I've started seeing a new therapist for my social anxiety. Yet again, she's a talker and a hippie-lady type. I'm hoping that she's got some real, applicable ideas for me, though. Or at least that she can listen to me as I work my way through things, even if she can't offer help. I've just been to her once. She talked more than I do. I need to just ramble all the way through. I'm not used to it. I don't want it to end up like almost all of my other 'therapist/counselor' relationships with me comforting, listening to her endeavors and travels. Yeah. I'm going to see her again next week and take charge of that. And if that doesn't happen, I need to move on to the next one. They're professionals -- or at least they're supposed to be. I shouldn't feel guilt if we don't fit. She's supposed to be there to help ME. I may hate crowds. I may need more alone time than most or have more trouble articulating what things and people mean, but it doesn't mean I don't need people.
I've been throwing myself into some things to get out more and try to practice being social. Maybe it's been too much. I'm not sure. I'm on the planning committee for a Beltane celebration. I've been trying to attend some CUUPs (Covenant of Unitarian Unversalist Pagans) meetings when I can. The thing is, I'm not interested in any religion at all except theoretically. And I'm finding the actual Unitarian-Universalist church to be more inviting than CUUPs in general. I've not found any issues with my general atheism and attending it. And they haven't found any issues with me. Especially since most of the people there also feel the way I do: religions, well, they're metaphorical stories that can be comforting. Mostly I go because I need community. And I'm not fooling them or myself. I don't see the ambiguity (and I occasionally welcome ambiguity as a challenge). It doesn't make sense to some, but since I'm not able to go sit zazen at the local zen temple, I'm fine with how welcoming the Unitarians have been. I'm not a token atheist, either. A lot of them are humanists rather than overly religious and don't necessarily equate the search for meaning and connection with religion at all. I don't. I'm not a theist. Nor a deist. Things are getting clearer for me as I get older, though those outside may not be able to reconcile my attendance with my 'non-faith'. I can reconcile it. That's what matters.
What else? I've been volunteering with Big Brothers-Big Sisters/Committed Partners for Youth. I mentor a 14-year-old girl who I call L'il Mama (but not to her face). She's really...interesting. I know it's nice for her to have some time to be a kid. She's the oldest of a number of step, half, and full siblings that she is a second mom to. It was her choice to be the last to get a mentor as she thought the young ones should get one first. It's now her turn. I'm hoping to create space during our times together for her to just be a kid. It's been interesting so far. Today, we went to the Downtown Athletic Center and played in their pool and soaked in the hot tub for free. We walked around Saturday Market. We both made it home before the rain started.
Work had raised my hours since the receptionist is studying to become licensed in insurance sales. She's doing most of her studying at home now, so I'm back to about 25 hours a week. I was up to 32 hours when I came in early to cover reception for her as she studied in the mornings. I've got insurance now, at whatever hours I work -- they got me covered, which is nice. Of course, I'm working not to need it. I've exercised 5 days in a row at the office gym and played in the water today. I'm trying to get to the point where I need no medicines for anything at all. I have a general practitioner who referred me to a diabetes class -- I only have insulin resistance, not diabetes. It's a precursor, though, and not good. I can't take the class right now, though, be cause insurance doesn't cover it. Even though I've got insurance now. Gahh. Oh, well. I was hoping to get more info and take a cooking class. I really need structure. I know this about myself. If I took one or two classes -- or was shown, formally, a few times by a friend -- how to cook, I would have more confidence trying to cook on my own. I guess I just have to start on my own.
I've been busy, but lonely. Lots of meetings, attending the UU church. I'm hoping that I'm planting seeds for deeper friendships eventually. I'll keep you posted more regularly. And I'm working on getting caught up with all y'all. Thanks for the virtual gifts! I especially love the squirrely one, as I'm partial to squirrels. But they're all great. <3 Thanks!