Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5 ways to fight depression +1

Seth has 5 great ways to fight depression and a bonus way.  I added to his list.

These are just a few.  One more way is to lower expectations to a healthy level.  We are constantly admonished to raise the bar, expect more you will get more, step up, reach up, do more, if you can dream it you can achieve it.  One of the difficulties is I reach the point that nothing satisfies, nothing is good enough, can't possibly reach such unreasonable expectations.  Revamped my expectations for Thanksgiving dinner.  My goal is everyone will have plenty to eat.  Hopefully there is something for everyone.  The only reason to walk away hungry is to choose to walk away hungry.  I can meet this expectation.  I don't have to have every dish perfect, I'm not competing for Iron Chef. 

Another coping tool is an end date.  In 9 more days Thanksgiving and black Friday are all over. My sister, Judy taught me the concept of having an ending date.  One of the things that make depression so difficult is the feeling is that the dark hole I am in is all I get, forever.  Yes, I recognize that this forever thinking is an unhealthy behavior. 

I also need to plan time for MMV - Mini Mental Vacations. Thanks Judy for this one too.  A few minutes on Pinterest, taking grandkids for a walk, share something funny on Facebook.  A few little moments of taking time for yourself.  I need to put mini breaks planned into my schedule.  

Allow myself to fall asleep at the computer if I need to.  When I am feeling anxious, I tend to neglect myself.  Allow myself to sleep where I can and worry about niceties of bed and regular hours after Thanksgiving events are over. 

I can do this.  Go team ME.

Marching to my own drum beat

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I like my word for the day.  I was talking to my counselor today that I have a mess I don't want to deal with right now.  I was thinking of it like controlled dissociating, she suggested this word, 'compartmentalizing.'  It is a purposeful decision to deal with something big, later.  I am not burying it.  I am not ignoring it.  I am just using a time and season for a big project.  Dissociation is uncontrolled and obliterates emotions.  Compartmentalizing is consciously choosing to set aside emotional baggage until a more appropriate time to unpack it.

Thanks Webster:
: to separate (something) into sections or categories
: to separate (two or more things) from each other
: to put (something) in a place that is separate from other things

From Forbes:

Psychology defines compartmentalization as a defense mechanism, or a coping strategy, which doesn’t impart a very good connotation. Put simply, it’s how our minds deal with conflicting internal standpoints simultaneously. Some examples would be: a doctor who is religious, but has to separate her belief system from her practice at a women’s health clinic; a man who leaves his office at 6pm, and refuses to think about work for the rest of the evening, so he can enjoy his time with his family or, at its extreme, soldiers who need to file away the trauma of horrific events in their minds, so they can continue operating in battle.

Coping strategies are short-term solutions, and they have positive and negative aspects. You want to compartmentalize, but not push out. For instance, those soldiers I just mentioned; pushing out trauma works in combat, but once they come back to their regular lives, they often find those pushed away memories coming back to haunt them, like in cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 Temporary is the key to making this work.  If that chunk of mess believes I am trying to ignore it forever, it will erupt again and again until it gets my attention.  However, if I assign the mess a box, number and due date, it will stay peaceful for a time.  It is a great coping mechanism if I don't over use it. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Forgiving Life



Celebrating Thanksgiving I consider all of my blessings.  One of those blessings is forgiveness.  Forgiveness, oft debated, sometimes misunderstood.  Sometimes demanded but can only be given.  The awesomeness of forgiveness is it cuts the ties to past hurts.  When I forgive, I release the tie that binds me to my past.  I struggle most with forgiving myself.  Counselors assured me I did the best I could have done under the circumstances.  I know how often I fall short of doing my best now.  Why would then be any different?  I want to be free of my past, I believe to do that not only do I need to forgive those that harmed me but I need to forgive myself for my wrong doings.  I made mistakes, lots of them.  I still make poor choices....many poor choices.  In focusing so solidly on my past mistakes I tend to overlook the good things I do.  But life isn't about checks and balances of do so many good things to balance out the bad.  One single event can have a profound impact on myself or others.  I like in the video how he talks about forgiveness being an on going process.  I also appreciate his findings that forgiveness is quite separate from reconciliation.  Dr. Enright points out that it takes two or more to reconcile.  I keep listening to his words about forgiveness coming from a place of strength.  In considering, my past year I recognize that I made strides in forgiving others but I am stuck on forgiving myself.  I then ponder, if I won't truly forgive myself, then am I still holding grudges in situations that I thought I have forgiven.  KavinCoach pointed out, it is difficult to love others more than I love myself.  I suspect it is equally difficult to forgive others more than I forgive myself.  I worked so long at forgiving others, perhaps for me to finish the process, I need to forgive myself.  Not because I did the best I could at the time, but because I am changing who I am and I would not do those things again.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014


“The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place and at the right time, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”  Dorothy Nevill, Writer & Horticulturist, (1826 – 1913)
Posted at

I found this quote and put it in my to-be-written-someday file.  A draft post with bits and notes but not published.  Then I pull up these half written pieces when my brain seems to have nothing of its own.  I go back and read past posts from other bloggers or links or other bits of information.  I needed this reminder at this time.  I needed to think about not just saying what I want but staying aware that somethings that pop into my brain should not pop out of my mouth.  This is not a case of not being authentic.  I can still be authentic while keeping my mental rubbish from finding a voice.  Some days I do better than others.  I learned a lot from KavinCoach and his own ability to say what is helpful and sometimes praying for "God's hand over my mouth."  His words actually.  My mind is cluttered with unfiltered thoughts.  Part of my down time is sorting though things that might seem tempting to say but aren't helpful or kind.  

