What Can I Do?

With all the weather disasters and the latest shooting in Las Vegas, I have been thinking about death.

A lot.

Actually, before all the recent events I was thinking about death. Not suicide, just death.

George Washington was here once. He’s gone. Bam.

King Louis XIV was here once. He’s also gone. Bam.

My dad, sister, and brother were here once. They’re gone.

Bam.

Nothing.

Poof.

George and Louis left some memorable moments that have been recorded by historians. Big stuffs.

My dad, sister, and brother left some memorable moments for me and our family. (or is it my family and me?)

Obviously, I won’t be a number 1 bestselling author because I like to break grammatical rules as well as punctuation rules. Syntax? Meh. Oh, and I make up words.

I know that I matter to my family and friends. I know that I have an impact.

But I want more!

I want to rebuild houses in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands. I want to hug that one person who is ready to give up, to encourage them that they are braver than they think. I want to rescue all animals roaming without a home. I want to plant what was burned in the fires in the western US. I would like to help pick up the pieces in Mexico after the earthquakes.

I don’t want to be famous, I simply want to help where I can. I have researched various volunteer opportunities, including The Red Cross, but my mind doesn’t feel strong. In fact, I’m overwhelmed. I’m cracked and one more little push, I’ll break.

However, I have been rebuilding myself. I also know that maybe…..just maybe….there is one person who will read my words and know that they matter.

It’s what I can do, share my story of recovery, relapsing, recovery and staying that way. My imperfect, persistent way to live and enjoy what I can while I’m here.

I have neglected the blog world and I have struggled. Maybe I’ve been struggling because of my neglect. I must keep moving forward and perhaps this is the way I can help.

I’m alive!

Boom!

 

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Posted in Depression | Tagged , , | 23 Comments

Trying Too Hard

Finding, or noticing, triggers for depression is very hard for me. Or maybe I simply ignore the triggers and keep on pushing until I break, only to find out that I broke over nonsense.

I’m not one for change. It’s rather odd because I used to have to change all the time. I now recognize that I was running from problems. Once I became overwhelmed, I ran. New job, new apartment, new friends, impulsive actions.

Having kids grounded me. Every day I fought to set a good example. Teach them to be respectful and kind to others. Know their own minds and to follow their hearts. All while trying to hide my inner self.

I may be repeating, and I apologize, but over the last 6-8 months I have been experiencing change after change. Changes which created chaos in my mind. A marriage! So exciting and turned out perfect, but change…..

Our youngest son had moved out recently with his two dogs. I had the empty nest syndrome again but they weren’t far. He and his girlfriend planned a road trip to include a stop for the wedding. They decided to stay in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Oh my. I didn’t know how much I would miss them. With technology, it’s easier to keep up with them but it’s just not the same as being mobbed by two happy dogs.

They, like our daughter, followed their hearts. I’m so proud they had the courage to fly on their own. Our oldest is in the city. With traffic congestion, it takes him a long time to simply stop by after work. We see him when we can. We are also prepared that some day a job offer may take him to another place. He is also following his heart.

Things are quiet around me.

The noise in my mind has been extremely annoying, but it’s getting better.

People have always told me that I’m a leader, not a follower. I hated being a leader because I saw myself as such a flawed person.  I’m learning to be flawsome…..an awesome person with flaws.

I don’t have to try so hard to find a trigger as I’m sure I create more in my mind than is necessary. I destroy myself then berate myself for doing so.

I’m learning more and more about mindfulness and it isn’t what I believed it to be. I’m opening my mind to positive movement forward and it feels good. Perhaps I will get my sense of humor back.

 

Posted in Depression | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Here

I used to be there

I used to be here

Here and there

Did I choose the wrong fork in the road?

No, I turned around

Did I run?

Walk?

Crawl?

Think?

Wander aimlessly?

Here I am

How did I get here?

Do I want to stay….

here?

Posted in Random Thoughts | Tagged | 6 Comments

Sunday With April

Some of what I found beautiful this week….

