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.
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.
Thank you all so much. I now have over 100 followers on my blog. I couldn’t have done this without you!!!!
You inspire me to keep going and sharing even when things are difficult. I appreciate your feedback and support and kind words of encouragement.
Thanks for helping me making this milestone happen.
Resiliency comes in many forms and choices. While I have been under an enormous amount of stress the last few weeks, I still have choices on how to live my life in a way that that allows for more joy to enter in. The above quote is actually a Swedish proverb though some people accredited the quote to writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson; and actor Johnny Depp, on most web sites. It reminds me not to take life too seriously and endorphin releasing a good heat belly laugh is. One o my co-workers has the most infectious laughs to be around. It’s contagious. She brings joy to our whole team just by being present with her humour and fun- loving spirit. This proverb helped to remind me that I am usually good at using the love passage from 1 Corinthians as a mantra throughout my work day and I haven’t been doing that and it shows. I am not as patient; I am not letting go of wrong doings, I am not other-centered vs. self-centered, etc. I could go on but I think you get the point. I needed to be reminded that I am in need of more laughter and love in my life especially at work.
Send me your best attempts at humor…try to keep it fairly so I can retell the jokes without incident to my clients who could use a laugh with me. I love mental health jokes by the way.
I love music. I lost my ability to sing after being on a ventilator in 2004 but I will still attempt to sing when I am moved to do so. I have benefited from having the ability to have music on my smart phone and take it with me wherever I may go. I am still musically inclined and love to play the piano and will go off and play hymns and worship songs to restore my soul when feel the need for re-centering and peace. I really do not like to play for others though because I learned to play a keyboard with headphones when I was little so as to not bother my father who was like walking on eggshells when you were around him when he came home from work and when we got home from school. Those head phone to that keyboard gave me countless hours of music to play uninterrupted and floating away from reality. I wish I could still sing with the voice I had from pre-ventilator days but that is never going to happen. I am content to carry music in my soul and have it carry me through my days. What song keeps you going? What are some of your favorites? I’d love to hear. This summer I went through a rough patch and listen to the song “Swim” quite a bit to get through the dark, depressive days after my friend committed suicide. There are several others I like as well and have a while mental health recovery playlist on my music account. Please share your favorites in the comments.
So anxious about my meeting tomorrow night that I can’t sleep. I am a bundle of nerves as we approach several mutual friends with the news that we have started dating and one friend in particular who will not handle the news well. I am not a selfish person and rarely put my needs and wants before others. I have been struggling with telling this friend since we started seeing each other and wanted to do it in the safest and most protective manner possible so as not to hurt this person. I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to do. However, the fallout amongst our other friends could be pretty intense if things go badly tomorrow night. But I believe in being honest and forthright and not hiding my feelings.
Calgon take me away
Active and reflective listening is truly an art. It takes a lot of patience to listen to someone talk, provide them with validation and not jump into the conversation with our own agendas and advice. I am forever grateful to two clinical supervisors who had the patience to sit and listen in on my responses to phone conversations with clients as I learned to listen and drop myself out of the conversation so the other person could feel validated and more in control of their own life. Slowly with their help I learned to be a better listener.
I still have to remind myself to drop my agendas at the door sometimes, or that by giving advice I am basically taking responsibility for the other person’s choices and I don’t have to live their life and I am always much better off asking the question, “What are your options?” I don’t live in their skin and have to bear up with the consequences of their decisions 24/7 just like they don’t have to live with mine.
I am thankful for a handful of friends who are interdependent with me so that not only do I listen but I am heard when I chose to talk.