The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.

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Back to Life, Back to Reality

I hate looking at my visit stats and seeing so many days with nobody coming to my blog. I know part of it is because I haven’t posted anything for a week or so.

I’ve been at a leadership training for work this past week. I can’t really say much about it, mostly because so much of it was not new material for me. A few things were new, like the Johari window or the Katz model.

What are these things? Well the Johari window is a 4 panel grid comparing traits you know you have / don’t know you have, with traits other people see / don’t see in you. Traits you and others see are your arena. Traits that are known to others and not to you are your blind spot. Just as examples. It’s a personality matrix.

The Katz model basically says there are 3 types of skills in the workplace: technical skills, people skills and conceptual skills. As you move up the corporate ladder, technical skills become less important, conceptual skills become more important and people skills stay equally important. People skills make up about 80% of the skill set needed at all levels.

Oh, and the Oz principle. That’s as in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, not Dr Oz. Basically the idea is, you have to take responsibility for your own destiny, and the corollary that if you don’t, someone else will. You already have everything you need. At least that’s what they taught us in class; the books seem to be more about accountability, based on what the reviews say.

Most of this seemed pretty common sense to me. That is, I scored 90 on the pretest, so clearly there wasn’t a whole lot of theory for me to learn. I own the fact that I need lots of practice for putting it into action. I have studied business and management for some time now but I have never had a supervisory position so this will be new for me.

I got to see my friends Charlie and Lenny, so that made me happy. I like those guys and they have been good friends. I have also made a few new friends, I hope, which would be good. (Shout out to Mimi, Doc, Vince and Shirletta.)

I was in the bathroom and got elected table chairman. I did most of the speaking for the first 2 days because every time a question was asked of the table, Charlie would poke me until I answered. On the third day, I finally asked if anyone else wanted to speak up, because I was happy to do it, but maybe someone else wanted a chance. Well Vince did. Then the instructor said we as a class needed to choose someone else to answer so that everybody got a chance to participate. I think my table was surprised that I came up with that idea independently of the teacher. And I think they realized that just because I am low key, I still am paying attention.

In other news, my cat missed me terribly while I was gone. Apparently she realized this morning at about 6:30 that I was back in Texas and started yelling for me. She does yell, different from meowing. I didn’t get back to the house for another 12 hours, but she knew I was almost home. Or so the roommates tell me. “Your cat is psychic,” they say. Maybe. Or just coincidence. You can never quite tell.

My car, however, is complaining. The service engine light came on. I took it for an oil change and the kid ran the diagnostic for me. One or more cylinders is misfiring and it has an emissions fail. This is not good. I hope it’s as basic as a tune up but I am afraid it’s more serious than that. Still, it got me home from the airport, can’t really ask for much more than that. Tomorrow is a government holiday, so I’ll be taking it to the mechanic on Tuesday.

And I have completed the paperwork for Robert Half so hopefully I’ll get called for some temp jobs now.

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Life With the Spirits

Trying to get back in the swing of things. I’ve been to groups almost every day this week. Groups are good for me. Matt was happy to see me at DBSA. I seem to be a calming influence. Jennifer said the same thing at the groups she facilitates. Recovery International was good too. I missed R but I gather she will be back in a couple of weeks. People took time off for holidays but they should be getting back in the swing of things soon.

I didn’t go to a group today. There is an artist group that meets on Fridays but I slept too late. It was raining when I woke up and it just motivated me to go back to sleep. Speaking of sleep, Charli the kitty slept on my lap today. Well, more in my arms, since we were leaning on the sofa. She was so cozy all snoozed out that I took a nap with her. Naps are good.

I had a dream last night that I was trying to put someone out of the house and they said I didn’t have the authority. They did back off but they didn’t leave. I think it was a spiritual thing, and that it has to do with the boyfriend. It’s a whole story, but I don’t want to tell it. Or rather, I’m going to tell it and I think maybe I’ll name a few names, since it seems like at least one person doesn’t need to be protected.

My roommate F has an adopted daughter D. He loves her and she called from Florida saying that she was in trouble and she just wanted to come home. F is protective of his family and friends, so he took off to rescue her. When they got to Florida, suddenly there was also a boyfriend. And a cat named Zelda, but the cat is mostly innocent, being an animal. So F loaded everybody into the car and came home.

I got home from being deployed and was told that the kids were here. That makes 5 of us in a relatively small house with 2 working cars and no jobs, so a bit stressful, but nothing compared to the personality issues.

The boyfriend, Austin, is unmedicated bipolar. He doesn’t like his meds, says they make him a little zombie-fied. I think that means he’s on the wrong meds, but it’s also not the first time I’ve heard someone complain about them. I mean, the point of the meds is to change the way your brain works, that isn’t always comfortable.

Austin believes he has, and I quote, “kicked Lucifer’s ass” several times. Now I do believe in spirits and entities, so I could believe he encountered a demon, but I don’t think he could just beat Lucifer. I think, well, demons lie. Sort of, “oh, yeah, my name’s Lucifer” because the name has power and would invoke fear for people. And beating these creatures gives Austin a sense of power. He is probably not as powerful as he believes he is.

Austin also states he is a dreamwalker, that is, he can affect other people’s dreams. And I had that dream that makes my roommate L think Austin or something around Austin was threatening me. I don’t think I was threatened, I just thought the thing didn’t belong. I do think that whatever it was didn’t recognize me as the authority of this home; it is L’s house and she has fought for it, she definitely has authority here.

So Austin has been asked to leave. I feel a little bad for him and part of me thinks F and L have been a bit harsh, but his energy is just bad and he doesn’t belong here. F and L feel lied to and disrespected, and who am I to say otherwise? I always seem willing to work with bad energy as if I can fix it but of course I can’t.

Oh, I worry for myself, with the spiritual stuff and the mental illness. I think I am not psychotic, but there are psychotic features to mania. My meds should be taking the edge off that, I pretty much don’t get manic at this point, so I think my experiences are genuine. I mean, they aren’t a symptom of my disorder. I want to take it seriously but I also don’t want to push myself over the edge, if that makes sense. There is sensitivity and weakness here, I want to be sure I don’t hurt myself. Everyone has weakness, I just happen to know what mine is called.

I have bought some incense today. Dragon’s blood, and frankincense and myrrh. Frankincense and myrrh have cleansing properties. Dragon’s blood is a personal favorite, plus there are dragons here. L says they work for good, I think they are chaotic neutral. They have their own agenda and they may or may not be helpful depending on how it fits into their plan. Of course I feel that way about most otherkin beings. Even my cats, who certainly seem to have lives of their own that don’t center around me. L says Charli has been so affectionate today because she is protecting me after that dream. I think she’s just chilly since it’s colder today than earlier this week. I may have issues and believe in weird things, but I do try to debunk things as much as I can. I prefer a logical reason to a woo-woo one, but sometimes you can’t tell.

I am planning to find a circle where I can talk about these things. I need people to help me sort through what is spiritual and what is explainable. You know, someone to bounce ideas off.

Because I do believe in other spiritual beings, but I do need to be sure I’m not sliding into symptoms.

Spiritual experiences and mental health breaks can look remarkably similar.