quipping but without the biting edge. The trick is to keep my quirk and to lose the snark. This will require a lot of vigilence on my part, and quite a bit of thinking before I say something, which quite frankly is an insane thought for me! Think before speaking? That’s crazy talk.
I’m doing a speed course in getting
fucking PTSD and its asshole pal clinical depression to stop changing who I really am. I’ve got some fucking mantras now to help me through. I have little printed signs and have them and fucking Post-Its scattered throughout the apartment for motivation and reminding. I can do some fucking mindfulness shit. I can fucking do this! Hell yeah!