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

Frozen with fear

So much is happening lately and I’m finding myself frozen instead of fight or flight. I have shared my health concerns on here. I have been struggling to stay well and then my cousin with cancer passed away who I felt close to and I am struggling to regain my own physical and mental health. Grief is tough. The day I learned she passed away I cried and cried which did not help my health. I missed my childhood and adult friend. There would be no more talks about cancer, depression, a shared career, or a multitude of shared interests. I hated cancer…hers and my own. I felt guilty for still being here even though our course of treatments varied greatly. Every day I think of her and how much I miss her.

Sometimes it is difficult for me to share when things are not easy. I lost my job in August when my eye got infected. There are reasons I don’t talk about it that may I share later if possible. I am at the point of looking for a new job and feeling kinda stuck due to anxiety over not knowing what I want to pursue and fear of failure. In addition, I am suppose to travel out of state for a family gathering which will be the first time in nearly 20 years that we have all been together and I am feeling overwhelmed with going. It is more the idea of traveling than being together with family that is hard.

It is not easy for me to admit that I am feeling overwhelmed on my blog. It is much easier to be encouraging, humorous, educate, and give updates on my physical health but not so much with my mental health. I think it still carries much stigma for social workers and mental health staff to have mental health issues in amongst some of peers. It used to be that we were expected to drop ourselves at the door when we went to work. It is better than that now.

I want to thank all of you for hanging in there with me. I reached 200 followers this past week. You are all awesome. Wishing you a beautiful day.

Love Wendy

Structure and lack there of.

I have been attempting to keep a structured format to my days since I stopped working in August. I am looking for work and hoping to get a job soon. I have been using my time to clean out my house, declutter and organize out of necessity. It has kept me from getting depression from not working which was impossible to continue for awhile due to my health.

Starting to look at jobs again is a struggle and I am feeling somewhat nervous. I am not sure what I want to do with my career at this point. I am leaving my options open to say the least. I am not sure where I will end up but I can assure you that it will be a good fit.

Things otherwise have been difficult. It has felt like I have had abuse triggers all around for about a month now. I think I have handled the majority of the situations better than usual but it is never easy to be triggered again and again. Our whole house has been put through the ringer and then got whammied by an upper respiratory infection that hangs on forever. I think that the emotional stress was the key to those of us it has hit the hardest.

My eye remains blurry. It is a wait and see healing process right now. Next month I will find out if I need surgery.

So my radical recovery process is do what I can every day and keep plugging away at the rest and stay positive. So far it is working.

Peace to you all.

Love Wendy 🧡🌼🐢

Update from yesterday

Just thought I’d take a second to let you know how I was doing after yesterday’s fall. Doctors believe that I fell because my potassium level was low. This fall was a bad one in which I fell from the top step as I was entering my house from the deck. I fell off the top step on to the house and onto the grill. I have many scrapes and bruise but luckily I didn’t break anything or get a concussion. I did bruise the bone on my ankle and sprain it. So air splint for me along with a great pair of crutches.

My stinking thinking has met a can of air freshener. My thinking is much less negative today than yesterday. Just thinking about my recovery tool kit turned things around for me.

🙃🌼🐢Thinking of you all.

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

Scary time 2

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Just a quick update on my eye. I can finally see through the cornea ulcer on my left eye well enough to see some things. I have been to the ER six times and seen the eye doctor every day for the last two weeks. This week included a trip to Ann Arbor and University of Michigan to see a specialist regarding the ulcer left on my eye by the infectión I got around 7/4/19. It has impacted my overall health after the loss of sight in one eye for so long. I am overjoyed with gratitude that my sight is slowly returning. To say I have done fine through this process would be a lie. I crashed after my visit to University of Michigan and have lost an a considerable amount of weight by lack of appetite. It is also hard and frustrating to lose your sight so quickly. I find myself losing time and disengaging from others in general especially as the pain increases. After days of putting eye drops for various treatment needs around the clock in my eye, I just want to snooze as long as possible. I am in wonder at the complexity and working of our eyes though. It is amazing all they do. I am grateful for the help that I haved around me since the the 2nd when I first went into the ER to to be seen. My friends, significant other and my significant other’s family has done so much to help that I don’t think I can ever say thank you enough. Al came home tonight after we were finally able to return home yesterday. Ahhhhh.

Thank you for sending your thoughts and prayers my way. Wendy.

Scary time

This week has been and continues to be a scary one. I have been in the ER four times and had six emergency appts with the opthalmologist since Tuesday. I was originally diagnosed with allergic reaction and this was changed within 24 hours of diagnosis to an aggressive infection in my Left eye. I can no longer see through the ulcer and infection on that eye. It is just one big blur that has remained in intense pain in light or added pressure from bending over, etc. I am putting in eye drops every hour on the hour to attempt to fight the infection. In the words of several opthmalamologists now the matter is serious and my eye sight at risk. The pain is excruciating and because of the opiod crisis the opthalmologist was not willing to prescribe anything. I have finally had enough and am returning to the ER to get pain meds today. I hate the doctors new fear of opiods. Praying that my sight returns in my left eye soon. Much love, Wendy

One year anniversary

This week marks the one year anniversary of my blog. I still struggle to balance my time between work, treatment, recovery and rest. The past few months have brought a job change that is less stressful, continued treatment, and continued work towards recovery. This year has been a year of progress in so many ways. It has had some major challenges and set backs at times but my mood is so much more stable, I have been in a stable relationship for nearly a year now, and have a more stable med med regimen. I have also slowly been learning to accept my weight and body shape at whatever weight or shape I am at. I am grateful for so many things.including all of my followers and their support.

Thank you for a memorable first year.

🧡🌼🐢Wendy

Sadness, grief and worry

TRIGGER WARNING!

Tonight I write with a heavy heart. My nephew’s best friend died by suicide today. He is hurting with a pain that is inconceivable to many people. This is a pain we now share. Tonight as I spoke with him I realized how many hurtful comments I have heard when I lost a friend in my life to suicide. Most of these came from individuals who did not understand mental health issues and the pain one feels when they are experiencing suicidal ideation. Even though I have gone through a number of deaths by suicide, I could only tell my nephew to ignore the words that are offensive and cherish the memories of his friend in his heart. I am more worried about keeping my nephews and niece alive who are impacted by this death. Suicide contagion is very real and very serious and my nephew already has suffered from a mood disorders. I worry about his life after this experience.

There are no easy words for those suffering with suicidal thoughts. You are more than your depression. It may not feel like it but you are. If in a mixed state, you are more than your present mood state. You are enough. You are lovable.

There is hope. It might come in the smallest thing. For me it was a song called “Swim” by Jack’s Mannequin. Find it, hold onto and don’t give up.

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.