Learned Helplessness

Learned helplessness is when people feel helpless to avoid negative situations because previous experience has shown them that they do not have control. In this lesson, we’ll explore some of the causes and effects of learned helplessness.

Seligman’s Learned Helplessness Theory

In 1965, Martin Seligman and his colleagues were doing research on classical conditioning, or the process by which an animal or human associates one thing with another. In the case of Seligman’s experiment, he would ring a bell and then give a light shock to a dog. After a number of times, the dog reacted to the shock even before it happened: as soon as the dog heard the bell, he reacted as though he’d already been shocked.

But, then something unexpected happened. Seligman put each dog into a large crate that was divided down the middle with a low fence. The dog could see and jump over the fence if necessary. The floor on one side of the fence was electrified, but not on the other side of the fence. Seligman put the dog on the electrified side and administered a light shock. He expected the dog to jump to the non-shocking side of the fence.

Instead, the dogs lay down. It was as though they’d learned from the first part of the experiment that there was nothing they could do to avoid the shocks, so they gave up in the second part of the experiment.

Dogs who had previously been shocked did not try to escape the shocks in a subsequent experiment.
Learned Helplessness

Seligman described their condition as learned helplessness, or not trying to get out of a negative situation because the past has taught you that you are helpless.

After the dogs didn’t jump the fence to escape the shock, Seligman tried the second part of his experiment on dogs that had not been through the classical conditioning part of the experiment. The dogs that had not been previously exposed to shocks quickly jumped over the fence to escape the shocks. This told Seligman that the dogs who lay down and acted helpless had actually learned that helplessness from the first part of his experiment.

http://study.com/academy/lesson/how-seligmans-learned-helplessness-theory-applies-to-human-depression-and-stress.html

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Easter in November

I finally did it. I finally have a date for my thymectomy set in NOV.  In 2.5 months I will be doing something that nearly terrified me to hear when I was first diagnosed back in October 2013. I thought since I did not have a thymoma there was no need and that they should try all non-invasive methods first. I mean I had just been diagnosed for Pete’s sake. I had barely even been on any medication and had hardly felt informed enough to make an informed decision at that time.

Fast forward 2.5 years.

I barely heard more talk about a thymectomy until I brought up the subject of children. Then It was on the table again. I then had to wait what seemed like an immensely long time on a waiting list to see a specialist  neurologist in Myasthenia Gravis just to talk about how I could safely bare children with this disorder.

That wait took 8 months. August 2016.That’s when the thymectomy came back on the table.

I was all for it this time because I had been through nearly every treatment they had for MG now. They had told me what would and would not work for me over the last 3 years and what I was a candidate for and so forth. The doctors all knew me and has seen me countless times and knew, just as I did what my body could handle. My meds had been adjusted numerous times and after being on a cocktail that seem to keep me stable along with maintenance plasma exchange I still am only getting by.

The doctors believe that this surgery could definitely improve my quality of life and they have successfully performed it many times using the Davinci robot. I am both excited and nervous.

Having gone through a divorce recently I had already decided before that divorce that I still wanted children even if it was not with that man. I wanted them in the future even if I had to be artificially inseminated, ask a friend, find a new relationship, or even adopt. But my goal and hope was to try and have one of my own.

Going into this surgery, I am doing it completely for my own quality of life! However, we all need some additional positive things to hold on to going into life changing moments…Sometimes it’s the idea that a loved one/ family is waiting for you when you come out of the surgery, an event (like a wedding is coming up), or that you need them. Whatever the reason you hold on to those moments because it makes you feel safe, calmer, distracted, and gives you a reason to fight is somethings dare I say goes wrong.

I call those moments Easter eggs because they are the happy moments you plan or want to get back to in life. It’s like knowing on Thursday knowing you are going to your favorite restaurant with your best friend whom you haven’t seen in months due to your schedule for lunch. On Monday no matter how crappy the week you look forward to your little hidden gem because it may be buried under leads of stress, negativity, traffic, paperwork, bosses yelling, babies crying, missed flights, and marital spats, but that is a breath of fresh air in the midst of your week.

I am looking for a few Easter eggs right now for my surgery. I feel like I need more than one.

