Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hard to write

I find it hard to write an up beat post about overcoming depression when I watch myself slide deeper and deeper back into depression.  I love Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, unfortunately 'tis' the season' for deepening depression.  It is called seasonal depression and I know I am not the only one that feels it.  My new counselor helped yesterday as I discussed problems at work and at home.  I wish I could work things out myself.  However, I don't seem to be able to do that.  Once that slippery darkness starts creeping in I struggle more and more to think logically of healthy solutions.  I did realize in talking about what I am concerned about that I do know some helps.  I am not without resources.  I do have a fairly clear understanding of where my struggles lay.  I did work out why things at school got to me so quickly.  I was able to practice strategies to correct an issue with the students.  Pin pointed where I need to set appropriate boundaries.  Worked out a plan of action that will hopefully build an atmosphere of positive encouragement.  The counselor suggested several more things I hadn't thought of plus gave me word phrases that were more positive.  I am going into the toughest time of the year knowing it is going to get worse.  I love all the activities but I wish we could spread them out over more months than two.  My daughter pointed out that she has a major activity every single Saturday for the next month.  My schedule is filling rapidly.  I am starting to find a new groove at school but feel sad that I now dread going to work.  The beginning of the school year I was early almost everyday.  Now, I can barely convince myself to get out the door and stay less than 10 minutes late.  Such a disappointment, the year started out so well with just the right amount of challenge.  Now I am constantly overwhelmed and more discouraged everyday.  Breathe.  In - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - Out - 1- 2 - 3 - 4.  Yup.  Breathing is good. One of the biggies my counselor talked to me about is lowering my standards for myself.  Don't put so much pressure on myself.  We planned out mini mental vacations.  She also suggested I take regular breaks before I hit melt down stage.  Planned breaks.  We also talked about accepting others where they are at.  I want to be accepted and I need to be willing to extend what I hope for. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What are some of the things that you do which affect your mental health badly?

  This is a series of post answering questions posed by Kevin's daughter.  I asked permission to answer each of these questions as if I was answering my adult children.  I will also include a link to Kevin's answer. (I don't read his blog until after I write mine.)

21. What are some of the things that you do which affect your mental health badly?

My first reaction to this question is which comes first the chicken or the egg?  Insomnia wrecks havoc on my thinking and mental health.  Unfortunately, insomnia is a symptom of PTSD.  Stress wrecks havoc on mental health....but that is true for most people.  Saying yes to too many projects.  Again this is a problem with poor boundaries so it is hard for me to sort out which are symptoms of PTSD and which are things I do to make things worse.  Chocolate and binge eating certainly makes things worse but eating chocolate also helps me feel better, temporarily.  Heavy sigh.

I truly believe that every person with mental health issues or not have a variety of habits that create a negative impact on our lives.  That is why each year, New Year's resolutions are set to stop bad habits that make living more difficult.  I chose to set goals rather than New Year resolutions since I hate the sound of breaking them on January 2nd.  Goals are something that I can reset and keep moving toward even in baby steps or crawling.  Life is tough enough without making things harder on myself but that doesn't stop me from doing things that slow my progress.  I used to think change would happen in weeks.  Now, I accept the glacier concept of thing changing in years.  

I posted this, went to bed, got back up to add one piece.  The worse thing I did was denied that I had a problem.  Denial kept me from finding healthy solutions, counseling, and accepting the challenge life gave to me.  Accepting I had mental health problems was the first step to finding healthier solutions. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Quick stress reducers

If I got a penny for how many times I was told, “If you would just relax you would feel better” I wouldn’t need to work for a year.  Yes I would love to relax, tell me how….

Huffington Post shared an interesting article:

13 Ways To Beat Stress In 15 Minutes Or Less

Wake up earlier……well in my opinion if I could go to sleep this would be a piece of cake.  However, insomnia is part of PTSD.  I did learn that an extra 15 to 20 minutes in the morning gives me a ‘cushion time’ to adjust to being up.  I would put this one as somewhat helpful.

Create a soothing space.……..first I need to acknowledge that my space is mine to change.  This can be tough to recognize.  Learning what you believe is soothing takes time.  What may be soothing to one person is often jarring to someone else.  Believing you have control over your space is a huge step.  I think is very helpful if I can wrap my mind the possibility of changing my space.  This is a work in progress.

