Radical recovery

Being my rather OCD self, I went to the library in my hometown to look for the most recommended books on habits yesterday. Once I set my mind to something I become pretty determined to accomplish it. One specific book, recommends focusing on one task at a time to change. Right now I have about 30 times that on my list. I went to the dietician today for the first time in months to talk about goals. I had a list of seven when I walked in the door to meet with her and was able to explain each one and the reason behind them. They are prioritized so I know which ones are the most important to focus on and there are some that are simple like making phones calls or completing labs. The dietician didn’t seem to think I had lost all my marbles but a few of them were rolling through the Kerplunk game a little faster than normal this week.

I have spent some time time contemplating the one vs multiple changes occurring at the same time the last 24 hours. I am left with “radical recovery.” I think of several people who I know who made the decision to finally get clean or sober and did 90 meetings in 90 days and basically overhauled their lives to maintain their sobriety. When I think about making changes to my life, that is what comes to mind. Most people in mental health recovery don’t have the type of support offered by AA or NA meetings. The closest thing we have here is a Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) meeting once a week for people with mood disorders and their supports. I do have supports in my life who would support me if I shared I was making major overhaul changes though. Probably more than I realize.

In order to make multiple changes at once and be successful I have created a list of things that needs to be a priority or commitment to eventually succeed because I am not delusional. I realize I may fail at some, hopefully succeed at some and make progress at other goals.

Change toolbox for success

  • Make health and exercise a priority
  • Persistence and perseverance
  • Not afraid to fail
  • Gratitude
  • Prioritize
  • Take full responsibility for my life
  • Create my own morning routine
  • Self-awareness
  • Goal-oriented
  • Have a support system
  • Takes initiative
  • Proactive
  • Self-awareness
  • Surround yourself with like minded people
  • Communicate clearly
  • Good listening skills
  • Value alone time
  • Consistency
  • Discipline and self control
  • Follow through with what you say (no excuses, only results)

Love the journey more than the results.

I know I might be dreaming but I made the choice to change some key things in my life pretty radically and the only way to be successful is to follow this list.

W.L.

The process of progess

I have been struggling with depression still and re-evaluating my goals and self discipline that are needed for me to achieve and accomplish my goals. In light of recent events I have been trying to decide what my values are at this point. It seems like a daunting task on some days.

Re-defining yourself in the wake of what could be a terminal illness is scary. Old goals seem obsolete and unimportant. Working for money’s sake does not seem to be such a priority. Wanting to spend time with loved ones and be in the best possible health does. Spending time doing a meaningful career seems much more important. Spending time doing things I love feels more valuable than time fillers like watching TV. Getting rid of clutter is essential. Doing my bucket list more pressing than before.

I don’t know if I have shared that I have taken care of others for most of my teen and adult life. I am feeling like I’m kind of over it right now. I need to take care of me and frankly I don’t think I have been doing well at it. Harsh reality check.

So you will hear me blogging on self discipline and change and goals for at least a month ( it takes 21 days at least to start a new habit.) There will be word art (I have a new app on my phone and a new printer), regular art, goal setting for short and long term projects and other happening things.

Take a trip with me and see where we go. I may face the world jobless this week but I am trying to believe that may not be a bad thing.

Be blessed on your own journey’s my friends.

W.L

The morning news…

Well, I have to have a release to work to return to work. I couldn’t go in anyway because I still have a stupid fever which keeps spiking up high and then will go back down to a low grade fever. It wouldn’t be too bad, but my leg hurts really bad today. It has been the most painful process of the last four to five months. So not fired yet. My mood is better today. I, also, chose to reinitiate the larger dose of my antidepressant for now. I can try again in the summer if I want when we have good weather and I can get out and exercise every day.

So, for now I am waiting on my doctors office to call me back and speak to me about how cruddy this undulating fever is as well as the pain.

Peace and gratitude be yours today

Wendy

Returning to where I started…

Tonight I revisited the basis and foundation upon which I built my blog last summer

HOPE. I have a booklet started with quotations to encourage, song lyrics to keep me afloat when those waves of despair and discouragement come bulldozing down the mood disorder synapses. My antidepressant, a SSRI, had been pretty good at keeping the major mood shifts at Bay when added to the cocktail of meds I take. I am guilty of losing that focus when the cancer diagnosis came. I feel like the day I found out was too soon after my depressive episode to put hope back in my life.

I realized, very humbly and apologetically, I in losing that focus have complained a lot and gotten my blog very far away from what I intended it to be. I, in many ways, had resigned myself to accept that life was probably as good as what it was going to get. I was content trying to manage the pain versus kicking Cancer’s ass out of my immune system. Especially since Christmas, I have been very passive about my approach to everything to do with cancer. Every battle has been harder and I may lose my job tomorrow because I lost my umph and passion there as well. Losing your hope and belief in the future is a pretty scary place to find yourself.