Corporate Quirks

I have fallen in love with what I do. Though you should not complain about your job, I do because I enjoy having something to complain about. But not in a bad way more like pile more on me way. I’m something of a glutton for punishment. I love having all these new and exciting things to do. I love feeling needed and knowing I am able to do the job and that somehow people look up to me.

Each day I battle the traffic feeling like one of the strange minions of the world but I know it will change one day, as in some aspects it already has begun.

But even in my trips I have noticed some of the funniest things.

In my corporate park when I get close you notice the most scripted or should I say made for television things. These are the things I swore before now only happened on television shows and never really happened on the road. I saw a man with a battery operated electric razor going to town on face in the car while driving to work this morning.

I see women getting their glow on. I mean the full makeup experience like they are in a salon. I am telling you the focus is real. I cant do half these things at home let alone in a car.

Full on changing clothes in the car.

I mean the most I do is eat.

These people are crazy both about work and for being on the road doing this. But seriously the distracted driving is beginning to worry me.

Rainbow Bridges

I had grand plans of blogging everyday since my last blog and was on track to do so. I had even created several blogs ahead of time and scheduled them days in advance for days that I knew I may be too busy to do so. I was preparing myself. However, sometimes there are days and times in life that you just cannot prepare for and when they hit you, your whole world stops.

Last week was one of those instances happened for me. I have blogged many times about my little dogs Porter and Pepper. They are the funniest little dogs ever and have the biggest personalities.

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I have told countless stories to anyone who will listen about how they make us laugh and what they are up to. The one on the left is named Pepper aka Heffa-lump (like winnie the pooh) because he hops down the steps kind of like a bunny and makes a sound like a herd of elephants. SO the first thing that came to mind to me was heffa-lump. He is spunky and is always barking, he loves the sound of his own voice and NEVER stops moving. He perches on the steps too. he bottom on the step ABOVE where he head and front paws are. So that he is half standing (in the front) and his bottom is seated on the higher step. He enjoys being touched. I mean seriously it doesn’t matter if it’s his back touching the side of your small toe, as long as he is physically being touched by you. He also loves walking on 2 legs when he meets new people. Philly calls him a ‘midget’ in a dog suit. No offense to any little people. He just says that he cannot be a dog always walking around on 2 legs. He thinks he’s ‘people’.

Porter is the one on the right. He is quiet and skiddish but sweet as pie. He loves to lick and that means anything, toys, you, and especially himself (but not the normal places a dog licks) and the carpet. We called him the cat dog. He took long licks of his arms and legs like a cat all day long. This dog loves water and showers. I have had even had to turn him around in the shower so he will not face the shower head and drown. He loves He also was a cuddle bug. He loved to nuzzle you and get cozy. He would turn over on his back and let you play with his paws like a cat with a ball of yarn like this as well the stretch out and go to sleep. His favorite activities were eating and sleeping. He could eat his food faster than lightning. He never chewed. And Then he slept nearly 16 hours every day yet was never overweight. I have no idea how this was possible.

The love that the two of them showed toward one another was even more special. I enjoyed watching them ‘bicker’. Literally sitting on each other because the other would not get off their beds. Or when Porter was little trying take Pepper’s leg like it was a bone and was not attached to him. I enjoyed watch then snuggle on the same pillow and go to sleep. And go outside to the bathroom and wait for the other to come out behind them before the they walk away from the door to go potty (like girls they go in packs).

But last week, my little was diagnosed with a huge mass in his lungs and they were fairly certain it was cancerous. Backing up to about 12 days before they thought he had pneumonia. So he was on antibiotics. The cough he had cleared up for the most part, but his breathing did not really get any better and he was still lethargic and having trouble eating and unable to get comfortable. Moreover, the cough had not completely subsided. So we took him back and they did more tests. They did another xray. Unlike the first time when they said it was just fluid this was when they found the mass in his right lung. After a stay in the hospital they became fairly certain. They said they could run more tests to find out what type but either way it was a long road of what if’s. Having been though this more than once before, I could not watch him suffer. He had lost a lot of weight because they also could not get him to eat, and he a life of pain meds or chemo was not worth prolonging his life for my comfort/ selfishness.