Clean out your junk drawers.……….my chuckle has an edge of hysteria to it.  I stash stuff in drunk drawers in the first place because I don’t know what to do with the junk.  This one is an epic fail for me.  However, I do know people that find cleaning out their junk drawers soothing as the organize.  Unfortunately, I am not one of those people.

Visualize your stressful thoughts.……visualization is used in a variety of ways.  I believe I could write several posts on this one subject.  One of my favorite visualizations is a “Trouble Tree.”

Watch cat videos.……humor is a huge stress reliever…I read an entire book, Norman Cousins Anatomy of an Illness.  I still remember parts of this after reading it years ago. 

Sing your heart out.… therapy works.  I was first introduced to this at the university where I worked.  There is a bachelors degree in music therapy.  I still like humming tunes when I work on computers.

Start a scrapbook.…..Yahoo scrapbook enthusiast documentation that this is therapeutic.  I use photography.  I suspect any creative endeavor has similar benefits.

Pick up a physical hobby.……yea the article agrees that not everyone is into scrapbooking so something that has tactile and hands on hobby will do…..HO trains, dollhouse construction, crocheting, needlepoint, any hobby that requires personal involvement…..brainwashed by TV does not count in my opinion.

Clench your muscles (then release)…….I first learned this in yoga.  This is right at the top of my list of quick mini relaxation.  Stretching and twisting also help out.

Take deep breaths.……….Feeling blue, breathe.  Really it works.  This is right up there with the clench muscle one that settles the body.  Yoga is great at teaching deep breathing, cleansing breath and other breathing techniques to relax my body.

Write mental thank you notes.……….another awesome post I could write on the emotional benefits of gratitude.  Take it a step further and actually write thank you notes to someone that made a difference in your life.

Feel your pressure points.…….Reflexology and massage are both excellent for the body.  Get to know your own pressure points and which ones relieve the most tension for you.  Information on pressure points is easy to look up these days.  Further down this road, I have friend that love acupuncture and felt benefits from this method of tension relief.

Smell the roses.………actually get your nose in a rose.  Ever heard of aromatherapy? Cool stuff.  I’ve used this for years. I keep several different essential oils on hand all the time.  They do help.
There you have a starting point for beating stress.  Most of these take very little time to do with big benefits.

Someday computers will add scratch and sniff. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Knots Prayer

~ The Knots Prayer
Dear God:
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the 'have nots,'
the 'can nots' and the 'do nots'
that I have in my mind.

Erase the 'will nots','
may nots', 'might nots'
that may find a home in my heart.
Release me from the 'could nots,'
'would nots' and 'should not'
that obstruct my life.
And most of all,
I ask that You remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the 'am nots'
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought that I am not good enough.
I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen
*God bless and keep sharing the Good News !!! ~ C4C

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I get emails from Vic Magary. I learned about his website from Joel of Impossible challenges  I appreciate Vic's encouragement and ideas on better health.  I am not a Paleo dieter but his ideas are helpful.  Yes, I am working on increasing my vegetable intake.  I hadn't realized that I don't really like vegetables but he gives suggestions on eating them that makes it easier to enjoy adding more to my diet.  He also shares what he learns about living.  Yesterdays article in his news letter led me to learn a new word - Sisu.

 James defined the word in his article:

This article talked about something that my counselor pointed out that I have in abundance.  In fact I believe all survivors have varying levels.  It is why we are survivors and not victims with obituaries.

Failure is an Event, Not an Identity

Abuser try to convince their targets that they are failures and will amount to nothing.  Survivors stand up on unsteady feet and move forward anyway.  Some where in a survivors soul they decide that they are not what their abuser tells them they are.  Against all odds....yup that is what survivors do.  They survive against all odds. 

Martin Luther King shared a similar idea:
“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. 
One of the teachers I work with at school shared this with her students.  My comment, "If you fall flat on your face, you are still moving forward."  

Kent Keith may have written but Mother Teresa lived it.

Mother Teresa's Anyway Poem

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
[Reportedly inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa's children's home in Calcutta, and attributed to her. However, an article in the New York Times has since reported (March 8, 2002) that the original version of this poem was written by Kent M. Keith.]