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

Sigh. “Please don’t dump your trash can in my trash can. My trash cans full!

My trash can

This quotes on my header to this post are actually lyrics to a kid’s song sung in rounds. The song is called “One bottle of pop…” The fourth or fifth verse goes “Don’t put your trash in my trash can, my trash can. Don’t put your trash in my trash can my trash can’s full”. I sang this song as a little girl at the age of 8 or 9 at camp in the summers. I never thought I would find myself singing it to myself when I hear other people’s drama going on around me in my personal life. I don’t like go around singing this on the top of my lungs but there are days when it is reminding me to set healthy boundaries with some unhealthy people in my life.                         

I have had a difficult month getting my mood straightened back out after steroids. My sleep cycle is a total mess. I sléep when I should be awake and am awake when I should be asleep. I’ve had a few times when my mouth has started to swell up again and then stopped. So I am really allergic to something.

I lost my doctor due not getting any sleep and how the new MA interpreted my extreme quietness from not sleeping before a medical appointment earlier in the the month. I am amazed by human conflict and mostly the lack of it because people are afraid something bad will happen if they talk their conflicts through. This MA thought things about me that I would never do never do or say but she didn’t know me either. All because she assumed many things and knew nothing about my mental health.

There is a conflict in the neighborhood I live in about smoking. I feel like Switzerland in this conflict because I am so sick of the drama it is causing. But I watch and listen to who started the conflict, who keeps it going, and those neighbors in it for a few fireworks. But those féeding the conflict won’t go to the source to talk about it. She’s gone to several other neighbors but never the source. It reminds of the saying that goes something like…”Small people discuss people, especially gossip; average minds talk about events; intelligent  people discuss concepts and ideas. I think social media has made it more difficult for people to face positive, constructive conflict resolution skills anymore.

Where do you fit in the conflict management styles?Aggressive, avoidant, passive aggressive and many more as I only named a few.

Thinking of you, Wendy

Wired.

My brain has been wired all night. I had a bad allergic reaction to something and my mouth and throat swelled badly. I tried to treat it at home with Benadryl but when the Benadryl wore off my mouth and throat would swell back up again so I ended up at the hospital after I started getting light headed as well. While in the emergency department, they decided to give me steroids. I don’t know about anyone else prone to bipolar disorder but I can only handle a small amount of steroids without becoming hypomanic to manic. I was up all night working on things. I’m still pretty wired. We had to leave my car at the hospital and I’m ready to walk there and get it. I usually don’t get this much steroids. I got approximately 140 to 150mg of Salumedrol last night at the ED while when I get my IVIG treatment once every 4 weeks I only get 40 to 50 mg. Plus the doctor wants me to take 40mg a day for 5 days. I guess I won’t get much sleep thru Sunday. I have a PRN med for mania but I don’t like to take it very often. It kicks my butt. I feel like it’s time to take Al on a walk to get my car because I am bursting with energy. Al (my dog) hopefully is up to it. I’ll write more later because I am supposed to take Benadryl and this Prednisone together today. That sounds like a horrible mixed state to me. I hate feeling agitated on steroids. Benadryl will make me drowsy. Sounds cruddy to me. Peace out everybody. ☮️ Wendy

Returning to Recovery

Recovery is a long process of setting goals and working towards regaining things lost due to illness or episodes in our lives. However, our lives might look very different as we recover. We might find that the career we’ve been doing is no longer something we feel like we can do. Our hobbies and interests may change as well as those activities that bring us joy. Is this metamorphosis wrong or just part recovery that is new and different? I think it is widely about us and how we change how we experience the world we live in. There will be people who don’t understand this process but do they need to? Recovery is very personal and about you discovering and regaining your very best self. What does recovery look like for you? Where are you at in your recovery process? Does change excite or scare you? Peace be with you all. Wendy.

It’s been awhile…

It’s been several months since I’ve blogged. I felt like I had little to say about mental health issues because I had so many physical health issues occurring and decided to take a break from my blog. Slowly my physical health has improved and I’m starting to feel back to where I had left off. I am back to eating healthier, walking each day, etc. Slowly I have started to socialize a bit more after a long winter and spring of social distancing.

I believe that one’s mental health is positively impacted by good diet and exercise routines. It is vital to care for oneself in these areas but finding the motivation to do so is difficult if you don’t make it a regular ritual that your committed to doing, possibly with a friend or loved one. I just started back to exercising regularly and I can already feel positive effects from it and all I’ve been doing is walking in increasing distances until I can get up to approximately 4 miles per day. I hope to continue to feel more energetic and inspired to do a little more each day. Thinking of you all. Have a great day. Wendy.

Crazy organized

I am a bit OCD. I have been working out of 6 different journals this year, each with a special theme. The biggest problem with it is that it is taking me away from my blog.

There have, also, been things going on of a personal nature. My significant other moved out of my home about three weeks ago. I am trying to make the most of the situation and work on myself. She has her life and it doesn’t include me right now.

It is really hard to write out a blog and attempt to not complain as much as possible. My partner leaving stings because it is new and painful and leaves me feeling angry and frustrated and hurt on a deep level.

Inspi of everything happening around me, I choose each day I can to keep a gratitude journal again as I work through the book, Simple Abundance (part of why I have some of the many journals.) Some have to do with being a bibliophile and organizing some stuff properly.

Today was my born day. I’m grateful for my messy dysfunctional family some times and today was one of those days.

Sometimes I feel old and sometimes I still feel like a spring chicken. I had a nice birthday hanging out with family. I am grateful to be alive and for all my friends who wished me a very happy day. I am thankful for all of you as you travel along my recovery journey with me.i have a feeling that this year could take us in some awesome new directions.  Peace be with you. Wendy

Things we can control…

Yesterday was a difficult day. I found myself missing people and feeling lonely and alone. I have been searching for recovery based materials to keep me focused on being all of me not just my mental health or medical health diagnoses. Today I came upon this list from Ruben Chavez from his book GrowThinkProsper. It is a a list of things we have control over. As I was writing the list in my journal I knew that there would be people who would possibly argue that they couldnt control some items in the list. Please remember that this is recovery focused and we dont need to be perfect but maybe working towards these things. I never would have thought i would have been able to let go of my past but i have managed to do it more and more over the last year and a half in therapy. stay positive and give it a read. THINGS YOU CAN CONTROL. 1.Your beliefs.
2.your attitude
3. your thoughts
4.your perspective
5.how honest you are
6.who your friends are
7. what books you read
8.how often you exercise
9. the type of food you eat 10.how many risks you take. 11.how you interpret situations 12.how kind you are to others 13. how kind you are to yourself
14.how often you say ” I love you.”
15.how often you say “thank you”
16.how you express your feelings
17. whether or not you ask for help.
18.how often you practice gratitude
19.how many times you smile today.
20.the amount of effort you put forth.
21. how you spend or invest you money
22. how much time you spend worrying
23.how often you think about your past
24. whether or not you judge people
25.whether or not you try again after a setback
26.how much you appreciate the things you have.