  • I love when people tell me they believe I’m much younger than the number of my years
  • Some perfect weather with fan-in-the-window sleeping instead of a/c
  • Good mammogram screening
  • My husband finally got some time off work after nonstop work for weeks….he went hunting :/
  • Snot-nosed-old-lady-cat is feeling good! She has a very healthy appetite and is playing
  • Peppermint flavored coffee is back on the store shelves!!!!

May you find something to make you smile.

 

Posted in Grattitude, Uncategorized | Tagged | 10 Comments

Another Attempt At Mindfulness

Again, I have started reading, The Mindful Way Through Depression. I have actually read the first chapter….twice! Well, four times if the other readings are taken into account.

Anyway, the author points out how some of us living with depression think something has to be wrong and we should be able to fix ourselves. I’m a fixer so this made total sense to me. Boy, let me tell you, the more I’m unable to fix myself the more disappointed I’ve become. Depression can’t be fixed. It can be managed. Recognize it for what it is, know that it is temporary, and move through it.

Ha!

If only it were so easy.

However, reading that I don’t have to fix myself was quite eye opening. Before moving on to chapter two, I’ve been letting thoughts flow in and out of my mind. Not the negative how can I be so stupids….did I really say thats….did I do enoughs….is everybody happys….

Just letting thoughts flow in and out.

Without working too hard, a thought traversing through my mind was one of those….oh, so that’s why I react that way. 

Can I fix it?

Can a belief about oneself, which has only grown throughout life, be changed?

I believe so.

I hope chapter two has so much more thought provoking content.

 

 

Posted in Depression | Tagged , | 18 Comments

Beauty in Ordinary Things

My husband and I were watching something…..well, he was watching, I was staring off into space, listening. I can’t remember what we were watching but the phrase, “I find beauty in the ordinary things”, made me pay attention.

I asked my husband if he saw beauty in ordinary things. He hesitated because I don’t know if he knew how to answer. Maybe he thought it was one of those trick question such as…do these pants make my butt look big? I can’t even remember if he answered due to a poor attention span on my part.

What is beautiful about a rock? Cat food? Dirty cat litter?

We are connected to the beauty in everything that surrounds us. A rock is beautiful because of its unique shape, texture, color. Cat food fills the bellies of my cats. Cat litter…..um….it’s a good indicator of whether my cats are healthy or not?

Everything has a purpose and it’s beautiful.

It’s the ordinary beauty that is important when our hearts or minds are in pain. The hole in the clouds showing that the sun still shines behind them.

Simple.

Ordinary.

Beautiful,

 

Posted in Grattitude | Tagged | 11 Comments

Sunday With April

Amidst chaos, self-doubt, self-hate, changes…..look, and you will find some beauty.

I have a list that has accumulated and some of what I have found to be beautiful are…

  • Lavender, lots of lavender
  • Sensible Girlfriend – she makes me laugh when I don’t feel like laughing
  • True mountains
  • Time to reflect
  • Our new grand puppy…..even though he pees when he sees us because he’s so excited
  • NFL Football season again! woohoo!
  • The sounds of summer
  • A baby lizard

Some photos from the wedding to share:

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Our youngest son, me, our oldest’s girlfriend, our oldest.

******The marriage ceremony was performed by our new son-in-law’s best friend

May you find something to make you smile.

Posted in Grattitude, Uncategorized | Tagged | 12 Comments

Warning Music Needed

I often wish life would simply roll along without any detours. By detours, I mean depression or massive anxiety. It would be so nice if my life were like a Hallmark movie. You know, with quirky updated elevator music always playing in the background, getting darker sounding when something rotten is about to happen.

Now that I have a computer back….I couldn’t revive my old one….maybe I will release more thoughts here and respond to comments left. I’ve been simply dumping my thoughts and not returning to WordPress.  What I’m finding is that I must be totally in tune with my body, and I need the encouragement, or basic camaraderie I have found in the blogging community. Thanks to you all.

