The Path is Narrow

Show me the way

Lately, I find myself returning to my faith more and more and giving of myself to those around me. It may be as simple as sitting with someone who is surrounded by the darkness of depression and suicidal ideation. Being able to hold out hope that after dealing with 30 years of my own depression and suicidal ideation that it could actually come to a stop one day by the grace of God (and a lot of therapy.) I may not have much in this life but if something I say or write diminishes someone else’s pain, I feel my life has purpose even the things I have suffered. This was not an easy week. I took a time out from people around me and unplugged for a day. I just needed to detox from the impact of the world around me and recharge my batteries. Giving to others in a full-time position is rewarding but draining at times and I think I have worked tremendously hard at improving my self care and keep work in balance better than before. Today I simply took a few minutes on my lunch hour to ask someone who I knew was struggling with depression how they were and didn’t expect to hear some fluffy bs answer. I knew she was feeling the darkness around her. But I was at least willing to enter it and let her know she was okay. Someone did that for me once too. It is simply paying it forward to which I have been given. Gratitude at its best. A part of the 12 steps program and more. That’s why it works. Have a good night. -Wendy 🌼☔🌞

Judged!

I had the opportunity to have a friend judge me this week based on her perception of my mental health without taking her own into account. We happen to be long term friends who work in the same field. Interestingly, I am choosing to let go of the relationship in order to maintain my recovery. I am a loyal friend but today I realized that not only does this friend appear to feel above her relationship with me but I have been the one to keep the relationship going by reaching out to her and making contact. I felt put down intellectually and emotionally by her response to something I had said that was genuine and asking for a response. She couldn’t find it in herself or our friendship to respond in earnest. It also made me feel put down professionally something she’s never done in all our years of friendship. Sigh.

I decided to cut ties for my recovery’s sake. I just returned to work full-time, am still recovering from Covid, and don’t want to get dragged down by other’s opinions of me when I have worked so hard to put my life back the last two years. If I let this drag me down, in a way their right and I have already lost the battle.

I struggle terribly with what others think of me but I have had to overcóme so much the last three years, I’m not willing to let anyone take that ground away again without some serious struggle to review my strengths and weaknesses and remind myself how far I have come. Being a loyal friend is a character trait I value. But what happens when you evaluate a relationship and see you’re the only one being loyal? I think it is time to honor your other friendships and those who are loyal in return. Peace ☮️🌼🕊️ everyone.

A Medical Day…

It’s 5:45 a.m. and I feel tired before this day has begun. That is the side effect of having pneumonia. Today is a full day…work, a Covid-19 test even though we know how it will turn out, more work, and then a new treatment to build back up some of my IgG levels through SubQ treatment. I am praying that the new medicine does not make me sick but the EPI-pen is on duty if it does and the hospital 🏥 is nearby. Please make me well! And don’t let me faint today. (Giving myself shots or starting the process of learning to.) Have a great day everyone. Enjoy the 🌞. ☮️ To you. Wendy.

When I stopped smoking I knew it would be hard. I was making the choice to stop at the time for several reasons…money, health, problems with a neighbor, and so the list went. I used an free app called Smoke Free which was encouraging and showed you your progress as time accumulated. This morning was tough though when I could find my friend and when I finally found her she was vaping in her car secretively. I had to say I couldn’t be around vaping this past week and it was a hard decision. I didn’t know if I would lose old friends because of it. In AA/NA you àre warned that you will have to find new friends, new hangouts, and build new habits to break addictions. There is nothing harder than trying to quit 🚬 smoking when someone is constantly lighting up around you. I’m sad my friend felt the need to hide today but also glad she respected me and what I was trying to do. Change is never easy. I have a lot of respect for people with addictions who have managed to break free of their addictions. But for the grace of God go I. 💜☮️🌼☔Wendy

Changing our playgrounds, playmates, and playthings.

On the more morbid side…

Trigger warning: grief and content related to suicide past suicide attempt.

The overnight hours tonight are anniversary dates. I am that person with the photographic memory especially with dates and numbers. If something important happened on it I will remember the date until I am ready to let it go. Tonight is a double whammy:  it was the night I tried to stop living and that my mom died five years ago. 

I miss my mom terribly but she had been sick for a long time before she died in Hospice. While watching her go was hard and difficult especially as I watched over my nieces and nephews, I knew she would be at peace.

I’m more at peace with myself than I thought possible as I sit here reflecting tonight. I’m not so sure when that came about because I would say it is more recent. I somehow have grieved what I wanted from family and began to let it go. Grieving things I never really had but never was willing to let go of the hope for in my life. Some how my baggage had lightened and continuing on with life wasn’t a war like it been for years with a grieving and broken 💔 heart. The meds had been changed but my thinking was changed as well. The suicidal thoughts and impulses were now nearly extinct and replaced by other energies. How did I start this road? By being challenged to spend 15 minutes a day doing something that brought me joy! Whether piano, or art, or journalling or reading or whatever your joy thing is a mere 15 minutes will fly by. If you’re severely down try 5 minutes… reconnect with that feeling of joy in way that makes you smile, laugh, etc. again. Remember each long journey begins with one step. Peace be with you. 💜☔🌌Wendy

Say Something Important

Is what I want to say important?

