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 🌼☔🌞
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.
*****trigger warning…contains information related to suicide.
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
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
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.
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.
*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.
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 “