The mind is a mysterious place filled with memories of experiences, automatic responses, and thoughts. Yes, we can control those thoughts. As I’ve found, one can’t let their guard down lest some major life event happens and negative thoughts swirl out of control. Kind of like a category 1 hurricane building into the major destruction of a category 4. (By the way, my most sincere prayers for those of Texas impacted by the latest hurricane)

For…..oh, I don’t know how long…one thing after another kept happening. I knew a long time ago that I wanted to lose weight for our daughter’s wedding. But, in my sick mind, I procrastinated and didn’t take care of myself. Looking for dresses and shoes was a major source of anxiety. I should have taken a cue from my daughter. As soon as the photos and ceremony were over, she changed into a cute white dress with red tennis shoes. Did she care? Nope.

I have been experiencing some sharp chest pains and my first thought was cancer. I went to two doctors and had a ct scan. I didn’t receive an answer to the source of the pain, but apparently my heart is okay and I still remain cancer free–6 years now. I have a trip to another doctor next week. I will get to the source of the pain, no matter how many doctors I have to pester.

And……..our youngest son and his girlfriend, along with my grand puppies, decided they were going to take a road trip to include a stop for the wedding. Half way through their planning they decided they would not be returning from Seattle. Our oldest remains in the city of Atlanta but 2/3 of our kids are in different time zones! Talk about an empty nest.

I took that detour of anxiety and depression, but guess what? I’m still here. I didn’t physically fall into a heap on the floor….just in my mind. I learned a lot about myself through the eyes of others. I have also done a lot of soul searching. The coping strategies I learned are still there, they were simply pushed to the back and I let old habits return.

So, I guess I’m not perfect. Ha!

There may not be any mysterious music playing in the background but there are clues that things are about to change. Recognizing and acting upon what I see coming is important. I can’t bury my head and believe what’s happening isn’t really happening. Change is constant, being open to change and learning how to cope using various strategies is the important part of accepting that change. I will continue striving to believe in myself and my capabilities.

 

Posted in Anxeity and Depression, Depression, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

When a Smile Is Not a Smile

A lot has been going on in my life and I have so much to say but have kept it all tucked into my bag of Shame On Me.

Our daughter was married last Sunday. She married a wonderful young man and the venue/ceremony was beautiful. As mother of an independent bride-to-be, I kept a low profile. She finally gave me the task of obtaining flowers and decorating the venue. All went fine in spite of my lack of confidence.

For months, there was a build up of anxiety. It wasn’t until a week before the wedding that I realized where it was coming from. Social anxiety, and my introverted nature. How was I going to deal with all the activity?

I pretended.

I focused on the happiness and beauty of the day. The smiles around me. The pure joy of watching our daughter. I felt it. I was present. I will remember it in my mind without pictures to remind me. Pictures are nice, but it’s important for me to also hold the memory in my mind.

I have lied awake every night since, staring at the ceiling, replaying what I perceived I did or didn’t do correct. Mind torture that I desperately try to replace with positive memories, thoughts, or scenes.

At dinner the night before we left, Sensible Girlfriend took a picture of all of us with my mom. After the photo, our oldest told me that his new girlfriend is the only one who understands why he doesn’t like to smile for photos. To them, if a smile doesn’t reach the eyes, it’s just an action.

I understand now.

This morning I read the following quote on Instagram: Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo. – Jon Sinclair

I’m very bruised at the moment. Not because I feel as if I failed my duties of obtaining flowers or decorating the wedding venue. Not because I wonder what my new in-laws think of me. Not because I wonder if I offended anyone.

I’m bruised because I failed myself. I failed the lessons I’ve been teaching myself for years. I failed to be compassionate to myself.

I must remind myself that I’m bruised…..not tattooed.

 

Posted in Anxeity and Depression | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The Little Thought That Grew

Depression warning-you may want to skip if you’re having difficulty right now.

Of all the years and years of dealing with depression—most of the time untreated depression, only once did I feel as if I wanted to end it all. Not just run away like I’ve always done but to not exist anymore.

Yesterday I hit that low for a second time in my life, and it scared me. I thought about my family and their loss.

Then I focused on all the little lines that make the tiles in the shower. I looked at the designs of the patterned strip surrounding the walls. I thought about the person who created such a pleasant design. I focused on the water hitting me on the head. The head that is still alive and has a flicker that remains lit.

That little flicker reminds me that I am a warrior inside and I know this mood is temporary.

 

Posted in Depression | Tagged | 13 Comments