I have not blogged in quite awhile. Many things have happened…New job, Covid, concussion, other health issues, medical treatment issues for CVID, and mental health issues (hypo-mania from the treatment for Covid.) I wondered what of value I had left to say. Last night I blundered and told my bestie to keep her chin up and I was called out on it. Sometimes even Social workers run out of things to say. I vow to not take the easy way out and just give up writing and saying nothing because it’s hard to find more meaningful words.

It’s a difficult decision to be a social worker and even more so to write. I believe I got discouraged because I didn’t feel my posts were impacting others and just stopped because I didn’t feel that I had even helped one person. But somewhere in my heart I don’t believe that’s true.

If someone’s told you you are beyond hope, you are not. You have worth. Your dreams matter and you can fulfill them. Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams (set smart goals). Never give up. I am idealist. I watch movies like Rudy, Radio, etc. I believe in the impossible.

Fight, flight, freeze or fawn.

I have been going through an intense job search the last few months. I was finally offered a position this past week contingent on passing a background check which didn’t allow for errors without dismissal from the the job. Sometimes I have a hard time with seeing my anxiety present itself. But on weeks like these where I am putting myself out there employment wise to make a major change, it rears it’s ugly head. I’m confident that most people have heard of the flight or fight model. But do you know that model is now called “fight, flight, fréeze or fawn model?” I tend to fall in the freeze category since I was little. An example of this was it took me three days to open my job offer email because I was afraid that the bottom was going to fall out because good/great things like this don’t happen to me.

I realized this week, how much change scares me. Don’t get me wrong! I am so very excited to be starting this position. It is like a dream job. I just have issues with change due to trauma suffered in childhood. I stayed safe most of the time in an environment by learning what to do by watching and emulating the behaviors of others. When starting at a new job where I know no one, that is harder to do. Even more difficult, my team is working from home for now and using zoom to communicate throughout the workday. My anxiety level keeps going up and up. But after 25 years + of mental health work experience I need to just remind myself I am good at what I do and why I was hired.

Does change make you anxious? How do you handle it? Do you rely solely on anxiety meds to relieve your anxiety or do you use other techniques like mindfulness as well? I’d love to hear what helps. Wendy🎄

Time for more change.

A New Job
Trigger warning. Mentions suicide of my friends.


I took a break from writing in my blog in September after two friends completed suicide. I felt overwhelmed, sad, disillusioned, and questioning the recovery movement. It has taken me a great deal of time to be able to talk about the loss of their lives. Their personalities both were very outgoing, humorous and friendly. People rarely knew what was going on beneath the surface. Between September and November I stopped counting how many friends and family members who passed away because it was too painful. I didn’t feel able to express my feelings in my blog this I have been AWOL.

I, also, during this time was encouraged to think about returning to work. I had a clear pet scan in late May followed by more testing which lead to a cancer free détermination. Whew and Thank you Lord! So I started working on some new skills, revised my resume’ and started searching for jobs.

Happy dance…I have a written offer (pending background check) to move into a job I feel I will love. Tentatively scheduled to start in January. I will be doing more integrated care management for health and monitoring behavioral health service delivery. I’m so excited. This takes what I was doing as a health coach and utilizes in addition to social work.  I will still be working with the clients but from home for awhile due to Covid.

I will, also, be able to return to school for my Masters degree in Social Work.

I hope to enter into a program that has both a Medical social worker and School Social worker area of study next fall. I think these are the two areas in which I have the most experience and interest.

So my time has been spent improving my typing skills, my overall computer and medical terminology skills, reading, loving Al who appears to be getting old suddenly as he approached 10 years old this Spring. And trying to keep busy in general. I miss attending DBSA group meetings for the first time in 16 years. I miss the people and the support. I will keep you posted as my job start date approaches and how that transition goes.

I will be making changes myself as I help others attempt to change as well.
It is all about living healthy and pursuing recovery for the best quality of life possible.  Wishing you all the best. 🐢🎹🧡Wendy

Please love me.

Trigger warning: suicide content:

My friend who just died from depression had said of him that he could never accept that people loved him. I know when I am depressed I, also, don’t feel loved by others. I struggle to stay connected to others on many layers.  I wonder if this is a common trait of those who experience major depression or major depressive episodes such as with Bipolar I and II.    

I love the above statement. I’m terrible at expressing it to my loved ones and friends when I am in those darkest of moments. So this the statement I use to convey that I’m hurting or needing to feel more love than usual.

Stay safe and know you are loved. Wendy

                                                     

Calgon take me away.

*****trigger warning…contains information related to suicide.

My heart is broken after the last 10 days.

I feel worn out. In my personal life I have had three people completed suicides in the last 12 days. The most impacting one occurred for me yesterday morning. I am mostly in a state of shock after all this and wanting to keep another loved one from acting out these temporary solutions to very real problems. Today I spent crying off and on as I hung out with with my besties. So many people are in pain area me that I feel overwhelmed by it. I can’t even use my normal escapes such as reading, crafts, binging watching on Netflix, etc. My family of choice is wandering aimlessly and my family of origin is falling apart at the seams right now. How do I remove the pain from those around me to lessen the burden they carry now too. Sigh…so tired n related to suicide. Wendy