Today, I, (now actually yesterday but I haven’t slept yet), surrounded myself by H.o.p.e. quotes and songs like Swim by Jack’s Mannequin. My goal was to simply make it through til Friday without acting on any impulsive suicidal ideation, especially if I lost my job, health insurance, etc. I had a near fatal overdose in my past during this week as well as lost my mother on that same date and this week has historically been an emotional anniversary date for me to cope with. Now I face possible termination from my job, loss of my health and what feels like a million little losses along the way. I may lose my job today and my health insurance but I will still be here hanging on because the pain at least emotionally will end. I pray the physical pain does too.

“Even rebellions were built on hope.”

Take care my readers. I am needing to sleep for awhile. I am safe. I hope you are as well.

❤️ Wendy

Comorbity and juggling multiple illnesses

It took me forever to learn what the words comorbidity or comorbid meant. For some reason it just did not want to sink in and register that it was having a mental illness in addition to a physical health issues or having multiple mental health diagnoses. Maybe the word morbid being part of it didn’t help. It should have…my physical health issues have a “morbid” twist to them and I tend to make jokes about my CVID and lymphoma…trauma and PTSD and eating disorder not so much.

I probably confuse most of my blog readers because when I started my blog I truly meant to keep it as a social worker’s perspective of living with a mental illness (or two or three or four diagnoses: Bipolar Disorder, Eating disoder, PTSD, and ADD w/OCD tendencies.) I was diagnosed with CVID(common variable immune deficiency) in 2006. I lack 4 of 5 gamma proteins that help you fight infection. One is given back to me by i.v. every four weeks (IgG). This puts me at great risk for cancer especially lymphoma which I was diagnosed with for a second time this past fall. I have included my physical health issues in my blog because they have been overwhelming at times. I am juggling a lot right now in the health department and have managed to get by fairly well mental health wise with a few crashes here and there mostly involving my relationship due to some type of misunderstanding. Physical health issues have been difficult to overcome… pain is a daily stressor as well as fatigue and I am still learning how to cope with these things. It all gets blurred in my blog.

I struggled over whether or not I would share my lymphoma diagnosis in October and I did after avoiding my blog for several weeks. I sometimes feel like I have been put through the ringer. I really just want to spend time with people I love. Some in my life don’t understand this. They don’t get the pain and amount of effort it takes to fight every day either.

So if it seems like my blog is heading in a scattered direction it is because my life has been since last Fall. Bear with me as my life unfolds. I am watching the process with you.

Much love and peace to you all ❣️ W.L.

Visualization and music

I shared I went to Jim Brickman concert for my birthday. It was a gift. The giver has no idea of the value. As a little girl, I learned that music was able to help me travel in my mind through a full size organ that I learned to play amongst turmoil with headphones on. I grew up listening to classical, spiritual, and eventually new age piano music. The latter was able to destress me and I would visualize being free of whatever fear was paralyzing me that moment and dance (freely like a leaf being blown softly in a warm sunny Fall Day.)

While I am an eccletic music lover. I turn to piano music for solace and stress management and find myself drawn to hymns played in the new age style of music. Most people might think I’m nuts which is okay because I have been before and I am probably gonna be again… I can rise above the earthly things when I listen to music and visualize myself dancing. It makes my mood improve, it decreases the unbearable pain that my body feels in increasing amounts, and slows my breathing to help me calm down when at the hospital and I hate being there. I wish I were as good a ballerina in real life as when I am floating with the music

I wish everyone could learn to visualize that intensely.

P.s. the highlight of the Jim Brickman concert was when he played a request for my family of a medley of hymns focused around “it is well with my soul “

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you or in Swedish, God Jul. Praying that you are all able to spend time with loved ones, whether friends or family and are able to find some blessing in this holiday season.

As this Christmas season is here, I am grateful for so many things but am most grateful for just another day to spend with the people I care about. I’m thankful for one of the most memorable holiday seasons in my life which I was able to share with my significant other and our families and friends. I am grateful for medical doctors who can tell us we’re seriously ill before it becomes terminal. I’m thankful for the small little ways that our friends and family show us that they love us and the medical treatments that prolong the lives of cancer patients no matter how difficult they are.

And though my focus has been on myself and trying to meet my own needs since getting the cancer diagnosis, I hope to be able to return to blogging every day to every other day once I get my energy level back. But plus know, I am choosing gratitude as my outlook. I have so many things to be grateful for. Housing, a job, Al (my dog), my significant other who is amazing, my friends and family, the people I work with, etc. ,and all of you.

What are you most grateful for? Please understand that I may not be able to to post much on my blog until I gain some strength and energy.

Love Wendy