The difference was it was the first time it was actually MY decision since it was MY dog. In the past it was a family dog but this was a dog that was mine and the family loved it as their own. It was the hardest decision to make. Until I wrote this blog I thought I was done spilling tears being gone nearly 8 days ago. I cried so much 2 days leading up to it and the 3 days after I thought I would surely be dehydrated and had become sick on a few occasions.

He was there for 11 years of my life adult life the most formative years of my life. Through undergraduate school until now. Big transitions happen in your life in that time. For me, graduation from 3 degrees (undergrad, 2 masters), first apartments, first full-time (corporate job), marriage, divorce, and so on. But through all that I will continue knowing that I had a friend who was always happy and sweet no matter how bad my day was. He gave me love no matter what I had done wrong. And he listened to me babble about the silly things that mattered that I may never remember but seemed a big deal then and I will never forget him. We give Pepper plenty of love for Porter and though he still waits for porter to come outside to go potty (and it breaks our hearts) we know he will adjust.

We love you Porter! Until we meet again on the Rainbow Bridge!

 

New Corporate Walks

I have worked in the corporate world for just over 7 years in a previous job and thought I really understood how it worked. I mean was so ‘yuppy’ as one retail customers called it at one of my in between jobs that I cringed when I saw people walk on the grass when we were in a state of transition after I had worked there in 2 years.

I worked in the wellness environment though in a semi office setting. So unfortunately I was still removed from both walks of life. The commercial life of a Fitness center, or a full clinical office, and a true corporate office (since I never went upstairs in sat in their day to day world).

However, now I truly know a true office and world that goes with corporate and it is not only tedious but hilarious to meme. I mean I truly go through the life everyday. I look at spreadsheets all day long, do reports non-stop, sit in meetings, and create to-do list all the time. But I love it! I just never really knew that it would be life and yet I got everything I asked for. You really have to be careful what you ask for. I got the responsibility I wanted, I got the hours I wanted, I got the tasks, and I am sure I will get the pay when my review comes.

The baby in the beginning, the baby during the meeting, and the little girl sleeping on the potty is so me! I have such hopes for the end of my day and I wake up the next day wondering if I made it anywhere besides my dreams!

The funny part is I wouldn’t change any of it! I’m a glutton for punishment!

 

 

Together in all my awkwardness

So there is a level of comfort we all have in dating people right? I mean you can’t have all the good glamorous perfection right?

I don’t have many moments like this people! I mean my hair is curly and can be cute IF it was that way the night before and I’m like

but otherwise it’s everywhere and my actuality is more

and on a really bad day

I mean Philly says nothing is more attractive than a woman with confidence so I throw my confidence on and we go out!

we go out to eat and I keep my stride going while doing the unspeakable random things that drive him crazy like being indecisive about what I want to eat (and he may be starving by this point or he would rather be doing something else but doesn’t want to say)

When we decide on a place I try to get him to try something new. He does it about 25% of the time. Still pretty proud. I order something that ALWAYS manages to embarrass me. Not because I cant pronounce it but because it always does something to me. Food attacks me in some way. Because of my MG it will cause problems with my mouth. It is either too spicy, to tough, to thick, or something. I have learned to adapt but in the process I have not learned how to be as smooth as I would like. At least in my mind. My friends and family have not picked up on it but PHILLY sees SOME things and we laugh way to hard sometimes.

Point and case:

A burger was way to big. It was a delicious burger but it had a million topping and was a mile high and there was too much bread. SO I had to cut the burger up. It also had a ton of lettuce. It had a ton of sauce and other things on it. This is a very quiet restaurant I love and it was his first time going. I called myself being sly and using the lettuce to wipe my mouth as the fork went in my mouth until the waitress could come back and I could ask for more napkins. I have done this maneuver before but I know he saw it as he giggled.

