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

Resolutions of 2020

It’s been a few weeks but I have been working on my resolutions almost on a daily basis. Usually I am dilligent and write my goals out in my journal. This year I spent more preparing for my goals than writing them down. Because of being laid up I am doing a massive reading goal and have already finished 5 books since the beginning of January. I am , also, working on jump starting my recovery steps again by working through Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. i plan on working out more physically when possible. Right now, I am still working with lymphoma. I am grateful for many things and am keeping a journal daily and including 5 things I am grateful for each day before I go to bed. Last but not least I plan on working the 12 steps this year. so many things ahead.

New Year in motion

We are now almost a month into 2020. Many of us made many resolutions. How are they going for you? This is about the time that we either start to become more disciplined in our routines regarding our resolutions or we become discouraged about our progress towards goals for 2020. You might be wondering how it is that I know this this. Well, I know it takes a minimum of 21 days to start a new habit. I, also, know that people who aren’t consistent with keeping up with the new habit or routine will start to engage in negative self talk when they fail to succeed in the latest attempt to rein in on one or more areas of their life.

if new years resolutions were so easy to keep all of of would be making them again and again. i usually set a page of goals for a New Year and this year varied little from years past. i wanted to work towards change and growth this year. i felt ready. Did you set New years resolutions this year?! if so what were they? are you sticking to them? why or why not? Did you set several or one main goal? Did you have support or were you doing it alone? If your resolution is very important to you i challenge you not to give up. share your story. be encouraged and start again. in the words of Winston Churchill…never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never give up.

Love Wendy

When one event triggers a landslide…

Today is a day that one thing (a fall) triggered a whole series of events. The physical complications of my fall involved a trip to the ER. The mental and emotional ones have left me struggling within my thoughts and questioning myself. I found myself beating up on myself for everything I could have to differently. Why is it that one negative event sets us on a trail of stinking thinking?

I used to be entrenched in negative thinking. It took a few years and a concentrated effort to turn my thinking around. Every so often I find myself returning to stinking thinking when certain events occur. I am battling a hard fight right now in this area as I have encountered the lose of my vision (though I did hear the ulcer is healed over and my eye is healing faster than the doctors predicted), the loss of my job, and other challenges. It is easy to fall back into the trap of negative self talk. It is a conscious choice to let it go every day and throughout the day. I use positive affirmations and quotes and song and a gratitude journal to refocus on the positive. Having the right tools in my tool kit before I need them helps. Do you have a recovery tool kit? What would you include in yours? Let me hear your thoughts on this idea. Some things in mine include photos of things I’ve accomplished..college graduation, completing a rope course, making it up a rock climbing wall, etc. Words of encouragement from others as well as thank you’s. Photos of the people I love and care about. I, also, put in stress relievers such art supplies, koosh balls, kaleidoscopes, and piano music. I keep mine in a box so they are in one central spot. It sometimes saved a difficult day and turns it into a positive one.

Will share more soon. Awaiting x-ray and test results while I write.

🐢🌼🙃

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.

Medications and the Psych doc tomorrow and sharing the Big C.

*Warning…blog contains information on meds and sexual side effects.

Tomorrow I see the psychiatrist and we are going to one “of the talks” regarding medications. I was extremely down and depressed as I was being diagnosed with lymphoma and in pain and feeling much more depressed as my endocrine system was attacked and hormone levels were all world’s of whacky. I started Prozac to help with depression and OCD symptoms that had gone untreated for years. My mood stabilizer and was better than it has been in years. But as we were adjusting the dosage, they hit like one big wave…sexual side effects killing my libido. While I am not manic, I have never had to have this kind of conversation with my psych doctor. I don’t consider myself a sex addict or hypersexual even most of the time. (After all, my diagnosis is Bipolar I and I know what that is.) I have spent the bigger part of the last two years fighting hormonal I’m balances and have had to work harder to stay out of dark abyssal periods and have reached a level of stability that was rarer in my youth. With my stability has come a more stable relationship with a significant other who I love very much. And since I started on my highest dose of Prozac, I feel like the sexual part of me is dead like an old, small appliance whose electrical chord has been severed. Nada. Nope. Nothing. It’s probably not that bad but in some moments it feels like it is. Tomorrow I hope to ask for a replacement. I don’t even know what other options there are than the SSRI class of meds for OCD but I feel like I am not happy with everywhere Prozac has taken me. I know I may hear grumbling from the psych doctor but I have decide what adds to my quality of life and this is important to me now.

Tomorrow will be the first time I have really had a chance to talk to the psych doctor about my health and new diagnosis with the Big C. I will have to spend some time journalling before my appointment to condense down three very intense months into 30 minutes. She will listen and ask questions though and I am near the end of the her day.

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 “

Wonderings

At times I find myself thinking about death and dying. I’m pretty sure it comes with the cancer diagnosis. I try hard not to stay here for long periods of time. I have been trying hard to enjoy each day I am given as a gift to remember to stay in the present moment and live it to the fullest extent. I don’t know the future. My gut tells me to enjoy life and my friends and family as much as I can now because tomorrow is not promised. It is my gut feeling that I have been having since I was diagnosed. There have been a few reinforcers since then. Telling those around you that you are thinking of death and dying though goes over over like a lead balloon. The questions start pouring out like the third Inquisition They forget all the stats on CVID and cancer let alone Bipolar Disorder. There are very very few people around in life who are able to handle a discussion with you about life and death without freaking out and losing their poop so to speak, especially those who are closest to you. Though I am not a religious person of sorts due events in my life I am a person who has a deep faith. This conversation or conversations may come down to meeting with a pastor to to relieve some of the things I have been trying to process individually with great difficulty. No one ever said that having a terminal illness would be easy I just watch to make memories happen while I am able to. If you have ever had a chronic illness, there is not a day that goes by that isn’t impacted by it. It is a matter of how much you allow it to impact your life that matters. How much does your mental or physical health diagnosis impact your life? How do you decide?

Wendy

“ENOUGH”

My eyes are leaking (crying) and my brain is saying “ENOUGH.” I want a break from February and how it’s gone so far already…surgeries, complications to those surgeries, car problems, being away from home and Al temporarily, being at the hospital more than I can stand, and feeling confused and alone than I have in a while.

I find myself turning to old coping skills to get through long days that others.dont really understand like using my phone to play games to dissociate with to escape the pain, triggers,and all the medical stuff coming at me day in and day out. I’ve lost 7 pounds in less than 2 weeks. Stress and food are old allies in my history. It’s a slippery slope right back into old habits. Right now a path that could be more dangerous than usual. I find myself wanting things to return to precancer moments. I don’t want to stay stuck in this space because I don’t believe in feeling sorry for myself or getting pity from others. I do desire to make the most out of each day and I wasn’t able to do that on my own the last few days with doctor appointments, tests, hospitalization, car problems, etc. Add a dose of feeling alone in the mix and I plummeted to the places that I didn’t want to go.

The saddest thing is that today I pushed people away and hurt people who love me before I could be hurt 💔 Sigh. I want a shower and clean clothes and my sister right now

I have 9 hours before the tests start again which means getting up and ready to go even earlier. Praying I can restore my attitude by then. Thanks for listening.