Came across THINK before you speak:
True Helpful Inspiring Necessary Kind

T - Is it True?
H - Is it Helpful?
I - Is it Inspiring?
N - Is it Necessary?
K - Is it Kind?

If I hit no on all of these it needs to stay rattling around in my head and preferably booted out completely.  Some would argue to never saying anything that isn't true.  That would eliminate the entire fiction portion of my library.  I do believe in keeping straight as to which is true and which is opinion or fictional.  Fairy tales I am fully aware are fictional and I share them.  I have read many beautiful stories that all the 'facts' came from the author's head.  I prefer that they state that this is a story to be shared.  If they are writing nonfiction I am not comfortable with their using 'creative license' to make up facts.  Then comes is it helpful?  I can share something that is completely true that is so far off subject that it isn't helpful to say.  I understood this better from watching some of the TV shows I enjoy.  One of the characters would throw out a random bit of information that is totally irrelevant and distracting to a conversation.  My brain works this way.  I am chugging along on a chain of thought when suddenly in whizzes a totally random thought that has nothing to do with anything but suddenly demands my attention.  My sister refers to these random thoughts as "Squirrels."  Is it Inspiring? When I am feeling darkly depressed it is difficult to be Inspiring.  I noticed that my post get much shorter and less informative when black cloud of depression settles in for awhile.  Eventually I push aside these dark feelings and I am ready to write again.  Is it necessary?  One of the interesting things about living most of my life as a multiple was the inner dynamic chatter that never ended.  Now, with no constant inner conversations nagging at my mind I don't have anywhere to say something that to other people seems completely unnecessary.  Learning what I need to share and what is best kept in my broom closet in my brain sometimes requires a bit of trial and error.  Is it kind....believe it or not this is one of the hardest for me to understand.  Sometimes people lie to be kind but when the other person learns they were lied to occasionally makes things much worse.  I remember a few counseling sessions where what was said to me did NOT feel kind but the information was very necessary for me.  Kind can sometimes slip into enabling or out right lies.  I am not of a fan of Cruel to be kind.  However, I know that leading a person up a garden path when you have no interest in a relationship is not kind.  

I don't always think before I speak/write.  The questions do get me to reconsider what I should say in some situations.  However, sometimes no matter what I say it is all wrong because the listener doesn't want to know what I have to say.  Sometimes the conversation is not about me.  


Friday, November 14, 2014

Give up to get better

Purposefairy proposes a list of 15 things to give up:

1. Give up your need to always be right

I didn't think I had this challenge until I realized I actually stress over the slightest details that could be corrected.  Working on this one. 

2. Give up your need for control

Compromise is powerful when used wisely.  Learning to face life as an adventure and allow it to have more of a say in my day to day living.

3. Give up on blame

Doesn't work any way.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk

If I wouldn't say those things to someone else than I shouldn't be saying them to myself.

5. Give up your limiting beliefs

"Whether I believe I can or can't, I am right."  I believe Henry Ford shared this.  I was told can't so often, reversing that belief to a "Can do" attitude is a daily challenge

6. Give up complaining

Try it for a day.  Thanksgiving will be a really good day to do this.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism

I believe this goes with #6.  I also remind my self what critic means in art.  Critic is a discussion with knowledge backing up opinion but not only negative. 

8. Give up your need to impress others

Not impressing but also not competing.  I can do things to my own best without worrying what someone else is doing.

9. Give up your resistance to change

So much changed all the time.  Embracing change with enthusiasm is my new challenge.  However, I prefer not to change for change sake...just because it is a change doesn't automatically make it a good thing. 

10. Give up labels

The intent behind this is don't allow negative general feelings apply to a specific problem.  Prejudice keeps me from recognizing opportunities and friendships where I least expect it.

11. Give up on your fears

Fears are a guideline not a whip to rule me.  Listening to healthy fears is desirable if I use the information to create a healthier living environment

12. Give up your excuses

I learned that there are always two reasons I do something, the reason I tell people and the real one.  Authenticity and truth seeking requires me to recognize my own behaviors. 

13. Give up the past

Now that I learned what my past is I better understand the importance of knowing where I came from with an emphasis on FROM, USED TO BE.  Accepting that I changed

14. Give up attachment

I disagree with this one.  Detaching from everything also means no love, no joy, no growth.  Just my opinion on this one. 

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations

This on is huge.  My expectations are big enough.  I don't need someone else shoulding on me. 

With all my love,

Well you now have my perspective on these ideas.  Giving up can improve life. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remind myself

TR left a kind comment on this I reread what I wrote.  Thanks TR I needed to remind myself of tools I know how to use.

I am using several of the tools on the situation that presented itself. 

Reminder I can't fix everything.

Each person needs to walk their own path. 

I'm adding a new one....I don't have to understand to accept. 

Someone else's choices doesn't mean I have to change mine. 

Another reminder to in the past is hellish place to live....I can't change anything and the pain doesn't stop by revisiting old hurts.  I can allow myself to move on.  Moving on includes acknowledging things happened but that doesn't mean those things will control my now.  I am feeling more at peace tonight.