For once I didn’t care, I was just praying the other people in the restaurant didn’t see it. I have given up being so smooth in front in him

we are just at a different level there are days of cuddle-watch-a-movie, or

he has been told I do these things but he never feels it when I do it, I’m gonna start recording it, I do all sorts of silly stuff and his reactions are funny and then there are days of

or at least in my mind it went that way, in his mind he will say it was more like

and maybe

what can I say…I get a lil cranky when I am sleepy or a few things are bothering me at once. Philly is quickly learning to not let me go to long bottled up or it goes bad for everyone. If I am ‘shut down’ when I am trying to tell you something then I will hold it back for a bit but eventually I will tell you and it will come out when you least want to hear it no matter right the moment.

But all in all he digs my awkwardness it makes him laugh he fits right into #teamweird

 

The Other Side

I have long awaited being divorced and the funny thing is I feel a weight off my shoulders, for sure, but then I feel a bit more haggard. I guess because I feel that it’s still a taboo thing in the southern Christian family in America. They just do not like talking about it and will talk you out if it as much as possible sometimes the point where it is ‘too late’ to get out of a marriage. Where you have then stay so long that they would try legally pursue battling to gain alimony for upholding their lifestyle or because you had a child or because they got sick/ injured and you feel obligated or some other circumstance. You see it all the time. You have seen the movies. You may even know someone who has gone through it personally, I know a few people myself and did not realize it myself until I was much older.

I find that being newly divorced that I do not walk much differently I just find that I am very cautious of why a person is interested in me. Though there is a person who I have my attention towards and he me…for some time now, even he knew last year I could be fragile at times just because I felt I could not trust men…

I just had to have full disclosure when it came to certain things. Not when and where you are going per se, but for me if you tell me something I hold you to it. Your word is everything to me. That is the first step. Communication is EVERYTHING!

So I am glad to say I am in a fairly happy place casually enjoying my legal ‘single’ life! Philly and I are are well and will see where things lead. But I am still enjoying where life in general leads because I am just in a new chapter in general. I have a new job, new car, new living arrangements, and this attitude I had before is magnified 1000x because I just cannot fail. I have to push forward. I have to succeed! I do not see it any other way!

2 year Blogiversary

2 Year Anniversary Achievement

So I can hardly believe it but it almost escaped me! Something really did compel me to blog today. It is my 2 year Blogiversary. I have officially been doing this at least on this for 2 years and feeling the love, support, and wonder that comes with it. I am thrilled to know such a community and I would do it million times over again! It is an experience I wish everyone would try at least once in their lives. I have had no trolling and no bad experiences that I can think of and if I have I guess I just ignored it or overlooked it so quickly that it never occurred to me that it was a negative moment.

I love reading other people’s blogs and being opened up to the lives other people’s interests and things I never would have known about in my own little world. I am just amazed by the people I have met and the stories they have shared on their sites and it makes me feel so special to be a part of their lives even if only virtually.

Some people make you really want to be where they are, whether in the stories, in the travels, their kitchens, or activities. I love it! So I compel you today to blog and tell your story if you are merely just following and reading! Tell us what you do! You find it boring but I tell you there are things in your life that may help others, touch their hearts, or make someone laugh in their darkest hour!

Thank you all for reading my blog it means the world to me!

Eternal Sunshine

 

 

Every time I think about blogging lately I have found myself blocked by some physical force. Work, time, anything I could make up. This morning I started cleaning and found that it was more of a fear of just anxiety building up as usual. I started blogging in the first place to help with that.

It was the first thing that helped me to find my sanity and balance. I found solace, support, an artist outlet, and I realized that I could help others not only with my story but with my expertise from my professional and learned knowledge.

This morning I had to remember that no matter how many bad experiences I had/ have endured in my life I have truly been blessed to have been given countless opportunities to flourish. I have lived well regardless of the mistakes I have made and I can say I would like to change some things in my life but then I would not be the person I am now and I wouldn’t want that trade off.

So today I find myself thinking about only the good things and pushing the negative thoughts away as soon as they try to come into my head. Every time they pop up and make think about complaining or wanting to rant about some long standing issue that continues to happen, I have to remember only the good things to continue to happen  and keep happening to me because they keep me sane.

It brings me happiness, keeps me centered, others around you notice it, and your life will overall improve bringing you everything your heart desires at it’s most primal level if you really think about it. LOVE & HAPPINESS!